Shakespeare Uses Literary Techniques to Convey His Message of Appearance vs. Reality.

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Shakespeare’s use of Literary Techniques

Candia Ndayizigiye ENG 4U1 Mr. Daranjo Thursday May 9 2013 Bertrand Russell once stated “That in daily life, we as humans assume many things which, on closer scrutiny, are found to be so full of apparent contradictions”. Which is true, we assume that the way people appear to be that’s just the way they are, which is a false justification. We can use the example of the idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Unless you know the content of the book, you should not prejudge its worth by the outward appearance. We can use this analogy to understand Appearance vs. Reality. Appearance answers the question “the way things are “while Reality answers the question “how it is”. A great way to understand Appearance vs. Reality is through William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Hamlet explores the story of a young prince named Hamlet who is devastated by his father’s death and is driven to avenge his death. From this point forward, the theme of Appearance vs. Reality is introduced. The characters in Hamlet frequently place disguises which hid their true intentions. In order to successfully reveal Appearance vs. Reality, Shakespeare uses literary techniques to convey his message. Shakespeare uses literary techniques to successfully reveal inauthentic relationships. Shakespeare does this by using an allusion to compare family members in Hamlet to each other. For instance in Act 1, scene 2 after members from court leave, Hamlet exclaims his anger on the hasty marriage between Gertrude and Claudius, Hamlet does this by comparing Claudius to the late king "So excellent a king that was to this Hyperion to a satyr….Than I to Hercules" (William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” 1.2.139-40). This quote demonstrates with the use of allusion Hamlet's disgust with Claudius. Hamlet alludes to both Hyperion and satyr stating how excellent the late king was vs. Claudius. In addition, Shakespeare uses personification to reveal the inauthentic relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet. For instance in Act 1 scene 2 when Hamlet states "Frailty thy name is women"(1.2.6). This quote demonstrates with the use of personification Hamlet's true feelings towards Gertrude and women in general. Even though it may appear that Hamlet's truly sympathetic for Gertrude through his thoughts usually preoccupied with her; he expresses his ultimate disgust for women. Additionally, Shakespeare also uses a pun to reveal the inauthentic relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia. Although Hamlet in the beginning was deeply in love with Ophelia, like his mother he disregards and belittles women. In particular in Act 3, scene 1 while talking to Ophelia, Hamlet uses the pun "Get thee to a nunnery" (3.1.6). This quote demonstrates Hamlet's insight on women. Even though, Hamlet's statement seen as ironic stating the word "nunnery" which can be referred to as a brothel or convent. We know Shakespeare meant it as a brothel, when Hamlet rants about women's use of makeup. Shakespeare uses literary techniques to successfully reveal Morality. Shakespeare does this by using an antithesis to discuss the value of life and mystery of death. An example is in Act 3, Scene 1 when Hamlet is questioning whether to live or die. He states “To be or not to be, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer ... (3.1.56-90). This quote demonstrates with the use of antithesis, Hamlet’s ongoing battle with life and death. Hamlet stresses...
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