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The Use of Literary Elements in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

The metaphors are used by the author of the play to reveal that despite the fact that Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle, had killed his brother to attain the throne, they were extremely alike to each other. It shows Hamlet’s belief that both his uncle and father were men who valued their own power more than those people who were around them. It is because of this that eventually, both came to their downfall because had they valued their people, then the tragic events which took place in the play would not have happened. Another important metaphor that is used in the play is that related to the cannon fire, which accompanies the king’s toasts, and this helps to show that Claudius, the king, is united with the land that the rules. In reference to the cannon fire, Hamlet states, …or that the Everlasting had not to fix’d his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! (Act 1 scene 2). This is used to express Hamlet’s wish that his uncle Claudius would turn into a cloud (a play with the name Claudius) so that when the cannons shot into that cloud, it would be able to kill him. This would, in essence, freed Hamlet from his promise to his father’s ghost that he would kill Claudius to avenge his death. Tone When one considers the tone of this play, one would say that it is extremely dark. This is especially because of the fact that almost all the characters within it either are thinking dark thoughts or are plotting to commit evil things. From the very beginning of the play, we see plenty of anxiety and uncertainty concerning the events that are taking place or are likely to take place. The mood in which Hamlet is put after talking to his father’s ghost is extremely dark, and those who know him come to believe that he is going mad. This dark mood is also transmitted to those who either are around him and their actions, directly or indirectly, reflect the darkness, which is in the play. The soliloquies, which Hamlet has concerning the dark aspects of life such as betrayal and mortality, are some of the things that contribute to the tone of the play. However, from the first line of the play when the guard, Bernardo yells, Who’s there! (Act 1 scene 1) the dark tone of the play is set. It is later revealed that this may have been an expression of the anxiety, which the guards felt after seeing the ghost of their former king several times during the nights. Style One of the aspects of style that is revealed when one reads Hamlet is the use of verse among the main characters when they speak. These characters often use words, which have an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one. This creates a rhythmic pattern in their speech and it can be said that Shakespeare used this style of writing in order to keep the attention of the audience on the play and the characters within it. An example of the use of verse in the play is in Act 1 scene 2 when Hamlet states, O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into a dew! When one considers Hamlet’s soliloquies, one will find that he often speaks in a formal tone, and this is used to reveal that he comes from the nobility.