Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What imagery is used in act three, scene one, during Hamlet's soliloquy in Shakespeare's Hamlet?

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The main subject of Hamlet's soliloquy is the futility of life in the face of so much hardship. Hamlet believes at this point that life just isn't worth all the hardship, and he would consider suicide if he wasn't also a coward about what may follow death. To convey Hamlet's sense of desperation, Shakespeare utilizes imagery as one of the literary devices in this speech.

One of the images is found near the beginning:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, (III.i.66-67)

These lines also represent a metaphor. Suffering the "slings and arrows" in life allows for the destructive imagery that is important to Hamlet at this point. Life is dangerous, and "fortune" might catch him unaware of an impending attack. The words create imagery reminiscent of battlefields.

Another relevant image is found in the next line:

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles (III.i.68)

This "sea of troubles" is a vast and seemingly impossible source of conflict. How does one count...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1,045 words.)

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