Hamlet Vs. The Killings Essay, Research Paper
-Compare in an essay Hamlet?s attitudes about revenge with Matt Fowler?s in Andre Dubus?s short story ?Killings?(p.81)
Losing a loved one to tragedy, especially two most brutal and malicious tragedy?s as these, will torture the minds of any and all men. Terrifying thoughts, even carefully planned acts of revenge will plow themselves into your brain. It is how we react to these situations that can and will forever define that man, his life, and his actions. In these two stories, Hamlet?s father and Matt Fowler?s son are murdered with jealous motives of romance, ambition, betrayal and rage. Revenge captures the hearts of both characters, but in different forms. Hamlet sees his fathers ghost and is told if he ever loved his father he is to ?[revenge his foul and most unnatural murder]?. The brutal slayer of Fowler?s son is out on bail and faces minimal jail time for the life of Frank Fowler, Matt?s youngest son. Matt decides to take the law into his own hands and with the help of a friend, plans and executes the murder of Richard Strout.
With the killer of his son bar-hopping around town and his wife broken apart with grief, Matt Fowler loses himself in revenge. He begins to carry an unregistered gun hoping to confront Strout and kill him in ?self-defense?. He is defeated in his professional life, losing his nerve as a hard-working bank manager, unable to look his customers in the eye without shying away in fear and grief. Finally confessing himself to a poker buddy, his murderous intentions rush out onto the table. His friend, who?s sympothy and loyalty may be excessive, agrees to help Matt take his revenge on Strout. Hamlet, instead, seeks his revenge alone.
When Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo take Hamlet to see the ghost of his father, he follows the ghost into the night alone. The ghost tells Hamlet about Claudius and Gertrude murdered him and that it is his duty to take revenge: ?So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear. . . (If Hamlet ever loved his father he will) Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.? Hamlet is possessed with waiting for the right opportunity to commit murder upon King Claudius, even passing up open opportunities when the king is knelt deep in prayer but changes his mind. He reasons that if the King is killed in prayer he will go to heaven, and he will wait for a time when he can catch him in the middle of sin so he will for sure send the king to hell.
If fact, Hamlet waits so long to tell anyone or to do anything about the revenge he swore to his fathers ghost, he begins to question his courage, knowing he has been all talk and no action. Hamlet also decides that before he takes his revenge, he will find out for himself if the ghost is telling the truth. He stages the play and sees in the kings reaction to the similar set of circumstances that he was involved. When the time comes for Hamlet to take action against the King, he agrees to a fencing match with Laertes. Claudius and Laertes conspire to kill Hamlet with poison in his drink and poison on Laertes? sword. Hamlet finally sees his chance for revenge after the Queen drinks the poisoned wine and Laertes and Hamlet are both mortally wounded. Plunging his sword into the King, his uncle, and his father and mother?s murderer wasn?t enough revenge for Hamlet. He gets the poisoned wine and pours it down the King?s throat, before falling to his own death.
After Matt Fowler returns from burying his sons killer and abandoning his car at an apartment building on the other side of town, he goes home to his wife and tells her the whole story. He is still in shock, only relaying the incidents of the long night because his wife needed to know. Matt Fowler was proud of what he had done. He had avenged his sons death by planning and killing another, and he had rid the world of Richard Strout. For Fowler, revenge indeed in a dish served cold. Though he found the nerve to seek his revenge, I doubt he ever stopped replaying the events of that night in his head, wondering if he did the right thing, and if the pricetag for it was going to be hell or prison.
Neither Hamlet nor Fowler forgive the men who wronged them, and their lives, consumed with the idea of injustice, were ruined along with almost everyone else?s. For Fowler, the answer was easy: Kill and don?t get caught. He thought only of the best way to get away with it, forgetting his morals and judgement. I question how hard he thought if he should do it or not. His instincts told him to kill, and that is what he did. Hamlet, on the other hand, fought with himself over and over about how to appropriatly handle his revenge, and opportunity presented itself, as it always does, with time. Regretfully, he was mortally wounded with th