(Hamlet) Corruption

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 27-05-19 10:15
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  • Corruption
    • Ophelia
      • 'If the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion - Have you a daughter?'
        • 'Carrion' could mean a crow (omen of death) or dead flesh (associates female love with death)
        • 'dead dog' suggests loyalty leads to death OR counts for nothing
        • Cutting 'c' alliteration creates a violent effect + but also suggests brevity
        • 'a breeder of sinners'
          • Hamlet believes all women have the potential for sin (children will sin)
            • Biological Determinism
          • She inadvertently contributes to the corruption of society
      • 'weedy trophies'
        • Oxymoron suggests as a highborn lady she is partially exempt from a suicide's funeral
          • Suicide was seen as a sin as your life was not your own, but belonged to God
        • Suggests her virginity is her only virtue, as flowers symbolise fertility
          • Ophelia's 'trophies' are corrupted by society and her means of survival destroyed
            • Yi-Chi Chen: 'a Narcissus-like...opportunity to recover her name of innocence'
    • Cycle
      • Hyperbole: 'fall ten times treble on that cursed head'
        • Presents a reflection of Hamlet (play acts as a mirror for Hamlet)
        • Identifies as Malcontent (like Hamlet) - cycle of grief & revenge
          • O'Toole: 'Death is the picture, not he frame'
        • 'forty thousand brothers could not...make up my sum'
          • Use of intellect to defeat opponent (aspects of the malcontent)
      • 'sick at heart'/'that I might be the organ'
        • Opportunities for direct anatomical dissection were restricted during the Renaissance
          • Shakespeare possibly disagreed with the monopoly on knowledge (totalitarian)
        • Claudius presents the 'body' of the state (leads others to corruption)
          • Time of uncertainty as Elizabeth was old and hadn't named her successor
    • Madness
      • 'Enter Ophelia distracted'/ 'distracted multitude'
        • 'Hysteria' originates from the latin 'Hyster', which means 'womb'
    • State
      • 'like a mildewed ear' (Act 3, Scene 4)
        • Simile refers to Claudius murdering Old Hamlet by pouring poison into his ear
        • Fungus-like imagery (obscures/ infects reality)
          • This exemplifies Claudius’ manipulation of language to persuade & distort the truth
            • Represents Elizabethan surveillance state (predatory effect)
        • 'draw', 'gather' + 'glean' (Act 2, Scene 2)
          • Knight: 'enmeshed by the chain of casualty'
          • Shakespeare worked in a legal office for a short time


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