Rhetorical Devices In Act 5 Of Hamlet

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William Shakespeare's Hamlet is a play known for morbid and depressing themes, and the famous skull scene is no exception to this. In Hamlet’s speech from Act 5 Scene 1, Shakespeare's style is demonstrated through setting and imagery, Hamlet is characterized through repetition and diction, and the theme of mortality is developed upon via metaphor. In Shakespeare’s skull scene from Act 5 of Hamlet, the author depicts a vivid, though implied, setting merely through his style of writing and imagery. The juxtaposition of high diction describing the terrible, as evidenced by how hamlet finds the corpse and his memory of it “abhorre[nt]”(v.i.181), and the nearly colloquial when he describes the skull “grinning”(v.i.186). In this, the author creates a discordant image reflective on setting through his style of exposition and description.…show more content…
In the second part of the speech, Hamlet demonstrates his sanity by making short, reasoned claims on Alexander and physical legacy; in stating that “Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth into dust; [and] the dust is earth” (v.i.203-4), he relates rational comments on mortality whilst convincingly depicting himself as one in control of his mental faculties. Nonetheless, Hamlet displays grief earlier in his speech, making use of short, incomplete sentence fragments- he questions the skull, inquiring “where be [the former jester’s] gibes now? [his] gambols? [his] songs?”(v.i.183-4), demonstrating a state of mind agitated at the very least. Thus, through this speech, Hamlet may be characterized as one who is at least reasonably sane, albeit under strong pressures and the influence of

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