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Conventions Of Shakespeare

Conventions Of Shakespeare

Conventions are commonly known as a customary feature of a literary work such as the use of a chorus in Greek tragedy or an explicit moral in a fable. They are found in stories, plays, essays, poetry, and movies. Conventions are found frequently in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, and Othello. They are also detected in D. H. Lawrence’s The Horse Dealer’s Daughter and The Rocking Horse Winner, and lastly in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House. These literary devices all grasp the same conventional concept. The use of a prop in a literary work is a perfect example of a convention—each prop is used to show a significant idea in its respective literary work.

William Shakespeare was an English playwright and poet. He was recognized in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists. In Hamlet, Shakespeare provides the first prop as letters. Ophelia proclaims, “My lord, I have remembrances of yours, That I have longed long to redeliver; I pray you, now receive them” (III.I.93-95). In this citation, Ophelia gives Hamlet the letters (“them”) of poetry he has written to her. With this action, she manages to devalue Hamlet, bring forth a feeling of worthlessness and unimportance.

Another significant prop in Hamlet is the fencing sword. Fencing was a common, competitive and recreational sport practiced in the Middle Ages. The sword was usually tipped with foil to prevent injury. In act V, Hamlet and Leartes engage in a game of fencing. Leartes deceives Hamlet and “unbates” his sword. The unbated sword is soaked in poison and the opponents bleed on both sides (V.II.271-273). This occurrence signifies the revenge each son is instilled with. Hamlet is mislead by his long-lived acquaintance. Deception and revenge brought him to his final resting place

Also in act V, Hamlet and Horatio watch two clowns while they dig a grave. While the clowns dig, they come across a skull. Hamlet pronounces, “This might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o’er reaches; one that would circumvent God, might it not?” (V.I.66-67). This skull resembled Hamlet’s jester who has passed away over 20 years ago. The skull represented the dead smell in Denmark. ...

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Category:   Shakespeare

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