Religion In Hamlet Research Paper

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HAMLET ESSAY Shakespeare uses a litany of different literary devices to convey his attitude about religion. Many times, he takes a critical position of it through characters such as Polonius and Claudius, two of the most villainous characters in the play. His antagonistic position towards religion is conveyed through the utilization of literary devices such as irony, allusion, and even morbidity that are employed through the complex personalities of the different characters. Irony plays an important role in how Shakespeare criticizes the role of religion in society by setting up different scenarios throughout the play that shine a light on its weak spots. When Ophelia is asked to help her father Polonius and the King and Queen to spy on Hamlet, Polonius gives her a prayer book to read and remarks that people read alone often like this to mask their bad deeds, and it is even implied they do it in the name of God as well. This reveals how ironic this is since Ophelia is doing exactly this to spy on Hamlet, indirectly referring to what they’re doing as a bad deed. Shakespeare uses this scenario to criticize how religion is almost always used to justify what is…show more content…
In one scene with Claudius, he admits to having murdered King Hamlet in his head, and uses allusion to reference the story of Cain and Abel. Claudius compares himself to Cain when he states that he has committed the oldest of sins. Allusions like these are used to reveal certain aspects of a character’s personality which usually turn out to be flaws. These flaws are then accentuated when the characters more clearly exhibit them. This is one of the different ways Shakespeare criticizes religion because instead of using it to reveal what is good in a person, he makes a point that it is far easier to reveal what is evil about them with
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