Essay about Analysis Of Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet '

1766 Words Nov 19th, 2016 8 Pages
Hamlet’s first soliloquy is an example of Shakespeare’s motif of garden imagery and a theme of corruption in the play. In this passage, Hamlet is talking to himself after the Queen and Claudius ask why he is acting so strangely. He goes on to lament that suicide is against God’s law, then describes his life as “an unweeded garden / that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature / possess it merely” (1.2.135-137). I believe Shakespeare writes Hamlet comparing his life to a garden full of weeds in order to show his state rather than to tell it; this technique to ‘show, not tell’ is often encouraged in literature, and it seems Hamlet’s lamentation in act one prepares the reader for Hamlet’s fourth soliloquy about suicide by suggesting he is depressed. Shakespeare’s word choice also aids in suggesting Hamlet’s depression, particularly words such as ‘rank’ and ‘gross’ (line 136). According to the OED, Shakespeare has used various adjective forms of the word ‘rank’ in his plays, especially two different denotations in Hamlet (adj, A, II 8c. and III 15a.). Therefore, I find it difficult to altogether understand which denotation of ‘rank’ Shakespeare intended in this passage, but I believe one meaning can be suggested because of the context of gardens and weeds in these few lines. I understand it is a common practice in the English language to describe a noun with two adjectives that have similar meanings and/or that build on one another in detail. For example, one could…

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