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What is an example of a parody in 'Hamlet" by William Shakespeare?Also, what is a...

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purple123 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 27, 2009 at 8:14 PM via web

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What is an example of a parody in 'Hamlet" by William Shakespeare?

Also, what is a definition of verse?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted October 27, 2009 at 11:47 PM (Answer #1)

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The word parody is taken from the Greek parōidía, which means, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "a song sung alongside another." A complex literary device, parody's purpose is to make a comic mockery of a writer, a literary work or a school of literary thought in order to bring out the weaknesses and the out-of-date or overused "conventions" of that writer, work or school. Parody is constructed by imitating the style and manner of the writer, work or school.

[A literary convention is an accepted practice that is arbitrary (has no authoritative support) that fulfills a particular role in literature. For instance, in Romance, a convention is for the emotions of the heroine to be given liberal attention by the author.]

In Hamlet, Shakespeare parodied Christopher Marlowe's literary style in Act III, Scene ii, A Hall in the Castle. This scene is usually referred to as the players' scene: Hamlet composes as scene for a troupe of actors to perform. Marlowe's literary style is characterized by a tragic tone in which the heroes speak blank verse in highly eloquent language regarding elevated concepts. Some called it extravagant and bombastic; in other words, way too much.

To read more about parody, see the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Verse is defined as a single line of poetry. It also means poetry in general. In Hamlet, the parody of Marlowe begins with the Players as King and Queen who enter at Act II, Scene ii, verse 101 and exit at verse 177.

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