In what ways could Hamlet and the story of Edgar Sawtelle be compared? Also, are there any quotes in Hamlet referring to isolation?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Edward Sawtelle and Hamlet are somewhat anachronistic in their societies. Edward is unaware of the real world and isolated, while Hamlet, albeit aware of the corruption of Denmark, is alienated from the corrupted world of Danish society, and he certainly feels isolated in his value of integrity. In fact, he calls Denmark "a prison."Created by the Inventor, who dies before he finishes Edward, leaving him to take scissors for hands, Edward is taken in by an Avon lady who comes to the Gothic house where he dwells, but feels odd in her home.

In addition, both Edward and Hamlet are victims of treachery; for, Jim uses Edward to pick the locks on doors so that he can steal; later, he attacks Edward, but is stabbed Scissorhands; likewise, Polonius and Guildenstern and Rosencrantz betray Hamlet as they spy on Hamlet and even attempt to kill him on the way to England, but are foiled by Hamlet who has them killed.

Certainly, both Edward and Hamlet share this sympathy expressed in Act II, Scene 2 of Hamlet:

What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express like a god....And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

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