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Show how Hamlet's changing state of mind is made clear through Shakespeare's dramatic use of soliloquy. How far do the soliloquies help us to empathise with Hamlet's dilemmas?

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Introduction

Show how Hamlet's changing state of mind is made clear through Shakespeare's dramatic use of soliloquy. How far do the soliloquies help us to empathise with Hamlet's dilemmas? To the reader, the play of Hamlet is somewhat like a roller-coaster ride taking us up and down with Hamlet's emotions and before we have chance to see whether we've just looped the loop Hamlet's emotion will have changed from one of a depressing nature to one of a sheer desperation to avenge his father's death or he will seemingly have beaten us to the loopy loop the loop of insanity. On such a helter-skelter of emotions one may find it difficult to comprehend exactly how Hamlet is actually feeling; is he pretending? Is he really mad? Does he really love Ophelia?. In a book we can be told how a character feels, however on the stage it is not always obvious. This is why Shakespeare used soliloquies in Hamlet to try and help us to keep up with the topsy-turvy circus ride of emotions that we join Hamlet on in Hamlet. There are six soliloquies in Hamlet, each one helping to update us on how Hamlet's thinking has changed and how he really feels. Rather than leaving an audience to guess how he may be feeling Hamlet has a secret confrontation with the invisible fourth wall behind which we as the audience would hide and begin to understand him and hopefully begin to empathise with him. ...read more.

Middle

We begin to see a bit of a change in the way he feels in this soliloquy, his anger is directed in the direction of his uncle as it goes on and he describes his uncle as a 'Bloody, bawdy, villain, remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain.'. Here Shakespeare has used alliteration in the words 'Bloody, bawdy' and has rhymed the words 'treacherous, lecherous'; this poetic edge gives the play a more dramatic feel and brings out his emotions in speech. In this soliloquy we also see a bit of the recurring imagery which is evident throughout the play. Hamlet describes himself as 'dull and muddy', this theme of dirty and sickening imagery is visible all the way through and adds depth to the play - it is the continuation of the observation that there is something wrong in Denmark and everything seems rotten. Shakespeare has used alliteration here in a clever place as it once again makes us sit up and we notice the theme. We can tell now that he is really angry and wants to get revenge for his dad but he is battling with himself. One might see this as a potential turning point for Hamlet but the irony of the situation is that he is still talking and doing nothing. The whole soliloquy seems angry and I would present it angrily if I were acting but the anger clearly stems from the self-hatred illustrated in the first line, you can imagine how something like ...read more.

Conclusion

artistic failure - rather an artistic success which people have and will, for generations to come, been able to relate to due to the human instinct of fear of death which Shakespeare personified in the character of Hamlet. Hamlet's soliloquies are a vital part of the play and are one of the major ways for us to relate to his situations and empathise with the situation that our hero, or perhaps just another Tom, Dick or Harry, faces. They make him seem like a real person as we see openly his emotions and we see that he isn't a storybook hero but he's like us, he doesn't want to meddle with death and he doesn't want to hurt his mother. Shakespeare's visual language using the theme's of dirty and rotting matter and an unweeded garden bring another dimension to our understanding of how Hamlet is really feeling. We understand the numerous dilemmas he faces by his constant thinking and inaction and his frustration at these characteristics. Shakespeare's very dramatic language once again ensures this and his use of prose in the soliloquies gives them an extra dramatic and hitting depth. My essay itself bares witness to how the soliloquies make us empathise with his situation as I have constantly had to check myself to ensure that I haven't been too emotive in the language I used because as I read the soliloquies I myself have been a victim of Shakespeare's oh so dramatic and effective soliloquies. Sam Pollard ...read more.

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