Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric.

The previous person to use this metaphor in this play was Laertes’s father. It is clearly a family metaphor. Both woodcock and springe appear in other plays from other characters – but only this father and son team use them together in this manner.

I imagine Polonius often cautioned Laertes not to be a woodcock and taught him how to set a springe. And here is Laertes, at the very end of his life, drawing on his father’s language and caught in his own trap.


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