Example in Hamlet

Literary Terms
 Imagery is an author’s use of vivid and descriptive language
to add depth to their work.
 Example: A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake,
beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky
Way- “Daffodils” William Wordsworth
 Example in Hamlet O, that this too too solid flesh would
melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew. Act I scene ii
 A simile is a comparison of two things using words such as
“like” or “as”.
 Example: “She floats down the aisle like a pageant queen”
“Speak Now”- Taylor Swift
 Example in Hamlet: "Make thy two eyes, like stars, start
from their spheres” Act II scene ii
 A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a term or phrase
is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable
in order to suggest a resemblance.
 Example: “Love is a Temple” “One” by U2
 Example in Hamlet: "This is th' impostume of much
wealth and peace, that inward breaks and shows no cause
without why the man dies.” Act IV scene iv
 Personification is the attribution of human nature or
character to inanimate objects.
 Example: “Pocketful of sunshine” Natasha Bedingfield-
“Pocketful of Sunshine”
 Example in Hamlet: So full of artless jealousy is guilt, it
spills itself in fearing to be spilt. Act IV scene iii
 Apostrophe is the addressing of a usually absent person or
a usually personified thing rhetorically.
 Example: Tom Hanks referring to the volleyball, an
inanimate object, in the movie Castaway.
 Example in Hamlet: “Let me not think on’t; frailty, thy
name is women” Act I scene ii
 A symbol is an action, object, or event that expresses or
represents a particular idea or quality.
 Example: The green light in The Great Gatsby symbolizes
new life.
 Example in Hamlet: Yorick’s skull in Act V scene i. The
skull is a symbol of death, an important motif throughout
the play.
 Allegory is a story in which the characters and events are
symbols that stand for ideas about human life or for a
political or historical situation.
 Example: The Truman Show is an example of allegory.
Truman makes the decision to get out of the town and not
be tied to their private system of merchant law.
 Example in Hamlet: The ghost in Act I represents
Hamlet’s father and forces Hamlet to think about death
more in depth.
 A paradox is a statement that apparently contradicts itself
and yet might be true.
 Example: “Everyone can be super. And when everyone’s
super…no one will be” The Incredibles
 Example in Hamlet: “You are the queen, your husband’s
brother’s wife.” Act III scene iv
 Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device
or figure of speech.
 Example: "It seems to me you lived your life like a candle
in the wind” "Candle In the Wind" Elton John
 Example in Hamlet: “O that this too too solid flesh
would melt, thaw and resolve into a dew.” Act I scene ii
 An understatement is the presentation of something as
being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is.
 Example: “Cannibalism is frowned upon in most
societies.” 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’
 Example in Hamlet: “With such dexterity to incestuous
sheets! It is not nor it cannot come to good” Act I scene ii
 Irony is a situation that is strange or funny because things
happen in a way that seems to be the opposite of what you
 Example: “It's like rain on your weddin' day It's a free ride
when you've already paid. It's the good advice that you just
didn't take, And who would've thought, it figures” ‘Ironic’
Alanis Morissette
 Example in Hamlet: “I am too much in the sun.” Act I
scene ii
 Chiasmus is the figure of speech in which two or more
clauses are related to each other through a reversal of
structures in order to make a lager point.
 Example: “Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the
sweaty things.” - Jacquelyn Small.
 Example in Hamlet: “Whether love lead to fortune, or
else fortune love.” Act IV scene iii
 “To be or not to be” Act III scene i
 Metonymy is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept
is called not by its own name but rather by the name of
something associated in meaning with that thing or
 Example: Referring to royalty as the “crown” is an
example of metonymy.
 Example in Hamlet: “I saw him enter such a house of
sale.” Act II scene ii
 Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a term for a part
of something to the whole of something or vice-versa.
 Example: “Our song is a slamming screen door, sneaking
out late.” ‘Our Song’ Taylor Swift
 Example in Hamlet: "So the whole ear of Denmark Is by
a forged process of my death Rankly abused." (ear stands
for Denmark), Act I, scene v,
 Repartee is a conversation or speech characterized by
quick, witty comments or replies.
 Example in Hamlet: “One.” “No.” “Judgment.” “A hit, a
very palpable hit.” “Well again.”
 Stichomythia is a dialogue in which two characters speak
alternate lines of verse, used as a stylistic device in ancient
Greek drama.
 Example in Hamlet: “Come, come, you answer with an
idle tongue.” “Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.”
Act III scene iv
Stock Characters
 A stock character is someone based on common literary or
social stereotypes.
 Example: An example of a stock character is the school
diva, this is Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl.
 Example in Hamlet: Polonius is a stock character. He
represents the older man with former wisdom, and
unknowingly through his failures provides comic relief.
 Alliteration is repetition of a particular sound in the
stressed syllables of a series of words or phrases.
 Example: Sally sells seashells by the seashore.
 Example in Hamlet: "With witchcraft of his wit, with
traitorous gifts” Act I scene v
 Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds to create
internal rhyming within phrases or sentences
 Example: "I feel the need, the need for speed.” Top Gun
 Example in Hamlet: “For in that sleep of death, what
dreams may come” Act I scene i
 Consonance is the repetition of the same consonant two or
more times in short succession.
 Example: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
 Example in Hamlet: “Thou wretched, rash, intruding
fool, farewell.” Act III scene iv
 Rhyme is correspondence of sound between words or the
endings of words, especially when these are used at the
ends of lines of poetry.
 Example: “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall Humpty
Dumpty had a great fall”
 Example in Hamlet: “The play's the thing
 Wherein I'll catch the conscious of the King.”
 Act II scene ii
 Rhythm is a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement
or sound.
 Example: In songs, the rhythm is the beat.
 Example in Hamlet: Hamlet is written in iambic
pentameter, which gives it rhythm
 Meter is an arranged and measured rhythm in verse:
rhythm that continuously repeats a single basic pattern.
 Example in Hamlet: O that this too too solid flesh would
 Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
 Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
 His canon ’gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!” Act II
scene ii
End-Stopped Line
 End-stopped line is a feature in poetry in which the
syntactic unit corresponds in length to the line.
 Example: “Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
 Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
 Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
 And summer's lease hath all too short a date.” Sonnet 18
 Example in Hamlet: “Without the which we are pictures,
or mere beasts” Act IV scene v
Run-On Line
 Run-on line is when there is no punctuation at the end of
the line.
 Example in Hamlet: “Will nothing stick our person to
arraign” Act IV scene v
 Caesura is a complete pause in a line of poetry or in musical
 Example: To err is human; || to forgive, divine
 ~ Alexander Pope
 Example in Hamlet: 'To Be, or Not To Be..." Act III
scene i
Free Verse
 Free verse is an open form of poetry, it does not use consistent
meter patterns or rhyme or any other musical pattern.
 Example: Some kind of attraction that is neither
 Animal, vegetable, nor mineral, a power not
 Solar, fusion, or magnetic
 And it is all in my head that
 I could see into his
 And find myself sitting there. ‘Feelings Now’ Katherine Foreman
 Example in Hamlet: "Indeed this counselor / Is now most
still, most secret, and most grave, / Who was in life a foolish
prating knave” Act III, Scene 4
Iambic Pentameter
 Iambic Pentameter is the particular rhythm that the words
establish in that line.
 Example: “But, soft! what light through yonder window
breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun” Romeo and
 Example in Hamlet: “How noble in reason! how infinite
in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable!
in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!
the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to
me, what is this quintessence of dust?” Act II scene ii
Grammatical/Rhetorical Pauses
 A grammatical pause is introduced by s mark of
punctuation and rhetorical pauses are natural pauses.
 Example in Hamlet: “To be or not to be: that is the
question: whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer” Act III
scene i
Concluding Couplet
 Concluding couplet is a pair of end-rhymed lines of verse
 Example in Hamlet:
 “Till then sit still, my soul: foul deeds will rise,
 Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.”
 Act I.ii

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