Hamlet is first introduced in Act 1Scene 2 by Claudius; “But now my cousin Hamlet, and my son - ” There is the use of a dramatic hyphen which emphasises the significance of the entrance of Hamlet, as well as the use of a paraprosdokian sentence which surprises the audience and potentially causes them to try and reinterpret what has been said. Claudius’ sentence could also be interpreted as a futile attempt at ingratiating himself to the bitter Hamlet through the emphasising of family and familiarity in the rhetorical appellative.
The first time Hamlet speaks in the play is after the above sentence by Claudius; Shakespeare’s use of an aside immediately reveals the sarcastic, witty and deviant nature of Hamlet while also foreshadowing the inevitable rapport the audience will soon develop with the prince. “A little more than kin, and less than kind” is incorporated by Shakespeare to illustrate the forthcoming complexities in Hamlet’s speech. “Kind” has multiple potential meanings, it could be considered to be Hamlet’s way of saying Claudius is not a direct blood relative ‘of the same kind’, he could be referring to his own resentment to the King for his hasty and inconsiderate marriage of the queen, or he could even be using the word ‘kind’ to portray Claudius’ unnatural desire for his sister in law (kind meaning natural in this scenario).
Subsequently, Claudius portrays Hamlet as a melancholic character with a clouded disposition through Shakespeare’s use of figurative language “How is it that clouds still hang on you?” Conversely, Hamlet portrays himself again as a character of wit and humour by responding to Claudius’ condemnatory statement with the use of a ‘pun’ on the word sun/son in “I am too much in the sun”. Moreover, Gertrude reiterates Claudius’ representation of Hamlet as a morose being, “cast thy nighted colour off” and “vailed lids”,... [continues]
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(2011, 11). How Does Shakespeare Use Linguistic and Dramatic Devices to Introduce the Character of Hamlet in Act 1?. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/How-Does-Shakespeare-Use-Linguistic-And-824082.html
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"How Does Shakespeare Use Linguistic and Dramatic Devices to Introduce the Character of Hamlet in Act 1?." StudyMode.com. 11, 2011. Accessed 11, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/How-Does-Shakespeare-Use-Linguistic-And-824082.html.