Commentary Hamlet's "look here upon this picture" speechI have to write a commentary about this speech and say how figurative language is used to support what the main idea is which is how Hamlet...

Commentary Hamlet's "look here upon this picture" speech

I have to write a commentary about this speech and say how figurative language is used to support what the main idea is which is how Hamlet expresses his anger toward his mother by showing the juxtaposition between his noble father and inferior king Claudius?

I need help showing how language ie (alliteration, metaphors, similies,imagery, paradox, puns, personification, mood, tone,symbolism…) supports this.

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think this speech is another example of Hamlet trying to face his indecision and fear.  He is trying to find the courage to take up the sword, in the classical heroic sense, and avenge his father's death to save both his mother and his kingdom.

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Hamlet uses classical imagery to describe his father. He is like a Greek god, with "Hyperion's curls, the front of Jove himself, an eye like Mars to threaten and command, a station like the herald Mercury..." He juxtaposes this image with Claudius, who he characterizes using the image of disease. He is a "mildewed ear" (i.e. of corn) that infects his wholesome brother. By the end of his diatribe, he describes Claudius as "a murder and a villain," and "a slave" who is not worth a fraction of the former king. It is indeed one of the most powerful moments in the play, because it is when Hamlet finally confronts his mother with her sin.

vangoghfan's profile pic

vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You may want to move this over to the Literature question and answer section, where you are likely to get more detailed responses.  In the meantime, I would urge you to take a look at how this moment has been played in various films of Hamlet, such as the ones directed by Laurence Olivier, Mel Gibson, and Kenneth Branagh (to mention just a few). Clips can be found on YouTube.  My own recollection is that this is often one of the most powerful moments in many productions of the play.

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