Nathan Scheid Mrs. Magel College Prep Hr. 1 15 Mar 2013 Foreshadowing in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Foreshadowing is a reoccurring literary device throughout almost all literature, including Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Shakespeare is known to use foreshadowing within many of his most famous works. In Hamlet there are many examples of foreshadowing. Shakespeare begins early in the play when Horatio and Marcellus first see the ghost, then again when Hamlet says a Dream is like a shadow, and once more when Hamlet says his famous speech about suicide. These are only a few examples that help the reader or viewer realize there will be much tragedy later on in the plat. Multiple characters foresee chaos and tragedy from the beginning of Hamlet. After the ghost has materialized in front of Horatio he says, “In what particular thought to work I know not; But in the gross and scope of my opinion, This bodes some strange eruption to our state” (Shakespeare I.i.80-82). His instinct told him that the king’s apparition was a sign of something wrong. We see such foreshadowing again at the end of act one, after Hamlet and the ghost had left, Marcellus says, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (Shakespeare I.v.99). He is expressing that he feels as if something horrible will happen. Both of these statements were made before they had been promised to keep the Kings ghost and hamlets craziness a secret. We can assume that they knew nothing of Hamlets plotting to kill Claudius and the potential
consequences. With these hints, and a few more through act I and II, we can deduce that there will be great tragedies in Denmark. These tragedies begin with the madness of Hamlet. After noticing his change in moods Claudius sends two of hamlets close friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to discover the cause of his craziness. In a conversation with Rosencrantz they talk about how Hamlet feels trapped. Rosencrantz tries to cheer him up by saying that dreams are what create ambitions and he...
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