• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare the first four soliloquies in Hamlet, and how his attitude changes towards revenge in each of them

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare the first four soliloquies in Hamlet, and how his resolve towards revenge changes in each of them. "To be or not to be, that is the question". This is, arguably, the most famous line ever recorded by William Shakespeare. It is a part of the fourth of seven major soliloquies in his play Hamlet, and is a part of the speech in which Hamlet contemplates his intended revenge upon his Uncle, and the new King, Claudius, for the murder of his father, who was also the previous King, and appears as the Ghost in this play when informing Hamlet and the audience of Claudius's betrayal. The soliloquies in this play are considered widely as one of the key elements in its renown as the definitive revenge tragedy. We can see the personal turmoil that Hamlet suffers through the play and how different intrinsic and extrinsic conflicts arise around him at different points. In Hamlet's first soliloquy, which can be found in Act 1 Scene 2, Hamlet shares with the audience his wretchedness and his abhorrence of the King and Queen. ...read more.

Middle

As in the previous soliloquy, here too he seems unsure of how to complete his task. Shakespeare draws Hamlet into examining his present state of mind in what is, although technically being the third soliloquy, the second major one. Impressed by the simulated passion of the Actor in the 'Hecuba' speech, Hamlet feels inadequate and ashamed of his delay in avenging his father's death. In the second half of the speech. Hamlet expresses for the first time his doubts about the Ghost's honesty and intentions: "The spirit that I have seen may be the devil", sent "to damn me [Hamlet]." (Line 551). He resolves to test the truth of the Ghost's story by having the actor perform a play which closely re-presents the Ghost's account of his murder. Guilty people watching plays have been shocked into confessing their crimes. Hamlet hopes the play will give some proof that the Ghost was telling the truth and that it will provoke Claudius into revealing his guilt: "The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King." ...read more.

Conclusion

In this soliloquy, Hamlet seems to have forgotten that his dead father visited him not long ago, saying "The undiscovered country from whose bourn No traveller returns" (Line 79). This soliloquy is very unlike the others Shakespeare gives Hamlet. There is a dejected uniformity of tone and tempo, none of the passionate agitation associated with someone wrestling with complex and confused feelings, much unlike the previous soliloquies, so this serves as a powerful dramatic contrast to the other passionate occurrences in the play. It appears from this soliloquy that, to some extent, Hamlet has resigned himself to the fate that the Ghost set out for him in Act 1, and intends to take action presently. In conclusion, I think it is possible to see when comparing the first four soliloquies in Hamlet by William Shakespeare, that chronologically there is an obvious development. Over the period of time that passes between each soliloquy, you can see to some extent Hamlet's gradual acceptance of his fate. The language Hamlet uses, when combined with other factors employed by Shakespeare to such effect, seems to become gradually more complicated and fluent, indicating his evolving resolve towards revenge. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. A consideration of the extent to which, in Hamlet's soliloquies, Hamlet is presented by ...

    seek revenge would be his only focus, without the distraction of "baser matter". Hamlet's duty as a son is shown clearly at this point where he accepts the ghost's words, be it from fear or loyalty, and he appears to decide that he must fulfil his duty and kill Claudius.

  2. Hamlet’s dilemma.

    Why then would the prince of Denmark hesitate to kill the one man he most justly could? Many literary critics believe that his inaction is the result of a vicarious Oedipus complex. Those who concur with this theory say that Hamlet, in his subconscious mind, has a desire to do

  1. How does Shakespeare present the Theme of Revenge in "Hamlet"?

    He takes time to get enough courage to finally complete the task although other factors such as Hamlet needing proof are also influential in his decision. Hamlet is seen as a tragic hero and the flaw in his character is his inability to take action promptly.

  2. Hamlet's Key soliloquies

    With cynicism and sarcasm, Hamlet speaks of how Gertrude once loved Hamlet's father, only to fall swiftly in love with Claudius. "O God, a beast that's wants discourse of reason/Would have mourned longer - married with my uncle" (1.2.150-151) His anger with his mother is apparent and the point of how quick Gertrude re-married is emphasized many times.

  1. Examine the Dramatic Importance of the Five Major Soliloquies From Hamlet

    The audience enters his inner thoughts and can see his feelings and his mood. Hamlet is in the early stages of grief, is distressed and depressed. The heavy sounding words indicate his bitter mood. To Hamlet, life seems meaningless and he thinks about the relief a quiet death would bring him.

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    Such a discovery in a mood so anxious and irritable accounts for a certain harshness in him; - and yet a wild up-working of love, sporting with opposites in a wilful self-tormenting strain of irony, is perceptible throughout. "I did love you once:" - "I loved you not:" - and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work