What technique is used in the phrase "my words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go"?

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Although this could be considered an example of personification, the lines within context also represent situational irony.

These lines fall within Act 3 Scene 3 of Hamlet and at this point, Claudius has just finished viewing the play within a play that Hamlet has devised to determine his guilt. Overcome with emotion, Claudius is found praying for forgiveness. Hamlet finally has both the truth (the ghost was right and Claudius murdered Hamlet's father) and the opportunity (Claudius is alone) for his revenge. However, he decides that he cannot kill Claudius at this moment because according to his beliefs, people killed while praying go straight to heaven. So once again, Hamlet delays and leaves Claudius alive.

When Hamlet exits, Claudius delivers these lines, and the audience learns that Claudius wasn't effectively praying at all. His words had no repentance behind them; he didn't mean what he was saying. This is similar to the saying that one can "feel his prayers bouncing off the ceiling."

Because Claudius isn't repentant, Hamlet could have followed through with his plans at this moment and killed Claudius. Nothing is standing in his way, after all. Since he doesn't realize this, the lines create situational irony.

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This particular metaphorical device is called “personification,” where an abstraction is given physical properties to compare the abstraction with a visible, imaginable action. “Just like a bird flies up to the sky, my words fly up to heaven.  But because the words are hollow and empty, the thoughts of the speaker do not fly up, but remain on earth and are not received (by a Deity).”  It is sometimes called an “animation”; technically, a personification must give human qualities to an inanimate object:  “The sun smiled at me today.” These words, a rhyming couplet that gives closure to Hamlet’s soliloquy (another example of Shakespeare’s creative genius, to have someone else’s lines close Hamlet’s soliloquy), are spoken after the king’s prayers, outwardly of penitence.  He is praying as Hamlet watches him and decides not to kill him while he prays, because the King’s soul would go to heaven.  But the King rises, realizing that the insincerity of his prayers makes them useless—he still is greedy for power and is not really remorseful.

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