(Hamlet) Deceit

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 27-05-19 20:23
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  • Deceit
    • Surveillance
      • 'like a mildewed ear' (Act 3, Scene 4)
        • Fungus-like imagery (obscures/ infects reality)
          • This exemplifies Claudius’ manipulation of language to persuade and distort the truth.
        • Simile refers to Claudius murdering Old Hamlet by pouring poison into his ear
        • 'draw', 'gather' + 'glean' (Act 2, Scene 2)
          • Represents Elizabethan surveillance state (predatory effect)
            • Shakespeare worked in a legal office for a short time
          • Knight: 'enmeshed by the chain of casualty'
      • 'where the truth is hid, though it were hid indeed within the centre'
        • Polonius had been advisor to Old Hamlet (represents the old state of Denmark)
          • Audience would have identified him with the rule of young & powerful Elizabeth
        • Hudson: 'wishes to do his entire duty'
    • Ophelia
      • 'weedy trophies'
        • Suggests her virginity is her only virtue, as flowers symbolise fertility
          • Ophelia's 'trophies' are corrupted by society and her means of survival destroyed
        • 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
    • Hamlet
      • 'That sucked the honey of his music vows'
        • Sensual words 'honey'/ 'music' creates an alluring effect
          • Christian belief in temptation. Ironic as women were seen as 'temptresses'
        • 'lends the tongue vows'
          • Protestant belief that the Devil arrives in disguise
            • 'speaking in tongues'
      • 'ungartered...his knees knocking'
        • Soft alliteration emphasises comedic quality to Hamlet's acting
          • Melodramatic(vibrant language) - aspect of the revenge tragedy
      • 'Though this be madness, yet there is method in't'
        • 'm' alliteration suggests the two have become muddled
          • Influenced by Thomas Kyd's 'Spanish Tragedy' (both act as if mad)
    • Religion
      • 'guilty things', 'apparition' & 'it'
        • The credibility of the ghost is in question
          • Catholic idea of purgatory (Hamlet also trapped by revenge)
            • Edmund Campion was discovered hiding in Berkshire Manor (hung, drawn & quartered)
          • Protestant audience would have been more wary (devil in disguise)
        • Swinburne: "the strong conflux of contending forces."
      • 'bow stubborn knees'
        • Command 'bow' suggests he's incapable of genuinely good behavior
          • His words are a facade because he fears Hell
          • Reference to Wittenberg = Shakespeare rejected Catholic indulgences
        • 'revenge should have no bounds'
          • Machiavellian- 'The Prince' in 1532 (one had to be 'ruthless' to be the best ruler)

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