Hamlet Essays & Paper Examples

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Book Report On Hamlet's Depression

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Throughout Hamlet, Shakespeare does not directly disclose his characters’ feelings. Instead, Shakespeare uses various literary devices to inform the reader of the character’s desires, feelings and emotions. Shakespeare uses literary devices such as metaphor, diction, metonymy and imagery to reveal Hamlet’s state of mind in this passage. By using these literary devices, Hamlet’s depressed and weary state of mind is easy to see. Hamlet first discusses his depression with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He describes the land of Denmark as a metaphorical “prison” in which he is confined. Hamlet believes that Denmark is “too narrow” for his mind to be free, and his ambitions are trapped within him, like a prisoner confined in a jail. Metonymy is employed when Hamlet uses the land of Denmark to represent the King. All of his current thoughts are wrapped up in the King, and he is bound to land of Denmark, unable to leave. Imagery is an important aspect in developing Hamlet’s emotions. Hamlet speaks of the earth as a “sterile promontory,” appearing to him as nothing “…but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.” Even though the earth is full of “golden fire” he sees nothing but a barren, rocky, ugly world. Hamlet’s tainted view of his surroundings depicts his innermost feelings of depression in a way, which is easy for the reader to see and understand. Hamlet’s feelings of hopelessness are exemplified with Shakespeare’s diction in this passage. Hamlet says that he has “lost all [his] mirth” and feels there is no way out. He implies this by saying that “Doomsday” is near. This foreshadows Hamlet’s course of action, whether that is his death or a part in the death of someone else. By using literary elements such as metonymy, diction, imagery and metaphor, Hamlet’s true mood is revealed. After all these literary elements are analyzed, Hamlet’s feelings can be better understood. The reader learns of Hamlet’s deep depression, with his references to prison, Doomsday and a bleak, barren world. Perhaps everything would be different in a later part of the book, as Hamlet’s emotions begin to change. Word Count: 347

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