Emotional Devices In Atonement And The Play Hamlet By William Shakespeare
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For many writers, the most important reason for writing is to evoke emotional responses from their readers or audiences. These responses allow reader and audience to personally connect with the text as they are able to explore their own personal experiences and emotions, extending the texts to their own lives. Regardless of whether or not the emotional response is intentional, the author is able to develop it throughout the novel by implementing a multitude of literary techniques. In the novel Atonement by Ian McEwan and the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the writers’ use of different stylistic devices elicit similar emotional responses from the reader and audience. Essentially, through the use of structure and character development, both writers evoke catharsis from their respective readers and audiences.
In the novel Atonement, as a structural technique, McEwan includes a comedic scene to evoke joy from the reader in order to quell their anxiety. McEwan intentionally creates a high level of tension when Briony runs off with Robbie’s carnal love letter in order to ensure that the reader will experience catharsis. This is accomplished through the comical scene involving Cecilia and the sockless twins, which is McEwan’s technique of proving comedic relief for the reader after such a hectic scene. By adding this scene into the structure of the novel, McEwan is able to successfully manipulate the emotions of the audience as he is able to purge the negative emotion of