Saturday, November 12, 2016

Puns

Puns play a major role in the dialogue of the play. When Hamlet is talking to someone he often throws in a pun somewhere, that the other person will not pick up on. For example, Hamlet's first words of the play are "a little more than kin and less than kind," referring to Claudius. Here Hamlet is really saying that Claudius is "a little more than kin" because he is now technically his father and uncle. Also, Hamlet is saying that , while he is related to Claudius, he does not like him and is not like him. This is just one example of the many puns that Hamlet uses throughout the play. Hamlet's ability to craft these puns to the disregard of the other characters helps portray Hamlet as more intelligent than the others. The craftiness of the use of puns in Hamlet's speech shows how skilled and clever Shakespeare was as a writer.

3 comments:

Brooke Williamson said...

I love puns, they're fabulous. Throughout Hamlet, puns represent underlying themes central to the novel. For example, the use of "sun" symbolizing both the actual sun and son when talking about Hamlet and Cladius. The role of family, therefore, is a key component of Shakespeare's work.

Savannah Watermeier said...

It is also important to remember that Hamlet made puns about getting Ophelia pregnant to Polonius. Puns are a way of saying what you mean while saying something else. Polonius doesn't understand what Hamlet is implying, so it makes the play funny. Hamlet is basically saying that he might get Ophelia pregnant and ruin her honor, but Polonius thinks he's just talking crazy. Puns are what make Shakespeare's plays funny and is a great literature device.

Julia Scofield said...

Hamlet also uses puns to speak his mind without others noticing. He calls Polonius a "fishmongor". In this context, he is essentially calling Polonius a pimp and calling his daughter, Ophelia, a prostitute. This is just one example of puns allowing hamlet to give his words a deeper meaning and adding humor to the play.