Hamlet Style Analysis

by: Mary Lou Guerva & Saima Khaja

Compare & Contrast.

King Hamlet sees the murder as a horrible crime and that his brother is a wretched beast for not only killing him but also stealing his crown and his wife. He thinks the act can only be pardoned through the act of revenge, so he entrusts Hamlet to right the wrong done unto him. He is also upset over the fact that his brother has wooed his “devoted” wife that he loved so dearly. His message to his son is that he must revenge him, to allow him to rest.

Claudius is aware of the sins he has committed and wants to repent and be forgiven, but still wants to keep all the things he reaped from murdering his brother. He admits that he is split between both sides and tries to come up of ways that would allow him to free himself of his guilt and also not damn him to hell. In a way he is more concerned about what will happen to him rather than being concerned over the gravity of the actual crime he committed. He doesn’t express grief or regret for killing his own brother, but more of a worry of how he will face judgment one day and where he will sent to.

Both are concerned with being forgiven for their sins, King Hamlet expresses his sorrow of not being able to repent for the crimes and sins he had committed during his life, and Claudius is worried if he will be forgiven for the murder of his brother.

Paraphrase: Act 1. Scene 5.

In the beginning, the Spirit talks about his brother Claudius who has betrayed him and is a seducer (he has stolen his wife) and wicked mad who is sneaky. The Spirit says that Gertrude (his former wife) has taken a step down in marrying his brother who is far less honorable and less great than him. The Spirit says that Claudius won't lover her like he did. Hamlet Senior expresses how upset he is about how lust overpowers his brother and wife and that his brother is after the wrong thing because his wife has no wife virtue. Hamlet Senior then goes on to to recount his murder. Hamlet Senior was taking his afternoon nap when his brother crept into the garden to pour poison into his ear to die. Claudius has stolen King Hamlet's life, crown, and queen in one motion. Hamlet Senior is in disdain for not being able to right his wrongs or sins before dying. Hamlet Senior's spirit then informs Hamlet that Hamlet must not let Denmark be ruled under an evil man. The Spirit tells Hamlet that however he pursues revenge to right the wrong done to him, to not involve his mother because God and guilt will affect her enough. The Spirit then says goodbye to Hamlet.

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Paraphrase: Act 3. Scene 3.

Claudius talks about how hostage of murdering his brother is such a large sin and that he is conflicted by his actions. He wants to pray but he cannot. He feels guilty and it is much stronger than his intent. He feels split between two feelings and thus cannot do anything, he then says so what to the fact that he has killed his brother. Claudius asks the heavens aka God if there is anyway he can be forgiven for what he has done. He asks if there is anything to pardon him of his sins. Claudius asks the question of the meaning of prayer. He comes to the conclusion that it is to prevent sin and forgive sin. So he decides not to pray. He asks God what kind of prayer can forgive him for the murder he has committed. He asks to be forgiven for the foul act he has done. Claudius realizes that praying cannot save him since he is still using then"rewards" he got for killing Hamlet, such as the crown, Gertrude, and his ambition. Claudius winders if he can be forgiven even if he keeps the rewards. He then talks about those who are thieves that will use the money they steal tomboy themselves out of punishment. He then says that you can buy out law, but not the law in heaven. Claudiusmsays that in Heaven, there are no ways out. You are judges simply and true. You are examined for all your faults and face the sins you have done. He then asks what he can do to redeem himself if anything can be done at all. Claudius decides that he needs to repent even though that cannot cleanse everything. Repentance can only do so much. Claudius realizes how terrible his sin is, and that he may not be able to be saved. Claudius knows his soul is damned, and he begs for help from angels to help forgive him and forgive him of his sin. He says that his words are basically meaningless and that despite the fact that he is repenting, his thoughts aren't "in it". Words without meaning behind them are never heard by Heaven.
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Figurative Language & its Meaning

- Diction: “Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults” :

-Claudius says this to describe how harsh and detailed some of our mistakes can be and it almost causes the reader to relate and almost cause sympathy.

“What a falling off was there!/ From me, whose love was of that dignity/ That it went hand in hand even with the vow/ I made to her in marriage, and to decline/ Upon a wreath whose natural gifts were poor/ To those of mine.”

-Shakespeare drags out (makes it wordy) King Hamlet’s description of his love for Gertrude and how she went to his brother to marry after his death. It evokes sympathy and really shows the despair King Hamlet feels.


- Imagery: “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. So did it mine.”

- The Spirit vividly describes the poison that Claudius has poured into King Hamlet’s ear to kill him. Readers can feel King Hamlet’s despise towards Claudius and can almost relate. This is significant because the way the Spirit’s (King Hamlet’s) POV comes first. Readers are inclined to side with Hamlet instead.


“Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens

To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy”

- Claudius is referring to weather to allude to innocence and to him asking for forgiveness after he did a vile deed. The readers feel SOME sympathy, but they are still on “Hamlet’s side.”


- Allusion : Ghost: The Bible evokes sympathy for Abe, and condemns Cain for fratricide in the same way that Shakespeare favors King Hamlet over Claudius.

Claudius: “Bow, stubborn knees, and, heart with strings of steel/Be soft as sinews of the newborn babe.” - Claudius alludes himself to Pinocchio. He lies, he’s a puppet, and refers to Pinocchio’s transformation into a boy to him being reborn again and free of sons.

- Tone: “Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,

With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts—”

- The Ghost is pretty darn salty. His tone or the tone that the author wants the spirit to convey, and it’s pretty hateful, filled with despite, hate, anger, and just negative feelings in general.