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

Rachel E. Hile

in Shakespeare and Spenser

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780719079627
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701058 | DOI:
Hamlet’s Debt to Spenser’s Mother Hubberds Tale: A Satire on Robert Cecil?

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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

Chapter.  6627 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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