Essay Linguistic Analysis of Hamlet

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Shakespeare's Hamlet


Hamlet was written around the year 1600 in the final years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who had been the monarch of England for more than forty years and was then in her late sixties. William Shakespeare began writing as a playwright during the 17th and 18th centuries and was considered a pioneer for what is now known as "Middle English," Some of his greatest works were his plays; one in general is the tragedy Hamlet. The play is home to many of Shakespeare's quotable quotes. In Act I, Scene II (129-158), the reader is introduced to Hamlet's first important soliloquy. Hamlet speaks these lines after enduring the unpleasant scene at the court of Claudius and Gertrude, then being asked by
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In Hamlet's first soliloquy the majority of the words used are very comprehensible for today's modern reader. Some prime examples of recognizable terminologies include; mother, heaven, earth, unprofitable, appetite, loving, woman, uncle, solid, and flesh. I found myself flummoxed by a select few of the terminologies used. One of the most used words in Middle English was the word thy. The word was used quiet frequently and as stated by the OED the word had originated from the court of King Alfred who ruled through the Early English period. The word is out of date for today's standards but has evolved into the words that or the. For another example Shakespeare writes, "Frailty, thy name is woman!" According to the OED the word frailty consists of three different definitions, the meaning by which Shakespeare was using was that of "referring to a weakness." The term frailty has become more or less obsolete in today's modern language for upon further investigation in the OED I was able to uncover that the word is related to the more modern tern of "fragile." An additional word I was baffled by was the word galled. As maintained by the OED the term galled consists of numerous meanings. From Shakespeare's perspective the word implies to having pain or swelling or how it was known throughout the middle ages as "gall." According to the OED some of the last recorded uses of the word occurred
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