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Green Healthy Lawns and Lots of Toxic Chemicals

Spring brings many things. A host of these are very desirable, especially for those of us who have been cooped up in our homes for the past several months. How many of us have feverishly wished for a favorable weather forecast so that we can plant flowers, ride bikes, walk dogs, orchestrate lawns, and listen to chirping birds? Yet, spring also brings us a medley of a different sort-a toxic soup of chemicals. Much of this soup isn’t thrust upon us from the outside; disturbingly, we choose to expose ourselves, our children, our neighbors, and our pets to these harmful chemicals. In 2013, Americans spent over $700,000,000 on pesticides (cumulatively weighing over sixty-five million pounds) for use on their lawns alone (1). One would think that properly informed humans wouldn’t make such unhealthy and selfish decisions.

Before we can change our ways, we need to consider the reasons why so many of us willingly volunteer to poison our communities each and every growing season. The reasons why we choose to spray, pour, or sift noxious chemicals on our lawns and gardens are varied and complex. Some of us have adopted a weed-free lawn as a cultural imperative. Most of the commercials advertising chemicals and chemical treatments speak of evil weeds that must be eliminated in order for a uniform lawn to be achieved. Others of us just want our roses or irises to produce spectacular blooms this summer, and, once again, we are told that pesticides are a prerequisite for this to happen. Others of us innocently assume that our government or neighborhood stores wouldn’t allow the sale of chemicals that might be harmful to us when they are used in recommended ways. And, others, most peculiarly, seem to enjoy filling up their garages with “c…

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…es to pesticides. If you choose to reduce or eliminate their usage, you have taken a major step to creating a healthier environment for your family and your neighbors, be they humans, vines, critters or fowl. May we all have a wonderful, chemical- free spring.

Works Cited

1. Bormann, F.H., D. Balmori,

Hamlet – the Irony

Hamlet – the Irony

The existence of considerable irony within the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet is a fact recognized by most literary critics. This paper will examine the play for instances of irony and their interpretation by critics.

In his essay “O’erdoing Termagant” Howard Felperin comments on Hamlet’s “ironic consciousness” of the fact that he is unable to quickly execute the command of the ghost:

Our own intuition of the creative or re-creative act that issued in the play also assumes a struggle with the literary past, but one of a more complex nature. It would seem to be Hamlet who is unable to impose successfully the model of an old play upon the intractable material of his present life, and Shakespeare who dramatizes with unfailing control the tragic conflict between his heroic effort to do so and his ironic consciousness that it cannot be done, with the inevitable by-products of hesitation and delay. (107-108)

Right at the outset of the drama, there is irony exhibited in the manner in which Shakespeare characterizes King Claudius – he is simply the perfect ruler – and yet, shortly hereafter when the ghost appears, he is revealed as a truly evil sort. George Lyman Kittredge, in his book, Five Plays of Shakespeare, describes the Bard’s excellent characterization of Claudius:

King Claudius is a superb figure – almost as great a dramatic creation as Hamlet himself. His intellectual powers are of the highest order. He is eloquent – formal when formality is appropriate (as in the speech from the throne), graciously familiar when familiarity is in place (as is his treatment of the family of Polonius), persuasive to an almost superhuman degree (as in his manipulation of the i…

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…go: Greenhaven Press, 1996.

Rose, Mark. “Reforming the Role.” Modern Critical Interpretations: Hamlet. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986.

Rosenberg, Marvin. “Laertes: An Impulsive but Earnest Young Aristocrat.” Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Masks of Hamlet. Newark, NJ: Univ. of Delaware P., 1992.

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995. No line nos.

Wright, Louis B. and Virginia A. LaMar. “Hamlet: A Man Who Thinks Before He Acts.” Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Ed. Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar. N. p.: Pocket Books, 1958.

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