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More Hamlet - 3168 Within the play Hamlet there exists many...

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3168 Within the play Hamlet there exists many puns and phrases, which have a double meaning. Little ploys on words which tend to add a bit of entertainment to the dialogue of the play. These forked tongue phrases are used by Shakespeare to cast an insight to the characters in the play to give them more depth and substance. However, most importantly these phrases cause the reader or audience to think. They are able to show a double meaning that not all people would pick up on, which is the purpose of the comments. Little is known about Shakespeare's life, other than he was a great playwright whose works serve to meld literary casts for ages to come. This was his occupation, he wrote and directed plays to be performed. This was his sole form of income that we know of, it was his way of putting the bread on the table. If people did not like what Shakespeare wrote, then he would not earn any money. If the people didn't like what they saw, he became the starving artist. Shakespeare wrote these dialogues in such a manner as to entertain both the Nobility, as well as the peasants. The Shakespearean theater is a physical manifestation of how Shakespeare catered to more than one social class in his theatrical productions. These Shakespearean theaters have a unique construction, which had specific seats for the wealthy, and likewise, a designated separate standing section for the peasants. This definite separation of the classes is also evident in Shakespeare's writing, in as such that the nobility of the productions speak in poetic iambic pentameter, where as the peasants speak in ordinary prose. Perhaps Shakespeare incorporated these double meanings to the lines of his characters with the intent that only a select amount of his audience were meant to hear it in either its double meaning, or its true meaning. However, even when the tragic hero Hamlet's wordplay is intentional. it is not always clear as to what purpose he uses it. To confuse or to clarify? Or to control his own uncensored thoughts? The energy and turmoil of his mind brings words thronging into speech, stretching, over-turning and contorting their implications. Sometimes Hamlet has to struggle to use the simplest words repeatedly, as he tries to force meaning to flow in a single channel. To Ophelia, after he has encountered her in her loneliness, "reading on a book," he repeats five times "Get thee to a nunnery," varying the phrase very little, simply reiterating what was already said by changing "get" to "go." This well known quote, to this day cannot be deciphered in its entirety, for nunnery is a place where nuns live, yet it is also a brothel. Hamlet seems to knowingly cast a shade of confusion into the minds of the audience or is it in fact clarity within confusion. That is, the audience is able to better understand the thoughts and inner struggle of Hamlet via these conflicting terms. After Hamlet has visited his mother "all alone" in her closet and killed Polonius, after she
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2011 for the course EDS 103 taught by Professor White during the Spring '10 term at E. Kentucky.

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More Hamlet - 3168 Within the play Hamlet there exists many...

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