17 Oct 2012

Sample Essay: Hamlet’s Ophelia

Ophelia, simply known for being incapable of her own distress, has been known in the history for epitomizing the mystifying woman who is hard to grasp. For the critics of Shakespeare, she has always eluded as a character (Camden). She is depicted as a herione who meets a tragic end. Her character exudes the potential of becoming a tragically devastated woman who finallyloses er mind under the immense pressure by the social norms. Ophelis is a product of her environment, depicting the way a woman was supposed to be in the 16th and 17th century. She was an obedient child , a doting sister and a loyal wife. She played her duty unconditionally and blended into the roles of women of that time so finely that it was hard to find a more perfect woman in those times. The Hamlet’s Ophelia is one of the most distressed, one dimensional characters of its time. She acts out as a tragic herione who has the potential to overcome all the misfortunes wrecked on her, instead she dissolves into craziness, thus encompassing the true essence of tragedy. The character of Ophelia is important because of the dual nature of women that she represents. The purpose of the character is to display the viewpoint of hamlet about women. Hamlet’s twisted view about women as subjects of seduction only makes him hate Ophelia all the more. He takes Ophelia to be amongst all women who he thinks are insensitive sexual predators that lure men into their charms and sexuality and then trap them with their conniving manipulations. So Ophelia plays the role of Hamlet’s whore version of a woman while at the same time remaining a distinctive innocence and virtue that was the chastity of women at that time. Hamlet’s betrayal start with Gertrude and it moves along to Ophelia who becomes the predated under the obligation of being an obedient daughter and a loyal wife. Hamlet is enraged with his mother for being the woman of masked connivance and because of this hatred he projects his sarcasm and loath towards Ophelia.

Ophelia’s character helps us to experience the viewpoint of Hamlet and his gradual evolution into a loathsome man who believes that every woman is a whore. He believed that women who wear a cloak of purity and chastity of character are the ones who are laden with evil from inside. He also tool Ophelia’s father as a pimp who prostituted his daughter to spy on Hamlet and when the purpose was served told her to stop talking or meeting with him. Ophelia’s abject dismay in being torn between the obedience for her father and her love for Hamlet makes her decide to go for her father’s wishes and follow in suit. This is because she depicts a true example of a woman who is obsequious in nature and believes that her life is devoted to her father before marriage and to her husband after marriage. Therefore, Hamlet’s version of whore is a woman who is used not by one but many men. Ophelia is used by her father, brother and hamlet at various events throughout the play. However, what really instigated his view about Ophelia was the apparent innocence she wore in front and the way she presented herself to him in servitude, yet remained loyal to her treacherous father simultaneously. For Ophelia, she was just playing the part of being a daughter, when she decided to seduce Hamlet, she did it out of sheer love for her father and brother, and when she shunned Hamlet away, and she did it because her father told her so. Hamlet’s wrath was pointed towards Ophelia for choosing her father over Hamlet, this reminded Hamlet of Gertrude, his mother, who chose his new father over the old. So to Hamlet, both choices were increasingly “incestuous”.

From an audience point of view, Ophelia represents a quite distinctive character. She is the damsel in distress; a woman so wrought with the pain inflicted on her by her loved ones, that she is unable to take it through the end and loses her sanity. To us, Ophelia depicts the convoluted character of women that still resides in each of women. She is a daughter, a sister and a lover. And she is destined to play all those in the most perfect way possible. She has to be an obedient daughter, when unmarried she must obey her father, and she does not act because she is supposed. In fact, she does it out of the goodness of her character and the demands required by the social norms of that time. Likewise, when she becomes Hamlet’s wife, she does not relieve her loyalties from her father because she was supposed to, but because it was ingrained in her give herself up to her husband, in mind and body. So she strikes as a woman who is an emblem of goodness of heart and mind. She has her childlike loyalties towards her loved ones, clings to them for being hers and she is not aware of the darkness that her small acts could lead to (Mabillard).

Her whole character depicts simplicity and sheer loyalty towards those who care for her. She is an epitome of selfless affection. She is desperately in love with Hamlet but has to hold because of her father. So she stays away from him, but her heart stays pure. Once with Hamlet, she clings to the very memory of Hamlet when he was sweet to her and loves her till the end. She is there to defend him even when his whip like tongue tears her flesh apart. She seems incapable of her own distress and is not able to defend herself in front of hamlet. However, her immense suffering was obvious through her coy responses.

“Hamlet: …I did love you once.
Ophelia: Indeed, my, lord, you made me believe so.
Hamlet: You should not have believed me…I loved you not.
Ophelia: I was the more deceived”
(Mabillard).

A story written on Ophelia takes the play from the account of Ophelia. It divides the whole life of character into three parts and then highlights the key areas which lead to Ophelia’s gradual demise towards insanity. Part one of the book describes the early childhood of Ophelia and her transition towards womanhood and the love affair with Hamlet. The second part describes the sequence of the play as seen through the eyes of Ophelia. Finally the third part depicts the life of Ophelia after the play, thus giving readers food for thought about the escape of woman scorned from the shackles of dismay (Xirena). Ophelia’s slow descent to madness was directly related with the callous attitude of Hamlet and the death of her father took a final toll on her (Hamlet).

In conclusion, there were some very important aspects of Ophelia which need to be highlighted in this review. To start with, she was the archetypal obedient daughter that was the demand of the 16th and early 17th century role of a woman. This filial obedience makes Ophelia vulnerable to the abuse inflicted on her by Hamlet. He accuses her of being deceptive and disloyal towards him. He goes on to accusing her of “breeder of the sinner” and says that if she was to marry she would turn her husband into a monster. Finally, Ophelia gives in to the immense pressure given to her by those who loved her dearly. Her father’s death disturbs her greatly. Besides, given the harshness subjected to her by Hamlet she finally cracks in to the pressure. This comes as a tragic end to a woman who did everything out of purity of heart and selfless love for those she loved dearly. In the days of her insanity, she takes to singing brazen songs in which she described the tale of a woman who was tricked into losing her virginity by a monster. So Ophelia’s madness can be attributed to the immense patriarchal pressure of that time when men used to have the dominance and power on the society norm building. The character of Ophelia displays a woman torn between the love of her father and her lover. She is portrayed as an extremely compassionate woman and is subjected to unfair treatment at the hands of those who loved her dearly. This comes in contrast to the Hamlet’s version of her as someone who feigns insanity and madness. The death of Ophelia’s character is a mystery and many critics still regard as one of the most poorly understood act of the play. She drowns in an offstage sequence which leaves the audience perplexed and lets them ponder on the exact nature of death and its validity. She is taken as an erotic creature even at the time of her death. A mermaid-like woman who spent her like in quite grief and finally gave into insanity lies down with her clothes spread wide in waters which engulf her body in the waves of death and makes her a part of her own distress (Ophelia).

Works Cited

Camden, Carroll. “On Ophelia’s Madness.” Shakespeare Quarterly 15.2 (1964): 247-255.

Hamlet. “The Psychological Pain of Laertes and Ophelia.” 06 August 2011. tryshakespeare. 16 July 2012 <http://www.tryshakespeare.com/articles.php?article_id=29>.

Mabillard, Amanda. “Ophelia.” 20 August 2000. Shakespeare Online. 16 July 2012 << http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/hamlet/opheliacharacter.html >.>.

“Ophelia.” n.d. shmoop. 16 July 2012 <http://www.shmoop.com/hamlet/ophelia.html/>.

Xirena. “Book Review: Ophelia.” 25 November 2011. akralena. 16 July 2012 <http://akralena.blogspot.com/2011/11/book-review-ophelia.html#!/2011/11/book-review-ophelia.html>.

21 Jul 2010

Sample Essay: Drama Research Essay on Othello

The basic reason behind William Shakespeare starting to write Tragedy stories is due to the reason that he felt that the various other tragic plots that were being used by other English writers of his time lacked imaginative foundation and composition. The most important focus of all of Shakespeare’s tragedies was the fall of a prominent person of his story. Additional attractions of his plays used to be Suspense and climax. His effort was amazing as it was not of the customary for the time of his existence. Anybody with just very little knowledge about the writings of Shakespeare would be familiar with one of the tragedies as a Shakespearean work.

The four most outstanding and renowned tragedies that were written by William Shakespeare are King Lear, Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth.  The word ‘tragedy’ and its derivation are considered to be uncertain even today. “The word has been said to be derived from two Greek words – tragos (goat) and oide (song) (RSC – Royal Shakespeare Company). ” All of the tragic works written by William Shakespeare have a upsetting primary actor, or ‘protagonist’ who is in due course put into a absurdity or incompatible situation that is likely to be solved by the same character –  the hero.  A mixture of bad luck and misjudgment in due course results in the bereavement of the hero of the play.

Othello – as already mentioned above is one of the four outstanding tragic works of William Shakespeare that was written by him in the year 1602.  This famous tragedy of Shakespeare predominantly focuses on the death of Othello, the protagonist and all other important characters of the play as a result of jealousy.  All of the actions of the characters of the play are motivated by this single aspect of jealousy and hence the same is very prominent in the play.  Iago and Othello are the two main characters that portray Jealousy in the play Othello.  Jealousy is the one that completely corrupts Iago and consequently makes him to display his actuality.  This in turn causes Othello to go through an utter transformation in his own self and thereby leads to the destruction of all of his friends’ lives.

It has been said that catastrophe decontaminates the fondness and warmth by panic and sympathy. That is, it replaces imaginary compassion for sheer egoism and self-centeredness. It offers a soaring and enduring interest, beyond one’s self, in kindness as such. Tragedy is believed to raise the immense, the inaccessible and the potential to fairness with the genuine, the modest and the proximity.  Tragedy is also believed to suppress and mitigate the perseverance of the will power of a man.  Even though Iago has a repute of being “full of love and honesty” (III, iii, 138), he is the one who is accountable for obliterating many lives and is viewed as an individual who “perhaps one of the most villainous characters in all literature” (Godfrey).  Iago’s jealous is pretty evident as early as in the start of the play itself.  Specifically, in Act I of the play, Iago sets the tenor for the irrational effect jealously has on the characters of the play. Although Iago is not very sure that Othello is culpable of cuckolding him, his distrust “Will do as if for surety (1.3.371)” (Curtis).  It is, nevertheless, Othello’s intense jealous behavior that encompasses a central theme of the play. Othello is center of supremacy, and his behavior and implement of free will has the most insightful effect on everybody. Iago, who is considered as the master manipulator, uses Othello’s authoritative diffidence and jealousy as a means to instantaneously change Othello’s discernment of Desdemona.

Othello- an outstanding tragic piece of William Shakespeare is one of a kind tragedy that enlivens one’s compassion and consideration in astonishing manner.  The ethical aspects that Othello conveys have a closer relevance to the apprehensions of human life than that of any other works written by Shakespeare. If the other tragedies of Shakespeare are observed, each one of them portrays and conveys different aspects of morality.  The themes in King Lear and Macbeth contrast in the way that the pathos as portrayed in the play Lear are more dominant and are actually not so natural, however, they lack the consideration and compassion as observed in Macbeth.  In the same way Hamlet is more secluded and impulse.  In the same way, if Othello is observed it is more thoughtful, philosophical and heartwarming.

Interestingly, the term ‘Jealous’ apparently is appeared for about 21 times in the entire play of Othello.  Specifically, it becomes a common term that is used in the dialogues of Othello, Desdemona, Iago, Casio and Emilia.  Furthermore, Emilia and Iago are the two characters who have a pivotal role in this tragic play and they seemed to have apparently used the term of ‘jealousy’ almost seven times individually.   All through the play, Othello has been portrayed as an extremely strong character and he seems to be very proud of every single action of him. The control is not only of authority but of the sagacity of him being an excellent soldier.  In Act I, Othello has a brawl with Brabantio, who actually comes to kill him, but even before he attempts to attack Othello, Othello said, “Hold your hands, both of you of my inclining and the rest.  Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it without a prompter” (I, ii, lines 80-3) (Field of Themes).” The power displayed in this scene by Othello is quite amazing.

The crucial struggle that the character of Othello faces in the play is trying to recognize the truth to believe in. Othello’s own self sympathy and qualms of others allows Iago to even make Othello rethink and doubt the truth told by his wife. “This struggle within himself shows the weakness of Othello. It shows how his own doubts and questions of how is view allowed for evil and deception to easily overrun his mind. The actor must understand that this is not because Othello is slow or easily influenced, but rather partly worn and broken by his isolation from his own town. Iago is able to awaken these feelings of rejection and confusion that feed the feelings of evil and betrayal. By this it is how Othello grows able to murder his own wife. His mind is clouded and overwhelmed with years of feelings building up until the seal is broken by a wise and malevolent plot (Ross).”

The power and command over any situation that Othello has is one his strongest distinctiveness.  All through the entire first act, it can be observed that Othello is portrayed as a man with extensive power and an innate leadership. However, it would be difficult for anybody to believe such a man change all of a sudden (Field of Themes).  This change in Othello is evident from the scene when Lodovico notices Othello hitting Desdemona. As already mentioned above, the most significant of all the various themes of this play are the risks of love transforming into jealousy and the consequences of one getting his revenge.  The results of these themes are that a man trusts another man rather than his own wife, and that four persons are killed and two marriages damaged totally.  This play clearly portrays how letting emotion rule the body and mind instead of rational thought doing the same can eventually result in destruction. While most of the people may not believe that their individual actions can have such massive repercussions, as rightly said, the path to hell is paved with noble intentions. “Shakespeare intends to warn people of the dangers of acting without thought; to bring people aware of who is around them and what ulterior motives they may have when you take their counsel; and to show that every small move you make impacts the world around you to no end (Griffin).”

Othello continued to be very famous right through the 18th and 19th centuries, and numerous of the most radiant actors of that time sought after the role of the Moor, as Othello was called by many Venetians.  Othello, undoubtedly, is a most famous and one of the best tragedies written by Shakespeare. It is actually about love that transforms to be bad as a result of jealousy.  Shakespeare builds an influential drama of a marriage that originates with attraction amid the unusual Moor Othello and a fair Venetian lady named Desdemona, with elopement, and with strong mutual loyalty and that eventually ends impulsively with jealousy, anger and brutal deaths.

Works Cited

Curtis, Jerry. Jealousy: A Major Theme of Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’. 2009. 14 December 2009 <http://www.helium.com/items/100575-jealousy-a-major-theme-in-shakespeares-othello>.

Field of Themes. Character Analysis. 02 November 2009 <http://www.field-of-themes.com/shakespeare/essays/Eothello3.htm>.

Godfrey, D. R. Analysis of Shakespeare’s Othello. n.d.

Griffin, Alice. Themes in Shakespeare’s Othello. 03 July 2009. 14 December 2009 <http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1902208/themes_in_shakespeares_othello.html>.

Ross, Jake. Analysis of Othello. 2009. 02 November 2009 <http://ezinearticles.com/?Analysis-of-Othello&id=148684>.

RSC – Royal Shakespeare Company. Macbeth. 02 June 2009 <http://www.rsc.org.uk/macbeth/tragedy/tragedies.html>.

07 Oct 2009

Sample Essay: The Role Emilia Character Played in The Play Othello by William Shakespaeare

The role that Emilia played in Othello as created by William Shakespeare is that of the wife of Lago that plotted to sow discord between husband and wife Othello and Desdemona. The main part of her participation was to steal the handkerchief of Desdemona in order to use as a convincing proof of her false infidelity against her husband Othello. The complicated part of the story is that Emilia was completely innocent at first as the motives of her husband that ordered her to steal the handkerchief in the first place. It was only her husband that had evil schemes in  place for Desdemona and her husband. Lago made use of Cassio to make Othello suspect that his wife had been unfaithful to him. It was quite easy for lago to make Othello believe his lies as the character of Othello is highly sensitive to attacks on his pride and dignity. All it took to make Othello believe was the handkerchief that Lago’s wife stole from her mistress. This role of Emilia made the perfect position to be able to implant malicious suggestions between the noble Othello and his wife Desdemona.

Emilia was the one that aided the villain Lago despite her lack of knowledge that is why the whole story became a tragedy later. The effect of Emilia’s role was to provide the stark contrast that is obvious between her materialistic character and that of the innocence of Desdemona.

The whole play able to progress realistically because of the snide and cynical remarks of Emilia.

It was the role of Emilia that provided the realistic backdrop of the whole play from start to the end of the story. The plot started with the dissatisfaction of Lago for the promotion of Cassio into a higher rank than him since the latter was a lower servant to Othello. Naturally, Lago plotted to get rid of Cassio by all kinds of means in order to get his revenge and finally elevate himself into a better position in life. He started destroying the regards of Othello for Cassio by intentionally enticing Cassio into a drinking bout one time. When Othello found out about this, he immediately demoted Cassio and promoted Lago into the position that Cassio originally occupied. The rest of the story proceeds in the way that the villain character Lago has planned for his victims except the very last part. The role of Emilia no matter how small can be seen as pivotal in the over-all build-up of the story. The reason why the plans of Lago succeeded in the first place is because of Emilia’s effort to steal her lady’s handkerchief. Despite her innocence at the motives of her husband, it was her act that made the plan of Lago successful. It was also instrumental for the story and Lago to have the trust of Desdemona on her maid Emilia completely. Emilia was thinking about the kind of possibilities that no one else had because she has a worldly character and experienced in the ways of the underworld at her age. Although she never had an inkling as to what would be the effect of stealing her lady’s handkerchief she was malicious enough to do it just because of her husband.

If we are to remove Emilia from the story, then there would be no other means for Lago to have easy access to his lady Desdemona without arousing suspicion on his intention.

The rest of the story is indeed the makings of her husband villain Lago but the deceptive facade that Lago has wrought would have been exposed earlier if not for Emilia’s effort. The contribution of Emilia is to provide the kind of access that Lago could never get for himself. Her role also made the story interesting because they are providing Desdemona ideas and insights into what kind of other women exist in the world. Her worldly nature makes a very sharp contrast to the character of Desdemona because she is the one that gives her lady advices and prompts on matters that might require a little daring and courage for Desdemona to do alone. The over-all story is also shaded by the dark nature of Emilia’s outlook in the world since it is she that is willing to commit adultery given the proper reasons according to one of her lines.

Despite the relatively small portion of her character’s part in the story, it provided the negative suggestions as well as the channel by which Shakespeare can try to influence the minds of audience of the play or the readers of the script. It makes the insertion of cynical and malicious ideas and comments on the events of the story easier to project by the use of Emilia’s character. If other characters were to be used, it would make a conflicting and somewhat confusing perception since the characters of the play are clearly defined as to how they behave according to their values. Since the character of Emilia is base and that of a materialistic person, it gives the author of the play an instrument that can provide insinuations and negative suggestions so as to captivate the audience.

Because of Emilia’s character it makes the play portray the different sides of the human emotions as well as the different angles that the audience of the play can try to analyze the whole story. If the role of Emilia were not present, it would have been very bland for the whole story to continue without any kind of intrigue and malicious angles from which the audience can derive varying opinions. It is the character of Emilia that also provides the much needed realism that the play is calling for. Since the nature of Emilia is somewhat base, it also creates a realistic feel for the kind of scenario that the playwright was trying to create. The noble characters of Desdemona and her husband would not be interesting enough because there would no one to provide the conflict and the intrigue that comes with the kind of comments that only Emilia can make. The role of being the maid of Desdemona also makes Emilia able to let the audience glimpse the kind of life that her lady is leading. This provides the kind of portrayal that the author of the play intended all along. The kind of angles and emotional atmosphere that the author might want to incorporate are all easily injected with a comment or two from Emilia. The informative and suggestive lines that Emilia has in the play give the audience the idea as to what kind of characters and emotions that the play is trying to project. The contrasting lines as well as the believable opinion of Emilia make the story more realistic. Since the character of Emilia is very common in real life, it also gives the audience a feel of the kind of setting in the everyday lives of the characters portrayed. The kind of capacity that she also has in getting inside information about lady Desdemona could not have been possible if she were not the personal servant of Desdemona. It gives the whole play an angle by which the author can make use of the personal weaknesses of the characters. For example, since it is a given that Othello’s character is easily angered without use of extensive analytical reasoning, it makes the deception of Lago easier to accomplish.

The role of Emilia comes in as important for the whole play since they are all incapable of getting the trust of Lady Desdemona when it comes to her private chambers and items. The very simple act of using a handkerchief by Lago to manipulate Othello into a rage makes the role of Emilia all the more important. It also shows another custom of those days wherein the lady has her own personal servant. The betrayal that came with the position of Emilia no matter how unintended also gives the play an exciting twist since the audience is aware of the malicious motives of Lago and yet at the same time, nobody else is aware of the nefarious plans that Lago has in mind. The whole story is also made more enticing for the viewers as it now incorporates betrayal and insidiousness on the part of its characters. The views and angles of the play is filled with variety since the incorporation of Emilia’s character provides the twists and contrast that are necessary to make an interesting story. Despite the small part that the role of Emilia played in the story, nevertheless it was necessary to make the kind of base character that she played because the story could not have been realistically portrayed if all of the other characters were as noble and innocent as the husband and wife Desdemona and Othello.

26 Jun 2009

Sample Essay: Great Expectations By Charles Dickens

“We need never be ashamed of our tears”.

Charles Dickens

The 1861 novel of the English writer Charles Dickens, “Great Expectations”, is one of the greatest English novels in the last three centuries. What made this novel one of the greatest is its sheer realism, realism that most probably had occurred in Victorian-age England. The realism that was abundant in the novel dealt with love, betrayal, the deceiving power of money, etiquette, pride, prejudice, devotion and gratitude. The story primarily revolved around the protagonist Philip ‘Pip’ Pirrip whose life had the most uncanny of events, coincidences and significant twists, his rise to the life of being a London gentleman, a companion to the rich old spinster Miss Havisham and her beautiful but snob adopted daughter, Estella. The novel has three parts, the First, Second and Third Stage of Pip’s Expectations. Each stage of Pip’s Expectations are the respective chapters of his life, his life as a child, his life as a paid companion to the Havishams and his subsequent life feigning his class and being ashamed of his humble origins with his sister and her husband, who was Pip’s first father figure, since he was an orphan. His eventual status of being a London gentleman and his affairs with the people of the elite and high society.

One of the most interesting aspects of this Dickensian novel is the plot on love, and though the novel has two distinct and contrasting endings. Pip matured as a paid companion to Miss Havisham and her daughter, admiring her as who she was, even if the fact that she is a rich snob makes him lonely, and it made him afraid to show or confide to anyone his humble beginnings and signs that he lacked etiquette and gentleman virtues. His love for Estella never waned, in spite of the warnings his friend and the Havishams’ relative Herbert that Estella was being brought up to exact revenge on the male population to avenge Miss Havisham’s agonizing pain when she was abandoned by an erstwhile lover.

Ironic as it may have seemed, but Miss Havisham never loved Estella for real. She gave her all she had, provided her more than enough and yet the young Estella had always longed for love. The companionship that Pip gave was paid, and the two protagonists seemed to have shared a phony love, though in the more pleasant ending of Dickens, they ended up being together and vowed never to part was again. Going back to Estella, Miss Havisham raised her in a way that she had to be loved by everybody. In one scene in the novel, when Pip was asked by Miss Havisham if he admired Estella, she blurted out incessantly, “Love her, love her, love her, love her, love her, love her! If she favors you, just love her, if she wounds you, love her, if she tears your heart to pieces, love her, and as it gets older and stronger, it will tear deeper, love her, love her, love her, love her!”  This relentless yelling of Miss Havisham at Pip only insinuated that she had treated Estella with utmost care, and she only expected the best treatment reciprocated. Pip almost thought that Miss Havisham was mad, for in his mind, had the word “love” was replaced by “hate” her yelling would have certainly sounded more like a horrifying curse.

In the more latter part of the story wherein Pip is on the verge of being eaten by jealousy because of the many men entertained by Estella, the words uttered by her seemed to at least comfort him in the most subtle way. “Do you want me then to deceive and entrap you?..” those words of Estella subtly reminded Pip that he is the only person whom she trusts completely. Their phony love for each other seemed to have reached a new level, a level where it had shed off its coating of pretension and welcomed the dawn of a new chapter in Pip’s life, his pursuit of Estella’s love.

The plot of the blossoming love between Pip and Estella was not the primary object of the novel. It had only pictured that though often embedded in the most unpleasant of elements and unlikely circumstances, love could still thrive, if the two sides who are in love can hurdle the trials that life has thrown at them. The trials and challenges that came their way were in no way easy to accept, Estella raised in such a way that she could never be the woman she wanted to be, and Pip having to accept his role in society as somewhat of a pretender, having had to hide his roots just to conform with the hypocrisy of high society. This could not have taken place without his mysterious benefactor, who gave him a generous allowance up until the time that he reveals himself to Pip. Pip, on the other hand, was somewhat blinded by the elegance and prestige of the upper class life, kept hastening efforts to hide his true identity, roots and humble life.

Ingratitude, as well as gratitude, was also a major plot in Charles Dickens’ novel. This was evidenced by the part in which Joe Gargery, Pip’s brother-in-law whom he looked up to as a father, visited him in his posh London inn. The lowly but dignified  blacksmith Joe, who was amazed and stunned at the lifestyle Pip was having, several times addressed Pip as “Sir” and not the usual “Pip”. This somewhat flattered Pip but made him feel uncomfortable, this is ironic again, because Joe too was not too comfortable addressing Pip in that manner because he had treated him like is own son all his life prior to Pip’s arrival in London. Pip could not hide the disappointment he has towards Joe because of the latter’s evident complete lack of manners and etiquette. Joe was not to blame for this. He was never accustomed to living with class and being in the company of gentlemen. But the way Pip showed his disappointment was sheer ingratitude to the man who cared for him when he was young and treated him as if he was his own son, when in fact, Pip was Joe’s brother-in-law. And his ferocious ambition to be a member of the elite society was exposed when he was informed of Joe’s visit. He not reacted with pleasure or excitement, but instead with fear and dread that someone might see him in the company of a poor, lowly blacksmith, he feared the degradation of his image. That was one of the biggest character flaws that Pip possessed.

Another show of his ungratefulness was when he learned of the identity of his benefactor. Pip, instead of being grateful to the man who molded him into a fine young gentleman who possesses manners, was overwhelmed with disgust when he learned that Magwitch (his benefactor) was a criminal who have had brushes with the law and was still a fugitive hiding from authorities. And instead of being at least grateful to what he has amassed and what has been given to him unconditionally, he planned on returning all of his received belongings to Magwitch, whom he regarded as a hardened criminal who had gotten his wealth from wrongdoings. Until the very end of the novel, Pip never performed an act of gratitude towards the criminal who made him who he is and saved him from the life of mediocrity which he truly deserved, for Pip’s morals regarding his origin and ambitious adventures have made life a living pretension for him, except for the fact that he was loving and adoring Estella with all that he is.

But on a lighter note, in spite of his very ambitious ways, Pip was still a human capable of loving, understanding and concern. He had treated Herbert as a true friend, for it was he who taught Pip the ways of the rich and the ins and outs of the upper class society. Herbert was one of Miss Havisham’s heirs, so he need not acquaint himself with the lifestyles of the rich, for e himself belonged to the upper class society. Herbert, without reluctance, had accepted Pip the way he was and the way he had evolved. Through the toughest times facing Pip, he was there by his side. Pip on the other hand, had also seen the good inside Herbert and so he defends him against the accusations of Herbert’s aunt, Miss Havisham, that Herbert was only after the fortunes that he was going to inherit when she dies.

Contributing to the earlier part of the novel, and most in part to the end of it, is regret. Though there was nothing wrong with the way Pip fell in love with Estella, there was some kind of a flaw while he was on the course of pursuing her. His childhood friend Biddy was obviously in love with him and he did not even dare try to show his little appreciation. All throughout his life, Biddy has cared for him, even becoming his teacher in the evening school, all of Biddy’s efforts were futile, for she did not possess the quality that Pip wanted in a woman, which was class and elite upbringing. As many times aforementioned, the overpowering factor that influenced Pip in all of his decisions was ambition; Biddy was very kind and intelligent, caring and loving, and would have been a perfect wife for him, but instead, he chose to pursue the classy Estella, who put him in the most unusual emotional situations he had encountered his whole life, and made him traverse long and arduous roads. Pip’s regret was evident when, after being estranged from Estella, he returns home to propose to Biddy, only to know that she had already married Joe Gargery, the man whom he looked up to as a father. His regret has come to a halt when Dickens wrote the ending upon the request of readers. He had met the widowed Estella and vowed to her that they are never to be separated again.

REFERENCES

Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. London: Dover Publications, 2001.

“Great Expectations.” 2006. The New York Theatre Experience, Inc. 27 Apr. 2007

<http://www.nytheatre.com/nytheatre/grea4064.htm>.

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