November 17th, 2013
Coping with the unknown
In this comparative essay, it will explain how Del, a young girl exploring what life in a rural mid-1900’s farming town in Canada has to offer from Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women, and Hamlet, a prince from the Renaissance-era Denmark who just lost his father from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, use words to cope with the ambiguity in their lives. They use words to find answers, express their feelings and to hide their feelings their feelings about the ambiguity as well.
They both use words to find answers to the ambiguity because that is the way they themselves will ever find an answer of any sort. Del herself finds comfort in the library “I was happy in the library […] This was a comfort to me.”  Because she likes to surround herself with books because they give her answers to the ambiguity in her life and they might even answer some questions she might have not known she was asking. As for Hamlet, he uses the play in Act 3 to get his uncle to get some answers “The play’s the thing, wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” [II, II, 616-6178] because he is using the king’s actions against home to see if it will trigger any guilt that Hamlet can see. Hamlet uses worlds to manipulate people into giving him an answer that he is looking for, whether it is a physical response or a verbal response. Both Hamlet and Del use words to find answers because that’s what they are comfortable with and they know how to play with words so that they can get a better understanding for themselves.
They both use words to hide their feelings about the ambiguity because they do not how else to deal with it. Hamlet uses puns to deal with the ambiguity “I am too much in the sun.” [I, II, 67] because he does not know how to deal with the ambiguity so he uses puns to cover up his questions about what is happening. He uses a lot of puns throughout the play because he uses them as sharp remarks, such as the sun quote, Hamlet is saying that he is saying that he is still too much of a son to his father and is still grieving his father’s death. As for Del, she expresses her feelings about the ambiguity but also tries to reassure her by stating the obvious, “But you fell in love with him.”  she is scared about the lack of context her mother is giving her because she expected a lot more but sometimes that is the reality of it but she does not want it, she wants a fairy tale love story. Between Del and Hamlet they have different ways of hiding their feelings toward the ambiguity. Hamlet makes sharp remarks through puns and Del states the obvious at hand.
Both Del and Hamlet use words to express their feelings toward the ambiguity in their lives because that is the way both Hamlet and Del know how to express themselves. Hamlet himself uses metaphors and puns throughout the play such as “You would play upon me [….] you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe” [III, II, 372, 378] because