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Compare and contrast Hamlets two soliloquies.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast Hamlets two soliloquies in Act 1 In Hamlets first soliloquy in Act 1 Scene 2 the language used is very different in nature to that used in scene 5 only slightly later in the play. In the opening lines of hamlets first soliloquy Shakespeare uses very morbid language "too solid flesh would melt" which sets the trend for the rest of his soliloquy. In contrast the opening lines of his second soliloquy show a very different mood of Hamlet "O all you host of heaven! O earth!" these opening lines show us a much more enlightened and triumphant Hamlet. The imagery used in the first soliloquy is, as the language morbid and dismal. Such lines as the "unweeded garden" and the "rank and gross" foul nature of life give us an image of the world in Hamlets eyes. Also the use of similes such as "Like Niobe" and lines using imagery such as "a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer" show us how he is feeling towards his mother by giving an image of how Hamlet sees her. ...read more.

Middle

The theme of disturbed order in the play is apparent in both of Hamlets soliloquies. In his first soliloquy he talks of the "weary, stale, flat and unprofitable... uses of this world" this shows his dismal outlook on the world. Also when he talks of the world as "an unweeded garden" he is referring to his view on the world as corrupt and this links in well with the theme of disturbed order. Similarly in the second soliloquy when Hamlet makes reference to "...this distracted globe" not only is this clever of Shakespeare as it comprises many meanings but it shows there is still a feeling of disturbed order in the play. The theme of Appearance and Reality is also present in the two soliloquies on many levels. One instance it can be seen is in the first soliloquy "for I must hold my tongue" this shows that hamlet cannot share his thoughts therefore he must keep his feelings hidden behind his appearance. In comparison in the second soliloquy Hamlet talks of Claudius as " smiling damned villain!" ...read more.

Conclusion

All this shows how he is disgusted and shocked by his mother's remarriage. There is also a lot about her tears "all tears", "...salt of most unrighteous tears" and "...flushing in her galled eyes" tell a lot about Hamlets view of her deceptive nature. All this about tears also links in with the theme of appearance and reality as Hamlets mother is appearing upset yet it is an act to hide the reality. There is also a hint that Hamlet doubts womens nature in general "frailty, thy name is women" this becomes important later on in the play with ophelia's involving with Hamlet. Similarly in the second soliloquy Hamlet comments on his mother "O most pernicious woman!" with the same feelings as in the first scene though they are stronger now he knows the truth, yet now he is more concerned with his uncle. To conclude, there are many stark contrasts in the language used, the mood and emotions of Hamlet personally before and after his meeting with the ghost. However the overall mood of the play in general and the themes of appearance and reality and disturbed order are very similar and strong in both soliloquies. Chris Gill 26/04/07 ...read more.

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