A Comparison of the Characters in The Revenant by Michael Punke, Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville

Throughout the course of an individual’s life, obstacles are inevitable. It is not however the substance of the problems, but the process of resolution. Every situation has a different outcome, yet the journey is always more important than the destination. As read in novels, plays and short stories such as, The Revenant by Michael Punke, Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Bartleby by Herman Melville characters have distinct issues that must be solved. Although these pieces of writing have different issues at separate times with malicious forces going against them these differences unite them and make their similarities more apparent.

It is obvious that revenge is a primary element of the characters in this novel and it is a characteristic explored throughout history including Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Hamlet deteriorates his own persona by dedicating his life to the death of King Claudius in the same way that Glass pursues Fitzgerald. Alone both physically and emotionally he pondered his thoughts endlessly on the matter whether to let the murder of his father go unpunished “or take arms against a sea of troubles; And, by opposing, end them” (Shakespeare 68).

Hamlet imposes the ideal that hatred is his platform for survival. To war with another person is to truly configure the identity of whom he truly is. Hamlet’s vendetta is fueled by the aspect of the death of his father. His demise signifies the demise of a part of Hamlet’s own being. His pursuit of revenge is one that of the spirit, of the body, and mind.

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In the same light Glass pursues Fitzgerald as he had robbed him of his only means of survival and left him for dead. Learning that Fitzgerald had fled, Glass’s own rage further grew as in his eyes “he’s afraid. He knows how far I came to find him” (178). Glass leaves the only matter of his mind the death of Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, in his arrogance and greed, was willing to leave Glass nothing to insure his own survival. The matter goes to the fact Glass was still not yet dead, but Fitzgerald was willing to abandon him if it meant he could steal what little he had left. Glass fulfills his role as the Revenant by rising from the dead to seek and destroy the man who would see to it his damnation.

Additionally, despite that Glass may resemble other individuals from various writings, it is crucial to take into consideration that Glass also contrasts with other protagonists, particularly Bartleby. Throughout the entire plot thus far, Glass instills in himself the drive to continue living in pursuit for revenge especially after bearing a traumatic experience. Just after regaining his consciousness from a vivid nightmare, Glass “thought about what [Fitzgerald and Bridger] had done,” feeling the “visceral desire to strike out in pursuit” (69). It is evident that Glass hungers and thirsts for retribution and refuses to die. Generally, these types of experiences would be psychologically deleterious to the point where withdrawal is inevitable. However, this is not the case; Glass becomes vengeful and seeks only to afflict Fitzgerald and Bridger, thus giving him the drive to continue living, pursuing this malevolent intent.

Though, Glass’s character is completely opposite to Bartleby, which ultimately reveals that Glass’s persona is fueled by hate. Similarly, though not revealed, it is conspicuous that Bartleby has underwent a certain life changing experience, which is shown through his deteriorating will to do anything. When particularly looking at the instance after Bartleby was arrested, he consistently stated he “would prefer not to dine to-day,” giving the reason that he was “unused to dinners” (Melville 29). Bartleby at this point is thought to be deranged, primarily because he prefered not to do anything. Unlike Glass, Bartleby refuses to see the light at the end of the tunnel, believing that he was unable to change anything and the reason to live is diminishing. This reveals that Bartleby is completely opposite to Glass because Glass would not have given up. Glass instead would have considered his options rather than giving up immediately. In fact, when comparing these two characters, their differences are accentuated, thus exposing deeper meaning to their respective personas.

Parallels between Bartleby, Hamlet and Glass are lucid when comparing and contrasting their differences. While various factors go into the journey of their resolution these characters face the same problems and all eventually overcome them, Bartleby eventually dies, Glass continues to live and Hamlet avenges his father. These characters are more alike more than meets the eye.

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A Comparison of the Characters in The Revenant by Michael Punke, Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville. (2023, Jan 15). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-comparison-of-the-characters-in-the-revenant-by-michael-punke-hamlet-by-william-shakespeare-and-bartleby-the-scrivener-by-herman-melville/

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