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Hamlet: Comparing Father and Son
The play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Hamlet was a man that looked up to his father throughout his life, during and after his father's death. The younger Hamlet tried to follow in his father's footsteps, but as much as they were alike, they were very much different. The man named Hamlet had a son named Hamlet and after everything was over, that is one of the few things that they had in common. King Hamlet and Hamlet compare in that they are both upset by the Queen’s marriage, they both hate Claudius, they are both brave, and they are both dead by the end of the play. They contrast in that while Hamlet’s father was king, Hamlet will never have the kingship, Hamlet does not leave a legacy and they die differently.
Hamlet looked up to his father because he felt that he was a great leader and the bravest man that he knew, as Hamlet mentioned, "so excellent a king” (I. ii.149). He wanted to be so much like him, but couldn't because of a couple of barriers that he had to deal with. He became a lot like his father in the end.
Hamlet was very disappointed with his life because he knew that becoming king was one thing that he didn't have in common with his father, because his stepfather was king, “married with my uncle, my father's brother" (I. ii. 151-2). Hamlet was very upset by his mother's marriage, and as he learns later, his father was as well, "It is not nor it cannot come to good: But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue" (I. ii. 157-8). The ghost of Hamlet's father advises his own opinion, "Let not the royal bed of Denmark be A couch for luxury and damned incest" (I. v. 82-3).
They both shared the hatred towards Claudius, the King and the wife of Hamlet's mother and his father's widow. Hamlet expresses his hatred in I. v. 106, 108-9, "O villain, villain…That one may smile…and be a villain; At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark.” The ghost gives his hatred in I. v. 38-9, 42, "The serpent that did sting thy father's life Now wears his crown. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast.”
Hamlet does become as brave as his father when he kills the king, his stepfather, when the plot of the king to kill Hamlet goes wrong, and the Queen drinks the poisoned drink herself.
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The final comparison and contrast that they have is that they are both dead, but the road to their death was different. Hamlet's father was slain in a plot created by Claudius. The ghost reveals the circumstances of his death in I. v. 61-4, "thy uncle stole…juice of cursed hebona…porches of my ears did pour the leperous distillment.” Hamlet committed suicide after his mother and stepfather was dead. Hamlet did this act in V. ii. 312, "give me the cup: let go, by heaven, I'll ha't."
Hamlet and his father led different lives, with some comparisons to themselves. They both ended up together dead. This was the ultimate trait that they have in common.
1. Your paper needs to be better organized. You need to first discuss your contrasts and then your comparisons or vice versa. You also need to concentrate on one contrast or comparison per paragraph. Taking a whole paragraph for each point allows you to fully compare or contrast that point.
2. You also need a more detailed thesis statement. You need to list exactly how King Hamlet and Hamlet compare and contrast. For example, you could say, “King Hamlet and Hamlet compare in that they are both upset by the Queen’s marriage, they both hate Claudius, they are both brave, and they are both dead by the end of the play. They contrast in that while Hamlet’s father was king, Hamlet will never have the kingship, Hamlet does not leave a legacy and they die differently.”