Essay on William Shakespeare 's ' Ahab ' And ' Hamlet '

1179 Words May 18th, 2016 5 Pages
Ahab and Hamlet were both great men who became driven by revenge after tragic events occurred. They had the potential to rule and lead, in heroic ways, but let their sorrow and pain engulf their entire being till it became their one and only focus. Ahab and Hamlet are both powerful men who possess influence and great abilities with the potential to be great men, but they have tragic ends due to being driven by their quests for revenge and allowing their madness to consume them in order to fulfil their goals.

“...that his torn body and gashed soul bled into one another; and so infusing, made him mad.” (Moby Dick, 41.180) There comes a point where emotional and physical pain become tied to one another. Ahab lost his leg, but to him, it becomes more than that. He loses his ability to fulfill his potential. He loses the ability to do the normal things that make him a man. He loses his strength in a way that forces him to rely and depend on others. Although Hamlet does not relate to Ahab in the physical aspect of pain, he definitely understands the emotional toil and pain he endures. All of their pain becomes anger, leading to their converging ideas of vengeance.

Hamlet and Ahab both reach a point of madness where it blurs into their identities. They allow their madness to consume them and because of that, they no longer can control the effects. “I am but mad north north-west: When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.” (Hamlet, 2.2.28) Their desire for…

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