Download e-book for iPad: Hamlet by William Shakespeare by Jean R. Brooks (auth.)

By Jean R. Brooks (auth.)

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Consider Laertes' response. It indicates a young man with more facets to his character than his stock revenger pose would suggest. 300). Laertes' second role, as choric commentator to the spectacle of Ophelia's distribution of flowers, guides us to a correct interpretation. As first recipient of Ophelia's flowers, Laertes gives us a lead in accepting the emblematic meaning she offers: 'thoughts and remembrance fitted'. Assuming the emblematic significance of flowers for an Elizabethan audience, critics and directors have found problems in who receives which flowers.

Of nothing'. l). Secondly, Hamlet continues the deflation of the King's authority by dehumanising imagery, of the King as an ape chewing the 'sponges' of his tame officers, which he will squeeze dry of his delegated authority when he no longer needs them , and finally as a 'thing .. of nothing' , either as man or King. The reduction to absurdity of Hamlet's adversaries contrasts with his own growing stature. iv. ii makes us wonder what kind of conflict they will engage in when face to face. At first (1-45) the two adversaries behave predictably: Claudius keeping up a reasonable front, Hamlet throwing out barbed jests under cover of his antic disposition .

His share in corruption, mo rtality, and their threat of meaninglessness , Hamlet must accept as victim of man's common destiny before he can cleanse the kingdom of Claudius, a more active sinner than himself. The jester's skull is a well-chosen dramatic surprise. In this one stage prop, which Hamlet holds in his hand (no longer a distant onlooker), Shakespeare encapsulates the dual nature and destiny no man can escape . In life Yorick was 'a fellow of infinite jest' and now , the 'quintessence of dust'.

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