Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Compare and contrast the development of the two characters: "Willy Loman" from Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, and Hamlet, from Shakespeare's Hamlet.

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Willy Loman is the main character in Miller's Death of a Salesman, and Hamlet is the main character in Shakespeare's play of the same name.

Superficially, both seem to have little in common. Both men are struggling to survive in a life that has become overwhelming for each. Willie is living in the past, and finds that the world is a place he no longer recognizes. Hamlet, upon discovering that his father has been murdered, also sees the world as a foreign place that is in great part unknown to him. Both men "see dead people" that were dear to them in life: Willy sees his dead brother Ben, and has conversations with him—though these are probably delusions. Hamlet sees the ghost of his dead father, and based upon the time it was written, the presence of the supernatural in the play was not out of place: the audience would have believed it was real.

However, the men are very different in many ways. Willy is married with two children; Hamlet is single. Willy is a workingman, while Hamlet is a...

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