Comparing the Characters of Faustus and Hamlet Essay

Comparing the Characters of Faustus and Hamlet Essay

Length: 1761 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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...

... middle of paper ...

.... 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.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Hamlet by Williams Shakespeare Essay

- Here, Mephistopheles explains the remorse he feels of being deprived from the joys of heaven. Faustus ignores Mephistopheles warning, due to his egotistical nature. Bypassing the urgency of this message, Faustus is given the opportunity to elaborate on this line giving him the impression that hell is where God isn’t, therefore concluding that “Hell’s a fable”. This conclusion precludes Faustus from repenting, allowing him to irresponsibly sign his soul to the devil. At the start of the play Faustus hadn’t taken into account the consequences his actions would bring, because of his narcissistic nature to reach and occupy the same position as God....   [tags: Mephistopheles, Faustus, Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
1002 words (2.9 pages)

Comparing Hamlet And Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

- Juxtaposition is a device that is often used to enhance and relate certain aspects of a writing piece. William Shakespeare uses this device in his plays to emphasize characteristics, themes and even scenes. He does this so that the elements that are being highlighted show major significance throughout the tragedy. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet juxtaposition is evident in the circumstances of the characters as well as their morals. Characters in the play that are juxtaposed against each other are Hamlet with Laertes, Hamlet again with Fortinbras and Ophelia with Gertrude....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Powerful Essays
1710 words (4.9 pages)

Essay about Minor Characters Of William Shakespeare 's Hamlet

- The Importance of Minor Characters Minor characters serve important roles in many works of literature. In a tragedy, these characters are used predominantly for the sole purpose to relieve tension through humour. Although typically true, it does not apply to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which is a tragedy about Danish prince Hamlet and his battle to avenge his father’s murder. Some may claim that the comedic scenes of minor characters, Polonius, Osric, and the grave diggers, only serve to provide humour....   [tags: Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet, Gertrude, Polonius]

Powerful Essays
1517 words (4.3 pages)

Essay Faustus and Hamlet

- 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 was a play influenced by previously written plays, which have been identified to share similar plot lines. One is called Saga of Hrolf Kraki. Believed to be Scandinavian. The second is the Roman legend of Brutus....   [tags: Character Analsis, Shakespeare]

Powerful Essays
1753 words (5 pages)

Parallels Between Christopher Marlowe and John Faustus Essay

- We have all experienced that moment. That horrid moment of indecision right before you do something that just feels wrong. That pause right before it happens, where time seems to be suspended. You feel them on your shoulder – the weight of your good angel pleading you to reconsider and the weight of the bad angel, egging you on. This whole idea of the good angel and the bad angel, the divide in your consciousness between right and wrong, was born from Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan tragedy, Doctor Faustus....   [tags: Doctor Faustus, Author and Character]

Powerful Essays
1952 words (5.6 pages)

Comparing Laertes And Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

- Comparison between Laertes and Hamlet: The Reaction to their Father’s Deaths The comparison between Laertes and Hamlet is quite extensive and while both are unquestionably similar they are also complete opposites in the way they handle their father’s deaths. When both are faced with the reality that their fathers have been murdered each forms his own unique path of revenge, which eventually leads to both men’s fated death. At the beginning of the play Hamlet is melancholy and still mourning the death of his father who died two months past....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Ghost, Gertrude]

Powerful Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Hamlet 's Mental State Of Mind Essay

- In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, he tells a story of Hamlet who has not only lost his father but has found that his uncle is the killer. To make matters worse, his uncle has married Hamlet’s mother making his father’s killer the new king. Throughout the play Hamlet appears to have gone insane. The characters in the play are left to wonder what has caused Hamlet’s sudden depart from reality. The main speculation is that his madness is due to the loss of his father and from a broken heart from the rejection of Ophelia, who is Hamlet’s love interest....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Powerful Essays
928 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on The Characters Traits of Hamlet

- Hamlet is a Shakespearian tragedy that takes place in the kingdom of Denmark. The plot consists of murder, betrayal, revenge, suicide and insanity. Hamlet the prince of Denmark, main character of Hamlet, has many character traits which are contrasted by other figures in the play. Hamlet’s personality is especially contrasted by three other main male figures of the play being Horatio, Claudius, and Laertes. Horatio is Hamlet’s best friend in the play whom is let into the mind and secrets of Hamlet....   [tags: Hamlet, Shakespeare]

Powerful Essays
827 words (2.4 pages)

Doctor Faustus as Apollonian Hero Essay

- Doctor Faustus as Apollonian Hero How long will a man lie i' th' earth ere he rot. - Hamlet, V, i, 168 The Tragic History of Doctor Faustus is Marlowe's misreading of the drama of the morality tradition, the Faust legend, and, ironically, his own Tamburlaine plays. In the development of the character of Doctor Faustus, we find one of the supreme artistic achievements of English dramatic literature, a milestone of artistic creativity and originality. The force of Marlowe's dramatic poetry resonates with lyrical intensity in its dialectic between world and will....   [tags: Doctor Faustus]

Free Essays
4836 words (13.8 pages)

Essay about Hamlet- The Characters

- Hamlet The prince of Denmark, and a student at the University of Wittenberg. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet's father, King Hamlet, has recently died, and his mother, Queen Gertrude, has married the new king, Hamlet's uncle Claudius. Hamlet is melancholy, bitter, and cynical, full of hatred for his uncle and disgust at his mother for marrying him. When the ghost of Hamlet's father appears and claims to have been murdered by Claudius, Hamlet becomes obsessed with avenging his father's death but keeps thinking of reasons why he should wait before killing Claudius—then chastizes himself for failing to act boldly....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
769 words (2.2 pages)