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An investigation into the ways in which the language and the subject matter of Hamlet's three soliloquies reveal the key concerns of the play.

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Introduction

An investigation into the ways in which the language and the subject matter of Hamlet's three soliloquies reveal the key concerns of the play. The most common portrayal of Hamlet is of a person seeking truth in order to be certain that he is justified in carrying out the revenge called for by a ghost that claims to be the spirit of his father. Other views see Hamlet as indecisive or even unwilling to carry out a duty of obligation to his murdered father. The purpose of Hamlet's soliloquies is to outline his thoughts and feelings, it reveals his innermost beliefs and offers an unbiased perspective as it is merely him talking to the audience, albeit not directly. 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. Shakespeare reveals the key concerns of the play inevitably, meaning it touches on love, betrayal, murder and revenge, which where commonly found in plays around the time Hamlet was written. Therefore, Hamlet's first soliloquy (Act 1, scene ii) is essential to the play as it highlights his inner conflict caused by the events of the play. ...read more.

Middle

"To die, to sleep", sleep is a metaphor for death. Hamlet uses violent imagery to represent his thoughts, "The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". He uses a metaphor "a sea of troubles" to symbolize the variance in his mind. Repetition of the word "Sleep" demonstrates Hamlet procrastinates, and is reluctant to kill his uncle. He is trying to escape from the problems and promises that await him. Hamlet compares life to a calamity, "That makes calamity of so long life". His words are punctuated with sorrow, "mortal coil". Hamlet is comparing his duties to time's brutality "whips and scorns of time". Hamlet also expresses the longing to return to dust, a precursor of his later soliloquy where he contemplates the same idea. We feel a real sense of Hamlet's disturbed nature; whether he is actually mad or not is debatable, but that he is troubled by the weight of responsibility to avenge his father's death is unquestionable. The mention of the "quintessence of dust" is not fully expanded on at this point, but is effective in illustrating Hamlet's mental decline. He questions whether "to be or not to be" and expresses a longing for the "sleep of death", but a fear "of something after death", preventing such actions. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the play, there are certain scenes where the reader knows Hamlet's intentions for sure. On the other hand, there are scenes where the reader is forced to assume his intentions. We know his intention when the play that he directed was taking place, but the conflict is that we do not know if that was his only intention throughout the entire story. When Hamlet is acting mad, he does not express any clues to the reader as to what his intentions are, which forces us to assume the intentions. We know that Hamlet at least acts mad, but he never expresses his intentions when in public. If the reader evaluates Hamlet's actions in detail, one can find that there may be logic behind Hamlet's variation of personalities. Only around his loyal friend, Horatio, is when Hamlet acts as himself. Horatio knows about at least one of Hamlet's intentions, which is to avenge his father's death. Whether Hamlet acted insane, acted calm, acted ridiculous, or even if he really was insane, he confused the reader. After reading this play, we cannot conclude Hamlet's one, true personality and his intentions throughout the play. His various actions and moods tell the reader that his soliloquies are the only source of information from Hamlet's true self. Hamlet Essay Muna Mumin 1 ...read more.

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