Hamlet and Play

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Hamlet In class Essay
Amanda Speroni

Prompt C: Show how Shakespeare’s use of imagery and/or symbolism reveals theme OR reinforces aspects of character in Hamlet.

In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Shakespeare uses symbolism to reveal many themes in the play as well as reinforcing many aspects of different characters. In Hamlet the symbolism of gardens and flowers is used to reinforce different aspects of the character of Ophelia that we wouldn’t have known without, the use of illness as a symbol contributes to the character of Hamlet. During the play we are constantly debating on if Hamlet is truly ill or not. Shakespeare also uses to symbolism of lying throughout the entire play, which demonstrates the theme of order vs. disorder.

During the play Shakespeare uses the symbolism of gardens and flowers to reinforce many different aspects of Ophelia. The biggest aspect is how her father, Polonius and brother, Laertes are constantly trying to give her advice. “I shall the effect of this good lesson keep

As watchmen to my heart; but, good my brother,
Do not as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven.”
(1, 3, 45-8)
Ophelia is telling her brother that she appreciates that he is continuously giving her advice on her own personal life and asks him to show her how to get to heaven and uses the symbolism of garden by saying it is a thorny path meaning not as easy as it seems. In reality she truly feels as if he should stop giving her advice and concentrate on taking his own. As the play continues on we see Ophelia slowly transforming. She begins to question Hamlet, and whether he is truly going mad or not.

Throughout the play we see how the symbolism truly reinforces the character of Hamlet. Continuously people question whether he is truly ill or if he is just acting that way. In the beginning we see that Hamlet is taking action once he saw the ghost of his father. “Revenge his...
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