Diction And Syntax In Hamlet's Second Soliloquy

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In Act II Scene 2, as Hamlet berates himself for his irresoluteness and cowardice and contemplates vengeance for his father, the concluding soliloquy vividly portrays Hamlet’s transition from irritation to insanity. Shakespeare extensively utilizes analogies and carefully chosen diction and syntax to dramatize the state of uneasiness in Hamlet’s conflicted mind. Shakespeare makes both direct and indirect comparisons and contrasts throughout the soliloquy. For instance, Hamlet’s remarks about the player makes a clear illustration of their subtle similarities and differences to the readers. The imaginary situation in which the player had Hamlet’s “motive and cue for passion” demonstrates that the player, who would be able to “make mad the guilty and appall the free,” is not only keen on, but also subliminally excellent at the art of acting (II.2.520-524). The idea of action, in this case, is not merely limited to …show more content…

In Hamlet’s self-deprecating comments, the use of alliteration in phrases such as “muddy-mettled” and “damned defeat” places an emphasis on the severity of Claudius’s crime against King Hamlet and on the necessity of Hamlet’s revenge (II.2.526, 530). Further, the alliteration enhances the strength and the emotion of the soliloquy by subconsciously adding volume and intonation to the speech’s sound. Similarly, Shakespeare applies both consonance and assonance in the phrases “remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain” in order to underscore Hamlet’s hatred for Claudius (II.2.542). In addition, the use of asyndeton makes this line sound even more distinctly powerful to the audience. Shakespeare is also a master of diction. The carefully chosen strong words such as “rascal,” when used to describe Hamlet, vividly illustrate Hamlet’s internal contempt for himself (II.2.526). The word “rascal” also implies Hamlet’s mischievous plans to reveal Claudius’s

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