quotes, notes, timelines & more

Home » Shakespeare's Works » Elements » Figures of Speech » Figures of Speech by Name » Paradox

Paradox

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

Read the Note

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.
… continue reading this note

Hamlet’s First Soliloguy

Read the Note

This is Hamlet’s first extended soliloquy.
… continue reading this note

I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina

Read the Quote

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.
… continue reading this quote

Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death

Read the Quote

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.

… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 1

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Themes:
,

Figures of Speech:
, , , , , , , ,

O that this too too solid flesh would melt

Read the Quote

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!

… continue reading this quote

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

Read the Quote

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,
… continue reading this quote

My only love sprung from my only hate!

Read the Quote

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

… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 5
Line 152

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Themes:

Figures of Speech:
, ,

My bounty is as boundless as the sea

Read the Quote

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.
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 140

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Themes:

Figures of Speech:
, , ,

Words, words, words

Read the Quote

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,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 210

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Themes:
, ,

Figures of Speech:
, , , , , ,

The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night

Read the Quote

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,
… continue reading this quote

Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry?

Read the Quote

Duke, as Friar, to Juliet
Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry?
Juliet
I do; and bear the shame most patiently.

I do repent me as it is an evil,
And take the shame with joy.

Duke, as Friar
I’ll teach you how you shall arraign your conscience,
… continue reading this quote

So then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?

Read the Quote

Duke, as Friar
So then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?
Claudio
The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope.
I have hope to live and am prepared to die.Antithesis

To sue to live, I find I seek to die,
And seeking death,
… continue reading this quote