Similarities Between Hamlet And Catcher In The Rye

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William Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye both follow a young male protagonist who is just out of school and attempting to come to terms with the ideas of death and mortality. In their respective stories, Hamlet and Holden inform the reader of the tragic death of a family member that they are still dealing with. While both of these deaths occurred before the stories began, they both shape the entirety of the plot. These deaths deeply affect both of the main characters and neither knows how to cope with it. However, the differentiating factor between the two is how they believe those around them should react to tragic events and how that shapes their view of the world.…show more content…
Just weeks after his father’s death, Hamlet is still mourning and his mother has already married her dead husband’s brother. The Queen does not believe that Hamlet should still be mourning and she tells him “’tis common, all that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity” (Shakespeare 1.2.73-74) and she asks Hamlet “why seems it so particular with thee” (1.2.77). Hamlet picks out the words seems and tells his mother that it does not seem particular with him, rather it is particular. After this he discusses the “forms, moods [and] shapes of grief… that a man might play” (1.2.84,86). The idea of his father’s death being brushed aside so easily infuriates Hamlet. He sees all of the mourning and grief as nothing more than an act being put on by his mother and the people of Denmark and he continues to struggle with the idea of acting. After he hears the player preform Aeneas’ tale to Dido about the slaughter of Priam, Hamlet begins to question himself. Once the player finishes and Hamlet is alone, he calls himself a “rogue and peasant slave” (2.2.498) and feels awful because “all in fiction… [the player]
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