Hamlet Love Vs Duty Analysis

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In David Wroblewski’s novel, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and the Shakespearean play, Hamlet, there is a prominent theme of choosing between love and duty. In both pieces, the dilemma of choosing between love and duty prevails in characters such as the protagonists, Edgar and Hamlet, as they plan to avenge the death of their fathers. The relations of Henry Lamb and Horatio with Edgar and Hamlet, respectively, reveal the theme of love and duty as they are both portrayed as the loyal friends of the protagonists, especially in times of need. The dilemma of love and duty is also revealed in the mothers, Trudy and Gertrude, as they become vulnerable to their need for the “love” of another man and when it comes to protecting their own sons before…show more content…
It can be shown that the decision to do this was primarily done out of love, rather than duty, as Edgar and Hamlet loved their fathers and would go to any means to avenge them. In The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Edgar encounters the ghost in the barn, who is revealed to be his father, Gar. The ghost of Gar begins to tell Edgar about how Edgar wouldn’t have been able to save him even if he could speak. The ghost proceeds to tell Edgar to search for “What he [Claude] has lost. What he thinks is lost forever.” (Wroblewski 238). Edgar then continues to search for what the ghost had mentioned, and discovered a syringe. Showing the syringe to the ghost, the ghost then gives Edgar the memories all at once. Within the memories, Edgar sees Claude “searching the floor” and then “Darkness”. Soon after he sees “a boy, as clear as glass, his heart beating in two cupped hands.” (Wroblewski 240) With the information given, Edgar comes to realization that his father might have not died from the suspected aneurysm. Given the slight, yet significant piece of evidence, he stumbles upon other evidence within old letters between his father and a man named Charles Adwin. Edgar executes his plan to confirm the information given to him by training his new litter of pups a tag and touch trick, where the pups would hold a syringe in their mouths and tag each other to pass it…show more content…
When Edgar was forced to leave the farm, he later stumbled upon the home of Henry Lamb. In Edgar’s time of need, Henry had given him a place to stay, as well as providing Edgar and his dogs the food they needed. Henry also didn’t ask him questions, and when he did, and Edgar didn’t want to answer, Henry simply let it go and didn’t bother Edgar to answer them. (Wroblewski 377, 395). With this example, it is evident that the actions done by Henry Lamb were out of love, as it can be shown that he was sincerely concerned about Edgar’s well-being, as well as the well-being of the puppies. Like Henry Lamb, the character of Horatio was quite similar. Horatio was portrayed as the loyal friend that was always there in Hamlet’s time of need. Though, many of his actions could have been said that it was done out of duty, Horatio could be seen as a character who also acted primarily out of love. When Hamlet is nearing his death, Horatio states, “I am more an antique Roman than a Dane: / Here’s yet some liquor left.” (Act V, Scene II, 305-306). Horatio’s sudden exclamation presents that he was willing to die to be with Hamlet, also providing evidence that that Horatio was a loving and loyal friend that was willing to do anything for Hamlet’s well-being, like Henry Lamb in The Story of Edgar

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