In the context of the play-within-a-play, the 'Mousetrap' / Gonzago play that is, Hamlet's mention of Baptista is part of the analogy by which Claudius is likened to the 'Mousetrap' play's murderous villain.
- Costume - not applicable, since Baptista does not appear on stage. In the mind's eye we picture her as an Italian duchess.
Hamlet speaks of Baptista while sitting beside Ophelia. The name, Baptista, by the sound of it, suggests baptism, which is done by immersion in water. Ophelia will die from immersion in water. None of them has any idea of that when Hamlet speaks. The name is an "omen" that goes unheard.
Baptista has no lines.
Themes and Motifs
Those most relevant to Hamlet's mention of Baptista:
The name is ominous for Ophelia, and Scene 9 is all about putting on a show.
Baptista is never onstage. Hamlet speaks of her in Scene 9.
© 2015 Jeffrey Paul Jordan
All rights reserved. See the Copyright page for further information.