Comparing the Characters of Faustus and Hamlet Essay

Comparing the Characters of Faustus and Hamlet Essay

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Both Hamlet and Faustus contain a clash of themes and traditions, all catalysed by Religion. This is used to establish a theme of deception, which greatly impacts the protagonist’s procrastination. Procrastination is considered to be Hamlet’s tragic flaw, however Faustus’s flaw is considered to be his hubris.
Hamlet is in fact a play adapted by Shakespeare, not by name. But there are several scriptures that can be identified to being similar to the plot. One is called Saga of Hrolf Kraki. Believed to be Scandinavian. The second is the Roman legend of Brutus. In Shakespeare’s version Hamlet is the prince of Denmark heir to the throne, whose life takes a turn for the worst after his father’s death. This version of Hamlet is the most complex version ever written, because the idea of revenge and bloody deaths was a traditional convention of tragedy plays of the era.
Faustus is a well-educated man who learnt about Logic, Medicine, Law and religion, however Faustus turns to magic to gain knowledge about the world, using it to substitute his faith in Christianity. Hamlet and Faustus can both be considered as a “typical” renaissance man, a man who could know everything about anything because knowledge was limited, however Hamlet is more of a renaissance play while Faustus is focused as a morality play, where actors come on stage dressed as sins.
Hamlet is not a play based on religion but it illustrates religious beliefs of the 16th century, and religion is used as a catalyst to provoke Hamlet’s procrastination creating internal conflict from within raising questions about society and the new King of Denmark. The play is set in Denmark, a protestant nation but this might not greatly influence the plot since it is set at a time period...


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.... This creates indecision in both Faustus and Hamlet, whether to repent or not, should I kill the king or not, what if the ghost was a daemon in disguise, what if the devil actually intends to rip me apart if I repent and turn to the path of righteousness. This in turn provokes both characters tragic flaw procrastination leading to their tragic deaths. The only difference is Hamlet is surrounded by corruption and faithlessness, while Faustus has brought it upon himself in order to engage in his practice with magic.
Both characters are using deception to their own advantage, however Faustus is doing it for his own selfish needs while Hamlet subtly does it for justice and to set things straight in Denmark. Ironically, for good or bad reasons, this decision to use deception for their benefit ignites their procrastination and ends with both characters eventful demise.

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