Friday, January 7, 2011

Essay on Courage in Novels

Essay about Courage

"Courage is measured by an individual's willingness to continue fighting even when the likelihood of victory is small". This quote implies that characters in the literature act by how they have courage at a particular moment, without a sense of purpose, social influence or pressure from their immediate environment.

I agree with this quote because courage can have a deep impact on how a character will act without a pondering. There are several plays and novels, including "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare and "Sister Carrie" by Theodore Dreiser , illustrate the depth of courage can affect characters' action even though the chance of winning is small.

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In the drama "Romeo and Juliet", Shakespeare gives us a window into the courage of several characters. Using asides and soliloquies, the audience is able to know exactly what the characters are thinking, and often what they are feeling. Those thought and feeling courage their action. For example, we see Romeo courageously on stage several times in the tragedy, during which the audience hears of his great feeling for Juliet. Romeo's great feeling for Juliet courage himself to be not afraid of death.

It is also these soliloquies that Romeo shows the audience just how profoundly these courage impact his characterization. Throughout the play, Romeo is motivated mainly by his great love for Juliet. This strong courage is most clearly illustrated in the last scene of the play when Romeo finds Juliet "dead" (although she has only taken a poison that makes her seem that way). He is so overcome by the apparent loss of his beloved that he takes poison and kills himself. Juliet, too, does a similar thing. Awakening shortly after Romeo dies, Juliet is completely distraught at the death of her loved one that she also kills herself. Obviously, Both of these were not motivated by necessity, but by courage.

In Dreiser's novel Sister Carrie, love is also a major courage of the characters. The book very often describes the courage of its characters, especially of its protagonist, Carrie. Carrie's dominant courage is that of love, which she feels for both Drouet, the man she lives with, and Hurstwood, a friend of Drouet's for who she also has feelings.

These feelings of Carries, as well as the courages of Hurstwood, dictate the actions of both of these characters. The plot proves that courage is measured by one's feeling. Carrie's love for Drouet motivates her to move in with him, and later her feelings for Hurstwood compel her to run away with him, even though Hurstwood is a married man. Shortly before this flight, Hurstwood is motivated to steal money from his company's safe. Before he met Carrie, Hurstwood was a completely logical and calculating man. However , his newfound love for Carrie caused him to take the money, even though he never would have in normal circumstance. Both Carrie and Hurstwood's action in Sister Carrie are clearly motivated by courage, not by thought.

The drama Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and the novel Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser both support the quote "Courage is measured by an individual's willingness to continue fighting even when the likelihood of victory is small." In both these works, characters' actions are driven not by reason, but by courage. This shows us that nothing is stranger than the strength of the human courage.

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