Text Analysis of Hamlet and Man on Fire Essay
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Over time Hamlet transfigures from a highly emotional state to a temperament which is extremely methodical and emotionally stale. This mentality leads to a course of self-imposed blockades that ultimately result in the deferment of his revenge. Creasy, contrastingly, begins in an emotionless and detached state, a facade consolidated through his apparent want to die. However, this icy stature is chiseled away by Peta when he is assigned as her bodyguard. Upon Peta’s kidnapping Creasy is enraged, with reason exchanged for an intense and tremendously emotional approach for revenge.
Hamlet’s first soliloquy clearly exhibits the magnitude to which his emotions have informed and consumed his thoughts. Even before knowing the reasons behind his state, it is established that Hamlet has a wish to die, a point pushed by the expression of ‘too too solid’ in the opening sentence. This repetition of ‘too’ expresses Hamlet’s dismay at his own permanency, an idea consolidated in the following line with the words ‘thaw’, ‘resolve’ and ‘dew’ contrasting to make a depiction of evanescence. This remarks that he does not wish to live long .
Hamlet also shares a rather resentful view of the world and this is represented through the use of decay imagery. When Hamlet depicts ‘how weary, stale, flat and unprofitable’ the world appears to be he wholeheartedly believes that there is no worth in the world and that it possesses things only ‘rank and gross in nature’. Additionally, the use of caesurae in the sentence indicates, in its very nature, the desultory state of Hamlet. Dislocated sentence structure is also an indicative part of enforcing his wildly emotional state.
Constant and erratic leaps between ideas in the mind of Hamlet lets us know that he is not thinking methodically or in a way that would be considered steady. This concoction of chopping and changing ideas is easily displayed where Hamlet says ‘like Niobe, all tears: — why she, even she—O, God! ’ This depicts how he redirects his thoughts as seemingly new ideas come to mind and this thus adds to the knowledge of Hamlet’s emotionally unpredictable frame of mind. In contrast, Creasy projects a completely different mental picture at the beginning of Man on Fire.
He appears as a character that is very much in his right mind and objective of his emotions. This kind of emotionless facade is furthermore evident in Creasy’s unsociable stance when in the presence of Peta. An example of this comes when Peta asks Creasy whether or not he was scared of her to which he provides a very short, blunt reply of ‘I used to be. At first. But not anymore. ’ This dialogue also indicates that Creasy may have social difficulties and by extension is lost in ways of approaching people or at least those he is not familiar with.
An obvious inference of this lack of communication is that Creasy is lonely and quite dejected. A view of the world as being hopeless is also taken up by the character and evident when Peta says that ‘there are some good things in the world’ and Creasy replies ‘Oh yeah, like what. ’ In this way the characters of Hamlet and Creasy are similar – sharing a correlating perspective in which the world is of no prospect. An amalgamation of all these elements lead to an inevitable emotional trough for Creasy; in which he falls into total despondency.
This state is characterized through the song ‘Blue Bayou’ which Creasy plays while drinking in the night. In this scene he becomes suicidal as he is assaulted by images and thoughts from which he cannot escape; leading the song to becoming fragmented pieces of non-diagetic sound. This fragmentation and seeming discord is emphasized by Scott who employs a magnitude of frantic panning and rapid cut shots in order to display the breakdown in Creasy’s mental state.
When the scene nears its end, Creasy attempts to take his life with a gun that inevitably fails to deliver the life ending bullet. At this point, a non-diagetic and mellow piano starts that indicates a kind of relief to the perplexity of the previous moments. The contemplation of suicide is comparatively explored by Hamlet in the third act. Here, he questions, quite simplistically, his existence with ‘to be, or not to be. ’ From this point, Hamlet appears to ponder reasons for living or ying by asking whether it is ‘nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles. ’ This analysis indicates that Hamlet has devolved from his highly emotional state to a temperament that is extremely methodical in nature, even when considering the ending of his own life. The use of the word ‘thus’ also indicates a fluent transition from one idea to another. Throughout the soliloquy Hamlet appears to be in search of reasons not to die rather than does that consolidate suicide.
The most prominent idea being the ‘dread of something after death’. Evidence of this is most prominent when Hamlet states ‘ to die, to sleep;…for in that sleep of death what dreams may come’. This indicates fully his fear of life after death and perhaps a kind of retribution for his sins or that of which he will commit in ways of exacting revenge on Claudius. The analytical disposition assumed by Hamlet and his inherent rejection of passion ultimately leads to his downfall and thus, this is his tragic flaw.
In contrast to this, Creasy establishes a strong bond of friendship with Peta and, in the wake of her kidnapping, transforms himself into an unstoppable and passionate force for revenge. The most evidential dialogue for this newly ignited passion comes when Creasy says ‘I’m gonna kill ‘em. Anyone that was involved. Anybody who profited from it. Anybody who opens their eyes at me. ’ These short sentences are indicative of his straight-to-the-point nature and disregard for excessive analytical thinking.
Additionally, Tony Scott settles his use of cut shots and selects longer scenes to focus on Creasy’s intent for revenge and the fact that no external forces will impede his pursuit. Subtitles are also employed by Scott to emphasize certain key aspects of scenes and additional bolding of words within the subtitles makes features prominent still further. In all, Creasy’s heightened passion to rescue Peta leads to his downfall and this can be acknowledged as his tragic flaw. In conclusion, Creasy and Hamlet are two contradictory characters in terms of their mindsets over the course of their respective texts.
Creasy in Man on Fire evolves for an icy, stale and emotionally objective state to a mentality of passion and purpose. A variety of cinematic techniques are employed to depict both demeanors of Creasy including cut shots, subtitles and diagetic and non-diagetic sound. Hamlet, alternatively, begins in a consumed state of passion that declines to a methodical manner involving enormous analytical evaluation. The final state of both characters are inevitably their tragic flaws and equally lead to their demise -fulfilling their roles as tragic heroes.