By a significant number of academics, Hamlet is considered to be one of the most advanced forms of Western literature, and indeed, it is quite rich in terms of literary techniques.


A soliloquy is a speech given by an actor or an actress that is not aimed to or at any of the other characters on the stage -unlike monologue, in which the speaker actually speaks to someone on the stage. Soliloquies reflect the inner thinking process of characters rather than creating dialogue. There are a number of soliloquies in the play (though the exact number depends on the interpretation and staging) all of which reveals another aspect of the inner world of Hamlet.


This term refers to a literary device that surrounds the main character with his/her foils (namely with characters who possess characteristics that are exactly the opposite of those of the main character’s), and therefore creates juxtaposition. A foil is not necessarily an antagonist. Fortinbras and Laertes are generally thought of as Hamlet’s foils because of their intrinsic ability to take action, as opposed to Hamlet’s obvious tendency to over think, which results without any solid outcomes.


Hamartia is a term first introduced by Aristotle and is a characteristic of Greek tragedies. Hamartia refers to a flaw in the protagonist’s character that is not bad or harmful per se, but as a result of the consequences, leads to the end of the main character. Many people argue that Hamlet’s tragic flaw is his inability to act.