Hamlet Motifs

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Hamlet Motifs by Mind Map: Hamlet Motifs

1. the bloody ending scene

2. Wheels

2.1. Lots of words that have to do with wheels: revolution, spokes, knave, whirling (for example, see link, line 3430)

3. Birth and Death

3.1. Yorik

3.1.1. 23yr old

3.2. Hamlet's Birth = Denmark takes over Norway

3.3. Hamlet's father's death is the birth of another king, Claudius

3.4. Hamlet's death is to the birth of another king in Denmark, Fortinbras

4. Dirt

4.1. water?

4.2. king's flesh in begger's belly

4.2.1. worms eat dead king fish eat worms beggers eat fish

4.3. Ophelia's dead body being burried underground

4.3.1. everyone goes back to the soil in the end.

5. Poison

5.1. leprous distillment

5.2. union/wine

5.2.1. Gertrude drinks this and dies

5.2.2. sharing food or drink = union

5.3. envenomed sword

5.3.1. Laertes reveals all the truth "King is to blame"

5.4. "O, this is the poison of deep grief" (4.5.72)

5.4.1. poison leads to death: in this case Ophelia was poisoned with grief, which led to suicide.

5.5. The poison used to kill King Hamlet

6. Silence/Voice

6.1. ear

6.1.1. poison in the ear distorts the truth

6.1.2. Ears can represent gullibility. Claudius mentions ears a couple of times when speaking in front of his people (deceit)

6.1.3. Maybe Claudius did not literally kill King Hamlet by pouring liquid into him. Shakespeare could have meant it figuratively: Claudius could have framed King Hamlet Whether Claudius really did or not, it tells about his use of authority. He poisons Demark's ears, by telling the untrue story. "So the whole ear of Denmark Is by a forged process of my death Rankly abus'd." (775) "process of my death" would be the poisoning. Ghost is talking about how Claudius is doing the same to the country.

6.2. "The rest... is silence" -Hamlet's last words

7. fate

7.1. First choices then comes fate

7.1.1. Ophelia's Death: choice

7.2. Horatio: Heaven will direct it (1.4.66)

7.2.1. Horatio foreshadows everything. He talks like a prophet.

7.3. "O cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it right!" (1.5.196-197)

7.4. "You will lose this wager, my lord." (5.2.156)

8. revenge

8.1. Hamlet to Rosencratz and Guildenstern

8.2. Hamlet to Claudius

8.3. Laertes to Hamlet

8.4. Fortinbras to King Hamlet

9. Incest

9.1. Claudius/Gertrude

9.2. Hamlet/Gertrude

9.2.1. the Oedipus complex Sigmund Freud The idea that people are motivated by sex and aggression. (Seems to include every character in the play)

9.3. Women seem to be blamed the most. Hamlet criticizes women

9.3.1. Hamlet is constantly exposed to the bad side of women (Ophelia, Gertrude) - therefore his perspective on women is not so positive. Frailty, thy name is woman

9.3.2. criticizes women for painting their faces that God gave them with makeup and lies

10. Madness

10.1. Hamlet feigns madness, but he seems to be really mad in aspects

10.1.1. insanity is triggered by Gertrude's marriage to Claudius plus the king's death

10.2. Ophelia becomes mad after Polonius's death

10.2.1. insanity triggered by Hamlet's refusal of her love

11. suicide

11.1. Ophelia Drowining

11.2. Hamlet's thoughts about suicide - "To be or not to be"

11.3. Christian's perspective regarding this issue

11.3.1. "Is she to be buried in Christian burial that willfully seeks her own salvation?" (5.1. 1-2)

11.3.2. suicide is a sin, therefore one who commits suicide does not deserve Christian burial

12. conscience

12.1. "Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king." (2.2.594)

12.1.1. "Oh, ’tis too true! How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!" (3.1.50) conscience=feeling of guilty

13. truth vs. uncertainty

13.1. Hamlet was not sure if the ghost was trully his father's spirit or a devil playing tricks on him

13.1.1. "The spirit that I have seen / May be the devil, and the devil hath power / T'assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps / Out of my weakness and my melancholy / As he is very potent with such spirits" (2.2. 587-591)

13.2. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, that are dreamt of in your philosopy

13.3. the ugly truth

13.3.1. Although Hamelt tells his mother, Gertrude, that Claudius is the murder of the previous king, she seems to continue to believe in Claudius. "As kill a king?" asks Gertrude when Hamlet tells her the truth (3.4. 31). She seems to not trust Hamlet's words.

13.4. Uncertainty of the unnatural murder -"Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder." (1.5.24)- is proven as truth.

14. violence

15. time span

16. Power

16.1. Gertrude vs Ophelia

16.1.1. Women seem to be generally powerless, but Gertrude has more power than Ophelia because she is the queen. Gertrude's death is shown and she is a more active character than Ophelia--who is passive.