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Shakespeare and SpenserAttractive Opposites$
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J. B Lethbridge

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079627

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079627.001.0001

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Hamlet’s Debt to Spenser’s Mother Hubberds Tale: A Satire on Robert Cecil?

Hamlet’s Debt to Spenser’s Mother Hubberds Tale: A Satire on Robert Cecil?

(p.187) Hamlet’s Debt to Spenser’s Mother Hubberds Tale: A Satire on Robert Cecil?
Shakespeare and Spenser

Rachel E. Hile

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses the use of animal imagery in Hamlet and Mother Hubberds Tale. It observes that most analyses of the animal imagery in these plays focus on iconographic and symbolic meanings instead of looking at this image pattern as linking the play to the beast fable genre. The chapter then describes Mother Hubberds Tale and studies beast satire in Hamlet. It also shows that the beast fable genre is known to function in part in reaction to the perceived permeability of the limits between human and animal, and even to satirise and instruct powerful people. The chapter is futhermore concerned with an analysis of Hamlet's analogies to Mother Hubberds Tale.

Keywords:   animal imagery, iconographic meanings, symbolic meanings, beast fable genre

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