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In Shakespearean literature, soliloquies are important dramatic devices.

They allow the reader
to understand a character better as a play unfolds. In Hamlet, the soliloquies performed by the
title character help reveal his innermost thoughts and feelings aloud. Hamlet's soliloquies are the
keys to his internal struggles, which are hidden under a mask. From Hamlet's soliloquies in Act I,
II, III, and IV, one learns of his feelings towards the new marriage between his mother and his
uncle, his indecisiveness towards the revenge for his father's death, and his overwhelming
feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide. The soliloquies performed by Hamlet help reveal
Hamlet's soliloquies about the new marriage occur before he sees the ghost of his father.
His feelings on the marriage are more accurate beforehand due to the fact that his thoughts are
un-influenced by the means of his father's death. Through Hamlet's soliloquy in act I scene II, it
is evident that Hamlet struggles with the idea of the new marriage, his mothers mourning, and
how he should not reveal his true feelings. Hamlet seems confused as to why his mother would
remarry only two months after his father's death.
But two months dead-- nay, not so much, not two.
So excellent a king, that was to this
Hyperion to a satyr, so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Hamlet compares his father and Claudius to Hyperion, a Greek Titan, and a satyr, a
mythological woodland creature depicted as having the pointed ears, legs, and short horns of a
goat and a fondness for unrestrained revelry. Hamlet also describes how loving his father was to
his mother.
Traditionally, in the eighteenth century, mourning of a loved one would continue for a
long time as a sign of resprct to the deceased.
In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the tragic hero reveals his inner conflicts and introspective
attitude in each of the lengthy soliloquies in the play. Hamlet is a static character whose thoughts
never dramatically change. Each soliloquy delves further into Hamlet's motivations, or lack
thereof, and psyche. Each soliloquy, each slightly different, is all united by vivid imagery,
introspective language, and discussion of Hamlet's delay of action.
The first soliloquy serves to 'set the stage' for the rest of Hamlet's thoughts, feelings, and
actions. It is here that Hamlet first reveals his hatred for his mother's incestuous marriage to his
uncle, Claudius, his low self-image, and his great reverence for his father. Each aspect of this
soliloquy has an integral and conflicting part in Hamlet's role. While he hates Claudius and
immensely idolizes his father, Hamlet will be plagued by his low self-image, thus taking no
action and contributing even more to his existing problems.
In the beginning lines of this soliloquy Hamlet is already considering suicide.

In death this great burdon would lift. He's got so many thoughts conflicting in his mind that he wants to just end it all. He struggles with every possibility and tries to weigh each possible outcome. sometimes he's envious of someone he wishes he could be like and sometimes he was depressed and ready to give up. he seemed to want to ignore both his heart and mind. In this soliloquy he speaks of death as a great peace where you owe nothing and nothing is expected of you. 135-140). So excellent a King that was to this Hyperion to a satyr. flat and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world (I. I believe he was speaking of the great job expected of him. stale. Hamlet's character is very complex. His famous soliloquy. ii. He's more of an intellectual who thinks of the future rather than the now. He abandoned his logic and heart and became selfish to the point of just wanting peace. Hamlet may put too much thought into things but he also expresses his feelings very strongly in his soliloquies. so loving to my mother That he might not beteem the winds of heaven All of Hamlet's soliloquies say something important about his character. By the forth soliloquy he is so sick . During the middle soliloquy however. He wants to take action but he fears losing his soul. Hamlet's thoughts seem to be everywhere. and what he wishes he could do for his father but his conscience fights his heart.… Or that the Everlasting had not fixed His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God! How weary. In "To be or not to be" he was once again ready to give up. In his soliloquy "To be or not to be. Sometimes he is very angry at the king. Hamlet goes on to compare his father to Claudius and comment on the relationship between King Hamlet and Gertrude. Before "To be or not to be" Hamlet seemed as if he wanted to follow his mind and logically he did not want to kill a man. and the way he thinks. His heart was telling him to fulfill his father's wishes and he seemed to lean toward this option after the 4th soliloquy." Hamlet compares Denmark to an "unweeded garden" to symbolize the corruption within his country. O that this too too solid flesh would melt. His mind told him he would lose his soul if he did." he is once again over analyzing his situation to the point of being suicidal. "To be or not to be" says very much about how he is feeling in during the most recent events in the play. Through these lines it is obvious that Hamlet is in the midst of a deep depression. that is seeded within Claudius and his incestuous marriage to Gertrude. He has no control over the "uses of the world. which would lose his soul and neglect his father's wishes. the way he feels. He knows what he has been asked to do.

Hamlet's world is crashing rapidly down over his head as the era of Old King Hamlet comes to an end and the era of Claudius comes into being. and inner peace are all justifiable emotions for this troubled character. Without being able to return to Wittenberg. displays many strong yet justified emotions. However. Shakespeare reveals another source of sadness. and family have betrayed. suggesting that suicide is an easy way to end life's conflicts. Hamlet actually debates suicide.. For instance. anger. His despair. In Hamlet's first soliloquy he reveals that his despair has driven him to thoughts of suicide. but solutions from the source of the problem do him little good." Likewise. he has no one to confide in. madam? Nay it is. His back is against the wall and life is becoming unbearable. I know not 'seems'. the new king of Denmark. we see in Hamlet's asides that another source of his melancholy is his mother's hasty marriage to Claudius. This cause is well brought out in Hamlet's soliloquy in which he states.." in this world so "foul and pestilent. But luckily he concludes that! the fear of an unknown afterlife is what keeps us living. Sorrow. With his father dead and his mother a villain's whore. rejecting him. Hamlet no longer has an escape from his problems. Ophelia. Further. Claudius tries to impose fatherly advice upon him. All of Hamlet's thoughts of despair can be understood when one looks at the horrible conflicts Hamlet goes through. perhaps the most evident emotion. The ideals.The character of Prince Hamlet. what a rouge and peasant slave am I!" Finally. scene 2." In his "To be or not to be" soliloquy. perhaps one of the most well known quotes in the English language. in Shakespeare's Hamlet. "How weary (horrible) . now Hamlet is alone. His mother has remarried to what he believes is a villain. scene 2. the "To be or Not To Be" soliloquy." In addition. Denmark has changed drastically in government in less than a month and the threat of war is on their doorstep. Hamlet wishes they tell the King and Queen that he has "lost all mirth. when Hamlet discovers that Ophelia had .. O. Hamlet's feeling of despair towards his life and to the world develops as the play moves on. "Seems. sorrow. . is very well developed throughout the play. he replies. The world has not allotted Hamlet a moment to grieve before his mother and the kingdom has moved on without him. with the most loved character in his life. His law 'gainst self slaughter. the only cause of Hamlet's sorrow is his father's death. religious beliefs. Initially. when Hamlet talks to his friends. when Queen Gertrude asks her son why his father's death "seems" so important. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Act 2. "Now I am alone. after reading Act 1.. he expresses his despair through thoughts of suicide.

He also considers seeking revenge for his father’s death. or not to be" soliloquy to the Lord's Prayer. Popular movies such as Billy Madison quote the famous phrase. Speaking metaphorically about his flesh melting. Evidence of his uncertainty and over thinking is not only shown in this speech. Hamlet has lost what he has to live for." portrays Hamlet as a very confused man. "Hamlet. where they see him as the god of drama. Even centuries ago. . In a letter dated October 1. and www. this attitude is not new. He is very unsure of himself and his thoughts often waver between two extremes due to his relatively strange personality. and the media. commenting on David Garrick's production of Hamlet (1742-1776) to his friend Heinrich Christian Boie. infallible and fundamentally superior to modern playwrights. Hamlet goes on to Question his mother's loyalty to Old King Hamlet because of the short time period between his father's death and her marriage to Claudius. 1775. Hamlet wishes that suicide was not a sin. Would it not be easier for us to simply enter a never-ending sleep when we find ourselves facing the daunting problems of life than to "suffer / the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune"? However. indeed. The "To Be or Not To Be" speech in the play. he contemplates whether or not he should continue or end his own life." Shakespeare seems to understand this dilemma through his character Hamlet. Today. the "holiness" of Shakespeare's work inspired and awed audiences. Old King Hamlet and Claudius are as Hyperion to a satyr. However. Hamlet contemplates his own serves as an online archive of Shakespeare's works. Shakespeare strikes a chord with a fundamental human concern: the validity and worthiness of life. In the monologue. In this soliloquy. and thus the phrase "To be. likens the "To be. it is perhaps because we do not know what this endless sleep entails that humans usually opt against suicide. "For in that sleep of death what dreams may come / When we have shuffled off this mortal coil / Must give us pause.tobeornottobe. television. or not to be" has been immortalized. but it also can be referenced in other important parts of the play. it has pervaded our culture to such a remarkable extent that it has been referenced countless times in movies. The throne has been snatched from his grasp along with his mother in the same calculated swoop. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg.Hamlet's soliloquy affects a tone of despair and woe. a Shakespeare stereotype is held up by the bulk of society. He speaks metaphorically comparing about the Kingdom of Denmark being the Garden of Eden turn rank and decayed.

it is obvious that Hamlet is over thinking and wavering between two different extremes: life and death. and demonstrates that Hamlet’s indecisive personality is his fatal flaw. This occurs not only in this speech. His entire monologue compares the two extremes: life and death. Throughout the speech. "Whether 'tis nobler in the …show more content… The "dread of something after death. Hamlet knows that he over thinks everything.The topic of Hamlet’s soliloquy is his consideration of committing suicide. or some craven scruple of thinking too precisely on th'event -A thought which quartered hath but one part wisdom And ever three parts coward -I do not know Why yet I live to say thi . Hamlet does not only have a hard time choosing between life and death. he ended up procrastinating greatly with the murder. He plans to kill Claudius because of his desperate desire to avenge his father’s death and right the wrong that was committed. but cannot go through with his plan due to his confusion and uncertainty. He also can not choose between murdering Claudius or not. "Whether it be Bestial oblivion. 1. He says. 78-80) and keeps people from choosing death due to the fear of the unknown. The undiscovered country from whose bourn No traveler returns. He analyzes both situations and thinks very much about the consequences of either action. but also later in the play. Even though Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle. he was terrified of the possible consequences and could not make a concrete decision. puzzles the will" (3. Consequently.

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