Hamlet Style Analysis

By: Vishnu, Dilan, Ronit, Dhathi

Paraphrasing (Ghost)

Oh that horrid, and spoiled traitor, using his clever words and gifts to seduce, winning over one who I had viewed as having virtues. What a let down that was, Hamlet. I had loved her with dignity, keeping by our wedding vows till death, whose behavior towards me was nowhere near as much I did for her. But like how virtue how it cannot be moved no matter what, similarly her lustful self can dwell in the heavens but will move on to garbage just as quick. Let's make this quick I sense the scent of morning air. Let me be brief, while I was sleeping in the orchard, what I always do during the afternoon, during my sleep your uncle came to kill me with poison by pouring it into my ear. The strength of the poison like quicksilver was coursing through my veins, reaching all corners and nooks of my body. I woke up with a rash all over my body that covered my entire body. That's how I was deprived of my life, my crown and my queen. Cutting me off at the middle of my sinful life. I was stripped of my chances to ever repent for my sins. Sending me off to my afterlife with all my imperfection unanswered. Oh it’s horrible, horrible, so horrible! If you call yourself a human don't stand to let the bed of Denmark be a nest of damned incest. But however you go about to take out your revenge don’t mess up your mind nor let and harm come to your mother. Let god and the guilt be the judge of your mother. Now I say good bye as it is early time from me to depart, as the morning sun has begun to rise. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. Remember me.

Paraphrasing (Claudius)

Thanks my dear lord

(Polonium exits)

The murder of my brother is a capital crime. It is a crime abhorred by God. I wish to pray...

Even though I want to pray, I can’t. My guilt is very strong as opposed to what I will do. As a result of my guilt and my wish to enjoy the merits of my actions, I don’t know what to do. Ultimately, I will not do either. Why does it matter if I killed my brother? Is there no way to get forgiveness? What purpose does salvation have if it is not meant to free us from our sins? I will now pray as prayers are to prevent future offenses and forgive the past. My crime is in the past, but what can I possibly say to be forgiven. I am still enjoying the merits of my crime: I gained the throne and a queen. How can I be forgiven if I still enjoy them? In this world, criminals use the things they stole to bribe the law, but that cannot happen in heaven. In heaven, everyone is judged equally and punished equally no matter what. So what can I do and do I have any options left? I can offer my repentance, and that’s not bad, but it won’t help. What a terrible situation am I in. I am haunted by my sins. Try to help me Angels. Kneel even though I don’t want to. My heart must let go and allow prayer. All amy end up well. (kneels and prays) I may be praying and seeking forgiveness, but I don’t mean it so I cannot be acquitted.

How does each view the same crime?

A significant similarity between the two is that they both view the crime as evil. Claudius speaks of how he is now cursed for the extents of his crime. This fact is evident in the phrase, “Oh, my offence is rank. It smells to heaven.”(Shakespeare). The ghost speaks of how Claudius betrayed him. Claudius, however, does not view the choices of Gertrude due to the crime as bad, but the ghost does. The Ghost blames Gertrude for her actions after the crime as he states “So lust, though to a radiant angel linked, Will sate itself in a celestial bed - And prey on garbage.” (Shakespeare) He accuses her of being lustful and impulsive. Differences between the two soliloquies are even further emphasized by the difference in perspective: to be more specific, one is written from the viewpoint of the murderer and the other is written from the viewpoint of the murdered.

Parallel structure

“With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts”

King Hamlet/Ghost emphasizes the twisted evil ways in which his brother has seduced his wife through his charming yet incestuous ways. This is one of the many quotes which shows that the ghost views Cladius’ crime as treasonous, so high a crime that he compares it to witchcraft, which at the time contemporary to the work was punishable by death.


“O wretched state! O bosom black as death!

O limèd soul that, struggling to be free,
Art more engaged! Help, angels. Make assay.”

Cladius is clearly seen here as regretting his actions. He emphasizes his woes through alliteration, stating how he wishes his guilt filled soul to be free, so as to live on with his life. He asks for forgiveness from the powers above him (Heaven). Knowing that asking for forgiveness would cost him his wife and kingdom, the fruits of the deed, he decides to endure the guilt he displays in the above quotation to keep his fruits, showing that he does not fully feel guilty of the crime.


“Sleeping within my orchard,

My custom always of the afternoon,

Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole

With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,

And in the porches of my ears did pour

The leperous distilment, whose effect

Holds such an enmity with blood of man

That swift as quicksilver it courses through

The natural gates and alleys of the body

And with a sudden vigor doth posset

And curd, like eager droppings into milk,

The thin and wholesome blood.”

King Hamlet/The ghost describes how the experience of realizing that the poison coursed through his veins. From the ghost’s point of view, he did nothing wrong, and was only resting peacefully within his orchard. The descriptive imagery the ghost uses helps to show how much he suffered through the ordeal of experiencing the poison's effects, helping to further his claim that The crime Cladius committed was a heinous one.

Connecting the Theme to the Devices

A recurring theme that connects the two soliloquies is that One may never be free from their sins. The ghost uses parallel structure to emphasize the connection he makes between Cladius’ actions and witchcraft. During the era contemporary to the work, witchcraft was considered a sin, for you are believed to be committing acts against nature and god himself. Cladius basically committed a sin that he can not be freed from. He realizes this when he uses alliteration to convey his guilt ridden feelings, stating that the burden he holds weighs heavily on his soul. As he does not want to give up the fruits of his labor, he can not ask forgiveness from God, showing again how Cladius will never be free of his sins. In the ghost’s description of his murder, it further pushes the theme of never being freed from your sins. The imagery the ghost uses, such as the poison coursing through his veins as fast as fortinbras taking over the Palace, shows how much pain Cladius put King Hamlet through, adding to Cladius’ guilt and to how he can never atone for his sins.