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Act 1, scene 4 literary devices

Act 1, Scene 4 – quotes and literary devices
Metaphor – Hamlet “That for some vicious mole of nature in them/As in their birth, wherein
they are not guilty,” – Here Hamlet expresses his understanding of the fatal flaw (attribute)
that is like a blemish (mole) on you that you are not guilty of but rather born (birth) with.
Metaphor (Hubris) – Hamlet “Shall in the general censure take corruption/From that
particular fault. The dram of eale” reflecting and extending his observation to how in some
cases a man with a personal blemish or fault will result in their depravity.
Rhetorical Question – Hamlet Why, what should be the fear?
Begin a thing immortal as
itself? – Hamlet’s use of questions in the one piece of dialogue shows just how indecisive he
is about his understanding of life and death. At this stage he still ponders his value, he states
that his soul is like that of the ghost’s, immortal, so what could the ghost harm him.
Foreshadowing: Marcellus - “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.
Marcellus, shaken by the many recent disturbing events and no doubt angered (as is
Hamlet) by Claudius's mismanagement of the body politic, astutely notes that Denmark is
festering with moral and political corruption.
Horatio replies "Heaven will direct it", meaning heaven will guide the state of Denmark to
health and stability.