Hamlet And Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead Analysis

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Puns, Jokes, Parodies, and Irony in Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead William Shakespeare, a well known English playwright, poet, and actor, uses many literary devices to spice up his works. Shakespeare is known for writing the tragedy of Hamlet (William Shakespeare Bio). Tom Stoppard, author of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, uses quotes directly from Hamlet, along with similar element to provide comic relief as SHakespeare does. Although the plays Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead were tragedies, Shakespeare and Stoppard provided humor by embedding comical puns, irony, jokes, and parodies throughout the two plays. These literary elements: irony, jokes, parodies, and puns, played key roles in the plays Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. According to William Harmon and…show more content…
Hugh Holman, a pun is “a play on words based on the similarity of sound between two words with different meanings”(A Handbook to Lit. 383). Shakespeare used puns often in Hamlet to humiliate other characters. Hamlet speaks using words that have multiple meanings and a variety of metaphors to create puns. Words that are used in Shakespearean language dont always mean the same thing as our language. The emphasis on individual words and phrases creates the humor in Hamlet’s word choice when speaking to characters such as Ophelia, Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Anderson). When Hamlet and Ophelia are in the hall in act 1 scene 3 of Hamlet , Hamlet advises Ophelia to “...get thee to a nunnery”(3.1.121) In elizabethan times a “nunnery” truly meant “house of prostitution”(Andrews 152). Before analyzing the line of Hamlet referring Ophelia to go to a nunnery, an audience may not realize that Hamlet is insulting her. Examples of puns
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