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

How do Hamlet's soliloquies help us to understand the processes of his mind?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Katy Cheevers How do Hamlet's soliloquies help us to understand the processes of his mind? The term soliloquy is a literary or dramatic form of discourse, within which a character talks to himself and reveals his inner thoughts without addressing a listener. Hamlet uses soliloquies to express his feelings towards his dead father and self loathing to the reader of the play but to none of the characters within it. Hamlet has a complex character and it is important for the audience to be able to understand Hamlet's feelings on the themes of the play without him having to explain them to another character. Hamlets three soliloquies are guide of how he is feeling at different points of the play. In the first line of Hamlet's first soliloquy he uses the term 'sullied flesh' referring to himself, describing him to have impure flesh in a physical sense because he is made of the same flesh as his mother. ...read more.

Middle

This emotive comparison shows Hamlets obvious mourning for his dead father, which is playing strongly on his mind as his mother is showing such little bereavement. Hamlets self-loathing is also apparent from the second and third soliloquies showing that this is playing on Hamlets mind through out the play. In the second soliloquy he describes himself as 'coward... pigeon-livered... lacking gall.' He blames himself for being so cowardly not being able to seek revenge for his father, in this speech Hamlet gets angry with himself, asking rhetorical questions such as 'why, what an ass am I?' From this second soliloquy it is apparent that Hamlet is very troubled by his incapability and self-loathing, he talks of actors on the stage and says 'Had he the motive and the cue for passion that I have? He would drown the stage with tears...make mad the guilty...' Going through Hamlet's mind is such strong hatred for Claudius and disgust for Gertrude because of their flippant and inappropriate behaviour after the death of Polonius, he can't understand how these ...read more.

Conclusion

He says, 'Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears...' this line shows his bitterness against him, claiming even her minimal tears that were shed were false. In the third soliloquy Hamlets self-loathing and anger is growing, he starts his speech with 'to be or not to be that is the question' he is really questioning the idea's of suicide again, which he spoke of in the first soliloquy maybe here with more vigour, as his religious righteousness is not mentioned. The rhetorical question he asks himself followed by metaphoric images of life and death as 'a sea of troubles [life]...and end of heartache [death]' are showing his thoughts of being stuck between coping with life being melancholy but too cowardly to perform upon these feelings or death, which possibly would end these hardships. Studying Hamlets soliloquies reveals key understanding to the intriguing and complex mind of Hamlet, through them the main themes of the play are unravelled, for it is within the soliloquies that Hamlets motives for his later actions in the play, such as murdering Claudius are confirmed. ...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. Compare and contrast Hamlets two soliloquies.

    here he is implying of the evil reality behind Claudius's genial appearance. This theme of Appearance and Reality makes the play very dramatic in places as it creates a sense of impending evil. Hamlets Melancholic language in his first soliloquy "But break, my heart," is in stark contrast to the determination and triumph in his second soliloquy "yes, by heaven!".

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

    disappointment towards his mother who married Claudius within two months after his father's death. In hamlet's eyes Claudius is unworthy of his mother and his father's throne. Through the hero-worship he tries to prove this point. As readers, we find Hamlet's description of his father extremely exaggerated.

  1. Discussing Hamlets desire for vengeance.

    and they have the power to shape and create a sense of reality" (Smith, N., 2008: 50). Much of the language of the extract is courtly, elaborate, and witty. On the one hand, the vocabulary the ghost employs is defined as archaic by Delaney (1999; 15), a quality that "makes

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

    as to possess nature entirely - there is no order in the world. Corruption has taken over every corner of Hamlet's world, 'That it should come to this!' The use of the word 'it' shows that Hamlet cannot even bring himself to name the corruption that has taken place.

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

    women who were seen to be the weak sex during this period. Hereby, acting as a statement which is a validation of his mother's frailty. There is a huge time gap between Hamlet's first and second soliloquies possibly of a few weeks as the ambassadors sent to Norway on Act

  2. 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

  1. Show how Hamlet's changing state of mind is made clear through Shakespeare's dramatic use ...

    It would be easy to underestimate how this may have affected Hamlet. In a modern day play, in their need for fast action and excitement, I'm not sure that there would be such a display of emotion as this soliloquy but a rushed continuation of the rest of the play,

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    Knight went so far as to say that 'Hamlet is an element of evil in the state of Denmark', 'a living death in the midst of life'. He is an alien at the court, 'inhuman - or superhuman ... a creature of another world'. Neither side can understand the other.

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