Father-Child Relationships in Hamlet and Fences

1223 WordsMar 29, 20125 Pages
Father-Child Relationships in Hamlet and Fences In both William Shakespeare's Hamlet and August Wilson's Fences, the emphasis placed on parent-child relationship is vital, as family plays an important role in developing a character's values as well as his or her upbringing does. While Ophelia, Laertes, and Hamlet show loyalty to their fathers unconditionally, Cory, even though looks up Troy as a figure, eventually exhibits disrespect to him. The relationship that Ophelia shares with her father, Polonius, is rather dogmatic to say the least. Throughout Hamlet, Polonius demonstrates almost absolute control over Ophelia as if she were a tool with the sole purpose of serving Polonius. As a result of a weakness of mind caused by a lack of…show more content…
We see responsibility, obedience, and devotion in father-child relationships in Hamlet. But Troy-Cory relationship in Fences is not the case. Whether the cause is generational gap or Troy's selfishness or Cory's noncompliance, Troy never completely gains the love from his own son even after his death. Their relationship never blooms. Initially, Cory may innocently display his admiration to Troy because of his athletic ability and because of a simple reason: a love from a normal son to his father. Through Rose's word, we know that Cory tries to do as best as he can to earn one compliment from his father, "Everything that boy do...he do for you. He wants you to say "Good job, son." That's all."(I.iii). Unfortunately, there's always a conflict in that relation. Cory asks his father, "How come you ain't never liked me?" and Troy answers, "Liked you? Who the hell say I got to like you?.../ You eat everyday.../ Got a roof over your head.../ Got clothes on your back.../ What you think that is?.../ It's my job./ It's my responsibility!"(I. iii). This conversation between Cory and Troy clarifies everything. Troy doesn't "like" his son. Troy takes care of his family including Cory because of his duty. Troy thinks he "owe" Cory. Of course, there must be some love from Troy to Cory, from a father to his son, but the bitter experiences Troy has in the past soon fence himself in to be a selfish,

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