Compare Hamlet with Candide
Everyday heroes are now easily made because of the standards, which used to be high, are now low. Anyone can become a hero in many different ways. One could climb into a tree and save a cat in distress, or even call 911 for someone who needs help. However a hero in mythology and legend is a man often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for bold exploits, In the 4th century B. C. , Aristotle defined the characteristics of a tragic hero.
According to Aristotelian dramatic theory, a tragic hero is usually a man of noble standing and good character who possesses a tragic flaw, or hamartia, which eventually contributes to his demise. The tragic hero usually undertakes a task and, in the process of this task, becomes very emotionally and psychologically upset, which results in his alienation from people around him. In my opinion, Hamlet fits the definition of an Aristotelian tragic hero perfectly. Shakespeare introduced Hamlet as a young philosopher who has been constantly involved with the term of life and death .
He is undoubtedly a well-spoken and bright man who spends too much time thinking and not enough time acting. Throughout the play we learn of many personality characteristics of Hamlet. The most prominent of these characteristics is his innocence. He was lost in a sea of corruption and evil. A majority of the other characters had selfish reasons for their actions. For instance Claudius killed Hamlets father to gain the kingship and to get his wife. The only reason for Hamlets actions was for vengeance for his father’s murder. He thought that was the right thing to do to protect the people from a corrupted leader.
Hamlet is a ‘real-life’ hero. He is not a big muscled, idiotic hero that we often see in various movies. He doesn’t charge around the castle killing everyone, knowing exactly what to do and when to do it. If so he would immediately fight all the guards, Kill Claudius and Polonius, get an army, crush the Norweigan invasion and finally becomes a powerful king, happy ever after. But Hamlet is a “real life” hero. He has doubts, he has grief. He is not perfect or simple, but he tries to protect his faith in a world of high values and morality. He longs for beauty, truth and reason.
He is paralyzed by the adult brutality and corruption which surrounds him. At the end, his world of inner-beauty collapses under the weight of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune . So he is not victorious in his medieval revenge quest, but he was heroic in his longing for truth, meaning, beauty and love. He was heroic for rejecting the brutal definitions of manhood imposed on him by his society. He is heroic because he represents the troubled birth of the Renaissance, fighting for dominance over the violent and superstitious middle-ages.
Besides that there are some noticeable facts in the play which indicate hamlet’s intelligence. For instance his actual goal is to kill his uncle who has killed his father. Therefore he tries to show himself as a psychotic person, therefore people around him can’t recognize his exact goal. On the other hand Hamlet is not absolutely convinced that king Claudius has killed his father therefore he is seeking for a reasonable way to find his father’s murderer. He arranges for a group of travelling players to perform a play closely resembling the murder of Hamlet’s father, which he has tweaked to make it even more like his father’s murder. I have heard that guilty creatures, sitting at a play have by the very cunning of the scene have been struck so to the soul that presently they proclaim their malefactions, for murder though it have no tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ.
I’ll have these players play something like the murder of my father before the king, I’ll observe his looks, I’ll tent him to the quick. If he but blench I know my course. ” The players do perform the play, but in the middle of it Claudius rises and leaves, very upset. Hamlet is confirmed in his suspicions. “I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound. Hamlet is the prince of Denmark but he doesn’t like the patrician life. His youth is not an obstacle in front of his depth of thinking. Quite the contrary His thoughts make him seems much older than his real age. Hamlet is so popular among the people , however he feels lonely in the society. He always wants to hide his beliefs and motivations from other people. He keeps questioning about everything in the world. To be, or not to be” is the opening line of a soliloquy from Hamlet which later becomes the most famous line in English literature. The name Candide means innocent.
Just like his name and his characteristics, Candide is very innocent and highly susceptible to the influence of stronger characters. He is simple and he trusts everyone. He is assumed to be the son of the Baron’s sister. He loves Cunegonde but is not bold enough to confess. He is very gentle. He listens to Pangloss’s talk and initially believes what he says although he does not really understand his high flown talk. Candide is very much attracted to Cunegonde who is very beautiful. From the beginning of the novel to the end, he yearns for her and his only aim is to achieve her.
From the time he is made to leave the castle till the end of the novel, he goes through various adventures. He gradually matures from an innocent boy to an experienced and practical man. When he is offered a choice between execution and flogging, he learns that one does not always have a choice between good and bad. One has to sometimes choose between bad and worse. He is terrorized by war and earthquakes. He often starts doubting Pangloss’s theory. His faith is restored from time to time when he comes across goodness in an otherwise evil society.
The kindness of Jacques and the old lady gives him hope. His faith is shaken by events like auto-da-fe and other evils, which he encounters. There is a limit to the suffering Candide can endure. He kills Don Issachar and the Grand Inquisitor to protect himself. He runs a sword through the Baron’s son and thinks that the latter is dead, but the Baron’s son survives. Throughout most of the novel, Candide seems a hapless fool, for continuing to cling, in the face of much contrary evidence, to his tutor Pangloss’s original world view, that “everything is for the best” .
However, Candide also later grows into a hero of sorts: brave; tenacious, and resilient. Ultimately he saves friends from cruel fates. Still, most of the time before that, we simultaneously pity him and laugh at him. Only at the end, when Candide both disbelieves and lead his peers away from Pangloss’s dogma, having learned, both metaphorically and actually, that to achieve real contentment and fulfillment, “we must cultivate our garden” does Candide emerge as more hero than fool.
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