Expression Punctuation In Hamlet

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In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Hamlet’s father’s ghost vanishes in Act 1, with the parting words of “Remember me” (1.5.91). Hamlet responds to this utterance with the following: “O all host of heaven! O earth! What else? /And shall I couple hell? O fie! Hold, hold, my heart, / And you, my sinews, grow not instant old, / But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee? / Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat / In this distracted globe. Remember thee? / Yea, from the table of my memory/ I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records, / All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, / That youth and observation copied there, / And thy commandment all alone shall live” (1.5.92-102). By close reading the above excerpt from Hamlet, it’ll be…show more content…
The excerpt begins on an expressive note with the inclusion of questioning and exclamatory phrases, “What else? / And shall I couple hell? O fie!” (1.5.92-93). Hamlet not only asks a question to an absence, but he also replies to by himself. The unresponsiveness of memories, relate the expressive outburst from Hamlet. It shows his frustration and that frustration trailed into madness. The OED defines madness as a moment of psychosis, which is where connections with the external world are lost because of mental and emotional impairments. The mental impairment that effected Hamlet was the memory of his father. Hamlet was unable to see the other characters as he once had because the memory of his father occupied his perception. During Hamlet’s apology to Laertes, this form self-communication was also seen. Hamlet stated in the apology, “Wasn’t Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet” (5.2.179). In this instance, Hamlet asks and responses to questions from the third person perspective. This appears to be an elevated form of the earlier round of questioning and answering, which shows the progression of Hamlet’s. It is as if Hamlet realized that the answers to his questions would go unanswered by his memory, so he turns to himself for…show more content…
Although, the effect of those memories may not be to the same extreme extent as on Hamlet, purpose relies strongly on memory. In the play, Hamlet stated, “Purpose is but a slave to memory” (3.2.176). Memory drives action, which is seen in the play how the memory of Hamlet’s father and, addition to the lack of memory of the other characters, guide Hamlet’s journey into madness. Not only does the word slave enforce the idea of being under the domain of something (OED), but it also indicates a lack of control. And this may relate to why Hamlet professed his madness as the sperate entity, because he lacks the control over it. His madness is guided by what his memory and lack of memory dictates. But it could be argued that Hamlet did possessed a certain means of control over his memory. During the excerpt, Hamlet stated, “I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records” (1.5.99). This quote raises the question of which memories did Hamlet not find trivial and foolish, and worth maintaining. One notable set of memories he retained were those of Horatio. Hamlet trust remained in Horatio, and at no recognizable point did Hamlet allow the presence of his father’s memory skew that perceptions. This theme of memory speaks on the power memory must influence the way one perceives the world. And it also highlights the negative impacts of memory, and how it could blind or cloud one’s judgement of others. Hamlet willing relinquished his memories of the
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