Monday, July 4, 2011

Trap Motif in Hamlet

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“Trap Motif” in Hamlet

Hamlet, William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, is a story of murder and deceit. The “trap” is a major motif in Hamlet because it is set by various characters, it is motivated by a variety of reasons and the results are often ironic.

The first trap is set by Hamlet for the king. Hamlet is enraged by his fathers murder and is seeking vengeance. Hamlet sets a trap by persuading the actors to re-enact his fathers murder on stage. He sets this trap because he wants to be sure that Claudius is the killer; Hamlet is delighted to see Claudius’s reaction to the play.

Ah, ha! Come, some music; come, the recorders.

Buy Trap Motif in Hamlet term paper

For if the King like not the comedy, Why then,

belike, he likes it not, perdy. Come, some music.


It scares Claudius and makes him afraid of Hamlet. Hamlet is now sure that Claudius is the murderer, but Claudius is so worried that he sends Hamlet to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with an order for Hamlet to be killed.

I like him not, nor stands it safe with us to

let his madness range. Therefore prepare

you. I your commission will forthwith

dispatch, And he to England shall along

with you. (.)

The next trap Hamlet sets takes place at sea. While Hamlet is on his way to England he boards another ship during a battle and he sets a trap for Rosencratnz and Guildenstern. Hamlet leaves a letter with the Kings seal on it ordering them to be executed when they arrive in England. Hamlet does not like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern because they worked so closely with the King and were always troubling Hamlet.

Why, man, they did make love to this employment.

They are not near my conscience. Their defeat by

their own insinuation grow. ‘Tis dangerous when

the baser nature comes Between the pass and fell

incensed points of mighty opposites. (5.)

When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive in England they are executed.

The final trap is set by Claudius and Laertes. When Claudius gets word from Hamlet that he is coming back from England alone he decides to set a trap for Hamlet, at the same time, Laertes is seeking revenge on Hamlet for killing his father. Claudius and Laertes decide to poison Hamlet while Laertes and Hamlet are fighting. They put poison on the end of Laertes sword that will kill Hamlet with one cut, in addition, they decide to poison Hamlet’s glass of wine.

I’ll have prepared him a chalice for

the nonce; whereon but sipping, if he

by chance escape your venom’d stuck,

Our purpose may hold there. (4.7)

During the fight Hamlet gets the first hit. The King then tries to get Hamlet to drink the wine because he does not have faith in Laertes ability to fight but instead, the queen drinks from the poisoned glass of wine ignoring the Kings objections. The fight goes on and Laertes wounds Hamlet and in a scuffle they exchange rapiers. Hamlet then wounds Laertes and, at the same time, the Queen falls from drinking the poison. Then Laertes falls and tells Hamlet about the poison and says Claudius is to blame. Hamlet turns to Claudius and stabs him with the poisoned rapier.

The Point envenom’d too?

Then, venom, to thy work. (5.)

In the end the Queen, the King, Laertes, and Hamlet all die from the poison.

The most successful trap is the final trap set by Claudius and Laertes. The only problem with the trap is that it worked to well. Instead of just poisoning Hamlet everybody was poisoned. In the end the King got what he deserved and Hamlet had his revenge.

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