MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: Merica’

The movie American Sniper is based on the autobiography of the most lethal sniper in United States history, Chris Kyle. The movie describes his life story, starting with when he was just a child shooting a gun, and taking a life for his first time. It goes on to explain the reason he decided to join the military, and became a Navy SEAL. It summarizes his four tours through Iraq, and how much it affected him and his families lives and mentalities in countless ways.  One example of the way it affected Kyle was how throughout the movie you can see him developing a sort of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Chris Kyle proudly held the record of being the most lethal sniper United States history with 160 confirmed kills. He chose to leave service for the sake of his family in 2009. He chose to continue his life helping the men who fought with him by rehabilitating them. Sadly he was killed in 2013 by a fellow man in the service, A United States Marine who suffered severely from the effects of PTSD, the same disorder Kyle eventually overcame.

Hamlet and Kyle both shared certain characteristics. For example Hamlet was seeking revenge for his father with the plot to kill the murderer of his father, his uncle. Kyle was also very infuriated throughout his career watching the enemy kill his fellow men that fought beside him. He became enraged with the urge to obtain revenge from the enemy, which he did, as did Hamlet. However Hamlet and Kyle were both very different in just about all other aspects. Hamlet was a more classical person from a much earlier point in time, mainly because the story was written about 400 years ago. Kyle however was a much more modern type of person, who expressed many values or morals, such as always doing what’s right.

Ophelia and Taya Kyle, Chris’ wife, did also share very few characteristics. One main thing they had in common was the tremendous amount of concern they both had for the love of their lives.  Ophelia began to become increasingly worried about Hamlet due to his deteriorating mental state, and the way it had been affecting their relationship. Taya also began to start showing an unbelievable amount of concern toward her husband’s safety, and even his mental state. She could tell that the war was changing him, every time he would return home he seemed different, as if his mind was still there even though he wasn’t. Ophelia and Taya’s relationship to each other was rather similar to Hamlet and Chris’, they did not seem to have that many things in common with each other.

The stories have a very clear contrast between each other when you consider dialogue; however, in a way they both shared a sort of hierarchical system of dialogue. In a sense, the characters in Hamlet spoke to each other in order of rank, by always expressing respect toward anybody that was ranked higher than themselves in the kingdom. The characters in American Sniper always stuck to a hierarchical system of dialogue, in the scenes during war, because the entire military uses a system of ranks. Aside from that the dialogue in each story differs greatly. Mainly because there’s a huge difference in the time periods between each story, but also because the stories are from very different
parts of the world.

Both stories can be recognized universally for the urge to obtain revenge for something. Most people would much rather have revenge for something done to them. It may not always be the right thing, but it is human nature. This is the reason the viewers of the story can agree and respect their urge for revenge. In that way they are universal to each other. Hamlet can be considered as a better story to people that have full faith in morality, because it teaches the lesson that revenge is never the answer to anything, since it always ends up being bad for the person responsible. However I consider American Sniper to be the greatest story out of any because of the way one man can devote his entire life, by accepting to risk his life for the sake of his country.

Each story conveys tremendously valuable life lessons. These are the reasons why each story should always be remembered and told to each new generation to carry on. Hamlet should be remembered for the fact that revenge shouldn’t ever be the answer. American Sniper for the amount of dedication a person is capable of developing. With the amount of love Chris Kyle had for his country, he should always be a highlight in American history. In my opinion he deserves a place in history books.

— Jacob Batterton


9 thoughts on “MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: Merica’

  1. I disagree because its really not about revenge, Chris Kyle joined the military and became a Navy Seal Sniper and that has nothing to do with revenge like in Hamlet. “Both stories can be recognized universally for the urge to obtain revenge for something”. In American sniper, its about a man fighting for his country, and in Hamlet, its more about getting revenge for Hamlets deceased father. That is why the argument is invalid.


  2. “American Sniper” is a great biological war film . It entails of navy seal Chris Kyle who went down in history for having the most sniper kills in military history. But I don’t think it holds a candle to Shakespeare’s film “Hamlet as the greatest movie of it’s century. But if you love american history an their military you’ll most defiantly enjoy this film.


  3. I completely agree with this story. I never even thought about comparing Hamlet to American Sniper, but after reading this it makes perfect sense. Whoever says American Sniper isn’t about revenge, you probably haven’t read the book or seen the movie. Revenge isn’t the main topic in American Sniper by any means, but when you care about the men fighting next to you and one of them goes down, you develop a sense of revenge. Serving, protecting and doing the right thing are more common than revenge, but you can’t watch a “brother” die and not get a sense of revenge.


  4. I couldn’t agree more with Brent’s comment. American Sniper was defiantly about revenge. It also played a lot of drama and suspense like Hamlet. Both character’s had to have a big turn around to make them go crazy.


  5. I agree i feel like this is similar to hamlet but in the same since its not. I feel that the sniper movie had more to do with his family and his wife or girlfriend but i also feel that the revenge part did bring some similarities to both of the stories.


  6. I didn’t see the movie American Sniper but this comparison to Hamlet filled me in on what it was about and how it was. And you made a lot of good points on how the two are similar.


  7. I agree with this. I love it . everything is good with the comparison and everything was good with the grammar and I learned a good view on how it can relate to Hamlot.


  8. I did not see American sniper but from reading this I can tell that they are similar. They are both about revenge and have a lot of suspense. Both of the main characters in Hamlet and American Sniper went crazy. “Each story conveys tremendously valuable life lessons.”


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