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Paradox

A paradox is a statement that seems to contradict itself but is nevertheless true.

Paradox is an example of:
Comparison

Unhappy Fortune! The Plague in the Plays

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Shakespeare killed scores of his characters — by sword, by dagger, by poison, by flame, by drowning, by hanging, by murder, by suicide, by accident — men, women, children, all ages, killed by many means, even by a bear. But the deaths of only two of his central characters can be attributed to the plague, and even then, only by proximate cause, not directly by the plague.
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Hamlet’s First Soliloguy

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This is Hamlet’s first extended soliloquy.
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I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina

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Leonato, with a letter
I learn in this letter that Don
Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina.
Messenger
He is very near by this. He was not three
leagues off when I left him.

He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age,
doing in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion.
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Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death

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Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death
MetaphorThe memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief, and Personificationour whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
PersonificationYet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him
Together with remembrance of ourselves.

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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 1

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O that this too too solid flesh would melt

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O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!Epizeuxis & Metaphor

Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter!Metonymy
O God, God,
How Synonymiaweary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!

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She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France

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She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
Whose Synecdochetongue more poisons than the adder’s tooth:Metaphor, Diacope & Parenthesis

How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
To triumph like an Amazonian trull
Upon their woes whom Fortune captivates.Simile

O, tiger’s heart wrapped in a woman’s hide,
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My only love sprung from my only hate!

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My only love sprung from my only hate!Paradox
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!Epanalepsis
Prodigious birth of love it is to me
That I must love a loathèd enemy.Irony

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Source:
Act 1
Scene 5
Line 152

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My bounty is as boundless as the sea

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My bounty is as boundless as the sea,Simili
My love as deep;Ellipsis the more I give to thee,
The more I have,Anaphora, Paradox
for both are infinite.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 140

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Words, words, words

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Hamlet
Words, words, words.Epizeuxis
Polonius
What is the matter, my lord?
Hamlet
Between who?
Polonius
I mean the matter Antanaclesis
that you read, my lord.

Though this be madness, yet there is
method in ‘t.

Hamlet
Slanders,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 210

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The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night

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The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,Personification
Check’ring the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
And fleckled darkness like a drunkard reelsSimile
From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels.Allusion

The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb;
What is her burying grave,
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Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come

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Hero
Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
As we do trace this alley up and down,
Our talk must only be of Benedick.
When I do name him, let it be thy part
To praise him more than ever man did merit.

What fire is in mine ears?

My talk to thee must be how Benedick
Is sick in love with Beatrice.
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Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds

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Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Towards Phoebus’ lodging. Such a wagoner
As Phaëton would whip you to the west
And bring in cloudy night immediately.Alliteration & Allusion

Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,
That runaways’ eyes may wink, and Romeo
Leap to these arms, untalked of and unseen.Personification

So tedious is this day
As is the night before some festival
To an impatient child that hath new robes
And may not wear them.
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 2
Line 1

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