Image Of Death In Hamlet

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In Hamlet, death is present at the three levels, the literal, the perceptual and the conceptual. At the literal level, the skulls are not only seen but smelt olfactory imagery in Hamlet is closely related to the theme of death. Indeed, when the king asks Hamlet about the corpse of Polonius, the sarcastic Prince answers: if you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby
(Hamlet, IV, iii, 36-38)
The king himself describes his murderous deeds as smelling to heaven. The image of rot is pervasive in the play. The play, therefore, does not address sight and hearing alone. It also presents us with odors. The odors of Hamlet vex the reader and the audience. Not only are they offensive, but also
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He exhorts Hamlet and his companions to swear from underneath the cellarage. This may be compared to Hamlet’s intervention in the mouse trap when he asks the actors to bring flowers. Both literally control (or try to control) what takes place on the stage.

Nevertheless, the Ghost’s identity remains obscure. Its theatricality dominates it. This affects its possible identities. As it identifies primarily as assuming the shape or role of a certain person, the Ghost is chiefly an actor. An actor is comparable to an image. An image accommodates difference and repetition, presence and absence and being and representation. Gilles Deleuze maintains that in the realm of representation “la difference ne cesse en effect d’etré un concept reflexif.”
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Their identities are created either through memory or through imagination. The skulls are remnants or traces of a past existence. They have two opposite layers of meaning. First, they represent death. Second, they are the traces of a past life. Indeed, the identities Hamlet gives to the skulls are of people who may or may not have lived once. Identity, therefore, is always related to life. The gravedigger tells Hamlet that Ophelia is “one that was a woman” (Hamlet, V, I, 140). Hamlet himself says that his father “was a man” (Hamlet, I, ii, 188). Gender disappears as one dies. Dead people are neither male nor female. Their gender – or more generally their identity – belongs to
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