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Hamlet & The Open Boat

If the narrator in Stephen CraneÆs The Open Boat could advise Hamlet, he would more than likely tell him not to lose faith in brotherhood. For the gentle brotherhood that forges a community among the men in the boat is one that sustains them through adversity and despair. Hamlet, in contrast, withdraws and internalizes his adversity and despair. Hamlet has good friends, despite those who betray him. Ophelia does love him. Horatio loves him dearly and tries to prevent him from engaging in the duel in which he dies. However, Hamlet obsesses on his woes and internalizes his rage, frustration, and despair to the point where he shuts out the very forces, CraneÆs narrator might inform him, necessary to overcome his adversity and successfully endure his despair. We all have challenges and even face disasters in life. So, too, do the men in CraneÆs boat and Hamlet. However, the men in CraneÆs boat prevail while Hamlet succumbs because Hamlet rejects human compassion or brotherhood, becoming withdrawn and obsessing on his despair. The men in CraneÆs boat reach out with gentle brotherhood toward each other, which is why they do not succumb of despair. Therefore, CraneÆs narrator would inform Hamlet to reach out to those that do care for him in order to build the positive support network he would require to overcome his hardships. Even though Hamlet maintains he is ôAs hardy as the Nemean lionÆs nerve,ö without reaching out to others he cannot endure his travails (Shakespeare I.iv.81-83). The men on the boat, however, by reaching out to support one another, understand that nature is ôflatly indifferentö to the fate of men and know they need each other to endure (Crane, p. 738). This is the knowledge the narrator would impart to Hamlet.

Crane, S. The Open Boat. In Beaty, J., Booth, A., Hunter, J.P., & Mays, K.J., Eds. (YEAR). The Norton Introduction to Literature, (8th Edit.). New Y


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Hamlet & The Open Boat. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:08, August 06, 2020, from