Note to Hamlet, 4.7.166: "willow"

Act 4, Scene 7, line 166
willow: —The willow is a traditional symbol of melancholy, especially melancholy resulting from lost love or betrayed love.  See Desdemona's "Willow Song" in Othello, and Benedick's speech to Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing, Viola's speech to Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Lorenzo's reference to Dido in The Merchant of Venice.

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