Literary Devices Used in Hamlet Act 1
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Loyal to father, clever (show ofmadness), somewhat rash, curious,obsessive
To avenge his father's murder (by Claudius)
Hamlet, as of Act II has put on a show ofmadness in order to confuse the people aroundhim and discover a way to avenge his father
Clever (almost got away withmurder), jealous, impulsive
Power, wealth, and lust
Claudius has killed his own brother and marriedhis brother's wife in order to become King. By ActII he is still working at retaining this power
Very rash, nosey, untrusting, eager
Selfpreservation, honor, power
Polonius goes to great extents to protect his honorby forbidding his daughter to see Hamlet andspying on his son
Innocent (orunexperiencedaccording to her father),obedient, puppet
To be a good daughter and please her father
Ophelia has cut off communication withHamlet after her dad commanded her to doso
"A little ere the mightiestJulius fell"
Horatio (I i 126)
Horatio discusses the appearance of the ghost andrealizes that all is not well in Denmark while makingreferences to Julius who was betrayed andmurdered
"With mirth in funeraland with dirge inmarriage"
Claudius (I ii12)
The new king expresses how this is a time ofsadness with his brother's death and a time ofhappiness with his marriage to the Queen.
"So excellent a king, thatwas, to this/ Hyperion to asatyr"
Hamlet (I ii 141142)
Allusion and Hyperbole
Hamlet expresses his anger towards hismother for marrying so soon after his father'sdeath and compares his uncle (satyr) to hisfather (Hyperion)
"My father's spirit in arms! All is not well./I doubt some foul play."
Hamlet (I ii 272 273)
Hamlet learns about his father's ghost andsuspects that something is wrong and even thatfoul play may be involved.
"And with a sudden vigour doth posset/ And curd,like eager droppings into milk,/ The thin andwholesome blood. So did it mine"
Ghost (I v 73 75)
The ghost describes vividly of how hewas poisoned and the effects of thispoison
"Your bait of falsehood takesthis carp of truth"
Polonius (II i68)
Polonius tells Reynaldo that by lyinghe shall discover the truth whenspying on Laertes
"And with a look so piteous in purport/ As if hehad been loosed out of hell"
Ophelia (II i 90 91)
Ophelia tells her father aboutHamlet's strange behaviour
"[Pointing to his head and shoulder.]
Take thisfrom this, if this be otherwise."
Polonius (II ii 167168)
Polonius is so convinced that Hamlet's madness is causedbeing shunned by Ophelia that he gives the King permissionto kill him if he is wrong. We the audience know the theory tobe wrong.
"Denmark's a prison"
Hamlet (II ii 258)
Hamlet tells his university friends that they havebeen sent to a prison (due to his owncircumstances, Hamlet feels this way)
"Wherein I'll catch theconscience of the King."
Hamlet means to get the King to confess to hiscrimes by putting on a play that mirrors hishorrible deeds.