Shakespeare Uses Literary Techniques to Convey His Message of Appearance vs. Reality

9 September 2016

Which is true, we assume that the way people appear to be that’s just the way they are, which is a false justification. We can use the example of the idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Unless you know the content of the book, you should not prejudge its worth by the outward appearance. We can use this analogy to understand Appearance vs. Reality. Appearance answers the question “the way things are “while Reality answers the question “how it is”. A great way to understand Appearance vs. Reality is through William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Hamlet explores the story of a young prince named Hamlet who is devastated by his father’s death and is driven to avenge his death. From this point forward, the theme of Appearance vs. Reality is introduced. The characters in Hamlet frequently place disguises which hid their true intentions. In order to successfully reveal Appearance vs. Reality, Shakespeare uses literary techniques to convey his message. Shakespeare uses literary techniques to successfully reveal inauthentic relationships. Shakespeare does this by using an allusion to compare family members in Hamlet to each other.

Shakespeare Uses Literary Techniques to Convey His Message of Appearance vs. Reality Essay Example

For instance in Act 1, scene 2 after members from court leave, Hamlet exclaims his anger on the hasty marriage between Gertrude and Claudius, Hamlet does this by comparing Claudius to the late king “So excellent a king that was to this Hyperion to a satyr…. Than I to Hercules” (William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” 1. 2. 139-40). This quote demonstrates with the use of allusion Hamlet’s disgust with Claudius. Hamlet alludes to both Hyperion and satyr stating how excellent the late king was vs. Claudius. In addition, Shakespeare uses personification to reveal the inauthentic relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet.

For instance in Act 1 scene 2 when Hamlet states “Frailty thy name is women”(1. 2. 6). This quote demonstrates with the use of personification Hamlet’s true feelings towards Gertrude and women in general. Even though it may appear that Hamlet’s truly sympathetic for Gertrude through his thoughts usually preoccupied with her; he expresses his ultimate disgust for women. Additionally, Shakespeare also uses a pun to reveal the inauthentic relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia. Although Hamlet in the beginning was deeply in love with Ophelia, like his mother he disregards and belittles women.

In particular in Act 3, scene 1 while talking to Ophelia, Hamlet uses the pun “Get thee to a nunnery” (3. 1. 6). This quote demonstrates Hamlet’s insight on women. Even though, Hamlet’s statement seen as ironic stating the word “nunnery” which can be referred to as a brothel or convent. We know Shakespeare meant it as a brothel, when Hamlet rants about women’s use of makeup. Shakespeare uses literary techniques to successfully reveal Morality. Shakespeare does this by using an antithesis to discuss the value of life and mystery of death. An example is in Act 3, Scene 1 when Hamlet is questioning whether to live or die.

He states “To be or not to be, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer … (3. 1. 56-90). This quote demonstrates with the use of antithesis, Hamlet’s ongoing battle with life and death. Hamlet stresses the words “To be” in opposition “or not to be” in expression of living or dying. Through this example that the whole play is “structured to choose either one action over another” In addition, Shakespeare uses a synecdoche to reveal morality through Hamlet’s doubt. For instance in Act 1 Scene 2 after both Claudius and Gertrude leave court, Hamlet asks himself “O that this too too solid flesh would melt Thaw and resolve itself into dew!

Or that the Everlasting had not fixed’d His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! ” (1. 2. 129-59). In this example Shakespeare uses “flesh to represent physical life; while Hamlet’s flesh melting, thawing and resolving itself into dew as a metaphor for dying” (). Additionally, Shakespeare uses an aphorism to reveal morality through deception of a character’s appearance. For instance in Act1, Scene 3 when Polonius gives advice to Laertes, he states “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man” (1. 3). This quote demonstrates with the use of an aphorism how to be true to oneself.

Shakespeare uses this quote to embody the general truth of deceiving others. However, we know that that Polonius is giving this advice to appear as a caring and loving father when in reality Polonius is just “full of words”. Shakespeare uses literary techniques to successfully reveal Criminal Activity. Shakespeare does this by using an analogy to explain the strange, foul and unnatural murder in the state of Denmark. In particular, in Act 1 scene 5 when the late king is stating how he was murdered he states “Murder most foul, as in the best it is; But this most foul, strange and unnatural. (1. 5). This quote demonstrates with the use of an analogy the comparison between foul and murder. This analogy of foul is used to describe the type of murder that was committed. The comparison is used as a tool to reveal the criminal activity going on in Elsinore castle. In addition, Shakespeare uses dramatic irony to reveal criminal activity through the central idea or message of Hamlet. For example in Act 3 Scene 4, when Hamlet and Gertrude are finished talking and Hamlet states “This man shall set me packing. I’ll lug the guts into the neighbour room” (3. 4).

This quote demonstrates with the use dramatic irony the secrecy of murder. Shakespeare shows us that Hamlet hates deception and craves honesty, yet he is the character who uses deception as a necessary part of life (). Hamlet is a character that while giving advice to his mother cannot follow his own. Lastly, Shakespeare uses theme to explain criminal activity. For explain, in Act 5, scene 2 while Laertes is fencing Hamlet, Laertes is stabbed by his own blade. Laertes states “I am justly kill’d with mine own treachery. ” (5. 2). This quote demonstrates with the use of theme the validity and usefulness for revenge.

Shakespeare discusses through this example of Laertes if revenge is pointless, since Laertes plan backfired on himself. Shakespeare uses literary techniques to successfully reveal Madness. Shakespeare does this by using allusion to explain the cause of Hamlet’s madness. For instance in Act 2, scene 2 While Polonius and Hamlet are conversing Hamlet states “He knew me not at first; he said I was a fishmonger: he is far gone, far gone: and truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love; very near this” (2. 2. 8) . This quote demonstrates with the use of allusion the characterization of Polonius as an “old tedious fool”.

Polonius is convinced that Hamlet is mad for calling him a “fishmonger”. While in fact, Hamlet is mocking him while playing the part of an antic. . In addition, Shakespeare uses imagery to reveal Madness through Hamlet’s antic disposition. An example is in Act 3, Scene 4 when Hamlet denies to Gertrude that he is mad to. Hamlet states “Ecstasy! My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time, and makes as healthful music: it is not madness that I have uttered: bring me to the test,” (3. 4). This quote demonstrates with the use of imagery Hamlet’s antic.

Shakespeare uses the imagery healthful music to explain to the audience true morality. Nevertheless, the complexity of Hamlet’s mental state is what compels the audience to believe in in Hamlet’s madness. Additionally, Shakespeare uses an analogy to reveal Madness through Hamlet’s compelling madness. For instance in Act 3, Scene 4 when Hamlet sees the ghost Gertrude questions if it’s a figment of his imagination. Gertrude states “Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep; And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm, your bedded hair, like life in excrements,” (3. 4. 40-142). This quote questions whether or not Hamlet’s madness is real or feigned. Previously, we understood Hamlet’s madness as feigned while talking to Polonius. However, while talking to Gertrude, Hamlet’s mental state is compelling to believe he has truly gone mad. Thus, Shakespeare uses literary techniques to convey his message of Appearance versus . Reality. Shakespeare conveys his message by using literary devices to explain the characters inner conflict on identity while dealing with problems such as morality, inauthentic relationships, madness and criminal activity.

This is why Shakespeare introduced the theme of Appearance vs. Reality in order to open our minds to consider how the characters are seen. Works Cited “Analysis of the Two Main Hamlet Soliloquies: Understand What’s Going on in Shakespeare’s Famous Play. ” Bright Hub Education. N. p. , n. d. Web. 12 May 2013. “Antitheses or Contrasts or Oppositions. ” Antithesis. N. p. , n. d. Web. 12 May 2013. Bevington, David. Murder Most Foul: Hamlet Through the Ages. N. p. : Oxford UP, 2011. Print. Cline, Austin. “Appearance vs. Reality. ” Appearance vs. Reality. 2013 About. com. , n. d. Web. 12 May 2013. “Hamlet. ” SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n. d. Web. 12 May 2013. “Hamlet’s Puns and Paradoxes. ” Hamlet Navigator: Hamlet: His Puns and Paradoxes. N. p. , n. d. Web. 12 May 2013. Shmoop Editorial Team. “Hamlet Theme of Lies and Deceit” Shmoop. com. Shmoop University, Inc. , 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 12 May 2013. “The Relationship between Hamlet and Gertude. ” More Matter Jamie. N. p. , n. d. Web. 12 May 2013. “Transition Words. ” ? A? A? A Complete List of English Connecting Words. N. p. , n. d. Web. 12 May 2013.

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