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Garden and Flower Imagery in Hamlet

What theme is apparent through the use of flower and garden imagery? How?

Whitney Mgbara

on 7 September 2012

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Transcript of Garden and Flower Imagery in Hamlet

By: D.J. Mazzella, Zac Dejovine, Fessal Anwar, and Whitney Mgbara Flower and Garden Imagery Through the use of garden and flower imagery, Shakespeare creates the theme that when people with influence and power gain control by corrupt means, the innocent people around them are all affected negatively. Theme In Hamlet, Shakespeare's use of garden imagery enhances the allegorical connections between the Kingdom of Denmark and the Garden of Eden. In both stories, the ruler of the land has his power usurped by a treacherous, poison wielding individual in a garden. That "snake", then goes on to woo the female of the garden, using persuasion and deception to obtain his goals. All involved, or near, suffer, as the female inadvertently brings the male down with her, before "snake, female, and male all suffer consequence at the end. Shakespeare uses the garden imagery to enhance the allegory to the Garden of Eden Claudius, the poison wielding snake of a man, kills his brother, his king, in of all places, the garden. Using the new influence he has as the ruler of the domain, he then sways both Gertrude and Ophelia, the two most important women in Hamlets life. Ophelia, described as a violet and found dead with a garland of flowers round her neck, is much like Eve in the sense that through persuasion, she rebukes the words of her lover and inadvertently causes her own demise. Even more important, the wooing and subsequent seduction of the grieving Gertrude by the contorting Claudius is the most direct plot point analogous to Eden in the entire play. Character Relations 'Tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely." 1. 2. 135 "Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's life
Now wears his crown." (1.5.8) "Frailty, thy name is woman!" 1.2.146 Same with Eve in Eden. It takes almost no time at all for this once devoted woman to wholeheartedly commit herself to the new figurehead in her life. Amazed by her "wishiwashiness", Hamlet scorns her. "Heaven and earth,
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on, and yet, within a month—
Let me not think on't. —Frailty, thy name is woman!—"
1.2.142-146 3. 4. 14 "Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty" "And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring!"
5.1 "Where little fears grow great, great love grows there."
ACT I- S.2: line 144
"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts..."

"There's fennel for you, and columbines. - There's rue for you, and here's some for me. We may call it 'herb of grace' o' sundays. - Oh, you must wear your rue with a difference. _ There's a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died." 4. 5. 175- 184 Shakespeare is relating the growing of mental emotions to that of a garden or nature develpoing
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