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Hamlet - Essay Example

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Hamlet Act IV Scene iv Hamlet is one of the most famous tragic plays written by William Shakespeare. In the fourth scene of the fourth act, a turning point appears for Hamlet when he meets the Captain of the army of Fortinbras…
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Download file to see previous pages The will power of the Norwegians makes Hamlet guilty and he realizes that it is time for him to take a real step. Shakespeare has used monosyllabic lines as well as couplets in this scene to emphasize upon its importance and important metaphors and motifs have been employed to portray the significance that this scene brings to the play on a whole. The motifs of indecisiveness and overthinking by Hamlet have been clearly explained by Shakespeare in this scene. In this scene, Hamlet himself comes to realize of the fact that he has only been thinking and has not been able to take any practical step for the wrong deeds carried out by Claudius by not only killing his father but by also marrying his mother. Shakespeare has used this excessive thinking on the part of Hamlet to explain his inability to take any actions. The determination of the Norwegians under the ruling of Fortinbras to occupy a worthless piece of land of Poland just for their honor serves as an eye opener for Hamlet. He is surprised to see that so many soldiers are willing to fight and put their lives in danger for an insignificant portion of land just for protecting their pride and dignity. Hamlet comes to understand that he has been unable to take any proper step to avenge the murder of his father only because he has been thinking all along and he has never been practically devoted to his cause. The motif of overthinking has been used in this to denote the inability of Hamlet to take any action for the wrongs that had been done against his father when he was murdered by his own brother Claudius. Metaphors and symbols have always been an important part of Shakespeare’s plays to represent important and significant events. In this scene, the utilization of an animal as a metaphor is to describe the hopeless and miserable condition of Hamlet. Shakespeare writes, “How all occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge! What is a man, If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.” (Act IV, Scene iv, 32-35) These are the words in which Hamlet is referring to himself as an animal. The beast metaphorically describes his state where Hamlet has not been able to take sound judgments for avenging the wrong deeds that were done against his father. He compares himself to an animal that is unable to take sensible decisions and the animal does not think and only survives by sleeping and eating with no sense of responsibilities and duties. Hamlet feels self-remorse and guilt for only living like an animal without taking charge of what he needs to do. He dislikes his weakness as he thinks that he has been tied to submissiveness like an animal and has not taken a strong decision to fight against his father’s murderer. Shakespeare always uses strong literary elements in his plays and he uses these in particular to emphasize upon important events in his writings. In the fourth scene of act four of Hamlet, Shakespeare has used the poetic style of monosyllabic lines as well as couplets to make the reading of this important act interesting. Couplets are used to highlight significant talks in the play and they mostly appear towards the end of the scene. In this scene, the most important couplet also appears towards the end of the fourth scene where Hamlet says, “To hide the slain? O, from this time forth, My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!” (Act IV, Scene iv, 65-66) In these lines, Hamlet indicates that he has taken his final decision ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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