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Compare the two soliloquies of Act 2 scene 2, and act 3 scene 1. What do these speeches reveal about Hamlet's state of mind?

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Introduction

Compare the two soliloquies of Act 2 scene 2, and act 3 scene 1. What do these speeches reveal about Hamlet's state of mind? In these two substantial speeches, the character of Hamlet Junior is revealed, and portrays a lot about the made-believe character's state of mind. Shakespeare, who has shown Hamlet to be aberrant, in a sense that he makes absurd remarks which no other character seems to understand, but in actual fact has a lot of meaning in them. At the beginning of the first soliloquy, Hamlet's self hatred is exposed and Shakespeare emphasis's his isolation. He starts by saying, " Now I am alone" which is a cleaver use of language by Shakespeare, because it is a sort of pun. One meaning being that he is saying it literally and telling the audience he is talking to them, or he could in fact be referring to his close friends and family, trying to say that he is alone in society and doesn't have nobody he can rely on, or trust. ...read more.

Middle

He then goes onto taking the anger towards himself and turning it on his uncle. He refers to Claudius as "remorseless treacherous lecherous kindless villain". Here Shakespeare releases Hamlet's fury and rage by using curse words towards Claudius. This also shows that Gertrude and Claudius' marriage frustrates him, and is a way for him to get it all off his chest. Before he unleashes his fury, his mind is suffocating as he has too much to keep to himself. Because as he releases all of his fury instantly he comes up with a plan and he starts to think straight. Shakespeare makes Hamlet end his soliloquy with two excellent lines as they rounds up the whole soliloquy; "the plays the thing, wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King." This explains his idea because if the King's guilt shows he'll have more proof, and is also a positive sign as he starts to get a more stable state of mind. Also the last two lines are rhyming couplets and this is a technique used a lot by Shakespeare, as it is a sort of cue point for the actors and is used on long speeches. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hamlet says, "...what dreams may come" which means that if people knew what the afterlife was like would they suffer the "whips and scorns of time." This is an excellent metaphor as it describes life by referring to time as being able to whip and having scorns. This builds up a strong image in the audience's head of a bad perception of life. This shows Hamlet's intelligence and strong state of mind as he manages to express his feelings as well as making Claudius think he is mad. In conclusion Hamlet in the first soliloquy was emotionally unstable. Shakespeare has portrayed him like this to make the audience feel sorrow towards him. But towards the end of the speech he gets an idea after expressing his feelings aloud clearing his head, which allowed him to think straight. In the second soliloquy Hamlet's state of mind is still a bit unstable because although he has expressed his feelings he still has the problem of Claudius to deal with. He felt a lot of self-hatred and anger and didn't know who to focus it on. ...read more.

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