Free Essay Describing Similarities Between Hamlet and The Piano Lesson

Published: 2022-08-24
Free Essay Describing Similarities Between Hamlet and The Piano Lesson
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Shakespeare American literature Hamlet
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 627 words
6 min read

Both William Shakespeare's Hamlet and August Wilson's The Piano Lesson have peculiar similarities. In Hamlet, Shakespeare provides a story of a prince who is determined to revenge for his father's death. Throughout the play, the prince, Hamlet, is in a mission to kill Claudius, who is his uncle and the killer of his father. Although his mission was faced with numerous hurdles, he finally succeeds in executing Claudius. On the other hand, August provides a story of the story of a family whose past was problematic and keeps haunting them. Through the play, August intends to provide a lesson to the audience on exorcizing the past to move on in life. In both stories, the authors use ghosts to develop the plot, employ symbolism to create meaning and emotion in the story and focus on the pain of the past.

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The Hamlet and The Piano Lesson are stories whose plot development is largely influenced by ghosts employed by the authors as critical elements in building the plot. In Hamlet, Shakespeare employed a ghost, the deceased King Hamlet, who appears early in the play to prompt Hamlet, who is the main character, to set out on a mission to revenge for his death (7). The entire play is about Hamlet's mission to kill Claudius as instructed by the ghost. This means that the author used the ghost to drive the main plot of the play. Similarly, in The Piano Lesson, August employs the ghost of Mr. Sutter to drive the plot of the story (13). Astonishingly, in both stories, the ghost appears to seek revenge. In Hamlet, the ghost appears to instruct Hamlet to kill for revenge and in The Piano Lesson, Mr. Sutter wants the Piano back.

Also, both Hamlet and The Piano Lesson deliver the message symbolically. Shakespeare intended to demonstrate greed for power, how it corrupts and leads to death in the Hamlet story. To ensure this message is home, he uses poison as one main symbol in the play to symbolize betrayal, corruption, revenge, and death. Power corrupted Claudius to use poison and kill his brother, King Hamlet. Later on Claudius and Laertes want to use poison to kill young Hamlet, however, it is unfortunate that it turned out to kill both of them including Gertrude and Hamlet (57). Likewise, August in The Piano Lesson employs the piano as the main symbol to provide meaning into what ails the siblings. The piano symbolizes an achievement within the family but Berniece and Boy Willie differ on the intentions for the object which then create a conflict the drives the plot and deliver the message (17). In both stories, symbolism is used to define the future of the characters. For instance, in Hamlet, poison symbolizes death in the end, and in the Piano Lesson defines a dignified future for the family.

Moreover, both Hamlet and The Piano Lesson stories focus on the past and how it affects the present lives of the characters. In Hamlet, Shakespeare focuses on King Hamlet's death and how it has led to Hamlet's life occupied by revenge mission. Similarly, in The Piano Lesson, August focuses on the family history and how it's painful past haunts the siblings as they struggle to find peace and move on.

Hamlet and The Piano Lesson, therefore, can be seen as stories that share various similarities from their main focus, strategies for plot development and the use of certain techniques to deliver the main message. Both stories focus on the past and its impact on the present of the characters. In both stories, the authors employ ghosts to develop the plot and use symbolism to deliver the main message.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New Folgers's ed. New York: Washington Square Press/Pocket Books, 1992.

Wilson's, August. "Piano Lesson." (1990).

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