Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

When Polonius and Claudius "loose" Ophelia to Hamlet early in act 3, they set the stage with a prop which visually and verbally suggests the iconography of the Annunciation:

Read on this book,

That show of such an exercise may color

Your [loneliness]. We are oft to blame in this -

Tis too much prov'd-that with devotion's visage

And pious action we do sugar o'er

The devil himself. (3.1.44-48)1

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