Hamlet: Literary Terms

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Hamlet: Literary Terms
Explication
• Line by line analysis of the literary
text
• Includes larger meaning as well
as a discussion of such elements
as diction, style, symbolism,
parallelism, figurative language,
irony, etc
Conventional Symbol
• Symbol accepted by tradition to
have a particular meaning
• Skull
• Rose/other flowers
• Poison
• Disease
Irony
• Verbal: puns, sarcasm, hyperbole,
understatement
• Dramatic: Claudius’ prayer, the
duel, Hamlet’s kindness to Laertes
• Situational: Ophelia’s madness
Genre
• Drama
• Poetry
• Tragedy
• Revenge tragedy
Diction
• Poetic
• Levels reflect characters
• Ironic
• Figurative
Circumlocution
• Speaking indirectly
• Polonius: windy; has trouble getting
to the point
• Osric
• Hamlet (Shakespeare) perceives this
to be superficiality which he
consistently mocks
Tone
• Through diction
– Irony: puns, sarcasm; situational (hoist with
their own petar)
– Metaphors & symbols
• Polonius to Ophelia (leash)
• Hamlet to Gertrude/Horatio (cankered rose vs rose
in May) /R&G (springes to catch woodcocks)
– Allusions
– Soliloquies
THE END
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