comapre and contrast essay
As what our professor had said, both Prince Hamlet and Li’l Bit were living in families which are in the midst of a struggle within themselves - comapre and contrast essay introduction. In Hamlet, the main protagonist faces the outcome of his father’s mysterious death that has caused instability to the throne succeeded by his uncle. Li’l Bit, on the other hand, was set during 1969 rural Maryland in a highway drive with Li’l Bit’s Uncle Peck that seems to go back in time.
During these times when internal strife is at the loose, many, if not all, will find themselves in a state of confusion and find it hard to trust anyone, even their own selves. This issue of trust with oneself is something that is common between the main characters of the two plays. It is also this same issue of trust that had been exploited and explored in narrating a story about Hamlet’s uncertainty in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and Li’l Bit’s insecurity in Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive,” both at the expense of their respective uncles.
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The uncles in both plays take part in an important role with the development of Hamlet’s uncertainty and with Li’l Bit’s insecurity. For one, these uncles are still part of the extended family of the characters, making them fall under the category of those people whom you are meant to trust as they are expected to be one of those who will protect you in the absence of your immediate family. However, we see from the play that instead of this, the uncles have become the reason for the characters to doubt themselves. It just differs with the way the two characters have discovered this and the way they have reacted to correct the mistake.
In Hamlet’s case, he immediately discovers about the betrayal of his Uncle Claudius with the appearance of the ghost. This led him to devise ways of taking revenge. However, we could see that he could not carry on his plans because of his many uncertainties. He continually questions the validity of a ghost appearing before him, the possibility of not having a witness to a crime and more importantly, the state of his uncle’s soul. All of this was running in his mind while his nation continues to experience internal and external conflict. We could say then that the absence of a concrete evidence that would put his uncle guilty prolonged Hamlet’s revenge. But in a way, we could also say that it is because the one in question is his uncle—someone whom he is meant to trust—that made him uncertain in killing him. Perhaps, still after the appearance of the ghost and his uncle’s reaction to the reenactment of his father’s death, he still not convinced that his uncle could be guilty of the crime. Maybe if the ghost had pointed someone else, someone not related to Hamlet, he could have killed the criminal instantly. But since it was his uncle, he still needs the confession of Laertes—a real living person and not a ghost—at the end of the play regarding his uncle’s involvement with his mother’s death to be able to kill him.
On the other hand, Li’l Bit may be in a way unaware of the maliciousness of her Uncle Peck’s abuse as she was young. But since the structure of the play starts with the older her, we were also unaware of how this kind of relationship developed between her and her uncle. And so, as the play develops and we learn about the circumstances that have brought her at her uncle’s aide, we slowly understands how insecure this young girl was and how she might have confused what showing respect to an elder is supposed to be as to giving in to what the elder asks you to do. We could also see that because it was her uncle who asked her to do things like that, she have done it without question of whether it is the right thing to do or not, all because she trusts her uncle that much. Her suffering started the moment she became aware of what was really happening and she can no longer get out of the situation. Thus her statement regarding her head being cut off from her body.
To sum up, we could conclude that both Hamlet and Li’l Bit suffered the moment they become aware of the betrayal of their uncles whom they see at first as one of those people whom they are meant to trust. It was just that Hamlet’s uncertainty became the driving force of hamlet’s plot—he had to be sure that his uncle is guilty before he kill him, which he did after Laertes confession at the end of the play while it was Li’l Bit’s insecurity that has kept her under his uncle’s abuse despite her complete awareness that something rotten is happening within her, and so she continues to suffer.