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    Theme and imagery in Hamlet Essay

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    In the story Hamlet written by William Shakespeare, the Arthur had used the theme and imagery of Nature, Religious and Sexual to illustrate his poetic sentences and to convey his ideas to his audience. His creativity and imaginative approached charmed his audience by not fully stating the ideas he wants but more to allowing his audience to interpret and understand it in their own mind. To begin with, William Shakespeare had used the theme and imagery of Nature in his story.

    First, he wrote the phrase Hamlet was saying “I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw. ” pg 72. Hamlet was in madness of his father’s death in the ‘north’ which he thought the King and the people around him in the ‘south’ did not seem to understand his madness. Also, he was telling the people in the ‘south’ that the King was a ‘hawk’ seeking prey on the weak and vulnerable (his father).

    The handsaw could also refer to the King having ‘a hand made of saws’ which he used it to kill. Secondly, Shakespeare wrote when Ophelia was drowned “there on the pendent boughs, her coronet weeds clambering to hang; an envious sliver broke, when down her weedy trophies, and herself fell in the weeping brook; her clothes spread wide. ” pg 132.

    Ophelia referred herself to the flowers and the beauty of all those flowers that she used to be. ‘Coronet weeds clambering to hang’ and ‘when down her weedy trophies’ could mean that her heart which used to be happy and full of emotions and contentment was now broken and her emotions and feelings were scattered followed by the distress and sadness she now had. The flowers and the river felt sorry for her for losing her father and she tried to drown herself.

    Thirdly, he wrote the phrase when Hamlet told Rosencrantz and Guildenstern “I will tell you why; shall my anticipation prevent your discovery and your secrecy to the king and queen, moult no feather. ” pg 69. It implied that Hamlet did not want the truth or anything that his friends would reveal to him since he himself had known the truth for certain why his friends were sent here in the first place. Next, William Shakespeare used the theme and imagery of Religious to write his story.

    First, in the phrase of the King telling Hamlet “but the great cannon to the clouds shall tell, and the king’s rouse, the heavens shall bruit again, re-speaking earthly thunder. ” pg 35. It could mean that the King is making a toast or saying something to the heaven and telling the clouds what he wanted to toast for. As the King made his toast, so will the heaven followed and made a toast back to him and the people by responding its toast by thunder. Secondly, Shakespeare wrote a phrase Laertes was saying to her beloved sister Ophelia beside her grave before she was buried “May violet spring. I tell thee (churlish priest) a ministering angel shall my sister be, when thou liest howling.

    ” pg 140. It could mean that after Laertes told the priest what he wanted his sister to be, an angel and will live her life in eternity in the another world, the priest will grant him his wished and fulfill his request. Thirdly, in the speech Hamlet said to his mother “I do repent: but Heaven hath pleas’d it so, to punish me with this, and this with me, that I must be their scourge and minister. ” pg 108. Hamlet was in the wrong and he seeks for forgiveness but he knew that he could not escape from his wrong-doing and he willingly deserved punishment from the heaven for killing a person.

    But after he killed his uncle, he thought that his uncle deserved to die even more than he himself deserved to be punished and that he had done a good deed for killing him from the heaven or in other words, he was asked by the heaven to kill his uncle. Finally, in writing his story, William Shakespeare incorporated Sexual theme and imagery into his story. First, he wrote the phrase which Hamlet is telling his mother, Gertrude “let the bloat King tempt you again in bed, pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse, and let him for a pair of reechy kisses, or paddling in your neck with his damn’d fingers, make you ravel all this matter out. ” pg 108.

    This suggested that the king was sexually active with the queen in various ways such as caressing, kissing, touching and fondling with each other’s until every nerves of the queen cried out in ecstasy. Secondly, Shakespeare wrote in the speech Hamlet was saying to his mother “let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew, and the dog will have his day. ” pg 142. The dog and Hercules were purposely said by Hamlet referring to the King.

    The king shall have the queen under his sexual command and will do whatever sexual to her until his ‘blighter’ could not hold out much longer. In the process of love-making, the queen will groan in pleasure and the king shall come, in other words, finished his job and done with and continue with the process the next day. Thirdly, Hamlet was saying to his mother “nay, but to live, in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, stew’d in corruption; honeying and making love over the nasty sty. ” pg 105. This could suggest that the king and queen have no longer living in a proper home and serving their duty.

    Their endless and desired of sexual activities were their daily motives. In return, their numerous excitement which eventually leading to ‘accumulating body matter and stuff’ after sex was seen staining and their ‘vigorously sweating process’ of love-making had also drenched the bed like a thick and creamy soup was being poured over it. The overall scene also suggested that the bed would look like a dirty pig sty. Thus, it is clearly seen from the examples above that William Shakespeare had used the theme and imagery of the three various forms: Nature, Religious and Sexual to present his ideas to his audience and also by leaving gaps and spaces for his audience to imagine, fantasize and finally, to come to a different conclusion.

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