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Compare and contrast Walter Lee from A Raisin in the Sun and Hamlet from Hamlet.    

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jakande | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 8, 2013 at 12:45 AM via web

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Compare and contrast Walter Lee from A Raisin in the Sun and Hamlet from Hamlet.

 

 

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 8, 2013 at 7:22 AM (Answer #1)

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Both characters in these works a tragic in the sense that they both face great difficulties in their lives. Hamlet, for example, has to cope with the death of her father and the discovery that it was his uncle who killed him. Walter has to endure his massive frustrations concerning his life and his inability to follow his dreams, and then the betrayal of his friend when he gives him is money to invest in a joint business venture. Both characters spend significant sections of their respective plays feeling trapped by situations and circumstances that are beyond their control. For example, Walter has to cope with a job that frustrates him and makes him feel demeaned as a person, as he says to Mama:

Mama, a job? I open and close car doors all day long. I drive a man around in his limousine and I say, "Yes, sir; no, sir; very good, sir; shall I take the Drive, sir?" mama, that ain't no kind of job... that ain't nothing at all.

This is similar to the way that Hamlet spends so long bemoaning his fate and procrastinating, not willing to act and do something about his situation. In the end, however, both characters are similar in the way that they face their difficulties head on. Walter Young is able to stand up to Lindner and reject his offer, even though it would enable him to regain the money he lost, and Hamlet finally faces his fate, killing Claudius and also accepting his own death. Both characters finally recognise that they have agency in order to change, or at least stand up to the difficulties they face in their lives.

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