This academic paper titled More Hamlet has a total of 3175 words and 12 pages.
Word Count: 3168
Within the play Hamlet there exists many puns and phrases, which have a
double meaning. Little ploys on words which tend to add a bit of
entertainment to the dialogue of the play. These forked tongue phrases are
used by Shakespeare to cast an insight to the characters in the play to give
them more depth and substance. However, most importantly these phrases cause
the reader or audience to think. They are able to show a double meaning that
not all people would pick up on, which is the purpose of the comments.
Little is known about Shakespeare\'s life, other than he was a great
playwright whose works serve to meld literary casts for ages to come. This
was his occupation, he wrote and directed plays to be performed. This was his
sole form of income that we know of, it was his way of putting the bread on
the table. If people did not like what Shakespeare wrote, then he would not
earn any money. If the people didn\'t like what they saw, he became the
starving artist. Shakespeare wrote these dialogues in such a manner as to
entertain both the Nobility, as well as the peasants.
The Shakespearean theater is a physical manifestation of how Shakespeare
catered to more than one social class in his theatrical productions. These
Shakespearean theaters have a unique construction, which had specific seats
for the wealthy, and likewise, a designated separate standing section for the
peasants. This definite separation of the classes is also evident in
Shakespeare\'s writing, in as such that the nobility of the productions speak
in poetic iambic pentameter, where as the peasants speak in ordinary prose.
Perhaps Shakespeare incorporated these double meanings to the lines of his
characters with the intent that only a select amount of his audience were
meant to hear it in either its double meaning, or its true meaning.
However, even when the tragic hero Hamlet\'s wordplay is intentional.
it is not always clear as to what purpose he uses it. To confuse or to
clarify? Or to control his own uncensored thoughts? The energy and turmoil of
his mind brings words thronging into speech, stretching, over-turning and
contorting their implications. Sometimes Hamlet has to struggle to use the
simplest words repeatedly, as he tries to force meaning to flow in a single
channel. To Ophelia, after he has encountered her in her loneliness, "reading
on a book," he repeats five times "Get thee to a nunnery," varying the phrase
very little, simply reiterating what was already said by changing "get" to
"go." This well known quote, to this day cannot be deciphered in its
entirety, for nunnery is a place where nuns live, yet it is also a brothel.
Hamlet seems to knowingly cast a shade of confusion into the minds of the
audience or is it in fact clarity within confusion. That is, the audience is
able to better understand the thoughts and inner struggle of Hamlet via these
After Hamlet has visited his mother "all alone" in her closet and killed
Polonius, after she has begged him to "speak no more", and after his father\'s
ghost has reappeared, Hamlet repeats "Good night" five times, with still
fewer changes in the phrase than "Get thee to a nunnery" and those among
accompanying words only. So Hamlet seems to be struggling to contain his
thoughts even by use of these simple words, rather than enforcing a single
and simple message as a first reading of the text might suggest; and the
words come to bear deeper, more ironic or more blatant meanings. It is from
these phrases, which even manage to confuse the complex mind of Hamlet that
we begin to get a glimpse into the intentions of Hamlets mind, and seeing
just exactly the way he ticks.
Much of the dramatic action of this tragedy is within the head of
Hamlet, and wordplay represents the amazing, contradictory, unsettled,
mocking nature of that mind, as it is torn by disappointment and positive
love, as Hamlet seeks both acceptance and punishment, action and stillness,
and wishes for consummation and annihilation within a world he perceives to
be against him. He can be abruptly silent or vicious; he is capable of wild