Amanda TruongCWL 124Professor Goldstein20 December 2017Essay Prompt #3 In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, one of the themes involves tension between being and seeming. In some of the other plays that have been read in class, they include the same theme as well. The tension between being and seeming becomes an important aspect within the following characters: Brick (Cat on A Hot Tin Roof), Maggie (Cat on A Hot Tin Roof), and Nora (A Doll’s House). The theme of tension between being and seeming are important within the plays because the characters involved are, in a way, something else than they appear to be. Hamlet’s actions are insane because of how he reacts to situations in the play. One thing from the play that makes Hamlet insane would be communicating with his father, King Hamlet, who is claimed to be dead. King Hamlet tells Hamlet to kill his uncle Polonius, and Hamlet had many chances to do so, but avoided the situations. Hamlet said his speech, To Be or Not To be, where he constantly seems to be trying to avoid death itself because he talks about suicide a lot, but he doesn’t really do anything about it. Hamlet basically states he is contemplating life and asks if it is even worth living anymore when he is so hurt and depressed from everything tragic that has happened so far after his father’s death.In the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, two characters, Brick and Maggie, faced something other than they appeared to be. Brick and Maggie are married but both characters are hiding who they really are and what they want.Brick uses alcohol and Maggie to hide from the fact that he is heterosexual. Brick is upset that his best friend and secret lover, Skipper, committed suicide. Brick drinks alcohol because he does not like Maggie, so uses it as a way to tolerate with her and her presence. Maggie, on the other hand, loves Brick and knows that he is heterosexual. In an odd way, Maggie wanted to get closer to Brick, therefore she slept with Skipper to try to have that feeling her husband would not give her after many times of trying. After that, Skipper committed suicide and Brick blamed Maggie and himself somewhat for Skipper’s action. Another reason why Maggie seems to love Brick is because of how wealthy his family is. Throughout the play, it had been questioned if she truly loved him, or if she only wanted to help him hide that he is heterosexual. The tension between being and seeming is also seen in another play, A Doll’s House. The main character, Nora, also deals is in a situation where she is given the role of being a “house wife”. Her husband, Torvald Helmer, would patronize her and call her many nicknames that referred to being “little”. I believe Torvald is doing this because he feels as if being the male in the household should be considered superior among everyone else in the family. Being a woman and being in charge of a family in the play is nowhere to be found. Nora seems to be taking Torvald’s nicknames given to her lightly, but she is really over being put down for being a female. After reading many plays that also have a theme connected with tension between being and seeming, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Hamlet both contributed to the theme more than the others. Hamlet, Brick and Maggie all had their significance in being who they are, but these characters develop who they seem to really be throughout the plays.
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