Hamlet v. Ozymandias
Shakespeare’s Hamlet vs. Ozymandias Comparative Essay By: Nabeeha Darr The texts that are being discussed in this essay both share parallel themes, and this essay will be describing and comparing two of the similar themes, Greed and Appearance vs. Reality. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, possibly one of the greatest plays that has ever been put to paper, we encounter the prince of Denmark, Hamlet himself, and the trails and suffering he has to go through. In the beginning we know that the old king died and his brother, Hamlets’ uncle Claudius, marries the queen Gertrude and becomes the new ruler.
In the poem Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe we start of meeting a wanderer, who meets a stranger. He then hears the story of the foolish king Ozymandias, who thought that his once wondrous works would still be standing after he died. Instead, he became the lonely king of nothing. Both Hamlet and king Ozymandias were lonely people, and they both lose everything in the end. Two key themes that are shared in these texts include Greed, and Appearance vs. Reality. The first theme I chose to write about is the theme of Greed.
In Hamlet, this relates to King Claudius’ hunger for power, resulting in his downfall. All he wanted was to be King, and his desire for power was so strong, he ended up killing his own blood brother, Old King Hamlet. However his reign as king did not last very long and he soon met his own downfall, along with a number of other deaths. In the poem Ozymandias, the foolish king who once had a large and wondrous empire was stupid enough to think that it would last through the ages, and that the people would still look up to him for even in death this King was greedy.
His lust for supremacy led him to build a statue of himself, telling his people that he was supreme, and his glorious empire would stand forever. In reality, the kingdom disappeared and the lonely king was left to reign over nothing but the barren lands that spread around him for miles out. Both rulers were too greedy for their own good, and that is never a positive thing. In death both of these Kings learnt the same lesson; that with greed and power comes a lonely death.
The second theme I noted in both of the texts was Appearance vs. Reality. In the poem Ozymandias, the King thought that he had it all, and that his legacy would live on for ages to come. The appearance of the King was that he was very wealthy but in reality he only ruled for a short amount of time over a land whose verve had ended some time ago. This goes to show that even though he was wealthy in life, he was poor in death, because when we die material possessions don’t matter; it is more the quality of our lives.
In Hamlet, there are many different scenarios to show this theme but the main one is when Hamlet pretends to act crazy to carry out his plan to kill Claudius that his father delegated to him. Hamlet appears to act crazy but in reality we assume he is sane. However towards the end of the play we start to think that hamlet might not have been fully acting, and might have gone a little insane, because of all the ordeals he had been through. Both royals in these pieces of writing fool other people whether it is with their riches or their sanity, and the people around them believe these deceptions.
In finishing, both of these texts share these two common themes, Greed and Appearance vs. Reality, and they share a common link. These writings are both exquisite in their own way, and each possesses a highly refined storyline. Hamlet is a story of revenge, love, madness, and the importance of family. Ozymandias is a poem dealing with our longing of power, and the human instinct that we all have to be remembered after we die. After all, we only want to be remembered after our death, for our biggest fear is being forgotten.