Stichomythia of Hamlet

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Stichomythia is a verbal fight between two characters in a book. In the book Hamlet stichomythia can be found in Act Three, Scene Four. This scene is between Gertrude and Hamlet. The significance of the stichomythia is to show how far Hamlet’s madness has gone. The scene starts off with Polonius telling Gertrude that he was going to listen to the conversation that she will be having with Hamlet. After that Polonius hides and Hamlet comes into his mother’s room. This is where one of the examples of stichomythia comes to play. Hamlet comes in and asked Gertrude what was the matter. She replies, “Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.” Hamlet then says, “Mother, you have my father much offended.” In this first part of the stichomythia Gertrude is telling Hamlet that he has offended Claudius. In the second part of it Hamlet is telling Gertrude that she has offended the deceased Hamlet Sr. Another example of stichomythia comes after the first example. Gertrude continues by saying, “Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.” Hamlet answers with, “Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.” In the first part of the stichomythia Gertrude is telling Hamlet to come to her and that he should watch how he talks to her. In the second part Hamlet tells his mother to get away and then addresses why she is questioning him now after she has done the things she has done. The significance of all of this is that it shows the audience that Hamlet really has gone mad and that he doesn’t care about his tone when it comes to talking to his mother.
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