Imagery(or motifs)in William Shakespeare's "Hamlet"
The image of decay is first used at the end of Act I to help comprehend the depression Hamlet feels in his first soliloquy about suicide. When Hamlet releases the words "O that this too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew," (I.ii, 129-130) he communicates how he wishes to not exist in this world anymore. An image of Hamlet's flesh rotting and combining with the soil is produced. At this moment, Hamlet's true emotions liberate, and his pain and his yearn for death can be felt. Hamlet continues to say "How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world! Fie on't, ah, fie, 'tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature possess it merely."(I.ii, 133-137) Here, Hamlet feels that the world around him is useless and in constant chaos. By creating these vivid images of death and decay, Shakespeare lets us peer into Hamlet's soul and recognize his real underlying motivations.
Claudius' relationship with Hamlet is harsh, for he harbors a great hatred for his nephew and even feels threatened and at risk when he is by Hamlet. Claudius says "But like the