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How does SHakespeare make Act Four, Scene Three dramatic?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare make Act Three, Scene Four dramatic? Act 3 Scene 4, often referred to as 'the closet scene', is the first time we see Hamlet and Gertrude alone together and is a pivotal scene in an already fairly dramatic play. In this scene Hamlet releases his anger and frustration at his mother for the sinful deed she has committed and tries to persuade her of the evil that she has done by marrying his uncle, the murderer of his father. We can see that Gertrude is most likely unaware that her late husband was murdered when she says "As kill a King!" (line 31) although this can also show the Queen's apprehension at what may now be revealed. It is also the first time she confronts her own behaviour: "O Hamlet, speak no more. Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul; And there I see such black and grained spots As will not leave their tinct." By this point of the play, Hamlet has finally convinced himself that Claudius murdered his father, after being told by his father's wandering spirit at the very beginning of the play, and will now, supposedly, try to avenge his father's death by killing Claudius. However, by now we know Hamlet to be a man of words but no action especially seeing as in the previous scene, Hamlet talked himself out of killing Claudius when it was the perfect opportunity to do it. ...read more.

Middle

he also seems to be obsessed with his mother's and Claudius' sex life, giving possible credibility to the theory that Hamlet has incestuous feelings for his mother. He compares Claudius to his father and says that there is no chance Gertrude could have married Claudius out of love "...for at your age The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble..." so therefore only married him because she wanted Claudius for sex: "...Sense [sexual desire], sure, you have..." Shakespeare then makes Hamlet compare their bed to a sweaty pig sty and uses food imagery to suggest a gluttonous occupant, either referring to Gertrude, who has 'taken' another husband, or Claudius, who has taken his brother's wife and crown. And whilst Hamlet is berating his mother for marrying Claudius, the ghost of Hamlet's father arrives. In Elizabethan times, when Shakespeare's plays were written and first performed, ghosts were very popular among the people so the inclusion of a spirit would have made this scene quite crowd-pleasing. The excitement that would have been emanated by the audience would also contribute to the dramatic atmosphere. However, in modern times ghosts are more associated with stories of a chilling nature which contain a more mysterious feel, although the appearance of a ghost still gives a rather dramatic effect. ...read more.

Conclusion

Gertrude: "Nothing at all; yet all is that I see." Hamlet: "Nor did you nothing hear?" Gertrude: "No, nothing but ourselves." This almost has the air of a murder-mystery programme, not only because of the appearance of a ghost but also due to the fact that this snippet of conversation between Hamlet and his mother sounds very much like a questioning between investigator and suspect. Once the ghost has departed, Hamlet confesses to Gertrude that he is not really mad, only putting on a false act to trick the King, and begs his mother to see sense and not let Claudius "...tempt you again to bed; Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his mouse; And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses, Or paddling in your neck with his damned fingers, Make you to ravel all this matter out...". Gertrude is torn between betraying her new husband, whom she now has suspicious doubts about, or her son, whom she loves dearly: "O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain." The strong vocabulary and imagery used throughout this scene gives us only a partial idea of how thrilling it would be coupled with the moves performed by the actor. The violent and unprovoked act of murder by Hamlet or the heartbreak of Gertrude, dramatic just in script, would be so much more so on stage. ?? ?? ?? ?? Gabbi Shields L5O ...read more.

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