Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' And Martin Luther 's Relationships With Their Families

Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' And Martin Luther 's Relationships With Their Families

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Hamlet’s and Martin Luther’s relationships with their families play a fundamental significance in their lives. Both protagonists present a mixed feeling of resentment and love toward their mothers, and show strong devotions to their fathers. Hamlet shows strong disgust towards his mom’s marriage to Claudius, and believes his mom has betrayed his father and broken their marriage vows (Hibbard 279). Moreover, he thinks his mom is weak and lustful, as she is eager to get into bed with Claudius (Hibbard 282). However, even though Hamlet portrayed abomination towards his mom, he still loves her as a son. Throughout the play, Hamlet struggles with his revenge and shows much hesitation for a character; however, in the last scene of the play when Gertrude exclaims that she has been poisoned, Hamlet finally kills Claudius. From this event, we can see his mother’s death acted as a catalyst for his revenge. Even though he hates Gertrude for her betrayal, he did not want her to die. As for Luther, his resentment towards his mom is not as strong as that of Hamlet’s, but it is evident in the novel when Luther was spanked for stealing a nut until blood came out. He says such harsh discipline drove him to the monastery, and he had a flash of resentment towards his mom (Bainton 7). However, Luther states that such strict discipline was for his own good and he deserved it (Bainton 7).
Furthermore, both protagonists were strongly attached to their fathers and regarded the role of a father as being holy. First of all, at Gertrude’s and Claudius’ wedding, Hamlet was still wearing black and mourning for the death of the old king. When asked why he is still mourning, he replies that his black clothes and heavy sighs do not represent how strongly hi...


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...d take revenge. From this, we can see that self-hatred is a strong characteristic of his. During Hamlet’s to be or not to be speech, he questions life and wonders is it better to be alive or dead, and he is tired of this life that he is living in right now(Hibbard 240).
The above examples paint a clear picture of the similarities that Hamlet and Luther share on many different levels. They both share similar views on their fathers and their roles in the family. Moreover, their struggles with their mothers are very similar as well. Moreover, even though Martin Luther was the dominate figure in the Protestant Reformation, many of his actions showed hesitation and inductiveness, and such characteristics are also evident in Hamlet’s life and his struggles to get revenge. Last but not least, both of them suffered from illness ranging from spiritual to physical disorders.

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