Hamlet's Soliloquy

This essay has a total of 962 words and 4 pages.

Hamlet's Soliloquy

Look at Hamlet's soliloquy and examine how it reveals to the audience what he feels and thinks

The purpose of a soliloquy is to outline the thoughts and feelings of a certain character at a point in the play. It reveals the innermost beliefs of the character and offers an unbiased perspective as it is merely the character talking to the audience, albeit not directly, and not to any other characters who may cause the character to withhold their true opinions. Therefore, Hamlet's first soliloquy (act 1, scene 2) is essential to the play as it highlights his inner conflict caused by the events of the play. It reveals his true feelings and as such emphasises the difference between his public appearance, his attitude towards Claudius in the previous scene is less confrontational than here where he is directly insulted as a "satyr", and his feelings within himself. In this essay, I will outline how Shakespeare communicates the turmoil of Hamlet's psyche.

Hamlet's despair stems from his mother's marriage to his uncle and it is this that is the driving force behind what is communicated. His constant repetition of the time in which it took the two to get married, "But two months dead...yet within a month...A little month...Within a month...most wicked speed", suggests his disgust at the situation and that it is not necessarily the nature of their "incestuous" relationship that troubles Hamlet; more the short time in which it occurred. In fact, this is especially well communicated to the audience as, throughout the soliloquy, the passage of time that Hamlet describes gets less from "two months" to "Within a month". This has the effect of outlining Hamlet's supposed contempt of his mother for only mourning a month whilst also highlighting that it is the time involved that is vexing him and not specifically the deed.

In this soliloquy, we also learn about Hamlet's adoration of his father and how this serves to emphasise the scorn that he shows towards his mother. Hamlet communicates that his father was a divine, almost 'god-like' character, "so excellent a king", who was "so loving to my mother". He also illustrates the contrast between the new king and the old and as such his mother's choice, "Hyperion to a satyr". This example of extreme contrast increases the importance of Hamlet's father and yet also makes a mockery of Claudius' character; one which, to this point, the audience could have seen as strong and domineering.

When Hamlet says, "Frailty, thy name is woman", he is personifying frailty as the entire of the female race. The actions of his mother have lead him to believe that all women are capable of acting in this "wicked" way and that all women are weak. Alongside the image of his father that is communicated, Hamlet i

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