How does Hamlet compare to Pyrrhus?In Act II, Scene II of Hamlet, an actor (the player) and Hamlet tell the story of Priam and Pyrrhus. What comparisons can be made between Hamlet and Priam?



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Posted on (Answer #1)

In both stories, revenge for the death of a father plays an important part. Achilles kills Priam's son, Hector. Priam's son, Paris, kills Achilles. Then, in revenge, Achillie's son, Pyrrus, takes revenge for his father's death by killing Priam viciously. Pyrrus is not troubled by killing Priam, even as Priam begs for his life. In "Hamlet", young Hamlet's delays and procrastinates taking revenge for his father's death at the hands of Claudius. In fact, after the scene you mention, Hamlet chides himself in a long soliloquy over his ability "to do nothing". Thus, the comparison should be between Pyrrhus and Hamlet. Pyrrhus, like Fortinbras, is a man of action and murders the killer of his father. Hamlet, on the other hand, simply thinks and thinks and thinks about taking revenge.

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