The Subject of Choice in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

830 Words 4 Pages
The Subject of Choice in Shakespeare's Hamlet

It is said that life is nothing more than an endless stream of choices. Every day before work or school, we must all make choices—what to eat, what to wear, whether or not to bother with that homework assignment—some of which are trivial, while others have the direst consequences. In Shakespeare’s classic play Hamlet, the inner thoughts that accompany each decision, as well as the quest for what is actually truth and what is lie, is brought to light in Act 2.2. Hamlet is caught in a great struggle over what to do with his uncle, his evil, murderous uncle. By all rights he should die...yet the easy choice—outright murder—is not always the correct or prudent one. Overall, through diction and
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Just as word choice and diction plays a part in setting the angry tone of Hamlet’s soliloquy, so does Shakespeare’s extensive use of poetic devices. It is said that a good poem must have agreement between structure and theme. Hamlet epitomizes this trait. The vast majority of the passage, as with most of Shakespeare’s work, is in blank verse, that is, unrhymed iambic pentameter. However, at certain points, the rhythm changes to emphasize important points. For instance, in line 581, the pattern switches to trochaic as Hamlet lists a series of horrible words for his uncle, and then leads into a 2 beat line as he screams for vengeance. There are also several instances of caesuras breaking off thoughts and enjambments carrying on ideas, thus leading the reader on a trip into Hamlet’s brain. For instance, when Hamlet finally realizes what it is he must do, the thought stops mid-line. “I know my course.” Important ideas are thus emphasized and brought out by meter and rhythm.

Shakespeare also uses several different poetic devices to again emphasize certain phrases, as well as allow the speech to more easily flow. Internal rhyme in line 581, “Remorseless, treacherous...villain!”, as well as a heroic couplet at the end of the act serve to bring out Hamlet’s strong dislike for the
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