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What similar experience can you identity that characters have in both Hamlet and in 1984?

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yanie8888 | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted July 25, 2013 at 5:26 AM via iOS

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What similar experience can you identity that characters have in both Hamlet and in 1984?

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

Posted October 6, 2013 at 6:17 AM (Answer #1)

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A similarity of experience can be identified between Winston Smith and Hamlet, who are both, in different ways, betrayed by the women that they love. Winston Smith, even though O'Brien tells him that Julia was quite happy to forsake him and her love for him, refuses to do so, stating quite close towards the end of the novel that "I have not betrayed Julia," and therefore clearly indicating what O'Brien still has to do in order to completely destroy Winston's rebellion and character and make him love Big Brother. At the end of the book, when they confront each other, it is clear that both have been conditioned to hate the other and what they did together, but whilst Winston is in the Ministry of Love, he has to face the fact that he has been betrayed by Julia.

In the same way, Hamlet recognises in Act III scene 1 that Ophelia has betrayed him by allowing herself to be used effectively as bait by her father, Polonius, and Claudius. His anger and rage at being betrayed by the woman he loves is conveyed in his famous "Get thee to a nunnery speech" and the curse he gives Ophelia as a dowry:

If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for 
    thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as 
    snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a 
    nunnery, go: farewell.

The similarity in experience that both characters have therefore is the experience of being betrayed by the women that loved them. This is something that unifies the characters in spite of their different time periods and geographical location. 

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