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

Hamlet, King Claudius' Soliloquy

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐The Shakespearian play, Hamlet, includes a soliloquy by King Claudius in Act 3, scene 3 that shows him in prayer and trying to repent for his sins. This scene occurs just after the play within the play, which is used to confirm the fact that Claudius is guilty of the former King?s murder in Hamlet?s eyes. This play presents enough evidence to confirm the guilt of King Claudius to Hamlet and therefore condemn him, finally allowing Hamlet to put his plan into action. During the King?s prayer, it is made obvious to the audience that he truly did murder his brother. As soon as he is alone, the king immediately confesses and expresses his guilt over the death. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony, while maintaining a strong meaning within the context of the soliloquy. This allows the audience to have a deeper understanding of the King?s personality and predicament. The literary techniques are rife with Shakespeare?s language proving to be highly effective in conveying his ideas. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony within this soliloquy, as Hamlet?s main intent within the entire play is to kill the King and avenge his father. However, Hamlet wants it to be the perfect time so that Claudius will be sent into purgatory or worse, so when he finds the King vulnerable but in apparent prayer, he refrains from killing him. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare uses the words, ?double business bound? to create an oxymoron as they indicate that the King is obliged to undertake these two things but he cannot, due to their incompatibility. While the king speaks this soliloquy, it also provides the audience with a basis to develop the question of Hamlet?s sanity. Hamlet overhears this soliloquy and we can tell that he uses clear logic in his decision not to kill the king and is still very sane. (How do we know this? Maybe develop this idea further if you can) Shakespeare?s use of the word ?rank? in describing the King?s crime creates olfactory imagery evoking thoughts of disgust and an offensive, foul-smelling odour, suitably matching the abhorrent sin. Fittingly, being a scene of prayer and hopeful forgiveness, Shakespeare uses a biblical reference within this soliloquy. The ?primal eldest curse? alludes to the first murder in Judaeo-Christian tradition where God curses Cain for murdering his brother Abel. This tells us that Claudius is admitting to murdering his brother and it portrays his immense feeling of guilt through Shakespeare?s indication towards such a horrific biblical scene. Secondly, the words ?wash it white with snow? refers to Claudius? hand, signifying three different proverbial sayings. ?To wash one?s hands of a thing?, ?All the water in the sea cannot wash out this stain? and ?As white as snow?. ...read more.

Conclusion

the king ironically is not praying but admitting not willing to give back profits ?May one be pardoned and retain th' offense?? theme of appearance verses reality Voice palpable sense of despair loud wailing tone but shifts to self pitying and loathing tries to negotiate and begs and moans to the angels Character Proves Hamlets sanity ?I am still possess'd of those effects for which I did the murder? - Claudius does not truly regret what he has done stricken with guilt - ?O bosom black as death!? we feel sorry for him as he cannot escape - ?double business bound? Language ?rank? - olfactory imagery, matches abhorrent sin biblical reference ?primal eldest curse? alludes to the first murder, Cain murders his brother Abel ?Wash it white with snow?, proverbial sayings ?To wash one?s hands of a thing?, ?All the water in the sea cannot wash out this stain?, and ?As white as snow? Recurring symbolic idea of unweeded garden Metaphors ?teeth and forehead?, previous idea of ?confronting the visage of offence?, expressing defiance or anger ?O bosom black as death!? - emblematic of Claudius? heart ?limed? soul is symbolic of it being trapped like a bird with birdlime repetition of rhetorical questions Conclusion conveys Kings insecurity and fear of afterlife tormented by the fact that he still desires the benefits of the crown and the Queen demonstrate Hamlet?s sanity continue the theme of appearance verses reality ...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 Criticism & Comparison 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 Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. A well-known movie is Minority Report, which uses several themes from Oedipus the King.

    The film also shows that Anderton is blind, because he is unable to comprehend several things he is told. Like the prophecy the drug sealer form the wrong side of town told him. John Anderton is even blinded by his self-righteousness.

  2. English Belonging Essay. Raimond Gaitas memoir Romulus, My Father, the 2007 ABC Compass story ...

    Central to the plot is Charlie?s ADHD/Autism, which acts as a barrier to Thomas? sense of belonging within his family, the community and the local high-school. As his brother, Thomas must negotiate adolescence under the shadow and responsibility of Charlie?s behaviour when he runs semi-naked around the neighbourhood and rubs excrement onto his bedroom floor.

  1. Our identity in a community is determined by ones own internal emotional view of ...

    at the beach, others detest it because they feel alien to it.? Shows that Pikelet knows where he belongs and whom he belongs with. 1.

  2. Shakespeares Hamlet, I would like to make a few remarks regarding the existential and ...

    His mother, Gertrude, becomes convinced that Hamlet is right. Claudius finds it necessary to get rid of his lunatic and murderous stepson and therefore he sends him to England with a letter that commands the king of England to execute Hamlet. Hamlet rewrites the letter, and instead it is his followers that end of getting executed.

  1. To what extent does Shakespeare use comedy to explore the perceptions of love in ...

    In the same way that Orsino?s love for viola is amusing, Olivia?s love for Cesario is funny because the audience knows that Cesario is actually Viola. This is sort of a reversed version of Orsino?s situation with Viola. Because the audience knows that Cesario is a woman it is amusing

  2. In King Lear Shakespeare creates a morally chaotic world. How far and in what ...

    Illegitimates were problematic for the rigid early modern social structure and were viewed as ?extras? that society struggled to accommodate. Therefore to a contemporary audience, the poor treatment of Edmund would come as no surprise; however a modern audience would interpret such extreme views on illegitimacy as immoral.

  1. To what extent does Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" conform to the ...

    Wilde also uses the theme of love to mock the shallow views of the characters to reveal their vanity. In this instance, Gwendolen is an archetype of vanity who sees her engagement to Jack as an apparatus for her achieving social approval ?I hope you will always at me just like that, especially when there are other people present.

  2. Describe the character of Lorna in Muriel Sparks short story You should have ...

    that some of the responsibility of leaving the uncomfortable situation she was in could be lifted from her shoulders.

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