- Shakespeare, William
- 1564 - 1582: William Shakespeare's Stratford Beginnings
- 1582 - 1592: William Shakespeare's Marriage, Parenthood and Early Occupation
- 1592 - 1594: William Shakespeare's Life In London, part 1
- 1594 - 1611: William Shakespeare's Life In London, part 2
- 1594 - 1611: William Shakespeare's Life In London, part 3
- 1611 - 1616: William Shakespeare - Back to Stratford
- Walpole, Horace
- Social / political context
- Religious / philosophical context
- The Theatre
- Act I
- Act II
- Act III
- Act IV
- Act V
Another image-pattern reflecting the way in which the Danish court is full of deceit is that of entrapment:
- Early in the play (Act I scene iii) Laertes suggests to Ophelia that she could be within the range of Hamlet's seduction —
‘the shot and danger of desire'
- Polonius introduces a more specific image of bird-catching: Hamlet's words of love to her are
‘springes to catch woodcocks'
- Laertes uses the same image as he dies — he has been caught in his own trap,
‘as a woodcock to mine own springe'
- Birds were also caught by smearing a sticky ‘lime' on branches, and in Act III scene iii Claudius feels that he becomes more entangled and entrapped in sin as he tries to escape its consequences:
‘limed soul, that, struggling to be free, / Art more engaged!'
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are also caught in a trap (the letter to England) set for Hamlet, and, using the image of a bomb-maker blown up by his own hidden mine, he rejoices to find
‘the engineer hoist with his own petard'
- Although the play which the travelling players perform is originally called ‘The Murder of Gonzago', Hamlet calls it ‘The Mousetrap' — a trap by which Hamlet will
‘catch the conscience of the King'.
Hamlet » Traps
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