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Hamlet Reuleaux Tetrahedron Analysis

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At first glance, Man Ray’s Hamlet is an odd painting with little, if any, meaning. After analyzing the painting’s subtle nuances, the relationship to Shakespeare’s Hamlet becomes much more obvious. Man Ray’s Hamlet shows an interesting relationship between Hamlet’s persona and the Reuleaux tetrahedron, which the painter uses to reflect both a resemblance to physical elements in the play that represent abstract themes, as well as the consistency in Hamlet’s state of mind throughout the play. The Reuleaux tetrahedron resembles a human skull in the color and roundish shape and a human breast due to the object’s shape and Man Ray’s choice of pink coloring on one of the three corners, which symbolize two abstract themes present in Shakespeare’s…show more content…
While confronting his mother about her lack of compassion for his late father and how her actions have engendered him to act crazy Hamlet declares, “I essentially am not in madness, / But mad in craft” (3.2.209-210), to ensure that she knows that he has put on a superfluous persona on purpose. Hamlet is demonstrating the tetrahedron by retaining his state of mind throughout the play. The use of color by Man Ray also has a textual counterpart, Hamlet’s feelings toward Ophelia. The dark portion of the tetrahedron represents how horrible he is to Ophelia. When Ophelia claims that Hamlet seemed to love her before, Hamlet tells her, “You could have not believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stuck but we shall relish it. I loved you not” (3.1.127-129), which brakes Ophelia’s heart. The brighter portion of the tetrahedron can be attributed to Hamlet’s true feelings which he reveals after her death in Act Five by stating that he did, in fact, love her. The yellow on one corner represents Hamlet’s loneliness. Hamlet feels very alone from the early stages of the play, and one by one, those close to him leave him in their respective ways. Man Ray uses
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