Murderous Tendencies: Analyzing Cohesion 'And Voice In Hamlet'

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Cameron McCaffrey Professor Jason Dew ENG-550-Q3030 21 March 2015 Murderous Tendencies: Analyzing Cohesion/Rhythm/Voice in Hamlet by Shakespeare Within Hamlet, there is a duo of rulers. Both of these rulers are brothers, and one brother (the older Hamlet) has died as a result of the heartlessness of the other (Claudius). The interpretations of the cruel homicide which are presented by the former king as well as his successor seem to be vastly differentiated. William Shakespeare—the mastermind behind Hamlet—uses cohesion, rhythm, and voice within the statements made by each king in order to show the vast differences within their emotions concerning this tragedy. While discussing this homicide, the older Hamlet provides a description wherein…show more content…
Though he is aware of the wrongness inherent within the homicide that he effectuated, he demonstrates immense reluctance where giving up his higher standard of living is concerned. Within Hamlet, Shakespeare utilizes the literary practice of cohesion, which involves showing readers how certain ideas are related to other concepts (Kolln/Gray 82). A device which is associated with cohesion from a rhetorically-orientated standpoint is known as conjunction. An example of a conjunction can be found when Claudius mentions “[his] crown, [his] own ambition, and [his] queen” (III.III.58). Within that quotation, “and” serves as the conjunction which illustrates how a trio of discrete elements—a crown, ambition, and a queen—are connected to each other in the sense that Claudius gained all three when he became the new king in the aftermath of the killing of the incumbent, a death which he made manifest. It also becomes clear that he possesses a colossal level of selfishness. While making an attempt at confessing to having murdered Hamlet, getting his “stubborn knees” to “[b]ow” proves a struggle for him, as does making his “heart with strings of steel” become as “soft as sinews of the new-born babe” (III.III.73-74). His remorsefulness in regard to the murder that he has committed is juxtaposed with pathetic pride simultaneously. The irony in all of this can be found within his knowledge of how he will not be able to ask for forgiveness in regard to the murder that he committed unless he relinquishes everything that he has amassed, as well as renounces his higher standard of living. Claudius goes so far as to say that “[his] words fly up, [his] thoughts remain below” and that “[w]ords without thoughts never to heaven go,” but insists on carrying his gigantic burdens for no other reason than being able to hold on to the lifestyle which he put in a large amount of work to achieve

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