literary devices and hamlet

Foil minor character whose attitudes, beliefs, and behavior differ significantly from those of the main character (highlights flaws)
Horatio a foil to Hamlet
dramatic irony occurs when the results of actions are tragic reverse of what participants think; spectators understand
dramatic irony when hamlet and horatio know that claudius has killed the king
comic relief humorous episode in a tragedy
comic relief the graveyard scene in act five
aside speech wherein character speaks his thoughts in words to the spectator but supposedly not to the other actors
aside “a little more than kin and less than kind”
oxymoron “with mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage”
imagery use of vivid, concrete, sensory details
metaphor when hamlet calls the world and “unweeded garden”
simile “what a piece of work is man!…how like an angel”
hyperbole “he would drown the stage with tears/ And cleave the general ear with horrid speech”
personification “For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak/ With most miraculous organ”
apostrophe when a character addresses an abstract concept, absent person, or inanimate object
apostrophe “Frailty thy name is woman!”
alliteration “in equal scarle weighing delight and dole.”
pun “not so my lord. I am too much in the sun.”
allusion “she followed my poor father’s body/ Like Niobe, all tears…”
Hamlet vs. Gertrude resolution: she dies after siding with Hamlet
Hamlet vs. Claudius resolution: Hamlet finally kills his uncle, seeking revenge, and Claudius gets what he deserves
Denmark vs. Norway resolution: Fortinbras will easily take over Denmark now that the royal family is dead
Ophelia vs. Polonius both of them die; losing her father shows her weakness
Reason why there are no soliloquys in act 5 Hamlet was acting on instinct and his indecisiveness ends