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Love in Hamlet, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, and 'We Real Cool' - Essay Example

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In the twenty-first century, we assume that love has been a driving factor in literature as well as in life for all of human history. …
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Love in Hamlet, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, and We Real Cool
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"Love in Hamlet, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, and 'We Real Cool'"

Download file to see previous pages By contrast, in our times, even with the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and of marriage equality in New York and other states, the love portrayed in literature often follows the so-called 'traditional' set-up of a man and a woman. There are also other ways in which literary portrayals of love have changed over time – for example, Shakespeare's works glorify love but modern works sometimes downplay its role in our lives. What does this signify? The different portrayals of love in the following three texts can, at least in part, be attributed to the time of their writing: Hamlet, in 1600, reflects a world in which love was idealized but often not really part of reality. Marriages were arranged according to property ownership and convenience – and what could be more convenient than the late king's brother taking over his role, wife included? The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, written by Katherine Anne Porter in 1930, presents love as important but not a driving force. Granny's stream-of-consciousness returns repeatedly to her being left at the altar, but also to her own strength as a successful single mother at the beginning of the twentieth century. Ultimately, though, her lost love pales in significance when compared to her 'jilting' from God. Finally, in 1960, Brooks' poem “We Real Cool” shows love as a reticent issue, masked by more important, wilder behaviour. This leads one to ask: now, fifty years after “We Real Cool”, what role does love play in modern literature, and is it as reflective of our reality as Hamlet, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, and “We Real Cool” were in their times? ...
s love play in modern literature, and is it as reflective of our reality as Hamlet, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, and “We Real Cool” were in their times? This paper will look at the relationships of these texts in terms of language and context to show that love is an evolving force in literature. Love in Hamlet, like every other theme in the play, is a multifaceted and complex presence: Hamlet's adoration of his mother, tempered by vicious disgust, has been interpreted as his “sexual desire” for her, stimulated by “his sense of his mother's guilt” (Jardine, 38); his relationship with Ophelia is also one of destructive love, and his words to her oscillate wildly between kindness and hatred (“Get thee to a nunnery, go!” Shakespeare, III.i). Some critics have argued that Hamlet's perception of his mother as weak - “Frailty, thy name is woman!” (Shakespeare, I.ii) – influences how he sees Ophelia. Hamlet's relationship with Ophelia is clouded not just by his misogyny, but by his complete self-absorption: his melancholy takes precedence over her love for him, causing him to be cruel and sending Ophelia into a madness fueled by the loss of her father and her partner. However, the older couple in the play, Gertrude and Claudius, appears to be a genuinely happy one, if the reader examines the text closely and refuses to take Hamlet's interpretation of their marriage as read. Claudius is an effective king who deals diplomatically with events ranging in scale from the military threat from Norway to Hamlet's depression (Shakespeare, I.ii); Gertrude is a caring mother who independently invites her son's friends to Elsinore to alleviate his sorrow (II.ii); together they are a passionate couple who, in Hamlet's own words, spend time “honeying and making ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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