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Hi

Could you please explain to me why the simple present is used with past events while analysing literature?

For example: " It occurs to hamlet that if he kills Claudius while he is praying, he will send Claudius’s soul to heaven."

THanks in advance.
Comments  
Hi,

It makes the reader/listener feel more like the action is happening right now, ie more part of the action and events.

Look here for details.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_present

Clive
Thanks Clive, I understand.
Would it be gramatically correct if i turned the verbs into past tense?
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Hi,

Yes, it would.
Would you like to try, with your Hamlet sentence?

Clive
Thanks a lot Mr Clive.
I appreciate your help.

This is the sentence, is it correct?
"It occured to hamlet that if he had killed Claudius while he was praying, he would have sent Claudius’s soul to heaven."
Hi,

This is the sentence, is it correct?
"It occured to hamlet that if he had killed Claudius while he was praying, he would have sent Claudius’s soul to heaven."

No. At that time, it was to Hamlet a future possibility, not a past one.

"It occurred to Hamlet that if he killed Claudius while he was praying, he would send Claudius’s soul to heaven."

Clive
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Thanks but i didn't understand the difference, here, between using conditional type 2 and type 3.
Could you please explain more?
Hi,

Thanks but i didn't understand the difference, here, between using conditional type 2 and type 3.
Could you please explain more?

Let's assume Hamlet was thinking about this matter at 4 pm yesterday

At 4 pm, it occurred to Hamlet that if he killed Claudius while he was praying, he would send Claudius’s soul to heaven.

Hamlet was thinking he might kill Claudius sometime after 4 pm.

At 4 pm, it occurred to Hamlet that if he had killed Claudius while he was praying, he would have send Claudius’s soul to heaven.
Hamlet was thinking about the past possibility that he might have killed Claudius sometime before 4 pm.

Perhaps now you are starting to see some of the tense complexities that are avoided by the use of the historical present tense.Emotion: smile

Clive
Thank you a lot, i understand now.
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