Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What are five rhetorical devices found in Act IV? What effects does each device have?  I am looking specifically for rhetorical devices which are not also tropes.

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Rhetoric is a language art derived from Ancient Greece which covers a range of techniques designed to make speech more persuasive and emotionally affecting.

Shakespeare was a master of rhetoric and Act IV of Hamlet features many interesting examples.

Firstly, we can see an instance of parallelism in IV.iii as Claudius hurries Hamlet off to England.  As he explains that Hamlet's ship is ready to depart, Claudius creates a sense of urgency by placing similarly structured phrases in parallel with each other in lines 47 - 50:

                                            Therefore prepare thyself;

The bark is ready, and the wind at help.

Th' associates tend, and everything is bent

For England!

Secondly, when Hamlet has departed, Claudius uses synecdoche (pronounced sinek dokee) to emphasise the Danish power over England.  He describes the Danish army as "the Danish sword" (line 68), giving an image of a huge threatening sword held over England's "raw and red" scarred body....

(The entire section contains 507 words.)

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