Hamlet Analysis

Sujay A., Edward C., Beoung H., Logan T.

King Hamlet Act I Scene V Paraphrase

Big image

That incestuous, adulterate person, with his evil smarts and traitorous gifts, seduced my queen.

Oh Hamlet, what a difference there is between me, who meant my vows, and Claudius whose offerings were less than mine.

Virtue cannot be changed. However, a person full of lust can go from heaven to garbage.

But I think I smell the morning air.

I’ll be short. While I was sleeping in the orchard as I usually do in the afternoons, your uncle poured poison in my ear. The poison that moves through the body quickly contaminates the healthy blood, as it did mine. A skin disease instantly covered me.

My brother stole my life as I was sleeping.

I died without being blessed.

It was horrible.

Hamlet, don’t let this pass by you.

Don’t let Denmark’s king be defined by luxurious incest.

However you act, thought, don’t blame your mother. Let her go to heaven.

Bye, morning is almost here.

Goodbye. Remember me.

Claudius Act III Scene III Paraphrase

Big image

My offense is horrible.

It is cursed as a brother’s murder. I want to pray, but I can’t. My guilt is greater than my my intent. I don’t know what to do.

Does it matter if I killed my brother?

Will heaven’s greatness make up for it? Isn’t heaven supposed to show mercy?

Doesn’t praying prevent sin and ask for forgiveness? I will pray.

I’ve already committed an offense, so what do I say – Forgive me for killing my brother?

I can’t say this because I still enjoy the benefits of committing the act: I am king, and I have my queen.

Can I be forgiven and still enjoy these benefits?

In this world, most criminals use their benefits to go around the law, but this isn’t true in heaven.

Acts are seen for what they are, and we must confront them. What am I supposed to do?

I can say I regret my actions. This could help. But I don’t really regret them.

I’m in horrible condition. I’m as black as death.

Angels, help my soul escape its sins.

Bend, knees, and soften my heart. All may be well.

My words go to heaven, but my thoughts stay here.

Words that mean nothing don’t go to heaven.

Compare and Contrast: How does King Hamlet and Claudius view the same crime?

King Hamlet views Claudius’s crime as a despicable deed, seeing Claudius as an “incestuous… adulterate beast” (Shakespeare 1.5.1). The king thinks that his son needs to pursue some type of action, telling Hamlet to “bear it not” (Shakespeare 41). Claudius views his own crime as “a rank [that] smells to heaven,” similar to how King Hamlet perceives his murder (Shakespeare 3.3.2). However, Claudius doesn’t feel true regret for killing the king because he is still enjoying the fruits of his crime, [the] crown, [his] own ambition, and [the] queen” (Shakespeare 3.3.23). Additionally, when Claudius is asking for mercy from heaven, he knows he doesn’t truly mean his regrets, for [his] words fly up,” but “[his] thoughts remain below (Shakespeare 3.3.43,44). Ultimately, King Hamlet and Claudius see the crime similarly as a contemptible act. However, the difference lies within what should happen after. King Hamlet thinks Claudius should feel regret and tells Hamlet to not let the crime go unnoticed and to take action. Claudius knows he should feel regret for his wrongdoing but doesn’t because he is still benefitting from the crime.

Diction Analysis

“Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,/With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts” (Shakespeare…)

The diction in this quote alludes to Hamlet’s uncle with words such as “incestuous” and “adulterate”, which only describe him. The Ghost begins his soliloquy with this beginning to present his anger and hatred toward the sinful man who seduced the ghost’s love. Shakespeare mentions how Hamlet’s uncle uses his “witchcraft” in order to make use of his brain and as a result, he thought of “traitorous gifts” that help swoon Gertrude. This strong hatred dictates the ghost’s character and role in the play.

“Of those effects for which I did the murder: My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.”

In this section Claudius uses a specific word when talking about the crown, ambition, and queen. Claudius uses the word my before every word in the list. By using “my” Claudius is showing that he has possession over the crown, ambition, and queen. Shakespeare uses this specific diction to show that Claudius believes he is entitled to these objects and that his actions are justified. This is Claudius’s way of saying that he deserves what he has received and does not regret his actions. This feeling of entitlement is very representative of Claudius’s character and the diction of this section helps show it.

Imagery Analysis

“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”

In this section, Shakespeare uses imagery to describe how King Hamlet was murdered. The Ghost of King Hamlet descriptively explains how Claudius poured poison into his ear, and how that poison swiftly flowed through his healthy blood. Through this, the audience is able to picture this murder scene, and realize how dreadful of an act Claudius took upon his brother. Shakespeare also uses descriptive imagery to describe King Hamlet’s murder because it is a significant part of the play, as this information traumatizes Hamlet and causes him to act in irrational manners onward.

“My words go to heaven, but my thoughts stay here.”

In this section, Shakespeare uses imagery to describe the corrupt nature and meaningless prayers of Claudius. In this soliloquy, Claudius reacts to witnessing a re-enactment of how he killed his own brother. He knows that his offense is horrible and prays to the heavens about his crime, but admits that he doesn't truly mean his prayers. Claudius states that even if his prayers reach the heavens, his thoughts stay on earth because he enjoys the pleasures of his crime and knows that the heavens will ignore them. Through this, the audience is able to see the selfish and horrible nature of Claudius, as although he knows his crime is unforgivable, he doesn't want to repent and confess because he enjoys what he has gained from committing such act.

Metaphor Analysis

“So lust, though to a radiant angel linked”

In this metaphor, King Hamlet compares the Queen to an angel. This is done to show how highly King Hamlet feels about his wife. He then goes on to say that this angel will settle for garbage. This comparison to an angel is not only meant to show how great the Queen is, but also, how low Claudius is now that he is with the Queen.


Big image