• 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Hamlet's soliloquies are embarrassingly outdated and unnecessary" "The soliloquies are what make the play.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"Hamlet's soliloquies are embarrassingly outdated and unnecessary" "The soliloquies are what make the play.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the soliloquies in a very negative way and claims that not only are they 'unnecessary' but are also 'embarrassingly outdated.'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. Is Hamlet mad? How does Shakespeare make his audience think about this question and ...

    If Hamlet was madly in love with Ophelia, then he wouldn't call her 'beautified', but if he didn't like her he wouldn't say he loved her, so this letter could show that Hamlet is so mixed up about everything which has happened to him that he really is beginning to go insane.

  2. Discuss the atmosphere created at the beginning of the play. What is its relevance ...

    Another way that Hamlet exaggerates his view in order to show how terrible it is for his mother to have married Claudius is through the allusion of Greek mythologies, "...but no more like my father than I to Hercules"9. It is through literary techniques and dramatic devices such as these

  1. A consideration of the extent to which, in Hamlet's soliloquies, Hamlet is presented by ...

    This is very important with respect to Hamlet's indecision and resulting isolation. Hamlet contradicts his words with his actions. In his next soliloquy in Act 2, scene 2, Hamlet identifies his lack of action and harshly criticises himself. He is amazed by the player king's ability to engage emotionally with

  2. 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."

  1. Hamlet - Comment on Humanity

    whether or not to kill Claudius, his uncle, and if so when to actually do it. As the play progresses, Hamlet does not seek his revenge when the opportunity presents itself, and it is the reasoning that Hamlet uses to justify his delay that becomes paramount to the reader's understanding

  2. How does Shakespeare dramatise Hamlet’s character and state of mind in his Soliloquies?

    Hamlet's disappointment in his mother's actions is summed up in 'Frailty, thy name is woman' the personification of the abstract noun 'frailty' allows it to be held equally to 'woman'. This is the greatest condemnation of women that Hamlet can think of; it also refers to the social status of

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

    says 'To be or not to be', which is the primary verb and the first principle of existence. It is a contrasting pair; to live or to die and is also a rhetorical question. In line 65-66 he says 'To sleep-perhance to dream...'

  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