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Hamlet's soliloquies are embarrassingly outdated and unnecessary" "The soliloquies are what make the play.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

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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"Hamlet's soliloquies are embarrassingly outdated and unnecessary" "The soliloquies are what make the play.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the soliloquies in a very negative way and claims that not only are they 'unnecessary' but are also 'embarrassingly outdated.'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.

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