MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: Ring of Fire

Shakespeare holds the title as one of the greatest storytellers of
the English Language. Hamlet stands as the pinnacle of
Shakespeare drama, braiding universal conflicts and complex
characterizations with poetic lyrics. Shakespeare’s Hamlet sets the
stage for what a superior story should be; and entering this stage in
the opening act of the 21st century, in struts the story of Johnny
Cash’s life and the struggles that he went through.

The story is called Walk the Line and it starts out when J.R
(Johnny Cash) was very young. It shows the struggles his family had
with money and the loss of his brother. As J.R grew older he sets out
to go into the army. When he comes back he gets married to Vivian
and it had 3 children with her. J.R becomes a very, very famous
singer and starts touring and becomes distant with his family. This is
when his struggles begin again. His marriage starts to go down the
drain, but he meets this wonderful woman, who also tours with him;
June Carter. He starts to fall in love with her and out of love with his
wife Vivian. Along the way, he gets hooked on drugs. He becomes
so dependent on them he eventually loses everything. He loses his
kids, and wife. June Carter comes along and saves him. She helps
him into the man that he wants to be and he proposes to her.

The major conflict in Hamlet is that his Uncle, who is now his
father, killed his real father. While the major conflict in Walk the Line is
J.R’s drug addiction. Hamlet ends up dying due to his revenge and
J.R becomes the man he wants to be and marries the love of his life.
Although the outcome of each story is different, they both go
through really hard struggles that are hard to cope with.

Hamlet is a very sarcastic person. He is a calm guy at first and
throughout the story he becomes very violent and more open. As he
is trying to cope with his struggles, it turns him into another person. He
realizes what it is doing to him, but he ignores it. On the other hand,
J.R was always a straight forward person. He said what was on his
mind, even as a young child. When J.R got hooked on drugs, he
didn’t think anything of it at first. Once he lost everything, and June
threw away all his drugs, he knew what he had become. He also
knew that it was time to change.

The antagonist in Hamlet would be Claudius. Polonius,
Fortenbra’s, and Laerte’s were with Claudius and helped him plan
Hamlet’s death. In Walk the Line, the antagonist would be the drugs.
The person supplying the drugs to J.R and Elvis introducing the drugs
to him is what made the antagonist.

A famous line in Hamlet that people would remember would
be “To be, or not to be: that is the question”. I feel like people would
remember this because they can take it personally. They can be
who they want to be, or they can choose to not be who they want
to be. Most people will remember the songs that J.R sings in the
movie. His songs are what he was most famous for.

Some people may say that Hamlet is the greatest story
performed, but I disagree. Hamlet is hard to keep up with and it is
very drawn out. The long monologues can get boring and the
audience can get off track or become lost. Walk the Line on the
other hand, is a fantastic story. It’s easy to keep up with and you
always know what is going on. You can’t really get lost in the story
because it has such good transitions from one scene to the next.
Each story are completely different and can go different ways.
Hamlet should be celebrated by continuing to use the story as a
teaching mechanism for students. It’s a great way to learn how to
understand old English. Walk the Line will always be celebrated and
remembered because of his great music. They both are legends,
and are still remembered today. And they probably always will be.

— Katie Tucker


5 thoughts on “MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: Ring of Fire

  1. I completely agree with this article. Hamlet and Walk The Line are similar because bother J.R. & Hamlet experience struggles through out the whole story. Johnny Cash will always be remembered by his music, and Hamlet by his story. Even though, the two stories had completely different outcomes, it’s a good comparison. At the end of the article, the article stated “Hamlet is hard to keep up with and it is very drawn out” – I as well, agree with his opinion. The story is good for students to acknowledge and learn old English, but it’s definitely not for entertainment; while Walk The Line on the other hand, is very entertaining and there’s never a dull moment. It’s full of life and excitement, and to see the struggles of a celebrity is always something that viewers are enticed by, especially when dealing with drugs because so many legends and “big timers” seem to face the problem of addiction. “To be or not to be; that is the question” will always be a phrase for me to remember, because of the sole purpose of the phrase, it’s a very convenient life tactic. Johnny Cash and Hamlet, will always be remembered because of their history, and live on forever.


  2. I agree with this article for many reasons. Hamlet and walk the line are similar because both experience struggles. But like the article states Hamlet can be very boring but on the other hand walk the line is entertaining. In Hamlet he doesn’t do drugs but J.r does ,


  3. I agree with this article. It is a very excellent example. I love it all the johnny Cash and the essay. You used a good one.


  4. I completly agree with you because both characters do go through a lot of struggles. They also change throught the story, both for the worst. Although R.J does realize that he has become addicted to drugs and chsnges for a better person at and Hamlet ends up dying. Either way both stories sre great.


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