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Why is it fitting for the play of Hamlet to end with a fencing match? Why is it...

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justinbains132 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 6, 2009 at 8:56 AM via web

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Why is it fitting for the play of Hamlet to end with a fencing match?

Why is it fitting for the play of Hamlet to end with a fencing match?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted May 6, 2009 at 2:22 PM (Answer #2)

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Although open to interpretation, I believe the fencing match ending Hamlet serves as the ultimate irony.  Throughout the play, both Hamlet and Claudius have used "bad form" in many ways to either gain information, corner, or even kill their opponent.  The examples are endless:  Hamlet putting a fake "antic disposition on," Claudius using minions to spy on Hamlet, Hamlet using Ophelia to chide Claudius and Gertrude, Hamlet almost killing Claudius at church, Hamlet speaking rudely to his incestuous mother, etc.  Ironically, fencing is a very proper contest of skill in dueling, . . . during which the same characters use "bad form" to outwit the other.  Of course, their decisions all end in numerous deaths (of almost everyone).  Hamlet, a revenge play?  I think so!

Noelle Thompson

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jagtig | Salutatorian

Posted August 18, 2009 at 5:55 AM (Answer #3)

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The irony is that Hamlet has been unable to do a thing about his problems, except get sicker. Sound familiar? I know I get that way at times.

Then, in the course of attempting a healthy outlet, he undertakes a duel with a French adversary. Of course betrayal is the rule in this play, and Laertes steps in with a sharpened, poisoned rapier.

That's it! Between the poisoned sword and the poisoned chalice, all succumb.

Here's the link. http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_11.html#anchor214536

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