Hamlet And Julius Caesar Research Paper

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Shakespeare has long been revered as one of the greatest authors in history. His tragedies are filled with extensive symbolism, comprehensive themes, and complex characters. Shakespeare’s trademark elements are tragic themes and instances of miscommunication. Both of these elements can be seen in Hamlet and Julius Caesar, two of Shakespeare’s classic tragedies. In these plays, Shakespeare uses the actions and reactions of the characters to create tragic themes. More specifically, Shakespeare uses the tragic heroes, foil, characters, and female characters in Hamlet and Julius Caesar to create similar themes. While Shakespeare describes the fate and social situations of the characters in Julius Caesar and Hamlet similarly, his description of…show more content…
While both Laertes, Hamlet’s foil, and Cassius, Brutus’ foil, are conspirators and find a deathly fate; they each have different motives. Similar to Hamlet, Laertes seeks revenge for the death of his father. As soon as he hears that his father had been murdered, Laertes claims that he will only “be revenged most thoroughly for [his] father” (Shakespeare, Hamlet, IV.v.109-110). Cassius, on the other hand, shows that he wants to kill Caesar because of his jealousy. Cassius is jealous that Caesar loves Brutus more than him and he is jealous of all the power that Caesar holds. Cassius claims that “Caesar doth bear [him] hard; but he loves Brutus” (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, I.ii.409-410). Thus, the reader is able to see that while Laertes is fueled by revenge, Cassius is fueled by jealousy. Despite these different motives, however, both foils have similar roles in conspiracies. Laertes, angered by the death of his father, joins with Claudius in forming a conspiracy against Hamlet. The two of them make a plan and carry out the murder of Hamlet (Shakespeare, Hamlet, IV.vii.67-69). Similarly, Cassius gathers a group of conspirators to carry out the murder of Caesar (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, I.iii.550-552). While each foil character had a different reason for joining a conspiracy, they both played an active role in the formation and follow through of their respective conspiracies. Another similarity…show more content…
In Hamlet, the main female characters, Ophelia and Gertrude, are not very helpful to their men. Ophelia does not warn Hamlet about her father’s prying and she fails to notice the impending tragedy. In fact, Ophelia kills herself before anything else tragic occurs in the play (Shakespeare, Hamlet, IV.viii.180). Gertrude is similarly not very helpful in warning Hamlet about the plot against him. Rather, she simply goes along with everything Claudius says. In fact, Gertrude gets mad at Hamlet for acting meanly towards Claudius (Shakespeare, Hamlet, III.iv.9). In Julius Caesar, on the other hand, the wives of Caesar and Brutus try to help them. Portia wishes to help her husband and asks him “why [he is] heavy, and what men-to-night have had to resort to [him]” (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, II.i.902-903). Unlike the women in Hamlet, Portia inquires about her husband’s actions and wishes to know more about his life. Similarly, Calpurnia tries to help keep Caesar out of danger. Calpurnia has a dream that Caesar’s statue was on fire and she believes that this dream foreshadows Caesar’s death (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, II.ii.984-1000). Calpurnia takes an active role in the life of her husband similar to the roll Portia takes when she inquires about Brutus’ change of character. Thus, the reader

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