Essay Contrast As A Thematic And Characterization Technique

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Contrast as a Thematic and Characterization Technique Hamlet is to this day, one of Shakespeare’s most famed pieces of work, in part due to the thematic and characterization techniques used to intensify the plot. An example of a thematic and characterization technique that plays a role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is contrast. Contrast is illustrated through Hamlet’s relationship with his step father, Claudius, who incestuously married Hamlet’s mother after Hamlet’s father had only been newly deceased the motif of impotency versus potency. Another example of contrast in the text is through the recurring conflict of religion versus free will. The last example of contrast in Hamlet is the differences in gender roles displayed through character relationships.…show more content…
This is most clearly demonstrated through the conflict between Hamlet and his step father, King Claudius. After his father died, Claudius eagerly married Gertrude and hastily took his place as king of Elsinore, Denmark. Even in the genesis of the play, the readers are introduced to Claudius’ resolute ability to act, disregarding all moral and ethical boundaries and focusing primarily on what will have the most positive repercussions on himself. At the end of Claudius’ first monologue, he finished his speech by saying “Farewell and let you haste commend your duty” (I.i.39), which immediately demonstrates Claudius’ self-assuredness and determined behavior as he promptly orders everyone to act with zeal and complete their work quickly. The readers later find out that it was in fact Claudius who killed his brother, Old Hamlet. Though a senseless and cruel tragedy resulting in the murder of his own brother, this demonstrates Claudius’ ruthlessness in obtaining what he desires. Claudius’ “quick determination” (III.I.171) most obviously contrasts with Hamlet’s impotency and inability to act. This is clearly demonstrated in Hamlet’s soliloquy, famously known as To Be or Not to Be. This entire passage

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