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A soliloquy is a speech made to the audience by a main character in a play. There are seven soliloquies in Hamlet of which I have studied three.

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A soliloquy is a speech made to the audience by a main character in a play. There are seven soliloquies in Hamlet of which I have studied three. The soliloquies are used to get into the mind of Hamlet. It is a psychological drama so what's going on in his mind is very important to the story. It also shows his isolation. Hamlet's first soliloquy introduces Hamlet. It is set at court and takes place before Hamlet knows his father, the king, has been murdered. The court has departed and Hamlet is left by himself. The change in between the noise and the quiet and emptiness in which he now finds himself, amplifies his isolation. Hamlet is annoyed at the way everybody has got over his father's death and has stopped mourning really quickly. This is shown in the argument he has with Claudius over wearing mourning clothes. Hamlet is the only person in court still wearing them. This soliloquy shows what Hamlet thinks of his family. ...read more.


It adds a previously unknown dimension to Hamlet's character. It creates great tension and anticipation between Hamlet and Claudius and suggests that the long awaited battle between Claudius and Hamlet is soon to begin. It talks a lot about the "witching hour" and many other images of the supernatural. This reminds us of the part in the first scene and the appearance of the ghost. Hamlet even promises revenge "now could I drink hot blood." The mention of hot is related to a fiery hell but also to the ghosts description on purgatory. The speeches are often used to remind people of the past events and how they all connect. The idea of fresh blood implies that the act of revenge is near. He appears almost spurred on into action when he mentions "Blood up" but after this he still calls this act of revenge "Bitter business" ,which possibly hints that he does not want to go ahead with it. Instead of following Claudius he goes to his mother, as he was commanded. ...read more.


Hamlet appears very powerless and he expresses this when he says "How all occasions do inform against me", and he is driven down to his inevitable doom. Hamlet recognises the flaw in thinking too much about the precise event. He thinks to himself "three part coward" this proves he has run out of excuses. He watches an army go into battle for what he describes as "An eggshell", describing the small plot of land over which they are fighting. Yet this same image reminds us of the fragility of life as we fear for his life. Claudius and he are now in deadly conflict. The complex imagery reveals that there is a clarity and purpose in what he's saying and, rather then being gloomy and distracted, he is direct about what he's going to do. The image is strengthened by the sight of the army marching past in the background. From now on there are no more speeches and only fast and furious action from both sides. Shakespeare's soliloquies shape the response of the audience by giving them time to think and letting them get into the mind of the characters. ...read more.

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