His Stockings Fouled And Down-Gyved Analysis

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II.i.78-83 (Signet Classic Edition) Ophelia says the quote above to Polonius to describe her previous encounter with Hamlet, which is used to used to introduce the theme of madness in the play. Before their encounter, Hamlet was confronted by his father’s ghost telling him that he was killed by his brother and he wants Hamlet to get revenge. This revelation has deeply affected Hamlet as shown by what Ophelia says he looks like when he approached her. Hamlet had “his doublet all unbraced” and “his stockings fouled, Ungartered, and down-gyved to his ankle”. This physical imagery shows what Hamlet feels inside, distressed. Also, the word “gyved” gives the reader an imagery of shackles, which can lead the reader to believe that Hamlet is now a…show more content…
Hamlet has “not hat upon his head” which was considered very indecent during the Elizabethan period, yet Hamlet doesn't seem to care, so this hints that he might be going mad. Later Ophelia uses a simile to say that Hamlet is “as pale as his shirt” and more symbolism, “his knees [were] knocking each other”, to further illustrate that he might be very disturbed and mentally ill at that moment. Then, Ophelia sums up her claim by saying that overall he looked so “piteous in proper” which means that the overall looked very pitiful in his appearance. In the next line, Ophelia uses the Biblical allusion of hell to further dramatize to Polonius the horrible way Hamlet looked when he approached Ophelia. It is clear in this scene that Ophelia believes that Hamlet has gone mad, but whether he has actually gone mad or his feigning madness is not clear to the reader.Throughout the rest of the play, the theme of madness or feigning madness occurs frequently and each time it is very unclear to the…show more content…
Most of this quote is mostly composed of rhetorical questions Hamlet asks himself. While he is asking himself these questions, he is trying o create an identity for himself. The quote starts out with Hamlet asking himself "Am I a coward?", which shows that he is trying to define him. Then, the line switches to him trying to rely on other people to define him like when he says "who calls me a villain?". The rest of the rhetorical question show signs of self-loathing without directing pointing out the Hamlet hates himself, but by asking what others will do to him. "Breaks my pate across? Plucks off my bread and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by the nose? Gives me the lie i' th' throat? As deep as to the lungs?" all roughly translate to who will slap me across the face, who will embarrass me by ripping my bread and throwing into my face, who will pinch my nose, and who will hurt me my stabbing me in the throat to my lungs. All of these show that other people are trying to define Hamlet as bad person through their violent acts and he is not defining himself. Later on Hamlet goes on to say “'Ha, ‘swounds, I should take it, for it cannot be But I am pigeon-livered and lack gall”. This shows that Hamlet would take on all those violent acts because he is too cowardly to define himself. Despite the fact that he is too cowardly to define his existence, Hamlet acknowledges that an individual must

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