How Does Shakespeare Use Gesture and Actions to Convey the State of Mind of the Characters?

Topics: Gertrude, Hamlet, Cognition Pages: 1 (280 words) Published: April 7, 2013
Hamlet has a vast understanding of the circle of life and how to achieve and not achieve certain goals, and he illustrates this constantly in majority of his soliloquys. However, this is contrary to his actions and gestures because he is hesitant and indecisive in his actions. Thus, Shakespeare uses diction to convey Hamlet’s state of mind rather than actions alone. For example, he uses choppy and long sentences in Hamlet’s diction and eventually as he comes to a decision and becomes more self-assured his sentences become less choppy and more solid. Also, while Hamlet’s inaction does not necessarily come out in his gestures and actions, his anger towards Claudius, Ophelia, and all of the others who betrayed him does. For example, Hamlet is angry with his mother Gertrude for quickly remarrying after the death of his father to his uncle. While conversing with his mother in her chamber, he becomes extremely violent and volatile, to the point where she has to ask him not to murder or harm her. His violent actions show his pent up anger and the chaos flooding his mind. Also, Hamlet is angry and feels betrayed by Ophelia, his former love, for being a pawn in her father’s plan. Thus, he implies that she is salacious and needs to go to a “nunnery” immediately. His roughness and harsh words clearly shows his state of mind about Ophelia. He is furious with Ophelia and wishes to discontinue any relations with her. Thus, Shakespeare utilizes gestures and actions to illustrate character’s states of mind in most cases. However, in certain scenarios, the actions or gestured carried out by character’s can be contradictory towards their thoughts.
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