Hamlet and as You Like It Comparison Essay

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As You Like It and Hamlet were both written by the famous English playwright William Shakespeare. Written between 1599 and 1601 Hamlet explores a young intellectual who is caught in the middle of a dysfunctional family. Hamlet’s father who was the King of Denmark was murdered by Claudius, his uncle, who soon after the murder married Hamlet's mother, Gertrude. To make matters worse the “ghost of Hamlet’s father” has asked him to “…Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder…”   However in As You Like It, a girl runs away from her wicked uncle and winds up in the Forest of Arden, where she disguises herself as a boy. When she bumps into her crush in the middle of the forest, she convinces him to participate in an imaginary courtship that ends in marriage. When examining these two plays it is possible to do so by looking at characters and themes. This essay will seek to compare and contrast the two aforementioned areas of these two plays.
In Hamlet and As You Like It we find that the two protagonists are similar but differ in several ways. Orlando and Hamlet are both young men whose fathers have died and they have been thwarted their rightful inheritance. Both of these characters are popular with the masses. According to his brother, Oliver, Orlando is of noble character, unschooled yet somehow learned, full of noble purposes, and loved by people of all ranks as if he had enchanted them as shown by this quote “… Yet he’s gentle never schooled and yet learned, full of noble device, of all sorts enchantingly beloved…”   Orlando has a brave and generous spirit, though he does not possess Hamlet’s nurtured insight. Orlando is however capable of standing on his own yet next to Hamlet, Orlando’s lack of intelligence is highlighted.
Nonetheless it must be asked if Orlando’s lack intellect disadvantages him when examining him in light of Hamlet. This question is important as Hamlet’s education makes him hesitant and can be viewed for the reason for his downfall i.e. if he...

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