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

    Hamlet's dad was a great king and Hamlet wouldn't be the king now. This soliloquy begins to put a picture in my head of how I may feel in this situation through it's language; The very first word of the soliloquy is an illustration of the way Hamlet feels 'O that this...'

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

    Their current awry, And lose the name of action. Act 3, scene I (84-88) Young Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet were all looking to avenge the deaths of their fathers. All sought vengeance, and then acted towards obtaining it. Whereas, Hamlet states that, "conscience does make cowards of us all."

  1. Discussing Hamlets desire for vengeance.

    fulfil his duty, also expressing his resentment towards his mother's adulterous behaviour and his uncle's smilingly deceptive appearance. Mystery and horror pervade the extract. The appearance of the ghost has a huge impact on both the characters and the audience, and his supernatural revelations of fratricidal regicide and adultery create a mystical and tense atmosphere of suspense and terror.

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

    is actually a prince; he is trying to say that he is not worthy to be of that status. Hamlet also thinks of himself as a coward because he has not yet done anything to avenge his father's death. Hamlet also questions the idea of an actor being able to

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

    Shakespeare presents this image of an 'unweeded garden' to show the lack of order and control that Hamlet feels all around him. After his father's death, there would have been chaos amongst an 'unweeded garden', now however, the 'unweeded garden' has '[grown] to seed' displaying the incestuous nature of his mother in her marriage to Claudius.

  2. Examine Shakespeare's depiction of Hamlet's state of mind in the soliloquies.

    He constantly repeats about the lack of time between the death and marriage. "But two months dead (140)" "yet within a month (147)" "A little month (149)" "most wicked speed (158)" "such dexterity (159)" The way the language is disjointed and jumps around between thoughts would be in character with new grief.

  1. 'Without the soliloquies we have little knowledge of Hamlet's state of mind'.

    Hamlet thinks for the first time about suicide, desiring his flesh to "melt", and wishing that God had not made "self-slaughter" a sin. By saying that the world is like 'an unweeded garden that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature possess it merely' show his distaste for the world as it is.

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    The nineteenth-century view, the thesis with which we begin, received its latest and greatest expression in Bradley's Shakespearean Tragedy in 1904. It is a vision of a noble and generous youth who for reasons quite mysterious to himself is unable to carry out the sacred duty, imposed by divine authority, of punishing an evil man by death.

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