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Essay on William Shakespeare's Powerful Use of Language

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We have all certainly heard the expression “the pen is mightier than the sword” and as Hamlet states when he realizes the power of words: “I will speak daggers to her, but use none” (Hamlet 3.2: 366). William Shakespeare is one of the most important writers in history and arguably the most notable, particularly with his use of language. I believe that Shakespeare consistently uses the knowledge that language is power to his advantage throughout his plays. From themes of power, control, disguise, deception, and manipulation, there remains the underlying theme that ties all of these together: the power of language. The beauty of Shakespeare’s work and what makes it resonate even today is his use of discretion and subtlety to tie together the complexities of humanity and art. Shakespeare proves that he can utilize language in stunning ways that move both the audience and characters of the play at the same time, for instance Henry’s speeches in Henry V. Through his use of language, he is able to manipulate and control audiences and characters exemplified by Richard in Richard III. He is also able to dominate and subdue the characters in special ways like that of a chess master and entirely deceive other characters as Iago does in Othello. Shakespeare fully explains and drives his thoughts on language and his persona audibly through Hamlet. It is my firm conclusion that Shakespeare uses the power of language to fully engage the audience as well as his characters, misdirect them while hinting at larger truths, and demonstrate his capability as a writer and artist while joining all of his themes cohesively.
Understanding how Shakespeare uses language in this way and his craft to its fullest demonstrates how the...


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...r 58.2 (2000): 69. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 29 Nov. 2013.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The Necessary Shakespeare. Ed. David Bevington. New York: Pearson Longman, 2014. 546-603. Print.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of King Richard the Third. Ed. David Bevington. New York: Pearson Longman, 2014. 271-325. Print.
Shakespeare, William. The Life of King Henry the Fifth. The Necessary Shakespeare. Ed. David Bevington. New York: Pearson Longman, 2014. 412-457. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Othello, the Moor of Venice. The Necessary Shakespeare. Ed. David Bevington. New York: Pearson Longman, 2014. 605-655. Print.
Simon, John. "Unlocking the English Language." The New Leader 74.7 (1991): 19+. Business and Company ASAP. Web. 1 Dec. 2013
"Who said it?" The Wilson Quarterly 30.3 (2006): 78+. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.



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