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Hamlet Essay DRAFT

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Hamlet Essay DRAFT Examine the function of the main soliloquies in the play. Comment on their impact on the audience, how they reveal the character of hamlet and how they are involved in the structure of the play. "Hamlet" is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in around 1601 when Queen Elizabeth the first was on the throne. In the play we see the royal court of Denmark becoming more and more corrupt with ghosts, murder, madness and incest, culminating in the highest death toll in any of Shakespeare's plays. The lead character of Hamlet is an intellectual whose aim in the play is to avenge his father's death by killing his uncle, the king. However his tendency to think too much and inability to carry out his actions gets in the way of him bringing the king to justice, and this hesitancy is a major recurring theme in the play. At the time of Hamlet first being performed, the royal family of England would have been similar to the celebrities of today, and the public of the time would have loved any scandals or gossip involving royalty. This made Hamlet very popular with the audience watching the plays, and even though this particular royal family was that of Denmark, the public ...read more.


This self-loathing continues in other soliloquies. Then at the end of the soliloquy Hamlet gives the audience a taste of things to come and shows his intentions. He has devised a plan to verify whether or not Claudius is guilty of the murder. He will show the royal court a play that depicts the exact murder of Hamlet's father, and watch Claudius' reaction. He tells the audience "The play's the thing Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king". The next of Hamlet's soliloquies is one of the most famous passages in the play. In the soliloquy Hamlet shows self-loathing, and melancholy, and is contemplating suicide. "To be, or not to be, that is the question". The opening line shows hamlet contemplating suicide, showing the audience the extent of his depression. Then by saying, "to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune... And by opposing end them" he is saying that if you can't suffer them you must end your troubles with suicide. He then shows his doubts about killing himself when he says, "aye, there's the rub". He is saying that the impediment to suicide is that you don't know "what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil". ...read more.


At the end of the final soliloquy Hamlet decides once and for all that his thoughts "be bloody or be nothing worth". He has come to the conclusion that his thoughts are worth nothing unless they are thoughts of murderous revenge. In conclusion I have enjoyed studying Hamlet's soliloquies. They shed light on different aspects of Hamlet's character, and help convey his feelings to the audience. The soliloquies are especially effective as they help the audience keep up with the plot of the play and give them an insight into how the main character is feeling. The soliloquies are important in this particular play because they let us see Hamlet's thoughts. Hamlet is an intellectual rather than a man of action, so it is crucial that we are let inside Hamlets head to understand what he is thinking. If it weren't for the soliloquies, the audience would have no idea what hamlet's intentions were when he was commissioning the play, or when he was contemplating suicide, or when he was putting off the murder of Claudius those numerous times! To understand the plot of hamlet you must first understand Hamlet's character, and that is exactly what his soliloquies enable us to do. ...read more.

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