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literary devices and hamlet

minor character whose attitudes, beliefs, and behavior differ significantly from those of the main character (highlights flaws)

a foil to Hamlet

dramatic irony
occurs when the results of actions are tragic reverse of what participants think; spectators understand

dramatic irony
when hamlet and horatio know that claudius has killed the king

comic relief
humorous episode in a tragedy

comic relief
the graveyard scene in act five

speech wherein character speaks his thoughts in words to the spectator but supposedly not to the other actors

“a little more than kin and less than kind”

“with mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage”

use of vivid, concrete, sensory details

when hamlet calls the world and “unweeded garden”

“what a piece of work is man!…how like an angel”

“he would drown the stage with tears/ And cleave the general ear with horrid speech”

“For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak/ With most miraculous organ”

when a character addresses an abstract concept, absent person, or inanimate object

“Frailty thy name is woman!”

“in equal scarle weighing delight and dole.”

“not so my lord. I am too much in the sun.”

“she followed my poor father’s body/ Like Niobe, all tears…”

Hamlet vs. Gertrude
resolution: she dies after siding with Hamlet

Hamlet vs. Claudius
resolution: Hamlet finally kills his uncle, seeking revenge, and Claudius gets what he deserves

Denmark vs. Norway
resolution: Fortinbras will easily take over Denmark now that the royal family is dead

Ophelia vs. Polonius
both of them die; losing her father shows her weakness

Reason why there are no soliloquys in act 5
Hamlet was acting on instinct and his indecisiveness ends

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