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Hamlet Metaphor

By | May 2005
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Iterative use of vivid and detailed imagery in a piece of literature is often a way of expressing a theme or concept in a literary work. This is the case in William Shakespeare"'"s Hamlet, a revenge tragedy that continually depicts the vibrant metaphors of manifesting corruption and festering disease in order to auger the impending calamities in the state of Denmark. Throughout Shakespeare"'"s play, there are successive images of deterioration, decay and death. These images are skilfully accomplished through the use of metaphors of rotting and dead gardens. Shakespeare wonderfully creates these metaphors that add great dimension to the play of Hamlet. The garden metaphor is all throughout the play of Hamlet. This metaphor can be viewed in many different ways. Firstly it can be seen as the state that Denmark is in under Claudius"'"s rule and how he is the wrong person in power. A garden is dependent upon two things: the rule of nature and the tender care of the gardener. Claudius, being the gardener, does not tend to his garden, Denmark, adequately enough so the garden begins to decay and eventually succumbs to his poor care. Another way of interpreting the garden metaphor is to see it as a reference to the Garden of Eden and more importantly, the eventual fall of man. Denmark was once under a beautiful rule by Hamlet Sr. but then is overcome by the malignant rule of Claudius and his crooked ways. Similarly, Adam and Eve once lived in the beautiful Garden of Eden but then were exiled to the wilderness of the earth because of their crooked ways. While these are only two of many interpretations of the garden metaphor, these are very important in creating the images of sickness, decay and death in William Shakespeare"'"s Hamlet. One of the many instances in Hamlet where gardens are used to project themes of death and decay is in Act 1, Scene 2 where Hamlet says '"'"'"Tis an unweeded garden / That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature / Possess it...

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