In The Iliad and Hamlet, discuss if kinship ties are crucial in calming or redirecting conflict.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I tend to think that the presence of kinship ties in both works don't refocus conflict.  If anything, the presence of kinship ties make conflict worse.  Hamlet's bonds of kinship intensify his emotions, which are already fairly high.  His loyalty to his dead father as well his complex emotions towards his mother are elements that seek to further complicate his state of being.  Conflict is magnified in such a condition.  There is little in both sets of emotional connection that help to alleviate conflict.  In much the same way, the bonds that tie help to magnify conflict in Homer's work.  Hector does not want war with the Greeks.  Yet, he recognizes clearly that he must stand with Paris.  For his part, Paris is depicted in a negative light in Homer's understanding.  The fact that Hector must stand with his brother, whose actions are not the representation of Classical Honor represents confusion and challenge.  It can be clearly seen that the bonds of connection that Priam and Hector have to Paris help to make conflict inevitable and make matters worse as opposed to redirecting it.  The ties that bond are ones that actually magnify discord and difficulty, as opposed to minimizing it.


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