Themes In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a tragedy that revolves around three central themes. These themes are death, betrayal, and revenge. In order to both advance the plot and produce character motivations, Shakespeare uses a plethora of literary devices; including foreshadowing, imagery, symbolism, and indirect characterization. These devices have the additional effect of conveying a sense of suspense and danger, while also offering psychological insight into the characters’ minds. One of the most widely used literary devices in Hamlet is foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is shown early in the play and gives clues as to what will happen later on. During King Claudius’ speech in Act 1, Hamlet is shown to be brooding over the death of his father, something that Claudius disapproves of. Hamlet also laments “that the Everlasting had not fixed his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter!”(Hamlet.i.ii.131-132). This shows that…show more content…
For example, in his first soliloquy, Hamlet refers to the kingdom as “an unweeded garden That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature” (Hamlet.i.ii.135-136). Hamlet also compares himself and others to figures from Greek mythology. “So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr”(Hamlet.i.ii.139-140). Here he compares his father to Hyperion (the handsome sun god), while comparing Claudius to a satyr (a goatlike, lustful mythological creature). He also compares his mother as Niobe, a woman from Greek legend who wept endlessly after her children were killed. Shakespeare uses imagery to great effect when Horatio is describing the ghost to Hamlet. Horatio describes the appearance of the ghost in great detail, including the expression on his face and the color of his beard. This vivid description is enough to convince Hamlet that the ghost is real and that he must speak with it, ultimately leading him down a path of revenge against his father’s

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