Loneliness Analyzed in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Pinter’s The Caretaker
Hamlet is a medieval drama, and has a plot similar to the plots of the modern dramas today. The basis of my Hamlet is from the movie “Hamlet,” starring Mel Gibson, so that a comparison of the dramas on how they’re shown in films will be analyzed. The plot in Hamlet is complex, and a lot of issues were there to create more dilemmas to the main character. First, a summary of Hamlet and later, another drama called The Caretaker, will be discussed in order to give a good idea of what my analyses are.
Prince Hamlet’s father, the King, dies. Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, married his Uncle Claudius two months after his father died.
This made Hamlet very upset. Hamlet was too upset that he lost his mind a little bit. Polonius has a daughter, Ophelia, who is intended to marry Hamlet, though in reality, Ophelia doesn’t want to marry him. Then Horatio revealed to Hamlet that his father’s apparition was constantly seen and this led Hamlet hear the truth of his father’s death.
His father died because Claudius poisoned him. Claudius was told to be so full of lust for the Queen too. This enraged Hamlet more, knowing his father got murdered. When he learned that Ophelia is being forced to marry him, he rejected her.
Hamlet accidentally killed Polonius, and this made Ophelia lost her mind. Hamlet’s fury made him lose respect for his mother. There was a very disturbing part of the film that Hamlet made a gesture of lovemaking to his own mother. This is a suggestion of incestuous relationship. The quest for Hamlet to make his uncle pay for his treachery, ended up in more loss and death. Claudius ended up accidentally poisoning Queen Gertrude, and a sword with venom poisoned Hamlet. Before Hamlet died, he was able to kill Claudius by stabbing his heart and making him drink the poisoned cup of wine. (Hamlet).
The Caretaker is a contemporary drama during the 1960’s, and has a very simple plot. First, a summary of the drama will be discussed in order to understand the situation better and, hence, I’ll give my analyses of it. The main characters here are: Mick, the owner of the house; Aston, his brother; and Davies, the tramp. Davies, otherwise known as Jenkins, is a vagabond in this story. He was hired for a job at a restaurant, but one week later, he was fired. Davies felt that he was not treated the way he should be. He felt that he was being discriminated for a lot of reasons. He was a very sensitive person. He thought everybody disrespected him.
His sensitivity made him grumpy enough not to do the job required of him. What will the manager say? Of course Davies will be terminated for his stubbornness. Davies and the manager got into a heated argument that Davies almost got punched. Aston was there at that moment and was able to save him from being beaten up. Aston was a very kind person. He offered Davies to stay at home with him until he could find a job and can settle on his own in a different place. Davies took the kind offer. Aston brought Davies into his shabby place. It’s being constructed and there’s only one room in the building that’s being used.
The room has two beds, but the room has too much clutter and needed to be tidied up. Aston and Davies cleared some clutter so that Davies could sleep comfortably on the other bed. Davies has a lot of concerns though. Davies was afraid of the Blacks next door. He had left his bag too, at the restaurant, and he had no bags, so Aston gave him a bag to use. Davies doesn’t have any shoes to wear, so Aston offered him the shoes under the bed, but the tramp complained that it doesn’t fit. While Aston was looking for other shoes that can fit him, Mick came in and found Davies. At first, Mick thought he was an intruder or a thief.
Mick and Davies were able to talk, and sadly, Davies had nothing good to say about Aston. He complained to Mick about Aston, and modestly, Mick apologized for his brother’s behavior: “I’m sorry to hear my brother’s not friendly. ” (The Caretaker: Introduction). He explained that Aston had an electroshock treatment in a mental institution before. Instead of being sympathetic, Davies even insulted Aston more about his mental illness. Aston found a pair of shoes that can fit Davies later on, but the tramp had to complain again because there are no laces and the laces given were mismatched colors.
This had made Aston quietly tell the tramp to leave the place as he is not welcome anymore. In the end, the brothers looked at each other, though brief, was full of weight and conspiracy. This left the audience to conclude what must’ve been the brothers’ thoughts when they looked at each other. (The Caretaker, Pinter, H. ). The Caretaker is a modern or contemporary drama. Compared to the drama during the medieval time like Hamlet, the words used in The Caretaker were very simple and direct. It addresses the culture of the people during that time it was written.
The words used are plain simple, direct and even vulgar. Words that are real. A kind of language used everyday, and not dusted or floured with metaphors like Hamlet. The two dramas depict loneliness. Being dramas they are, they should focus on a person’s loneliness. Dilemmas and problems trigger loneliness, hence, dilemma is part of any tragedy or drama. Hamlet is evidently lonely, not just because of his lunacy triggered by his father’s death, but because Hamlet is a prince. The famous phrase “It’s lonely being at the top” holds true here. Actually, it holds true in real life.
That phrase is a common saying of anybody in management, or anybody in the upper class of its group. Why is it so? One reason why its lonely being at the top is due to the fact people respect people that has a higher title than they do. These people are immediately alienated from the people at the lower ranks. Thus, if you’re a person who belongs to the higher class, then you must be somewhat lonely. You’ll never know whom to trust. Why do people around you show too much respect in front of you? Are you sure they are the same when you turn your back? It is really hard to trust especially for people like Hamlet.
Shakespeare really makes the main character in his plays suffer a lot of dilemma. Hamlet’s father died. This will make any son mourn deeply for a long time. Not to mention Hamlet’s mourning is worsened when his own mother, the Queen Gertrude, married his Uncle Claudius two months after his father died! This is overwhelming and indeed quite preposterous for Hamlet to take. To take it further, there’s no doubt Hamlet suffered lunacy for quite a while. His loneliness doubled because no one wants to mingle with a person who’s out of his mind. He can’t even have a woman to love him for who he is, because Ophelia doesn’t love him.
Davies, on the other hand, is also very lonely too. Although Aston gave him proper respect, all who Davies was is just a mere arrogant vagabond. Vagabonds, tramps, and homeless people are considered outcasts of society. People like Davies, who doesn’t want to work and complains a lot, are misfits everywhere they go. They always find themselves into trouble and being kicked out from a place. Now doesn’t that make someone really lonely? Nobody wants them, nobody likes them, and nobody can put up with them. The government tries to help them, but their arrogance leads them nowhere better than where they are.
The medieval drama’s characteristics, especially in Shakespeare’s works, are equipped with “magic, superstitions, and witchcraft. ” (Medieval theatre). It speaks of propaganda or issues of the current era. At that time, remember the culture and experiences of people are sheltered inside the high walls of their kingdom. Beyond the walls, there’s myth about dragons and other supernatural things. So back then, they focus on the tragedies inside their reign. An issue here that made Hamlet lonelier was the fact his mother remarried so abrupt that it doesn’t look respectful anymore. Much more, she married Hamlet’s uncle.
The word “incest” was mentioned in the drama a lot of times. It’s trying to raise an issue against mourn of women for their husbands’ death, and another issue on incest. The audience will realize how ugly it looked for a woman to marry two months after her husband’s death, and the fact it’s incestuous to marry another kin. However, the issues in The Caretaker, are about the outcasts of society. Aston symbolizes the government that pampers the outcasts by providing them shelter, food, clothing, and employment even though they have high problems and unfit to work. Davies represents the outcasts of society.
It’s not just about being homeless that made him an outcast. It’s about being intentionally unproductive to society. The propaganda here is, “we shouldn’t continue breeding outcasts of society by not submitting to their demands. ” Mick, by way of his direct and awful remarks to Davies, he represents the majority of society. He works well, he supports his brother Aston, he knows what he’s doing and he doesn’t like Davies. This is actually the feeling of society against outcasts. Isn’t it true that the taxes we pay go to government funding and of course, to projects that helps outcasts?
In this way, the negative result of helping outcasts from our taxes led them to be lazier. More than that, they like to sue too. In the end, the society won because Davies will be kicked out. To analyze it all, being lonely is a way to think deeply. Being alone is another story. Being alone makes you independent to think and analyze. Loneliness is good sometimes because it makes one reflect about life. We have seen how Hamlet was lonely because he can’t trust anybody due to his wealth. We have also seen how Davies, as an outcast, is lonely too because he kept being kicked out everywhere.
If Davies would be more productive rather than whine about everything, then he wouldn’t be lonely. We are also lonely, but what kind of loneliness do we have? Like Hamlet? Or like Davies? If you’re similar to Hamlet’s loneliness, then it must be that the issues revolving you have devoured you. If you’re the Davies kind of loneliness, then you need to change yourself to adjust to society, not society adjusting for you. Lets us not get affected by issues, but let us work to solve those issues and make our lives better and happier.
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