Essay On Literary Devices In Hamlet

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Authors use literary devices all throughout their work to engage the readers to become interested in finding out the ending. Starting with the first line all the way to the ending, readers will find literary devices that help them learn more about the work. Author William Shakespeare is a perfect example of a writer who uses literary devices that lead to a tragedy in his play. He brings his writing alive and interests the readers with multiple literary devices. William Shakespeare uses gloomy imagery, symbolism, and tone to show Denmark’s downfall in his play, Hamlet. Shakespeare uses a dramatic change of imagery in the town of Denmark itself, to show the readers the corruption that began at the beginning of the play and lasted throughout…show more content…
One example of this is when Old Hamlet tells Hamlet how King Claudius killed him. Old Hamlet says, “Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, / With juice of cursed hebona in a vial,” (1.5.61-62). Poison is representing disloyalty and corruption itself. Poison has the ability to override one’s life, leading to death. Disloyalty and untrustworthy people can cause problems to others, including family members, and may even lead to death as well. By using poison, the author foreshadows that unfaithfulness can quietly destroy a country, like Denmark, very quickly. Shakespeare uses poison to show that betrayal is costly and harmful to others. Another example of symbolism in Hamlet is when the readers learn that Hamlet has been wearing black attire for many months representing his mourning and sadness from the death of his father. Claudius tries to rid this habit of Hamlet by saying, “’Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet, / To give these mourning duties to your father“, / But you must know your father lost a father” (1.2.87-89). Claudius attempts this task because she realizes that the black attire, representing Hamlet’s sorrow, will only continue unless someone breaks his from his routine. Instead of the author telling the readers upfront of Hamlet’s grief for his father, he wants us to realize that with a description of black attire, he respects his father and will wear black clothing…show more content…
The first line of the play creates an uncertainty and distrust tone whenever the author states, “Who’s there?” (1.1.1). This line informs the readers that the person there could range from a familiar friend to a stranger or maybe even a ghost. This tone of the author creates a suspicion of a downfall in Denmark because it foreshadows a tragic ending in the drama. This tone will continue throughout the play which makes the readers or audience interested in finding out the ending. Another example in the play that Shakespeare continues to develop this dark, uncertain tone is when he begins a scene at bitter cold midnight. Barnardo states, “Tis now struck twelve” (1.1.7). This contributes to the tone because the readers recognize this time as the start of any ghost or horror story. This statement creates an atmosphere of tension and hesitation for the characters and the readers since they do not know what is about to happen either. Shakespeare wanted to create this tone to catch the reader’s attention to make them become anxious to find out the ending of a story, so they will anticipate an ending. This tone informs the readers that from the beginning, Denmark will carry on to become a terrible tragedy throughout the play. Shakespeare uses a dark, uncertain tone to reveal to the readers of a melancholy country that will only continue to become worse than what it already
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