Act I Scene iii, Scene vi, Scene V
The plot so far… • Polonius gives advice to his son Laertes as he goes back to France and to his daughter Ophelia. They both tell her to stay away from Hamlet. • Hamlet sees his father’s ghost and follows it. • The ghost explains that he was killed by Claudius who wished to steal his wife and thrown. • Hamlet is convinced he must take revenge. • He makes Horatio and Marcellus swear not to tell anyone what they have seen and heard.
Themes • APPEARANCE VS. REALITY I, v, 138 “It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you.” He does not believe it is a devil sent to trick him. • THE COMPLEXITY OF HUMAN NATURE I, v, 166 – 167 “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamt of in your philosophy.” It is difficult for humans to fully comprehend the natural world. • THE COMPLEXITY OF HUMAN NATURE I, v, 184 “…and what so poor a man as Hamlet is…” Hamlet says he will do his best to keep them as friends although he may not be capable of it.
Figurative language - Puns • I, iv, 43 “Thou com’st in such a questionable shape.” He means able to take questions and strange at the same time.
Figurative language - Metaphors • Act I, iii, 5 - 8 “For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour, hold it a fashion and a toy in blood, a violet in the youth of primy nature, forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, the perfume and suppliance of a minuit, no more.” Hamlet’s affections towards you are short lived like perfume because he is youthful and unconcerned. • Act I, v, 71 – 73 “and a most instant tetter, barked about most Lazarlike with vile and loathesome crust all my smooth body.” The ghost is describing how the poison worked.
Figurative language - Personification • The state of Denmark as a living thing. Act I, iii, 20 – 21 “For on his choice depends the safety and health of this whole state.”
Motifs – That thing that enhances the theme • INCEST I, iii, 31 – 32 “Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open to his unmastered importunity.” Laertes is personally concerned with his sister’s sex life. • EAR I, v, 36 – 37 “So the whole ear of Denmark is by a forged process of my death rankly abused.” The whole country has heard a false account of the kings death.