Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hanann's Annotated Bibliography (1)

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There is plenty of imagery in Shakespeare’s works, specifically the imagery of ears in Hamlet and eyes in Lear. Ears are an iterative theme in Hamlet, as are eyes in Lear. Why have Claudius pour poison into the King’s ear, rather than his mouth? Why are there so many references to sight in King Lear? I believe the ears are a metaphor for how words can poison the mind. The ghost speaks to Hamlet and Hamlet changes into a man consumed with revenge. My working thesis is something along the lines of “Ears and eyes are metaphors that when mentioned, cue the reader of the overarching themes in Shakespeare’s plays.” My working title is “Ears and Eyes in Shakespeare: How Iterative Imagery reveals Character and Theme.”

Scholarly Sources

Spurgeon, Caroline. “Shakespeare’s Imagery and What it Tells Us.” New York: University Press. 2005. Print.

Discusses the iterative imagery in Shakespeare’s works and how it is used as a symbol. This book takes a more personal look at Shakespeare himself, which I think will help me interrupted by certain themes matter to him.

Tibor, Fabiny. The Ear as a Metaphor: Aural Imagery in Shakespeare’s Great Tragedies.” Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies. 2005. Web. 15 November 2016.

Compares how both Coredleia and Hamlet “see” clearly and try to use sight or reason to help Lear and Gertrude see also. Interesting perspective on the metaphor between seeing and eyes.

Berry, Patricia. “Hamlet’s Poisoned Ear.” Psychoanalytic Interpretation. 1982. Web. 15 November, 2016.

Argues that Hamlet psychological changed after conversing with the ghost and how the ear symbolism applies to Hamlet. Backs up my tentative thesis.

RB, Pierce. “I Stumbled When I Saw: Interpreting Gloucester’s Blindness in King Lear.” Philosophy and Literature. 2005. Web. 15 November 2016.

Draws attention to Gloucester’s blindness being a representation of true sight and understanding, a theme of King Lear.


Hamlet. Zeffirelli, France. Perf. Mel Gibson. Warner Bros. 1990. Film.

Powerful adaptation of Hamlet. Has continual references to listening and how this changes characters’ perceptions of their surroundings.

Hamlet. Turner, Lyndsey. Pref. Benedict Cumberbatch. Sonia Friedman Productions. 2015. Play. 


  1. Hanann, this is a really interesting topic. I wonder how the two ideas relate. You mentioned what you analyze ears to symbolize. What do you think eyes symbolize in the plays, or more specifically, in King Lear? Are you going to connect these ideas across plays, or compare/contrast how eyes in King Lear are used to how ears are used in Hamlet? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Emphasis on the H[EAR] ;) ........ sorry