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Singing appears a handful of times in Shakespeare’s renowned play, Hamlet.  The role of singing and songs in Hamlet is crucial to the affect on tone and mood.  Therefore, Shakespeare uses it sparingly and only when it is absolutely necessary to the message of the scene.  For example, after the death of Polonius, Ophelia loses her wits and begins to sing as a means of communication.  Her haunting, heart-wrenching songs create a dreamy and mysterious atmosphere which sharply contrasts with the vengeance-driven scenes of Hamlet.  Although from the surface she appears to be a pitiful lunatic, the lyrics of her songs contain a deeper message to the audience and characters.

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-Valerie

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