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Family: Hamlet And The Lion In Winter

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Concept: To survive families require certain familial values. All families must hold respect for each other, be loyal to each other, and support each other.

Thesis: When families hold a majority of these values the family will survive; however, when these values are absent, the family digitigrades

I. Respect within a family is important to build trust that is required in relationships.

A. In Hamlet's family, there is lack of trust and respect for each other.

1. Gertrude remarries very quickly after the death of her husband. Hamlet finds this very disrespectful to his father.

2. Hamlet constantly tests those around him to see if he can trust them. He goes as far as to test his mother because he thinks she may be conspiring against him.

3. Hamlet disrespects the woman he loves by telling her to go to a whore house.

B. Similarly to Hamlet's family, Henry II's family is absent of trust and the respect that comes along with it.

1. Henry shows disrespect to Eleanor.

a) He takes a mistress while still married.

b) He locks his wife in a dungeon.

2. Eleanor sleeps with Henry's father.

3. Henry shows lack of trust for his sons when he puts them in his dungeon.

4. The family conspires against each other, and as a result, they do not trust each other. Geoffrey takes advantage of John's foolishness

C. Unlike the other two families, the Undershaft family holds the utmost respect for each other.

1. Stephen shows the respect one would expect a child would give his mother by obeying her commands.

2. When Andrew decides that he wants to become a man and be independent, both of his parents choose to obey his desires.

3. Although they disagree with each others morals, Andrew and Barbara agree to visit each others very different work environment so they can learn more about each other.

II. Besides respect, loyalty to each other and to familial obligations is vital to a healthy family.

A. While Hamlet's family may lack respect and trust, they have amazing loyalty to each other.

1. Hamlet obeys his father and obeys his duty as son to avenge King Hamlet's death

2. King Hamlet exhibits loyalty to his duty to his wife by protecting her.

3. Gertrude attempts to save Hamlet by drinking the poison meant for him.

4. Hamlet upholds his duty to his mother by avenging her death.

B. Henry II's family shows loyalty to each other likes Hamlet's family, but also shows disloyalty.

1. They are not loyal to each other

a) Richard refuses to do as he is told by his father

b) The boys try to overthrow their father.

2. On the other hand, they show loyalty to each other at times.

a) Henry plans to give his throne to John.

b) Eleanor will do anything to make Richard king

C. The Undershaft family draws comparison to Henry II's family because they show very little loyalty to each other and to familial obligations.

1. Andrew walks out on his family and does not provide fatherly wisdom when the children are young.

2. Andrew refuses to pass on his factory to Stephen is son and rightful heir.

3. Barbara does not respect what her mother says

III. The most important value of a family is that they must provide each other support because a family is the back bone of someone life.

A. Hamlet's family is intriguing because their family falls apart because of their lack of support, but in their darkest moment they come together.

1. They do not support each other at the start.

a) King Hamlet was very rarely home because he was a fierce warrior

b) Gertrude does not help Hamlet after King Hamlet's death

2. By the end Hamlet finds support from someone who becomes his family through friendship, Horatio.

a) Horatio helps Hamlet decide that the murder of Claudius will be justified.

b) Gertrude gives support to Hamlet by not telling that she knows the murderer of King Hamlet and by not getting in bed with Claudius.

c) Hamlet gives his father support by killing Claudius.

B. Henry II's family resembles Hamlet's family in that they exhibit a lack of support throughout the book, as well as, the occasional exhibition of support.

1. No Support

a) Geoffrey often mentions how his parents never gave him any attention.

b) Richard will not supply Henry with the support that Henry's asks.

2. Support

a) Gertrude attempts to obtain the throne for Richard

b) Gertrude provides John with comfort when he is sad that he will not become king.

C. What differentiates the Undershaft family from Hamlet's family and Henry's family is that the Undershafts provide each other with perpetual support.

1. Lady Britomart raised the children by herself.

2. Andrew provides the children support in two ways:

a) He first supplies them with financial support.

b) By the end of the play, however, he provides both spiritual and financial support.

IV. The presence or absence of the familial qualities affects the outcome of each of these plays.

A. Hamlet's family lacks respect



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