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Comparing the Reactions to Death in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Samuel Johnson

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The death of a loved one can be tragic. It often alters how people think, feel, and act. Some people withdraw from life, some move closer to God, and some appear to lose their minds. Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Samuel Johnson both lost someone very close to them, but found very different ways to deal with their losses. “Hamlet” and “Johnson” have only a few things in common. Both were written long ago and discuss death of family members. Johnson lost his wife, while Hamlet lost his father. Although the person they lost and how they died is different, the events changed both men’s lives. Both of these men made the choices to act the way that they did which caused their lives to be different. While Hamlet is the character in a…show more content…
Hamlet had all amounts of opportunity for education and travel. Johnson was “born into poverty and poor for most of his adulthood” (Tippens et al, p 25). Never having to want for anything made it difficult for Hamlet, because he lived the great life he could not handle loss and he became mad with the obsession of righting the wrong that was done to him. Johnson being poor his entire life, which made him appreciate what he did have and desire to keep it as long as he could. In writing “Hamlet”, Shakespeare focused on avenging the death of King Hamlet, fueling Prince Hamlet’s anger with images of his dead father. Johnson used poetry and prayer to bring peace to his life. Both men were dealing with a great loss but the way they dealt with the loss shaped their lives in different ways. Hamlet never stopped being angry, he was angry with his uncle, and angry with his mother, even angry with his father for not being able to be the King that he thought he was to be, but most importantly he was angry that he lost the appearances of the perfect life. Because Johnson grew up poor and did not always have everything he desired he treasured what he did have, asking God to remind him of what he had when his wife was alive brought him peace, and brought him closer to God. Although some would disagree, how a person deals with death greatly affects how they live their life. Hamlet did not deal with death or loss well and because of that he lost everything,
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