A Comparison Of Hamlet And McMurphy In — страница 3

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significance to his exposure of her breast in the climax of the novel as she was forever weakened by the exhibition of her sex. Ratchet “could no longer conceal the fact that she was a woman.” Queen Gertrude is viewed in a similar fashion by Hamlet. “O most pernicious woman!” he says of his mother. His intimidating behavior in her bedroom shows that he thinks himself the superior: Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge. You go not till I set you up a glass Where you may see the inmost part of you. Possibly their relationships with females in powerful positions reflects on their use of non-threatening girls as objects of sexual desire. Although there is a lack of absolute evidence to this effect, it surely deserves contemplation. The most uncanny resemblance

between the two characters in question, I found was how each feigned insanity to avoid liability. Hamlet says to his close friends Marcellus and Horatio in the first act of the play: Here, as before, never, so help you mercy, How strange or odd some’er I bear myself (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet To put antic disposition on) That you, at such times seeing me never shall? ……to note That you know aught of me- this do swear Despite the school of thought that believes Hamlet is truly insane, I felt this passage, establishing premeditation, adequately proves he was only posing as a lunatic. Further proof to this effect is also how Hamlet only acts absurd in front of Polonius and Claudius. His conduct is otherwise rather sane. This is similar to the role McMurphy’s

assumes, although in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest there is only an insinuation to this, and it is not proven. The file that holds all information regarding McMurphy, contains a note from the doctor at his previous institution suggesting the “possibility that this man might be feigning psychosis to escape the drudgery of the work farm”. Like Hamlet, McMurphy also only carries himself in the manner of a mentally incompetent person in front of certain people. For instance, he shows astounding sensibility in his dealings with Chief Bromden, and how he made him “grow”: “To hell with what you think; I want to know can you promise to lift it if I get you as big as you used to be? You promise me that, and you not only get my special body-buildin’ course for nothing but

you get yourself a ten buck fishing trip free!” Hamlet and McMurphy both have a common use for employing this disguise of mental disorder as it allows them to avoid obligation. An excellent example of this is in Act 4, Scene 3 of Hamlet, where Hamlet comically eludes the king’s questioning: KING Now, Hamlet, where’s Polonius? HAMLET At supper. KING At supper where? HAMLET Not where he eats but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of political worms are e’en at him. Your worm is your only emperor diet. We fat all creature else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable services- two dishes but to one table. That’s the end. McMurphy also use the identical technique of avoiding interrogation with wit: “‘And what

do you think about that, Mr.McMurphy?’ ‘Doctor’ -he stands up to his full height, wrinkles his forehead, and holds out both arms, open and honest to all the wide world- ?do I look like a sane man?’” Our two protagonists take a cunning approach to dodging such questioning, and in the process they also induce the pity of others (”O, help him sweet heavens!”). The death of McMurphy and Hamlet, is imperative to the story as this is what defines a tragedy. Despite their inevitable downfall, what makes these two characters successful is that they were given the proper credit after their demise. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Chief Bromden’s suffocation of McMurphy is an appropriate eulogy as it allows him to die with honor. Hamlet is also distinguished in his

passing as he is giving a military burial. Each of these acts shows that the secondary characters recognize the nobility of the heroes. There is also a certain impact evident by the conviction with which the living esteem the dead. They acknowledge that McMurphy triumphantly overthrew Nurse Ratchet’s throne, and that Hamlet righted what was “rotten in the state of Denmark.” As anti-heroes, the parallels between Hamlet and McMurphy are innumerable; this is intriguing considering one text was written four centuries after the other. These two characters show us that like “the devil hath the power to assume a pleasing shape”, good sometimes disguises itself as an uncouth rogue or an obnoxious young man. That a modern story such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest can be so