Rhetorical Devices In Hamlet

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Some say that the revenge of a patiently plotting man is to be feared more than the uncontrolled rage of a mad man. However, Hamlet does not fit either category. He is neither a patient man who carefully plots out his revenge nor a madman that cannot control his actions. Hamlet is merely trapped inside his convoluted mind. Before Hamlet’s final declaration of revenge in Act IV, he was still in shock over the death of his father and the incredible situation that he was placed in, having to kill King Claudius. Hamlet finally comes to terms with his mind and settles that he must exact revenge soon or scrap his thoughts altogether. Shakespeare utilizes dramatic diction, vivid imagery, and specific syntax to describe the shift towards action in Hamlet’s state of mind. In the very first line Hamlet seems incredulous and even a bit out of his mind as he is surprised at himself that he still has not exacted revenge on his father’s murderer. He quickly changes to introspection as he uses dramatic diction to compare himself to an animal:
How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.

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The diction such as “dull” and “feed” seems to point out his rather lackluster characteristics up to this point. In an introspective moment of truth, Hamet exposes his flaw in his inability to gather the mental strength to seek revenge. “Dull” is used to point out the fact that so

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