“The painting is almost the natural man…”

(Timon of Athens, I.i)
Directions: These two paintings are based on Hamlet I.iv, in which Prince Hamlet of Denmark meets the ghost of his murdered father. Discuss the following with your group members and record your responses in your notebook.
  • How do the artists use scale and focus to emphasize different traits, ideas, or items in each work?
  • Discuss the physical treatment of the human subjects in each painting – how do aspects like body language, dress, and other physical attributes alter the tone of each work?

Cruikshank (early 1800s)


Gebbie (1887)


Both pictures courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library archive