Three biblical referennces in Hamlet Essay

One of the many biblical allusions in Hamlet include the story of Cain and Abel. Cain was the elder brother to Abel, and both were sons to Adam and Eve. The following excerpt speaks of Cain and Abel giving thanks to the lord through offerings of which God takes notice to Abel’s offerings but takes no notice to Cain’s. Cain becomes jelous due to this matter. Adam knew his wife Eve intimately, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain.

She said, “I have had a male child with the LORD’s help.

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“[28] Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land. In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the LORD. And Abel also presented [an offering][29] — some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. [30] The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering.

Cain was furious, and he was downcast. [31] 6Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you furious? And why are you downcast?

[32] 7If you do right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must master it. ” 8Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field. “[33] And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. This story is allusive to Hamlet with Cain’s jelousy towards Abel. It’s relevant that Claudius is jelous of his brother, the king previous of him, which lead to Claudius murdering him, which Cain also did, which will be further explained.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel? ” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper? ” 10Then He said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground! 11So now you are cursed [with alienation][37] from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood you have shed. 12If you work the land, it will never again give you its yield. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth. ” 13But Cain answered the Lord, “My punishment[38] is too great to bear!

14Since You are banishing me today from the soil, and I must hide myself from Your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, whoever finds me will kill me. ” 15Then the Lord replied to him, “In that case,[39] whoever kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over. “[40] And he placed a mark on Cain so that whoever found him would not kill him. 16Then Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. This is directly allusive to Hamlet when Claudius kills his brother who is Hamlets father.

Claudius is also cursed to be a restless wanderer of the earth and Hamlet who kills Claudius suffers vengeance seven times over. Claudius is cursed through being the king and through fathering Hamlet which are both restless situations. Hamlet, the killer of Claudius suffered vengeance seven times for seven who he once trusted were taken from him. Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Polonious, Ophiela, Leartes, Gertrude and his father are all killed and taken from Hamlet before his own life is taken as well.

Hamlet: O Jephthah, judge of Isreal, what a tresure hadst thou! Polonious: What a treasure had thee, my lord? Hamlet: Why, ‘One fair daughter and no more the which he loved passing well. ‘ Polonious: [Aside] Still on my daughter. Hamlet: Am I not in the right, old Jephthah? Polonious: If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter that I love passing well. Hamlet: Why, ‘As by lot, God wot,’ and then you know, ‘It came to pass, as most like it was,- the first row of the pious chanson will show you more, for look, where my abridgement comes.

Hamlet refers to Jephthah (Judges 11), who promised to God that if he was successful in battle, he would sacrafice the first person he meets on returning home, which happened to be his own daughter. Hamlet is refering to Polonious as Jephthah and his daughter, Ophiela, as the sacraficed daughter. This part also refers to forshadowing, for Ophiela dies and has her funeral upon the arriving of Hamlet.


http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Jephthah http://www. exampleessays. com/viewpaper/62510. html http://www. lotsofessays. com/viewpaper/1685623. html http://www. hamletregained. com/other_figures. html

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