What poetic/literary/stylistic devices are evident in in Hamlet's soliloquy in act 4, scene 4 of Hamlet?

In act 4, scene 4 of Hamlet, the eponymous hero delivers a soliloquy in which he reflects on his own inability to act and tries to spur himself to action. During this soliloquy, Hamlet uses poetic devices such as rhetorical questions, exclamatory sentences, and metaphors.

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Hamlet begins the soliloquy with an exclamation, immediately followed by a rhetorical question. The rhetoric builds further in the long sentence that begins:

Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event…

to the insistent polysyndeton at the end, which increases the force of Hamlet’s self-reproach by emphasizing the factors that favor revenge:

Sith I have cause and will and strength and means
To do't.

The tone of the simile that follows (“gross as earth”) only increases the sense of Hamlet’s self-disgust which is evident throughout the passage. The contrasts in language between his descriptions of Fortinbras ("a delicate and tender prince") and the troops he leads ("this army of such mass and charge") along with the overblown alliteration ("death and danger dare") and final bathos ("Even for an egg-shell") may ridicule the Norwegian, but their primary effect is to deprecate Hamlet, since he has failed to do as well as Fortinbras in revenging...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1368 words.)

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