Why Does Shakespeare Use The Word Love In Hamlet

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In William Shakespeare 's play The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark there are a variety of different characters with similar motives for their actions. Most of the characters’ motives stem from love, whether it be lust, family ties, romance, loyalty, or devotion. Hamlet, out of devotion for his father, promises to get revenge for his murder when his ghost tells Hamlet that Claudius killed him, and that he wants Hamlet to kill Claudius for revenge. Ophelia’s family ties to her father, Polonius, make her betray the love of Hamlet. Horatio’s loyalty makes him the only character that Hamlet trusts. Love in Hamlet is used to signify many different things. Shakespeare 's use and the definition of the word love in Hamlet is important to…show more content…
Shakespeare 's use of the word love in Hamlet helps to influence the meaning of the work. In the 61 times that love is used in the play it is used by many different characters such as Horatio, Claudius, Hamlet, the Ghost, Laertes, Polonius, and Ophelia. Because so many characters use the word it shows that in some way or another love affects them in the play. When Polonius uses the word love, he uses it as a thing to be feared. He tells Ophelia “This is the very ecstasy of love, Whose violent property fordoes itself ” (Shakespeare 2.1.1060). He blames Hamlet 's madness on Hamlet’s love for Ophelia. This contributes to the meaning of the work by showing that love, which leads to obligations, can be damaging to someone, for example, making sacrifices. Polonius then goes on to have his whole family destroyed because of the love that his children had for him. Claudius also uses the word love many times. In the beginning of the play Hamlet is depressed about his father’s death and Claudius tells him “And with no less nobility of love Than that which dearest father bears his son Do I impart toward you” (Shakespeare 1.2.290). Claudius wants his love for Hamlet to replace the love Hamlet had for his father. If Claudius was successful in this then Hamlet would have a new commitment to him, instead of to his murdered father. When Shakespeare has different characters’ use the word love it changes the meaning of the word, helping to show the meaning of
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