Death In Laura Hillenbrand's Hamlet

850 Words4 Pages
Death is imminent for everyone. It does not matter if it takes fifty or eighty years until it finally comes. In the greater concept of time, death is a constant force, lurking behind people’s backs, searching for the right time to strike. For Louie Zamperini from Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken and Hamlet from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, however, death is even closer. As a soldier taken as a Prisoner of War (POW) by the Japanese, Louie has to constantly defy death, struggling to survive. Although Hamlet is in a different situation as a Danish prince, he nevertheless walks the frail line between life and death as he unfolds a plan of treason against the king, Claudius. Such proximity to death, however, does not diminish the two men. They are…show more content…
Because Hamlet and Louie squarely acknowledge the possibility of death and try everything in their powers to defy it, they are unbroken by death, no matter how close they get to it. Death condemns both Hamlet and Louie’s life, cornering them into a life lost in darkness, both mentally and physically. The two men’s lives are set on fire as fate propels them closer and closer to death. As soon as the Ghost of King Hamlet visits Prince Hamlet, “fate cries out” (1. 4. 84) for the young prince to kill his uncle and new king, Claudius. Hamlet quickly attaches himself to this plan of treason. Although he curses “that ever I was born to set [spite] right” (1. 5. 178-9) and calls fortune a “strumpet” (2. 2. 471), Hamlet accepts his destiny. Even though his fate of avenging his late father might lead to death, Hamlet is not afraid to take the direct path to death because other great men like Alexander the Great “died, … was buried, … [and] returned to dust” (5. 1. 191-2). Hamlet understands death as a natural phenomenon…show more content…
Although Hamlet is subject to constant spying by Claudius, he finds way to hide his intention through madness that has “method in it. (2, 2, 95). He even devises a clever plan to perform the Mouse-Trip play that is “the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king (2. 2. 57-8). Although Hamlet is restrained by his position, he is not inactive; he is finding ways to attach death and his faith. Similarly, Louie also does not succumb to death blindly. In the execution island of Kwajalein, silenced rules and no one could talk to each other. However, Louie devises a plan to create “beneath the hush … a humming underground of defiance.” (209). Louie, “a man for whom defiance was second nature” (244), is directly involved in ways to defy the rules and to have trivial discussions. Also, in the Omori island, the Prisoners of Wars (POWs), including Louie, wage “a guerrilla war” (248), changing labeling on boxcars and sending mails to the wrong address. Louie finds a way to sabotage the Japanese and become a soldier again. Once he starts to act against death, he is “no longer a passive captive” (249). No matter how close death or physical pain gets into Hamlet or Louie’s bones, they grind their teeth and find a way to hit death

    More about Death In Laura Hillenbrand's Hamlet

      Open Document