Essay on William Shakespeare 's Hamlet - Use Of Poetic Devices

Essay on William Shakespeare 's Hamlet - Use Of Poetic Devices

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In occasion, madness can lead to sadness, while in others madness can lead to anger. In act II of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, through the words of Hamlet’s long Rogue soliloquy, Shakespeare uses a series of poetic devices such as: mood, understatement, rhythm, simile, and symbol to identify that Hamlet is indeed going mad, specifically mad at himself.

Primarily, mood can be identified in the following passages: ‘“O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!”’(II, II, 577) and ‘“For Hecuba!”’(II, II, 585). From Hamlet’s sudden outbursts, it is identifiable through the Shakespeare’s use of words and exclamation marks that Hamlet’s soliloquy is not going to be pleasant. The mood is set when Shakespeare uses words such as “Rogue”, “Slave” and “Hecuba” because Hamlet is not having it. Therefore, in dues of Hamlet’s frustration, as he speaks to himself alone in an agitated tone, it can be anticipated that as his soliloquy progresses along, the feeling of this soliloquy will only be bitter and full of distress. To the contrary, it is identifiable that through these outbursts Hamlet is mad at himself, because not only do the exclamation marks at the end of his words puts emphasise on his overall annoyance. But he calls himself “a rogue and peasant slave” like he is alright to insult himself for his actions and for his feelings that are intertwining together to create this madness within him. Therefore, the mood is only heightened to be bitter and non-pleasant and it is to be believed that Hamlet here is agitated with himself.

Next, an understatement is shown in the following passage: “Upon whose property and most dear life, a damned defeat was made. Am I a coward? Who calls me ‘villain’? ” (II, II 597-599). In this case, calling Hamlet ...

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...that is the story that Hamlet perceives to believe as the ghost he had encountered earlier had revealed to him. Anyhow, Hamlet knows that the actors whom are coming to act out a play for him and his royal family, has the ability to manipulate the audiences’ feelings as they can “drown the stage with tears and cleave the general ear with horrid speech, make mad the guilty and appal the free, confront the ignorant and amaze indeed the very faculties of eyes and ears.” (II, II, 589-593). Thus by having the play be performed, it acts as a symbol in relevance to Claudius’s guilty deed. In this case, with Shakespeare’s writing at the end, Hamlet seems pleased with himself that he has come up with this plan to confront Claudius, though his behaviour is still mad, as Shakespeare uses words like “horrid”, “guilty” and “ignorant” to create this bitter tone in Hamlet’s voice.

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