Personal Essay Essay, Research Paper

Personal Essay on Hamlet

I remember my fourth grade year as if it were yesterday. My homeroom teacher, Mr. Anderson, would stand at

the front of the room each morning at 9:15, and wait patiently for us to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, like

clockwork, at exactly 9:17, as my class of 28 sat down, he would set up a magic trick, pretending each day that

something was going wrong during the set-up. As Mr. Anderson did this, he would often tell us a story that in

some way or another related to the magic trick he showed us. Then, as he finished the trick, he would tell us the

moral to the story.

Now a days I don’t have someone there for me constantly saying what I should or should not do. I often find

myself in situations in which I must be the one to decide if, for instance, I should go to a party or to the bars, or

stay home and concentrate on the massive amounts of homework that have piled up. It is at times like these

when Mr. Anderson’s words of advice float though my head. The one I hear Mr. Anderson saying most often

in the back of my mind is one that, until now, I always thought he created. I say this because all of the other

morals were obvious ones that, if I had not already heard, I eventually came to hear quite often. Until I actually

went through the list of quotes at the back of the play Hamlet, I automatically assumed that Mr. Anderson was a

genius. For I am taling about the line, “brevity is the soul of wit,” in which Polonius is talking to the King and


When I see “brevity is the soul of all wit,” I translate it into Mr. Anderson’s words: “Brevity is the heart of

success.” As a fourth grader, this was difficult for me to understand. I would listen to each moral, and

memorize each one with such determination, that sometimes that is all that I did: Memorize. I never really took

the time to study these quotes. Now that I am older, many times I find myself referring to these words of

wisdom with a new outlook that I truly understand them.

As I wrote my college essay, I came to understand that admissions counselors were not going to want to read

papers that were four typed pages long. I realized that it was possible to write an essay, get across my point,

and keep the paper within two typed pages. It was then that it cam to me. Mr. Anderson was trying to say that if

you do a task with all of your effort, it does not matter the length. A three page paper that answers a question is

better than a five page paper that goes on and on about nothing.

Now that I think about it, it isn’t that ironic that Mr. Anderson knew that quote. After all, english teachers are

required to take Shakespeare courses in college. What is humorous though, is that it took me eight years to

realize his moral was taken from one of the greatest play-writes of all time. From now on, whenever I think of

the quote “brevity is the soul of all wit,” not only will I think of Mr. Anderson, but of the play Hamlet as well.

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