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Examine Shakespeare's depiction of Hamlet's state of mind in the soliloquies.

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Ben Lockett 10PLO Task: Examine Shakespeare's depiction of Hamlet's state of mind in the soliloquies think about: * The language Hamlet uses * The context of the soliloquies * How an audience might react to what Hamlet is saying In answering this question I understand Hamlet's state of mind to be his true moods thoughts and feelings. I understand the context to mean what is happening at that point in the play. I will consider how a contemporary audience might react to Hamlets honest thoughts. I will also examine the language Shakespeare uses for Hamlet to portray his emotions of the particular moment. I have chosen to write individually about each of the six soliloquies, for the reason that I am unable to generalize the answers on such complex writings. I will briefly discuss what I believe his state of mind is in order to match his use of language with his emotions. In the first soliloquy the context is that he has discovered his mother's betrayal to his dead father. He is intensely depressed, suicidal and morbid. "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt" this is vivid imagery showing he wants to fade away. ...read more.


Throughout this soliloquy Shakespeare uses metaphors for dramatic effect to show how Hamlet is philosophising on weary life verses the release of death. "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (65)." "When we have shuffled off this mortal coil (75)." Hamlet's state of mind is once again disheartened. "take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them (67)." He's considering the advantages of suicide. (He's having intense mood swings between optimism and hopelessness in the soliloquies.) Uncertain whether he would get peace in death "in that sleep of death what dreams may come (74)?" Shakespeare uses a linguistic device of imagery to intensify Hamlet's emotional state of mind. "and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of (89)?" I believe Hamlet is expressing that people put up with troubles of life because they are afraid of God's consequences for committing suicide. "thus conscience does make cowards of us all; (91)" The audience might react by thinking upon their own religious beliefs and what would sit right with their own conscience. In Elizabethan times the church regarded suicide as a mortal sin. ...read more.


Hamlet's state of mind is such that he has driven himself mad with tormenting himself on his never- ending debate of murder or not. "How all occasions do inform against me, and spur my dull revenge (35)." Language - knows he's thinking too much about committing his deed. "bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple of thinking too precisely on the event (44)." He still thinks himself to be a coward " a thought which quarter'd hath but one part wisdom, and three parts coward (45)" I think the audience would now expect him to go mad with so much deliberation. At this point I think they have given up believing that Hamlet will ever kill anybody. In conclusion this Elizabethan revenge tragedy does follow the tradition of the Greek plays but with a delayed revenge. Hamlet's ghost of his father wants him to kill his uncle and send him to hell, but by killing someone himself just as his uncle has done this could send him to hell, which could be a reason for his enormous amount of delays. Hamlet has a mental conflict as he is unsure of murder because he is not sure if there is an after life or not BUT all his thoughts and actions are the result of a conversation with his father's ghost which is evidence of an afterlife! Words- 1,619 1 ...read more.

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