Literary Devices In Hamlet

What are some major literary devices used throughout Hamlet?

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Shakespeare, the Bard, regularly uses double entendres (word games), metaphors (even extended ones) and allusions. These are things that Shakespeare uses a great deal in his plays.

Double entendres: When Claudius demands to know where Polonius' body is hidden, Hamlet explains that he is at supper. When questioned, Hamlet explains that it is not about what Polonius eats, but what eats Polonius. This is words with double meanings. Hamlet does this quite a bit with the innocent Ophelia. Because he believes she has betrayed him and he cannot trust her, he torments her with insults, like "Get thee to a nunnery," and with feigned madness, like running in to her chamber half undressed. Then, after this cruel treatment, when Polonius dies, she loses her mind.

Another example of word play and double meaning is that when Hamlet arranges to have the players present a play to "catch the conscience of a King," he tells the members of the court that the play is entitled Mousetrap —what a clever way to infer that he is...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 837 words.)

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