Essay about Love And Duty, By David Wroblewski

Essay about Love And Duty, By David Wroblewski

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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 they are led to their demise.
Both pieces show that Edgar and Hamlet had devised a plan to confirm the belief that Claude and Claudius murdered their fathers. 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 beati...


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...Act IV, Scene I, 25-28). Both Trudy and Gertrude become ignorant to the fact the Claude and Claudius were trying to get rid of Edgar and Hamlet, and because of this, it can be concluded that the mothers chose to act out of duty because of their role as a mother and because they chose to be siding with the new dominance in the household (Claude and Claudius).
The endings of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and Hamlet ultimately demonstrate the theme of choosing between love and duty. With Hamlet and Edgar’s decision to avenge the death of their fathers, the willingness of Henry Lamb and Horatio to aid Edgar and Hamlet to the best of their ability, and the decisions Trudy and Gertrude made to protect their sons, as well as their relations with their new lovers, it is easy for the reader to differentiate how the characters choose their actions based on either love or duty.

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