Thursday, October 3, 2019

Shakespeare and Kafka Essay Example for Free

Shakespeare and Kafka Essay Both Shakespeare and Franz Kafta were the men of their contemporary world, placing the world as they see with irony and forms a juxtaposition of a psychological trauma of man troubled by the societies unwarranted interference and trouble in their lives. Shakespear’s tragedy and Kafta’s trial are the tragedies and both of their protagonists have their tragic end not only due to the circumstances created by the society but also by their own mental traumas and thoughts. But, there are certain differences between the two, Hamlet’s King died more due to his moral dilemma while Kafta have to bear the consequences of the bureaucratic rules and laws of the land. Shakespeare uses the technique of inner struggle of a man who is confounded with the fact that her mother has married with her husband’s murdered and the plans of revenge he intended to take. The Hamlet’s trauma was his thoughts about the various moral issues. The biggest moral issue in front of him came when he got revelation of the truth about his mother’s infidelity. He was fixed in a dilemma was it right to kill his mother as a punishment?. He was caught so much in the dilemma that he delayed taking revenge resulting in the circumstances that proved tragic for him. Though he took revenge in the end but at the cost of his life and also of others to whom he matters the most particularly his beloved. Trial is also same in the sense that it also ended in tragedy yet it is different in the sense that Joseph K was giving unsuccessful fight against the court to denounce his death sentence. It was only in the end he accepted his fate and himself summoned his call of death. If Shakespeare would have written â€Å"The Trial† then Joseph, the main protagonist of the story would have been a man of higher status in the society and would have been more a tale of suffering. His misfortune would have been something exceptional and extraordinary. When Joseph K was informed that he would be arrested, Shakespeare would have turned the character as the most humble without any power to face resistance. Joseph would have been incapable to make quick decisions, though he would have been capable to make indecisive and rash decision but would never have been able to take planned or premeditated action. As in the exact story of Kafka where Joseph is shown making efforts for his release, calling his attorney and even went to the court on the appointed day for the hearings as the demand of the law of the land, Shakespeare would have twisted the story here. He would have made Joseph lament of the tragedy going to befall on him. Joseph would have given himself to mediation and reflection and in this process he would have gone on delaying in his efforts to secure his release. Joseph would have thought too much about the circumstances befallen on him before making efforts of his actions. Shakespeare would have allowed him to commit the actions and commissions and cause him great mental agony and not only physical pain that he was going to endure. And later as â€Å"Hamlet†, he would have tried to find out the main reason behind his alleged arrest and trials and who were responsible for his so tragic fate, which was never revealed to him by Kafka. In tragedy by Shakespeare, the hero normally comes to the realization of truth of which he had been always unaware of and as Aristotle himself said, â€Å"a change from ignorance to knowledge†. (Mcmanus, Online) Therefore in â€Å"The Trial†, Shakespeare would have made Joseph make efforts in gaining the knowledge and reason behind what has made his fate most tragic. Later Joseph would have grown in stature and wisdom, as Shakespeare would have made him realize the fact that reason is not enough. An over reliance on reason and belief and untrammeled free will are hallmarks of the Shakespearian villain, and the heroes learn better. Joseph would have made to realize that he should have resort to much better efforts while dealing with the crises and situations, which are out of his control. On the other hand, Kafka would have also used the elements so typical of him as a writer in Hamlet. He would have created Hamlet as a person who would not be merely pondering and reasoning on the causes of his befallen fate but would have strived to fight for his rights against the unjustified justice. He would have made Hamlet, instead of entering into the moral dilemma of whims and his passion for his mother, strived to take immediate action against the culprits who were responsible for his father’s death. His anguish and emotional trauma would have been very less as compared to the trauma inflicted by Joseph. Where in Hamlet, Shakespeare has created an element of Ghost, Kafka would have made the appearance of divine figure like that of a priest who would have taught Hamlet to accept his fate as what is destined for him has to happen. For Kafka, guilt is a feeling that no man can avoid whatever his or her experience may be and in Hamlet, Kafka would have definitely used the element of guilt. He would have made Hamlet realized his mother and uncle of guilt instead of entering into moral dilemma himself and make them face the trials. Here Hamlet would have been realized the fact that it is not important that an individual is actually guilty of an offence but what is important is that crime has occurred and he knew the culprits and therefore they ought to be put in trial and convicted. Another aspect to it is an issue of revenge. Hamlet wanted to take the revenge of the death of his father that was contradictory to the contemporary society in which Hamlet was written. This revenge implies taking the law in one’s own hands in order to satisfy an inner urge, although in civilized society the function of fighting the wrongs done to individuals belong to the state or the government. If Kafka had written Hamlet, he would have made Hamlet t try to follow the course of law to punish the culprits. But, he would have made Hamlet unsuccessful in his efforts as the law takes its own course and by that time Claudius would have been set free and took an adequate opportunity to bring Hamlet to his tragic death. In other words, death of Hamlet could not have occurred due to the moral flaws in the character of Hamlet but due to the circumstances that were out of his control. In spite of his efforts, Hamlet would never have been able to bring real culprits on the punishment panel. Kafka would have made Hamlet a story of the faults in the justice system of the contemporary society instead of the moral flaw in the character that would have made his end inevitable.   In Kafta;s version of Hamlet too, would have also died in the end but in a different way. Hamlet would have never been able to find truth of the conspiracy behind his father’s death. As with the Mouse Trap’ in Hamlet was the major victory for Hamlet as he was able to contrive his father’s murderer but the parable of Kafka’s would have made Hamlet frustrated as it neither contained any golden rule nor even suggested a mode of behavior under particular conditions. Hamlet would have not learnt anything and died a meaningless life bearing the misery of human existence. In the end Hamlet says, â€Å"the rest is silence†, this dialogue is an exploration of the true nature and life of human beings. Hamlet realized the fact that for all human beings, the ultimate destiny is death. Finally all human beings have to attain the death, which is inevitable and have to accept their ultimate faith. Hamlet confronts, recognizes and accepts the condition of being man and the last death wringed in him final cry of passion. But it is not simply the acceptance of death that Hamlet wants to unveil but within this end is the paradigm of complete mysteries of life and along with it is the mystery of evil. The realization of the reality of the death and the mystery of life he felt in the graveyard where the bodies of scheming politicians, the hollow courtier, the tricky lawyer, emperor or the queen and the beautiful young maidens laid.   Whereas when Joseph K said â€Å"like a dog†, Kafka struck at the contemporary society with a tool of an irony. Joseph K.’s demise is the demise of all human beings who had to face the courts and trials without any question. All the human beings are the dogs in the hands of the society and have to accept the fate what has been destined for them. This is a difference between ‘like a dog’ and ‘the rest is silence’. The similarity between the two lies in the fact that fate is the biggest thing in the life of human beings and every one has to accept their fate. Works Cited McManus, Barbara F. â€Å"Outline of Aristotles Theory of Tragedy in the POETICS†. Internet. (1999). Available:, October 17, 2008.

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