Character Deterioration In Literature: Hamlet And August: Osage County

1405 words - 6 pages

Henry Ward Beecher once stated Selfishness at the expense of others' happiness is demonism. This theory addresses that a part of the human condition is becoming
corrupted by self-absorption. Authors such as William Shakespeare and Tracy Letts chose to explore this theory through literary characters that exploit others in order to benefit themselves, because of self-absorption. The characters in Hamlet and August: Osage County contribute to their own mental, physical, and social deterioration.

One of the most prevalent instigators of a psychological break is a character’s desire for relief of emotional pain. In Hamlet, Ophelia experiences the great loss of her beloved father. After speaking with Ophelia, Claudius concludes, O, this is the poison of deep grief. It springs All from her father’s death. 4.5.80-81 Later on, she becomes
submerged in a brook and, she chanted snatches of old lauds, As one incapable of her own distress (IV.vii.202-203) Ophelia is so overwhelmed with the sadness generated by her father’s death, that she becomes mad. This insanity is an inner creation built in order to live in a world revolving around her. Ophelia then enables herself to decide to commit suicide without considering the consequences. In contrast with the conditions under which Ophelia takes her own life, Beverly in August: Osage County, experiences different circumstances, yet comes to the same dismal conclusion. Beverly makes mistakes, both consequential and inconsequential throughout his life. He expresses that he has a significant affinity with Berryman’s quote The world is gradually becoming a place where I do not care to be anymore Prologue 11. Beverly had once participated in incestuous acts and he, “tore himself up over it, for thirty some-odd years. 3.5.133 recalls Violet. His family, career, and passions have become insignificant to him. Constantly reliving and regretting his selfish decisions in life causes Beverly to commit suicide. In brief, a character’s desire for emotional relief can cause a mental break so large that it leads to his or her own death.

In various situations, the initiator of a mental deficiency is yearning for possessions. In Hamlet, Young Fortinbras discards his morals in order to avenge his father’s death. He is determined to reclaim the land his father lost by any means necessary. The small piece of land, hath in it no profit, but the name (4.4.20) yet Young Fortinbras is willing to risk the lives of, Two thousand souls […]” (4.4.26) to obtain it. He experiences a mental break when his main focus becomes his own desires. In order to fill his own needs, he is thoughtless when risking the lives of individuals who worship him. Through a character’s desire for insignificant possessions, personal mental breakdowns occur. Contrary to the circumstances of Young Fortinbras, Violet in August: Osage County experiences mental trauma due to different conditions. Violet places her husband’s life second to her desire for...

Find Another Essay On Character Deterioration in Literature: Hamlet and August: Osage County

Character Analysis of Ophelia and Gertude in Shakespeare´s Hamlet

1347 words - 5 pages become very well known. One of William Shakespeare's most famous plays is, Hamlet. In Hamlet, the women, Ophelia and Gertrude were portrayed as property, non- controlling, inferior, and solely dependent on men throughout the play. Ophelia is an obedient daughter who is dependent on her father, Polonius for guidance. Ophelia and Hamlet were deeply in love, until his mother, Gertrude married his uncle, Claudius, the day of his father's funeral. After

Troy Maxson Main Character in Fences by August Wilson

1796 words - 8 pages refusing to go to his obsequies, but Cory changes his will after sharing memories of his father with Rose and Raynell. Bono is the only character in Fences who remind, first-side, Troy's rejoice days of hit homeruns in the Negro Leagues. Less controversial than Troy, Bono wonderful Troy's leadership and responsibility at work. Troy's character is the centerpiece that all of the other relationships in Fences cull around. An audacious

Opehlia: Critical Character in Hamlet

702 words - 3 pages relationship with her father to Gertrude’s relationship with Claudius. Ophelia shows great weakness in this play because that is how Shakespeare felt Hamlet perceived women. It is likely that many in Shakespeare’s era believed women to be similar to the women in Hamlet. As I have outlined, Ophelia plays many key roles in the play. If her character were to be omitted, the play would lose a great deal of depth. Her roles as a woman, an innocent, a lover and a foil are all critical contributions to the play of Hamlet.

Foster Care in Liberty County and Chatham County In GA

1652 words - 7 pages percent nonfederal match. States have flexibility to spend program funds on a broad array of independent living services for children who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 or former foster youth up to age 21 (Murray, 2000).The funding is dispersed to local counties within the state on certain percentages and criteria of need within each county. Two counties in Georgia, Chatham and Liberty were chosen to determine the differences in

Suppression and Hence Deterioration in the State of the Catholic

2096 words - 8 pages In 'A Modest Proposal', swift has portrayed the 18th century Ireland as plagued with the problem of overpopulation, unemployment, poverty and the exploitation of the labor class by the bourgeoisie(middle class). The same problem being addressed by Karl Marx in sociological labor theories. The course of actions suggested by Swift J is, however, adverse and sets forth an example of a satirical classic piece of literature viewed and analyzed by

The Character Horatio in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1241 words - 5 pages The Character Horatio in Shakespeare's Hamlet In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the confidant Horatio is created to serve a number of different purposes. Horatio is a flat character. He is a loyal, obedient, and trustworthy companion to Hamlet. His character does not undergo any significant transformation throughout the play, except that he serves as a witness of the death of Hamlet, Claudius, and Gertrude. Horatio's role in the

Hamlet And Oedipus: Tragic Figures Of Literature

1587 words - 6 pages Hamlet and Oedipus: Tragic Figures of Literature A tragic hero as one who is presented with an essentially inescapable situation against unbelievable and constant opposition, who despite his heroic strengths, is essentially manipulated or toyed with by the forces put against him. Hamlet and Oedipus are two historic characters of literature who truly exemplify the tragic hero. Put up against all odds and enemies, they are both constant in their

Horatio – Unsullied Character in Shakespeare's Hamlet

2839 words - 11 pages an unclear manner following the ghost’s revelations (since he does not wish to reveal the ghost’s revelations): “These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.” And Hamlet apologizes to Horatio. From the outset of the drama, the reader/viewer sees the sporadic development of Horatio’s character, into one of complex temperament and motivation, which would render him quite “rounded” (Abrams 33); in other words, he is one of Shakespeare’s “sharply

The Character of Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1197 words - 5 pages The Character of Ophelia in Hamlet      In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, the character Ophelia plays an important role in the elaboration of the plot.  In the beginning, she is in a healthy state of mind, in love with Hamlet, yet controlled by her father.  During the play she has several troubling experiences involving Hamlet - causing her to become distressed.  The death of Ophelia's father leaves her mentally unstable and in a state of

The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare's Hamlet

2161 words - 9 pages The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare's Hamlet The Gertrude in Shakespeare’s tragic drama Hamlet is controversial in the sense that some critics uphold her morality and some deny it. Let’s consider this question and others related to this character. Gertrude has many good qualities in the play; she is not evil through and through. Rebecca Smith in “Scheming Adulteress or Loving Mother” presents an image of the queen in

The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

1612 words - 6 pages   The character of Gertrude in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, is not a woman for emulation by others. She is too human, and not very intelligent. Let’s consider her in this essay.   Mary Bradford-Whiting, in her article “Mothers in Shakespeare” compares the mother of Juliet to the mother of Hamlet:   Juliet has a mother, to whose heart of stone she appeals in vain:   . . . O, sweet my mother, cast me not away! [Romeo

Similar Essays

August: Osage County Review

1153 words - 5 pages Times and David Deny from The New Yorker. I chose them because both critics reveal their opinions negatively and positively. I reviewed their view about the characters, theme, plot and the difference from the play to the movie. I also reviewed Meryl Street's acting in this film compared to her other well renowned films.The main Characters in August Osage County are a mother and her daughter: Violet Weston played by Meryl Street and Barbara Weston

August Osage County Essay

987 words - 4 pages Tracy Letts August: Osage County is a modern drama that epitomizes the role of honesty in relationships. Despite the overall complexities of the play, the magnified lens that Letts focuses on family interactions helps readers distinguish what is keeping the relationship between family members intact. In this case, it is that the Weston family lies to themselves and each other to preserve and maintain love. August: Osage County depicts that love

The Past In Long Day’s Journey Into Night And August: Osage County

2422 words - 10 pages are also haunted by their respective pasts. Some of the Westons of Osage County are also haunted by the events that transpired in the past. But unlike the Tyrones, the Westons do not welcome the past in their home at all. It forces itself into their lives and ruins what little happiness there is to be had. The Tyrones, on the other hand sedate themselves with those memories of happier times. The older generations in both families made decisions

Comparing The Ghost Character In ‘Hamlet’ And ‘Snow In Midsummer’

2189 words - 9 pages China, ghost is the explanation for some natural phenomena which beyond understanding and represent the confusion for the belonging after the death of people. This kind of idea penetrates into the human’s mind and form a kind of culture eventually. In western country, ghost also represents the belief of people. In order to compare the similarities and differences of ghost character in Hamlet and Snow in Midsummer, there are three orientations