Work on a character of your own choice. How does Shakespeare create dramatic effect through characterisation?
Dramatic effect is the most prominent in the characterisation of Hamlet which Shakespeare portrays through Hamlet’s interactions with others; what they say about him, his internal thoughts and dialogue.
In regards to his dialogue, Hamlet’s utterances are very philosophical thus depicting him as a thoughtful and intelligent character. In act 3 scene 1, Hamlet says, ‘To be, or not to be, that is the question – whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles’. Here the reader is given an insight to hamlets inconsistent feelings and frail frame of mind, pondering over life and death. It makes the reader wonder whether or not, Hamlet will live up to being a prince or take the coward’s way out and go ahead with suicide. He also says in this soliloquay, ‘th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud mans’ contumely, the pangs of dispriz’d love, the laws delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of th’ unworthy takes’. Through Hamlet’s calm and rational tone and pace of speaking, the fact that he is contemplative, analytical and unrushed in thinking is revealed to the reader. Through Hamlet’s soliloquies, Shakespeare creates dramatic effect as it gives the character to reveal what is going on inside his head, what he is feeling and part of the plot to the audience, allowing them to be more involved and engaged with the character.
Through evoking emotions, dramatic effect can be created like that portrayed in Act 2, Scene 2 where theme of ability/inability to act is exposed. Hamlet is unhappy and is criticising himself. He calls himself a ‘rogue’, a ‘peasant slave’ and thinks himself a ‘coward’. He scolds himself and says ‘I am pigeon-liver’d and lack gall to make oppression bitter…’, ‘what an ass am I’. Through all this self pity and criticism the reader is...
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