Hamlet and Ophelia both exhibit insanity, but for different reasons and in their own degree. Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, presents an enthralling view on lunacy and the individual mind. It presents a sharp contrast when comparing two characters, Hamlet and Ophelia. Claudius kills Hamlet’s father and takes his crown.
He further hurriedly marries Hamlet’s mother, the Queen. These actions set the themes of treachery, hatred, and vexation in the play. Ophelia’s the madness depicts her as a character struggling to figure a way of her own. Althe though she is a trifling character in the play, she forms a significant entity for the comparison.
Hamlet, due to a variety of reasons, feigns that eh is insane. His insanity derives from his grief over his father’s death and desire to revenge. Hamlet is sad, due to his father’s untimely death, to plan to kill the villain. He presents a character with a fragile mind throughout the play. He also exhibits a noncommittal attitude towards Ophelia that further drives her madness. After his father’s death, his mother, the Queen, rushes to marry his uncle.
This urges his insatiable desire to exert revenge on Claudius. The fact that he faces pressure from his father’s ghost that asks him to prove Claudius’ guilt presents the fragility of his mind. He portrays hasty and erratic behavior which is evident in a situation when he stabs Polonius thinking it is Claudius.
On the other hand, Ophelia’s lunacy is genuine and warranted. Ophelia portrays naivety, and faithfulness to Hamlet and her father, which makes her vulnerable. The death of her father, Hamlet’s noncommittal attitude, and lack of judgment further fuel her insanity. She commits suicide because Hamlet proceeds acting disrespectfully towards her which is seen in his words and weird actions. Hamlet words, “Get thee to a nunnery”, hurts her so much that it drives her toward suicide (Duggan 95).
Question 2. Alceste is the main character and protagonist in the play The Misanthrope. Alceste generates the fundamental divergence which is the clashing of his ideals with those of the general society. He habitually draws the attention of the others to the need for sincerity in people overwhelmed with bribery and lacking honesty.
Although most of individuals he comes to contact with rarely listen to his advices, he gains affection of women and men alike. Both Arsinoe and Celimene demonstrate attraction to Alceste while Philinte respects him and attempts to save him from destroying all his relationships.
Love plays a critical role in Alceste’s journey to achieve virtues of forgiveness and willingness to love. His inclination to forgiveness is evident in his marriage offer to Celimene though her behavior made him upset earlier. He admits his weaknesses thought he would not conceive that earlier.
Alceste is shown as a satirical device to showcase that sticking to a strict code of conduct would not benefit his society. His character develops the plot rather than achieve symbolism. He is multi-dimensional, achieving comic extremism and showing human emotions at the same time. However, in the end, he expresses anger equally at her behavior just as at the beginning of the play.
Alceste’s view on love is contrasted to Phillinte’s ones. He understands that social order is forgiving and takes people as they are with their shortcomings. He is selfless and offers himself to Eliante conditionally. At the end of the play, Phillie is the only male figure with a successful relationship. He shares an intimate moment with Eliante as the play ends. Thus, the playwright suggests that restraint and modesty are the proper code of conduct in society (Cottom 50).
Question 3. Gardens play a symbolic role in Voltaire’s Candide. Candide and Cunego, the characters in the play, get exiled when they are found kissing. This is symbolic as it resembles the eviction of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. In the end, they take pleasure in the little things such as cultivating vegetables in the garden.
The garden symbolizes an end to life trials of Candide and his friends. However, for Adam and Eve, the eviction is the beginning of their trials as well as those of all mankind. In Candide’s garden, the virtues of hard simple labor play an essential part. In the world beyond the garden, however, people get tested for no good purpose.
The author is of the idea that successful cultivation yields a plentiful harvest. The garden also symbolizes the fostering and half-truths of life that the characters grip regardless of all their life miseries. However, in the end, Candide is able to cultivate his garden and achieve something in life. Therefore, the playwright is advising people to use their talents for good to achieve set goals and objectives. Cultivating gifts and talents of individuals makes the world a better place.
In El Dorado, Candide experiences an absorbing typical setting that surpasses the initial garden. However, this beautiful natural escape is fantastic and transitory. The active engagement in cultivating introduces the central theme of benefiting from the complacent former environment. However, the definitive symbolism of gardening is to showcase behavior change. This presents a chance for a new start for the characters. The cultivation of the garden further suggests the escape from great sufferings (Chernyshevsky 176).
Chernyshevsky, Nikolay Gavrilovich. What Is to Be Done? Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989. Print.
Cottom, Daniel. Inhuman Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. Print.
Duggan, Timothy J. Hamlet. Waco. Tex: Prufrock Press, 2008. Print.