Literary Discussion Questions

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LiteraryDiscussion Questions

LiteratureDiscussion Questions

  1. Question One

Inthe Hamlet story, there are a number of various evidences thatsuggests that King Claudius was wholly responsible for the murder ofHamlet’s father, the deceased King Hamlet. The first indicationthat he was responsible for the death of his brother is the fact thathe was the one who inherited the throne after the passing of KingHamlet. This is despite the fact that the King had a son who was theheir to that throne upon his passing. In addition, Claudius marriedGertrude immediately, who was the widow of the late king and themother to Prince Hamlet. The fact that he was the brother to thedeceased king one expected him to protect and respect his brother’sthrone and wife. However, his contrary actions suggest his big rolein the murder of Prince Hamlet’s father.

Furthermore,an event happened at the Elsinore Castle where a pair of watchmenguiding the castle witnessed a ghost. The ghost as they saw resembledthe deceased King Hamlet and the father of Prince Hamlet. To confirmtheir apprehensions, they rushed in the castle to call Prince Hamlet.After his arrival, the ghost spoke to Prince Hamlet and confirmedthat indeed he was his father’s ghost. In addition, the ghost alsoindicated that Claudius was the one who was responsible for hisdeath. This is evidence in the story that indicates Claudius’responsibility to the death of his brother, the late King Hamlet.

Aplot by Hamlet that was aimed at confirming the allegations to hisuncle’s role in the murder of his father, confirmed Claudius’guilt. This plot involved a travelling group of actors who were tostage a play that matched his father’s death. This play was to beperformed at Elsinore castle with the presence of the king and thequeen (Worthen,2015).Hamlet wanted to establish during the murder part of the play, anyactions from the King that could suggest that he was indeed guilty.And just as his father had suggested, the King walked out of theperformance during the murder scene, suggesting that he was guilty.

  1. Question two

Laetesplays an important role after Hamlet was shifted forcefully toEngland by King Claudius. He plays the role of a common individualwho is wronged by the illegitimacy and immoral actions exhibited byprince Hamlet. He returned to Denmark from France only to find hisfather murdered by Hamlet and his sister crazy (Worthen,2015).The character of Laetes has been used by the author to bring intolight the actions that the reader expects from Hamlet. However, theyshare the same predicament of avenging for their fathers’ deaths.Unlike Hamlet who is seen to be consumed by reflections that delayhis revenge, Laetes has been depicted as a contrasting character thathas no time for thoughts but actions.

Inthe Angels of America, Harper has been depicted as a wife to a Mormonlawyer by the name Joe Pitt. However, they have no children and as itturns out her husband Joe, has been a closeted gay man. Harper hashad drug problems and is particularly addicted to Valium. Inaddition, she suffers from hallucinations as well as anxiety attacks.The author has used Harper to bring into light the themes of changeand forgiveness. Despite the fact that she suffers from psychologicaland drug problems, Joe has been illustrated as a character that doesnot seem to care for his wife. In fact he goes ahead and starts arelationship leaving her for another man by the name Louis Ironson,who had recently left his sick lover. The subsequent events thatfollow force Harper to move to San Francisco with an aim of startinga new life.

  1. Question three

Willybelieved in the American dream, which guaranteed him an opportunityto fulfill his dreams. That according to the author was his main flawthat saw his tragic end. He had his own plans which unfortunately didnot work out and is seen wondering what might have gone wrong. Herealized that he was already old and too worn out to follow hisdreams. In addition, he was weighted by huge financial obligationsthat completely kept him in a difficult situation of pursuing hisdreams. As a result, like many other American individuals, heprojected those dreams to his son, Biff. However, unlike his father,Biff was able to align those dreams with the existing system andnoted that the problem laid on the deceptive system. Thus, in theDeath of a Sales Man, Willy’s tragedy has been used to highlightthe plight of many ordinary people.

However,in Poetics, a tragic hero was seen as an individual who had highstatus and was noble character. This is in complete contrast to thedepiction of Willy Loman, who is an ordinary character with a moderntragedy. For this reason, according to Poetics, Willy Loman was not atragic hero. In addition, Willy does not have any position ofgreatness but only aspires to reach for his ordinary dreams. Still,his tragedies are not depicted in any noble setting, environment orworld. However, the author has tried to illustrate that a tragic herocan be an ordinary person having ordinary experiences in modernfamiliar settings. Such familiar settings have been depicted throughWilly, who is a hard working sales man, having daily commercialstruggles of supporting his family with ordinary money and healthissues.

  1. Question four

Thepremise for Angelsin Americais structured to shed light in the major themes desired by theauthor. The themes in this case are faithfulness, change and love.The author has used a protagonist characters who is mainly LouisIronson. This character has been constricted by the author to renegehis promises and responsibilities towards his sick lover, PriorWalter. Since, Louis desires for a meaningful relationship and bodyneeds, he abandons his sick lover and he’s seen to be selfish, weakand insensitive by the reader. Throughout the story, he has been seentalking with Walter as much as with Joe, his new lover. Theresistance that hits Louis is seen to be his lover’s sickness thatforces him to explore an adventurous relationship with Joe. Buttowards the end of the story, he has the desire to returning back towhere he began.

Thepremise for TheAmerica Playis centered under the themes of abandonment and broken dreams. Theauthor has used the protagonist by the name Harold Surratt, of anAfrican-American descent. The story has been constricted to fit themajor themes of abandonment and dreams as the reader is led to learnthat Surratt is haunted by memories of his past. His resemblance tothe late Abraham Lincoln, lands him a acting role in the park.However, with each mock death, the reader is led to learn thatSurratt’s desires infuriates and pains him. The main focalrelationship is with Lucy who is seen as a faithful partner. However,the pursuit of his dreams is the main resistance to establishing areal connection. He had become a struggling grave digger oftenhaunted by the desire to change.

Ichose Angels of America because that play relates to manyrelationship hurdles one has to endure. Establishing a relationshipcomes with paying a price as depicted in the story and one istherefore forced to resist personal indulgent.


Worthen,W.B. (2015). TheWadsworth Anthology of Drama Sixth Edition.London: Cengage Learning

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