Hamlet Art

Blogs like this make me resent writing blogs. Ugh. If you’ve been reading our blogs lately and wondering where the passion is, that’s the reason. I think a lot of us have given up on trying to make boring prompts not sound too poopy, unfortunately. Alas, here is some stuff about Hamlet.


PWI83505 Hamlet before the body of Polonius, 1855 (oil on canvas) by Delacroix, (Ferdinand Victor) Eugene (1798-1863) oil on canvas Musee des Beaux-Arts, Reims, France Peter Willi French, out of copyright

As you can see, this is a painting of Hamlet finding Polonius behind the curtain. This was painted by Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix in 1855 and is an oil on canvas painting. It is held in Musee des Breaux-Arts in Reims, France.

The part of the play that inspired this is in Act III Scene 4. In lines 1-25 or so, Hamlet is arguing with the queen about his behavior (and her behavior with Claudius). Polonius, who is hiding behind a curtain like a little bitc..snitch thinks that Hamlet is going to murder the queen so he screams for help. Hamlet, thinking Polonius was Claudius, stabs Polonius in line 27. It’s not until line 34 that he realizes his mistake and that is what this painting depicts.

I like that the artist used dark, rich colors to depict such a dark scene. I know this is proper for the time, but Hamlet looks like such a man-child in his tights as portrayed by this painting, which accurately represents how I feel about him. I didn’t think about this when I read the play, but I really enjoy that the artist has the queen running away in the background. That would be the logical move to make, but I guess I just imagined her sitting in there while Polonius died as her insane son murdered him.

The artist depicts the castle pretty much how I would interpret it to look–dark, royal, expensive–so that’s nice. I don’t know if this was intentional on the artist’s part, but if you look closely, the dead Polonius looks as if he has red hooves, which would signify that Polonius is the devil. I agree with the artist’s interpretation, if that was his notion. Polonius sucks tbh. So does Hamlet. Everybody sucks in this play, pretty much.

Overall, this artist accurately represented how I pictured this scene from the play in my head and he did a good job making Polonius look like he deserved it and making Hamlet look like a man-child. Good job, Fernando Victor Eugene Delacroix.






2 comments on “Hamlet Art

  1. This post was actually really funny to me! I love how you write! Truthfully, I skipped over the painting and just read what you wrote, but after you mentioned the red hooves I went back and looked at it. Your insight on Polonius being the devil was actually really interesting, and I agree that everyone sucks. I never fully understood Polonius’s character as he seemed like a good dad, then sucky dad, and then he just got made fun of by Hamlet for the rest of the play until he died. I’m not quite sure on what Shakespeare was trying to do with him, but him being like the devil makes sense to me.


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