In Shakespeare’s early works hendiadys barely appears. Maybe popping up once or twice a play. Then, in about 1599, Shakespeare appears to have had a a moment and a revelation. He suddenly decided that hendiadys was his favourite form. You can draw a graph of the frequency and watch it leap up, peak, plateau, and drop away in what’s usually called his late (and not great) period. Now, I’m not arguing that hendiadys was the only thing that made those five tragedies great, but it’s worth noting that that’s when he used the rhetorical form. Hamlet is the top play, where he averages a hendiadys every 60 or so lines.

Hendiadys is “the substitution of a conjunction for a subordination”, or in other words, instead of saying “full of furious sound, signifying nothing,” you say “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The five tragedies are Hamlet, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, and King Lear.