Eamon Barkhordarian 5/4/2012 Blackburn English Masters Hamlet vs Pride and Prejudice Time and time again in literature

and beyond, love has stood as the unstoppable force that conquers all obstacles. It is what brings enemies together, ceases the harshest of wars, and ends all suffering. This feeling always seems to find its way into even the most violent of action movies and the most shocking of horror films. The theme of love has been so prevalent in the history of literature that many readers are convinced it is the most powerful emotional feeling that demonstrates the strongest of bonds. One of the greatest love stories of all time, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, does its best to try and validate this point through the affectionate relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth. Except what most don’t understand is that there is in fact a connection that is even more powerful than that of true love. In the book Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the friendship between Hamlet and Horatio is matchless in terms of attachment. Together, Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen demonstrate that true friendship is much more powerful than true love. One of the most important ideas vital to any relationship is the presence of trust. Throughout Hamlet, there is a consistent premise of love and friendship, whether it be with his mother Gertrude or girlfriend Ophelia. But the strongest of bonds is with his best friend Horatio. And trust is indeed a key practice maintained between them. The first sign indicating Horatio’s trust in Hamlet is at the beginning of the play when he comes into contact with the ghost of Hamlet’s father. “In the dead vast and middle of the night/been thus encounter’d. A figure like your father/Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pie/…The apparition comes. I knew your father;/These hands are not more like” (12-13). Although the average person would have kept such a ridiculous encounter to themselves, Horatio

Eamon Barkhordarian 5/4/2012 Blackburn English Masters tries to come in contact with the ghost after identifying who the spirit could potentially be. Even after understanding that such an encounter seems extremely unbelievable, Horatio decides to tell Hamlet the truth anyway. Horatio presents an insightful explanation of the encounter and follows up on any inquiries by Hamlet with integrity. This is important because it shows that Horatio is willing to put his reputation second to his friendship by informing his friend of the importance of what he saw a few nights ago. This scene reveals the trust bond between the two. On the other side to the story, Darcy and Elizabeth actually do not begin on the right foot in Pride and Prejudice. Trust became the first issue between them as Mr. Wickham soon came into the picture. In one scene, Mr. Wickham creates a false story to dehumanize Darcy and to play with Elizabeth’s feelings. He explains how Darcy found a loophole in the system to keep the money for himself. “Exactly as I was of an age to hold it, and that it was given to another man; and no less certain is it, that I cannot accuse myself of having really done anything to deserve to lose it” (60). This is important because Elizabeth finds herself unable to choose which person to believe. And although the two become married by the end of the book, it is a harsh and long path to get to that point. Trust is indeed a prominent issue for those two. Another important trait in a relationship that goes hand in hand with trust is respect. In one scene, Hamlet’s ship is overrun by pirates and he is held as a prisoner. Hamlet could have sent his letters to his mother or even the King for assistance, yet he sends them to be received by Horatio because he has utmost respect for his best friend. “Let the King have the letters I have sent, and repair thou to me with as much speed as thou wouldest fly death” (94). Hamlet respects Horatio as a best friend and trusts that he will follow Hamlet’s request with prompt speed and precision. In this case you can see that respect is placed

Eamon Barkhordarian 5/4/2012 Blackburn English Masters before love. In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy initially doesn’t have much respect for Elizabeth because he does value her inferior social class. Darcy’s narrow-mindedness about wealth blinds him from Elizabeth’s true beauty. “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men” (7). The lack of respect in this relationship only brought more problems over time. Darcy's initial pride regarding social class confuses Elizabeth’s judgment and pushes her to believe Wickham’s story over Darcy’s even though Wickham is in fact a liar. The idea of both trust and respect is a huge component to any lasting relationship. Hamlet demonstrates this and provides strong examples between Hamlet and Horatio. Not only does Horatio respect Hamlet enough to put his own reputation in jeopardy, but Hamlet trusts Horatio enough to get his task regarding the sailors done on time. This mutual relationship is one that Darcy and Elizabeth simply cannot compete with. After all, the two initially didn’t have either trust or respect for each other. A final quote to end the relationship with a sweet ending book is when Hamlet has a final appeal for Horatio. “If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart/ Absent thee from felicity awhile/ And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain/ To tell my story” (120). This is significant because it shows that Hamlet continues to trust Horatio, asking him to tell everyone out there what happened that fateful day of Hamlet’s death. All in all, true friendship is undoubtedly a more powerful bond than true love. Shakespeare does an excellent job demonstrating that point further using his characters Hamlet and Horatio as examples. Jane Austen, on the other hand, shows that even the strongest of love has its faults and drawbacks. Now I only pray that as literature evolves

Eamon Barkhordarian 5/4/2012 Blackburn English Masters over time, this idea will be all the more prevalent and soon triumph love in the hearts of readers everywhere.

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