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

Hamlet's soliloquies are embarrassingly outdated and unnecessary" "The soliloquies are what make the play. They bring the audience closer to Hamlet and offer profound observations on humanity" Consider both these views. What is your view of the solilo

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Hamlet's soliloquies are embarrassingly outdated and unnecessary" "The soliloquies are what make the play. They bring the audience closer to Hamlet and offer profound observations on humanity" Consider both these views. What is your view of the soliloquies in 'Hamlet'? Hamlet has, in total, six soliloquies in the play, each of them offering an insight to his thoughts and feelings. However as Hamlet's sanity grows more questionable so do his soliloquies and therefore both these statements can be supported by evidence from the text. The first critic views the soliloquies in a very negative way and claims that not only are they 'unnecessary' but are also 'embarrassingly outdated.' In support of this it can be argued that there is not a lot of important content to the soliloquies; Hamlet appears to say a lot but in-fact rarely says anything of great significance to the plot. For example in the first soliloquy Hamlet talks about the death of his father and his mother's quick marriage shortly after but this is not for the audience's benefit as this has already been previously mentioned. And in the fifth soliloquy, he talks about punishing his mother, displaying a hate for her that the audience have been fully aware of since the beginning of the play. ...read more.

Middle

Understanding his personality and why he becomes the man he is at the end of the play brings the audience closer to him as they follow the demise of his character. We also see his other character traits like his sarcasm 'what an ass am I: this is most brave' which is conceived through the bitterness he feels for everyone and everything, including himself. We see his self depreciation 'my dull revenge' which often extends as far as self loathing 'I am pigeon-livered and lack gall' and the way he over analyses everything around him 'whether it be bestial oblivion or some craven scruple of thinking too precisely on th' event.' The audience gain a strong sense of Hamlet's hate: for his mother 'o most pernicious woman'; Claudius 'bloody, bawdy villain' himself, love, and life which he describes as a 'sea of troubles.' The fact that life is represented as a sea symbolises Hamlet's feeling of helplessness against it and the magnitude and weight that it carries. Through his soliloquies, we learn of Hamlet's increasing desperation as he delays his vengeance for as long as possible. Hamlet's procrastination frustrates him and he becomes angry at himself yet still does not do anything, 'why yet I live to say this thing's to do, sith I have cause and will and strength and means to do't.' ...read more.

Conclusion

murder, though it have no tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ' showing an astute understanding of the way in which human nature works. In his depression and state of desperation, Hamlet asks what binds us so dearly to life. If it were not for fear of the afterlife he says he would kill himself because life is not worth living, it is just a series of disappointments, 'to sleep, perchance to dream - ay, there's the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come.' Although these two views are opposing in the sense that one is negative and one is positive, I think that they both have elements of truth in them although I am more inclined to agree with the second statement that the soliloquies make the play, bring the audience closer to Hamlet and offer profound observations on humanity. They do often seem quite unnecessary for the reasons previously outlined but I think that they are purposely written this way to illustrate Hamlet's character. His lengthy speeches and repetitiveness show the way he over analyses situations, the more he thinks things through, the more frustrated he becomes. Also his repetition of needing to take action effectively demonstrates his procrastination and his soliloquies mark the different stages in his depression as the tone changes between them to show his decline into madness. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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 ...

    What would he do, Had he the motive and cue for passion That I have? Act 2, scene ii (563-567) It is also ironic that Hamlet says he, "can say nothing" when all does is 'say' rather than engage his intent.

  2. Is Hamlet mad? How does Shakespeare make his audience think about this question and ...

    before, so his aim could have been to frighten and upset Ophelia. In this scene, Shakespeare makes the audience question whether Hamlet is really mad because Hamlet's behaviour can be interpreted in so many different ways, and it is hard to tell whether Hamlet is just putting it on.

  1. With special reference to the main soliloquies, trace the development of Hamlet's character in ...

    In line 79-80 he says 'No traveller returns, puzzles the will...' which means that we do not have any knowledge about what happens after we die and there is no coming back to this world after death. But he also wonders that if this is correct then why does his

  2. Discuss these two views and consider any other response of your own, as regards ...

    But this contradicts all of Hamlet's impulsive actions, such as the killing of Polonius. The cowardly reaction by Polonius made Hamlet stab him through the curtain. This takes the audience completely out of the spectrum of Hamlet's original character. Hamlet's first attack in the play and it ironically was accidental.

  1. An exploration of the ways in whichShakespeare presents Hamlet's changing thoughts and feelings in ...

    The garden's rank weeds embody the marriage between Claudius and Gertrude and ultimately the corruption within Denmark. Hamlet cannot take on board his mother's actions, he cannot accept that this is his own 'rank and gross' flesh and blood. In the anguish of Hamlet's mind, the weeds have grown so

  2. 'By Examination of Hamlet's Soliloquies, Explore some of the Challenges and Opportunities likely to

    These definite thoughts enter his head very early on in the play, and rhetorical questions are used to highlight his mental instability. Hamlet also demeans and shows his general disgust about women, which is apparent in the way he makes judgements about his mother, using the derogatory comment 'Frailty, thy

  1. Consider different interpretations of some of Hamlet's soliloquies and/or other key speeches and explain ...

    of "too" intensifies Hamlets feelings of guilt and regret Hamlet's despair goes wider in his circumstances, his whole view of life is corrupted with a melancholy verging on hatred. In the metaphor the world is Hamlet; "stale, flat, and, unprofitable, an unweeded garden, that grows to seed."

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    This accrescence of objectivity in a Ghost that yet retains all its ghostly attributes and fearful subjectivity, is truly wonderful. Ib. sc. 5. Hamlet's speech:- "O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else? And shall I couple hell?

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