This just happened to be the first board that came up when I was searching online for a place to discuss the play. No longer being in College and working in a non-humanities field has left me somewhat devoid of people with whom I can get into serious literary discussions, and theres also a dearth of people my age or otherwise (that are particularly outspoken anyways) who are real literary enthusiasts. I knew this site was geared more towards students in HS getting help with their homework, but was hoping to get a response anyway. Does anybody know of any resources that would allow me to get a little more in depth into literary works? I suppose I am hoping for something akin to IMDB Pro but for literature.
Hmmm, . . . how about right here on eNotes?!? We are all educators here, all poised to answer your deepest questions. Bring up a topic, and I can assure you that you won't be disappointed. We all continue to be "students" of literature, and anyone who tries to tell you they have no more to learn . . . is lying. As an educator (and an editor of eNotes) I still ask questions from time to time and am always looking for "meaty" discussions. So, ask away, my friend. Or if you refrain, I suppose I would point you to the literary criticism section of your local library. ; )
Hamlet and Fortinbras both are great men, borne into royalty with the legacies of their dead fathers following close upon them, and obviously influencing what they do in life. Hamlet questions his role in the whole affair endlessly, while Fortinbras somewhat rashly just pushes forward, the opposite of Hamlet in that he is mostly action. By the way, above I accidentally said Fortinbras and Horatio, but I meant Fortinbras and Laertes. In any case, Laertes too is a great man from what we and Hamlet can see, and is even a fairly even combination of action and rational thought. However by the end, all three of these men's fates seem to be decided more by freak occurrance and circumstance than by the actions they took. I find myself wondering if no matter what you do or think, events will just unfold as they do, the summation of an enormous number of people rather than just by any three men no matter how great. The difference seems to be only to them, and in how they live their lives with whatever time they do have.
I did post several times here actually, however my original post as well as my (in my opinion) fairly good replies all went unanswered. Most of the responses prior to yours just now were to questions like "why is hamlet sad? sum up in one sentence" or "what does to be or not to be mean". I signed up a month ago and have been able to get only one small response other than your own, but with no actual back and forth discussion. I apologize, I don't like to sound condescending, those are all valid questions I suppose, it was just getting a little frustrating nobody was responding to my somewhat more in depth attempts at discussion.
Anyway, my original post was here:
And I suppose a quick summation of it would be that I am trying to get at the heart of whether or not theres actually a difference between how Hamlet is, and how Fortinbras and Horatio are. I try to stay away from things like "Hamlet is a tragedy, therefore he had to have a downfall at the end", which may be true but for the moment I am trying to dissect the situation as if it were a real human situation. I also want to leave aside his tragic flaw, since it is fairly obvious that it is that he analyses and thinks so much that he is rendered almost impotent of action, his currents often turning awry.
My question is then, is there actually a difference between the three men, who each deal with things differently.