Hamlet Loaded Language Analysis

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Authors often use the literary technique of metaphor to slyly illustrate a point or idea, William Shakespeare is no exception. Shakespeare conveys the metaphorical meanings behind the concepts of betrayal and death by poisoning in his play, Hamlet, by utilizing the techniques of imagery and loaded language. The speaker compares the actions of Claudius to those of a snake, and the spread of the poison throughout King Hamlet’s body to the spread of a disease within the Danish royal family. The monologue begins with the speaker accusing his brother of sinister actions. The speaker begins to form the metaphor of Claudius, the speaker’s brother, as a sort of animal. This is conveyed with the statements, “...that incestuous, that adulterate beast” (1) and “O wicked wit and gifts” (3). Since the writing of the old testament snakes have been attributed as harbingers of misfortune and cunning negativity, in the Garden of Eden a snake is the motivator for the destruction of purity in humanity, and Shakespeare makes…show more content…
Shakespeare does this in order to compare the disease of the King’s dying body to that of the incestuous marriages’ effect on the Danish royal court. In the graphic description of the King’s death suspect diction is used to represent the affects of the poison on his skin, particularly“tetter” (30) and “lazar-like” (31). “Tetter” is a word used to describe skin disease, and “lazar-like” is used to describe the spoiled stagnate nature of the lesions on the King’s skin. The marriage between Claudius and Gertrude is also describes as stagnant as the speaker says “(The marriage) Will sate itself in a celestial bed” (15). The word “sate” can be used to mean weary or unmovable not unlike the stagnation of the lesions strewn across the dying King’s

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