Hamlet Allusions

1079 Words5 Pages
Jake Nevins
English foundations honors 2
Mrs. Muratori

Research paper hamlet
Hamlet is a tragedy by William Shakespeare where the main character, Hamlet,
Thesis: In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet mythological and biblical allusions informs us of Hamlet’s inevitable fall.

Throughout the play, Hamlet uses many mythological allusions to show his feelings towards other characters such as Claudius, Gertrude and the old king as well as inform us of his “fall”. After Queen Gertrude is re-married to Claudius, Hamlet shows his feelings when he compares the late King Hamlet to Claudius. Hamlet tells his mother, "So excellent a king, that was to this / Hyperion to a satyr." (Ham. I ii 139-40). This
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Hamlet uses Hecuba to exaggerate the difference between the queen in the play who is full of grief and sorrow, and Queen Gertrude who has remarried quickly and shows little to no emotion for the death of her first husband. Another example occurs during Hamlet's soliloquy when he imagines his mother, "Like Niobe, all tears" (Ham. I. ii. 151). Hamlet not only wishes his mother would mourn and take revenge, but he also implies responsibility for his father's death. In Greek mythology, Niobe boasted she had many children and as a result, the gods came down and murdered her children. Painters and sculptures have portrayed Niobe as a crying woman because of her guilt she felt knowing she caused her children to die. The fact that Hamlet uses these comparisons suggests his mother is undoubtedly responsible for his father's death. Finish and relate to thesis
Hamlet also compares himself to the demi god Hercules in Act 1 scene 2: "My father's brother- but no more like my father/ Than I to Hercules" (I, ii, 152-153). This mythological allusion is important because Hamlet is comparing himself to Hercules who is known as a strong warrior and earned a place on Mount Olympus with the gods. Hamlet is saying that his uncle is very much different than his father, like Hamlet is very much different than Hercules. Hercules is seen as a "superhero" of Greek mythology, which is a great difference of Hamlet because Hamlet is in no way seen as a "superhero" or someone to look up to. Hamlet
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