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Literary Devices in Hamlet

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ashley m

on 27 November 2014

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Transcript of Literary Devices in Hamlet

Literary Devices in Hamlet

Introduction
Shakespeare often uses literary devices throughout his plays in order to further develop the plays overall theme and message
A literary device is a technique/method that an author uses in order to convey or develop the message of the novel, play, ect
An author can use literary devices in order to express a particular message without directly saying what they want to say
Examples of literary devices include: soliloquies, metaphors, similes, irony, asides, foreshadowing, alliteration, ect
"Images can be literal or figurative. Literal images use sensory language to describe an actual thing. In the broadest terms, figurative language uses one thing to speak about something else." (Heims, Neil)
Soliloquy
A soliloquy is a long, often repetitive passage spoken by a single character.
Commonly seen in Hamlet. Allows Hamlet to reveal his inner feelings, thoughts and emotions, giving the audience a better understanding of his character and what he is thinking
Often during Hamlet's soliloquies he reflects on the meaning of life and his plans to kill Claudius or his desire for revenge
A literary device/technique used to hint at or indicate a future event
Shakespeare often foreshadowed Claudius's death
He often indicated that evil things were to happen in Denmark which foreshadowed Hamlet's revenge
Allows the audience to know or prepare for events that were yet to come (ie.death of Claudius, Hamlet)
Conclusion
Literary devices allow for a better understanding and development of Hamlet's overall desire to seek vengeance for his father's death
Shakespeare's use of literary devices such as soliloquies, foreshadowing, irony and asides all help to uncover and develop the theme of revenge throughout the play
Agenda
Introduction
Thesis
First device
Second device
Third device
Fourth device
Class Involvement
Conclusion
Thesis
Throughout the play, it is evident that Hamlet is able to reveal his inner thoughts and feelings through literary devices such as soliloquies, foreshadowing, irony and asides which further develop the theme of revenge and Hamlet's constant desire to gain vengeance for his father.
Examples of Foreshadowing
The appearance of King Hamlet's ghost
showed the audience Hamlet's rage/anger and foreshadowed his revenge
Set up the whole play and the uncovered the theme of revenge
"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." (Act 1, scene 5)
Makes the audience think that someone is going to die or be killed. Creates an evil/mysterious mood and atmosphere
Irony
using language to convey a message that is opposite from the literal meaning of what the author is saying
Example of dramatic irony- Hamlet inserting lines in the play that reflect the murder of King Hamlet
something the audience knows but some characters do not (Claudius, Gertude)
Hamlet desires to seek revenge and once he finds out Claudius is guilty he automatically begins planning his murder
Ex of situational irony- Hamlet switching the letter to the king of England saying to kill Guildenstern and Rosencratz. Determined to seek revenge for their dishonesty. Shows his madness and insanity.
Example of situational irony- switching of the swords between Hamlet and Laertes during their duel
In the end, Laertes and Hamlet both got the revenge they wanted. Hamlet realizes that he does not have much time left to seek honor and vengeance for his father so he stabs Claudius before he dies
By: Ashley Magnone
Examples of Soliloquies
How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event,
A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward; I do not know
Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do'
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do it.
Examples, gross as earth, exhort me:
Witness this army, of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince.
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puffed,
Makes mouths at the invisible event.
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour's at the stake.
How stand I, then,
That have a father killed, a mother stained,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep?
While, to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame,
Go to their graves like beds — fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain?
O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
And ever three parts coward; I do not know
Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do'
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do it.
How stand I, then,
That have a father killed, a mother stained,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep?
Foreshadowing
Aside
dialogue spoken by a character that is only intended for the audience to hear not the other characters
Shakespeare uses asides in Hamlet in order to allow the characters to reveal thoughts/feelings that they do not want other characters to know
As the play progresses, Hamlet's asides become focused on his revenge and anger towards Claudius. They often show his dedication and commitment to seek revenge for his father.
"And now I'll do't: and so he goes to heaven: and so am I revenged. That would be scann'd." (III.III)
More he prolongs his revenge the less interested he is and the more weak/cowardly he feels. Wants to get the perfect revenge that will make him feel accomplished
Secondary Source
"Soliloquy, the speech by a character in a literary composition, usually a play, delivered while the speaker is either alone addressing the audience directly or the other actors are silent. It is most commonly used to reveal the innermost concerns or thoughts of the speaker
The form was quite popular in Elizabethan drama, notably in the plays of Shakespeare." (Arter, Nick)
What literary device is being used? what do we learn about Hamlet? what does he really mean?
"A little more than kin, and less than kind."
the graveyard scene
""To be or not to be.."
"Pale as his shirt"
Till then sit still, my soul: foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes
Match the literary device
Comic relief
Aside
Soliloquy
Simile
Alliteration

Works Cited
Heims, Neil. "How to Write a Good Essay." Bloom, Harold, ed. Bloom's How to Write about Shakespeare's Histories. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2011. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 20 Nov. 2014 <http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&WID=101973&SID=5&iPin=HTWASH002&SingleRecord=True>
Shakespeare, William.
Hamlet.
Toronto: Harbrace Shakespeare. Print.
Arter, Nick. "Storytelling Beyond the Academic Article: Using Fiction, Art and Literary Techniques to Communicate." Ebsco Host. Web. 20 Nov 2014 http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=20&sid=ff8f40de-6646-403a-b38f-902c7f13e153%40sessionmgr111&hid=125&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aqh&AN=97223601
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