Circumlocution is when an author expresses an idea, thing, or viewpoint that is open or inexact to more than one interpretation. The author uses circumlocution when they want to not state anything directly and want to make their idea or claim arguable and open for debate. Some of the features of circumlocution are when the author is not truly able to find and pick the correct words to write what they want. Also, a circumlocution can be used in many social settings to steer away from using more derogatory words. Finally, circumlocution can be utilized in poetry to construct a regular meter. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, a circumlocution is employed when Laertes is talking. Laertes states,
“Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain
If with too credent ear you list his songs,
Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open
To his unmast’red importunity”
Laertes’ tone while he is talking here is to be described as condescending towards Ophelia. Laertes does not showcase a genuine understanding or reflection for the feelings of Ophelia. The usage of circumlocution is seen here because Laertes illustrates Ophelia’s lower status as a woman without directly stating it.