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Hamlet and Death of a Salesman Analysis

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Death of a Salesman analysis tells the story of a man who was on the verge of losing everything. Set in the backdrop of New York and Boston, Willy Lowman is an old salesman who refuses to accept the truth about his reality. Being liked was more important than hard work in his world, so he worked very hard to be desired, which did not work well. He was on the verge of losing everything, and even when his neighbor threw him a lifeline, he refused as he thought he was above it. Willy was also losing his mind, unable to tell what was real and what was not. Hamlet, by Shakespeare, tells the story of a son on a journey to avenge his father. The King had been killed by his brother, Claudia, who went on to marry Hamlet’s mother, something that irked Hamlet. To take revenge, Hamlet decided to play a mad man so that Claudia would not suspect him. Soon it was unclear if Hamlet was playing a mad man or he was insane. Although both written years apart, the two stories share many similarities as well as differences.

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At the heart of the two plays is a family. Willy came home to his wife and his two sons Biff and Happy. Willy’s family was going through a tough time because of the financial situation and the strained relationship between the sons and the father. His influence on his son can be felt throughout the play. Happy, who wanted to please the father, followed in his footsteps and was instead unhappy. He said he had no idea why he was working. Biff, on the other hand, was on the receiving end of his father’s insults “Why does Dad mock me all the time?. Willy wanted Biff to be more like him, a salesman. The King recruits Hamlet despite him being dead into avenging him. In both stories, the influence of the older generation can be felt on the younger people. Biff adored his father until he learned that he had an affair while Hamlet discovered his uncle’s treachery. This discovery destroyed the two young men as Biff could barely hold down a job while Hamlet was tossed into a world of plotting and revenge. Willy and Hamlet both suffered from insanity. While Willy was not aware of his deteriorating mind, Hamlet decided to act like a madman as part of his plan.

Death of a Salesman was written at the collapse of the American stock market that plunged the whole country into an economic crisis. While Willy’s problems seemed to be self-made, he could have gotten a job doing something else, the situation also contributed. Many American people at that period lost their jobs and were desperate. This single thing is enough to drive a man to insanity. Willy was desperate and had attempted suicide more than once before his actual death. His slow descent to madness may have been from his economic status. Hamlet, on the other hand, was written in the times of kings and queens; betrayal was not a new thing. Claudia, Hamlet’s uncle, murdered the King to take over “The serpent that did sting they father’s life now wears his crown”. He was also plotting on killing Hamlet, all the while pretending to be helping him. So while the two main characters met their death in the end, the motives and the methods were different. Willy, driven by desperation and the need to leave something for his family, committed suicide for them to collect the insurance. Hamlet died, having avenged his father by killing his uncle as the last act of his life.

The two plays, although written at different times, they have many similarities as well as differences. Both Willy and Hamlet were victims of circumstances, and both had to deal with the feelings of despair and hopelessness. They both had to deal with losses and tragedies that seemed to be out of their hands. In the end, the two characters met their deaths.

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