(Hamlet) Death

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 27-05-19 13:42
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  • Death
    • Cycle of revenge
      • Hyperbole: 'fall ten times treble on that cursed head'
        • Identifies as Malcontent (like Hamlet) - cycle of grief & revenge
        • Presents a reflection of Hamlet (play acts as a mirror for Hamlet)
          • O'Toole: 'Death is the picture, not he frame'
      • 'my father's spirit'
        • Quick to accept it as his father (needs guidance)
          • Pronoun takes responsibility of father's soul
            • Protestant audience would have been more wary (devil in disguise)
        • Catholic idea of purgatory (Hamlet also trapped by revenge)
          • Swinburne: "the strong conflux of contending forces."
          • Hamlet's struggle reflects religious division (reformation & restoration)
    • Suicide
      • 'when we have shuffled off this mortal coil'
        • 'coil' creates an image of entrapment
        • sibilance of 'shuffled' creates a reluctant effect
          • Revenge tragedy often ends with the hero's death
        • Suicidal thoughts (a sin in Elizabethan times)
          • Confuses 'to die, to sleep - '
            • Shakespeare challenges Kyd's Spanish Tragedy (Hamlet wishes to escape duty)
      • 'sea of troubles'
        • Elizabeth audience would have resonated with the dangers of the ocean
          • Sir Frances led glorious escapades (paralleled with wooden ships)
        • 'There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow'
          • Biblical reference: symbol for God’s infinite control & care
          • Small bird suggests insignificance(omen of death)
          • 'providence' = God's intervention (natural order/ acceptance)
      • '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
        • 'unweeded garden'
          • References the Garden of Eden (but overgrown)
            • Bible teaches that women are subordinate and to blame for the fall of man
          • She inadvertently contributes to the corruption of society
            • Biological Determinism


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