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Imagery, Symbolism and Allusion in Hamlet

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Brittany Schwende

on 24 October 2012

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Transcript of Imagery, Symbolism and Allusion in Hamlet

Imagery, Symbolism and Allusion in Hamlet




Thesis: The close study of symbolism, allusion, imagery in nature and colour, help the audience better understand the play. Imagery in Nature "...an unweeded garden/ that grows to seed; thing rank and fross in nature/ posses it merely" (I.ii.135-137) Symbolism Therefore the skull symbolizes Hamlet's realization that death is inevitable Allusion Topic of "Readiness is all"

Relates back to the psalm of Matthew 22:44
" The Lord said to my Lord, sit in the place of honour at my right hand until i humble your enemies beneath your feet Imagery in Colour " Though yet of Hamlet our deer brothers death/ The memory of green, and that is us betfitted/ To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom." - Claudius (Act1. Scene 2) "Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i'th' earth" (V, i, 191) "Why, you look now, how unworthy a thing you/make of me. You would play upon me, you seem to know my stops, you would pluck out the heart of my mystery, you would sound me from my lowest note to the organ, yet cannot you make it speak." (III,iii,365-360) Pipe and Sponge represnt how Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's 'play' Hamlet like a pipe, and soak up the information that he gives like a sponge. "O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,
A brother's murder."
(III.iii.37-39)

Refers to the slaying of Abel by Cain, his brother.
Biblical Reference: Genesis 4:10-11

"It shall to the barber's with your beard.-Prithee say on. He's for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps. Say on, come to Hecuba" (II.ii.496-497)

Relating Gertrude to the goddess Hecuba and her suffering to her husband King Priam's death. "A violent in the youth of primy nature,/ Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,/ The perfume and suppliance of a minute,/ no more" (I.ii. 7-10) "Affection! Pooh, you speak like a green girl, unsifted in such perilous circumstances. Do you believe in his 'tenders' as you call them? " Polonius( Act 1, scene 1, 101-103) Good Hamlet, cast thy night colour off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not forever with thy vailed lids Seek for thy noble father in the dust. Thou know'st tis common. All that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity. " Gertrude (Act 1, Scene 3, 68-73) Nay then, let the devil wear black, for ill have suit of sables. O heavens! Die two months ago and not forgotten yet? -Hamlet (Act 3. Scene 2 ) Questions:

1. Do you think in a play like Hamlet that allusions help you better understand what Shakespeare is trying to explain? Why?

2. Do you think the colours of scarlet, white and black represent the Hamlet, Ophelia and Claudius correctly?

3.Can you think of any more symbols?
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