William Shakespeare is one of the most significant figures of the United Kingdom and the whole world. His contribution to the development of culture and literary and theatrical art is priceless, and the fact that this ingenious writer lived and created literary works is a gift for all humankind. One of the most favorite and well-known plays created by the writer is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,” which was published in 1603. Several Hamlet monologues are rather famous among readers, students, and literature researchers. A passage from the second scene of the second act reveals essential facts about Hamlet’s character and has impressive diction, syntax, and imagery.
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This passage includes the monologue of Hamlet that he delivers to his friends, who are secretly sent by the King to find out what is wrong with the prince. Even though Hamlet knows about his uncle’s purpose and does not want to tell Rosencrantz and Guildenstern about his real issue, he still tells most of the truth and expresses his worries and emotions (Shakespeare 65). Though his message is not entirely clear for them, it is possible to analyze the passage and understand some hidden facts.
If to pay particular attention to the diction, syntax, and imagery of this passage, it is rather easy to get some information about Hamlet’s character. He is stressed, worried, angry, and confused; finding out about the real reason for his father’s death weighs him and makes him forget about all the earthly joys and beauties (Shakespeare 65). However, when he speaks of the Earth and Nature surrounding him, he uses a number of the most wonderful imageries. For example, he says: “this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave overhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire” (Shakespeare 65). It is evident that he is lost in his feelings, but his love for Nature is still alive and stronger than his anger and revenge (Shakespeare 65). Moreover, Hamlet sounds desperate not only because he tries to avenge his father but also because he misses the feeling of enjoying nature and its gifts.
As for the syntax of the passage, it changes according to Hamlet’s mood. First, there is a rather long sentence with several connected but still various ideas (Shakespeare 65). It seems like Hamlet is not sure whether he should say this and is afraid of finishing the sentence. Then, he becomes more excited and emotional, and his phrases take on a more enthusiastic tone and become fragmentary: “how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty!” (Shakespeare 65). For readers, it is not challenging to imagine Hamlet being excited and telling these words rather loud because he cannot hold his emotions. As for the diction, Hamlet chooses both simple and complex words and phrases, which proves that he considers talking as a form of art and, at the same time, can express his thoughts in simple constructions.
This passage provides significant information about Hamlet’s character. The readers make sure that he is rather romantic – he loves and admires Nature and its wonders and regrets that he cannot enjoy its beauties anymore (Shakespeare 65). Moreover, Hamlet appears to be a rather philosophical person who admits the greatness of humans and the fact that they are “the beauty of the world” and “the paragon of animals” (Shakespeare 65). It is hard to disagree that Hamlet has a deep understanding of the world, Nature, God, and humans. He knows how to clearly express his thoughts, admire usual and extraordinary phenomena, and come to interesting conclusions.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. General Press, 2018.