Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Where Luke Bryan and Hamlet Collide

After seeing the title of my post, you are probably wondering what I am talking about. First off, you probably have never heard of Luke Bryan or Hamlet. Second off, you probably don't understand how they are even remotely alike. But surprisingly enough, they are alike. At least in my mind.

Last Wednesday, the Country Music Awards aired and presented the faces of country music with awards to honor their contributions to the art. Many vocalists were asked to perform on this special night. On this night, Luke Bryan commemorated his siblings that passed away with his song "Drink a Beer." (The references to alcohol in his song are no worse than the references to wine in mythology books which we read in class).

I had heard this song probably a hundred times before because I have his album and I love that song. But until last Wednesday, I hadn't HEARD it before. The lyrics were brought to the foreground with his emotions bringing their true meaning forward. It was beautiful and sad and touching and I couldn't help but tear up. Like had lost both of his siblings and had found a venue where his love for them could be shared and remembered. His love for them lives on through the melodies that escape his heart. 

Hamlet also lost someone he loved; his father, the king of Denmark. After Claudius had married Hamlet's mother, Hamlet was obviously upset. His father's body wasn't even cold and the wedding bells had already rang. No wonder Hamlet was a moody man at the opening of the play! Hamlet was unable to grieve his father before he was replaced by his uncle. Claudius then went on to insult the poor boy when he was already down and hurt. 

I promise Luke and Hamlet have more in common than a death in their family. I'm getting there.

Luke and Hamlet both have a ledge where they go. In Luke's case, he is sitting in the edge of a pier drinking a beer, according to the lyrics. He doesn't know what else to do with himself after learning the catastrophic news, so he walks and finds himself at the edge of a pier. On his pier, he can reminisce, curse, and pray while trying to comprehend what has just happened to him. Hamlet finds himself on the edge of the castle walls with Horatio. There he finds a ghost of his deceased father. Luke found his brother at the pier while Hamlet found his father on a wall that overlooks the water. They are both able to communicate their feelings and are able to get a grasp on their lives in some way. Even though Hamlet plots revenge after meeting with his father's ghost, he found a way to cope with what is happening in his life like Luke does in his song.

I have not lost a loved one in my lifetime, so I cannot understand the pain that either of them are going through. I do know that everyone has their own way of handling death. Grieving is unique to the person. Whether it be watching the sun set or plotting revenge, it helps to overcome the loss that you have experienced. Hamlet and Luke both experienced tragic losses and are worlds apart, but they both felt a deep pang that drove them to looking out to the ocean'a horizon.

So if you are ever needing a bizarre pairing, think about Luke and Hamlet. It can surprise you how much they are alike in certain lights. Then again, I haven't finished Hamlet. So maybe they aren't alike in the end. But you can say that Hamlet and Luke share some similarities that would surprise you. Today, Hamlet, Luke Bryan, and I shared a pier. What did you see on your pier?

1 comment:

  1. This has to be one of the most unique pairings I've seen! I love how you compared a country icon to a literature icon. You made some interesting connections that I never would have thought of. I especially love how in the end, you tied everything together with the theme of your blog. Thank you for giving me a new perspective on Hamlet.