Timeless Aspects of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and Trifles Essay

1895 Words 8 Pages
Timeless Aspects of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and Trifles

William Shakespeare is considered the greatest playwright, if not the greatest writer in the history of literature. His criticisms of society in his works have passed the “test of time,” and still are as significant today as they were when they were first written. There are many similarities in Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare, and Trifles by Susan Glaspell, written in the early 20th century, that further support the timelessness of Shakespeare’s works. Despite the fact that Shakespeare’s Hamlet was written many centuries ago, his analyses of certain values in society are not only similar to those portrayed in the much more recent play, Trifles, but also
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Wright. Unaware of this clue, the men struggle, and end up with no evidence to prove who murdered John Wright. Furthermore, in Trifles, the mistreatment that Mrs. Wright has endured from her husband, which has turned her into a different person from her former self, Minnie Forster, is often overlooked. In fact, John Wright has “extinguished” “the light” (Boyle 57) in Mrs. Wright’s eyes, much like the Astronomer has done to his wife in “Astronomer’s Wife.” The little things around the house, especially the bird that the women find dead, with its neck broken, symbolize Mrs. Wright’s mistreatment. According to D. C. Browning in Dictionary of Literary Biography, “the bird is a symbol for all that was Mrs. Wright, and its death represents the death of Mrs. Wright’s spirit.”

Similarly, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark women are also put in inferior roles. One example of this is Ophelia, and how her brother, Laertes, and father, Polonius, take many of the decisions in her life. Polonius often dictates her life by telling her what she cannot do. This occurs when Polonius decides he does not want his daughter near Hamlet, and orders Ophelia to stay away from him. Later in the play, Hamlet approaches Ophelia and she immediately reports to Polonius saying, “No, my good lord, but, as you did command, /