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Word Count: 650
All great literature throughout time has attempted to explain the true human condition It has attempted to show why man has always questioned his purpose In doing so many writers also have portrayed mans quest for heavenly knowledge Hamlet in Shakespeares Hamlet and Faust in Goethes Faust exemplify this type of tragic protagonist Both of these characters ask the same questions and search for the same answers in life however they both differ greatly in how they arrive at their epiphany how they attempt to achieve their goals and what final conclusion they arrive In most tragic literature especially Greek the protagonist reaches his catharsis through a tragic moment Hamlet experiences this moment He had been a student at college when he received the news of his fathers death Along with the upsetting event he was faced with the surprising semi-incestuous marriage of his mother and his fathers brother who allegedly killed his father As if this chain of events was not enough he met with the alleged ghost of his father King Hamlet who ordered his son to revenge his foul and most unnatural murder I v 30 These events led Hamlet to his tragic moment While the tragic moment theory might hold true in Shakespeares work it however is not at all evident in Faust He comes to his moment by a gradual boredom of life The doctor went through his existence reading about life but never experiencing it He becomes dissatisfied with his repetitive lifestyle and yearns for more eventually convincing himself that because of his unknowledgeable self he lacks all delight p 467 line 17 Both Faust and Hamlet will now search to find their respective selves Another contrasting attribute these two works share is the source from which they receive their answers Searching internally Hamlet seeks no other outside assistance in his quest for knowledge This is extremely evident in Hamlets soul searching dialoguehis soliloquies The most famous one
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