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?Literary Techniques Used In Hamlet?, By William Shakespeare

1086 words - 4 pages

In what way do the techniques used in a prescribed text develop ideas and influence your response as a reader? The revenge tragedy, “Hamlet”, by William Shakespeare is a tale of murder, secrets and lies where a son is called upon by the ghost of his father to avenge his death. Shakespeare uses a range of techniques in order to influence the reader’s understanding of “Hamlet’s” main themes and ideas. The most effective techniques used within the play are the soliloquies that give depth of both character and story, the powerful displays of imagery used within the play, and the dual understanding that emphasizes the connection between king and country. Through these techniques Shakespeare is able to develop the play in such a way that influences the reader by communicating a deeper meaning and a more complex understanding.

Soliloquies are one of the most important techniques used within “Hamlet”. Soliloquies give the audience a deeper insight into the emotions and mental state of the character. Shakespeare uses soliloquies to allow the audience to feel the depth of emotion in Hamlets character. In Hamlets perhaps most famous soliloquy he cries out, “to be or not to be, that is the question/Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, /Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, /And by opposing end them (Act III, I, 56).” This quote furthermore reveals a part of the story that would be otherwise hidden to the reader, for example, his state of mind and also his desire to commit suicide in order to escape the pain of his life. The reader’s response, in result, is altered as it is made clear that Hamlet is obviously struggling to come to terms with his father’s death and his mother’s hasty act to marry his uncle. Another important soliloquy where Claudius prays to God for forgiveness and says, “Oh my offence is rank, it smells to heaven,/It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t,/A brother’s murder. Pray can I not,/Though inclination be as sharp as will./My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,/And like a man double business bound,/I stand in pause where i shall first begin,/And both neglect (Act III, III, 36).” This soliloquy also, like Hamlet, reveals another side to Claudius that clearly exposes remorse for what he had done. However, he further states in the soliloquy “May one be pardoned and retain th’offence? (Act III, III, 55).” This quote communicates to the audience an important side to his personality that portrays his greed and selfishness. Without the influential technique of soliloquies the audience would be oblivious to the important information they provided about the characters, this in result would leave the play lacking of any emotional development and deeper meaning. This would therefore reduce the reader’s reaction to significant character events such as death and would affect the overall impact of the play.

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