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Without the Soliloquies We Have Little Understanding of Hamlet’s State of Mind - Do You Agree?

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Introduction

WITHOUT THE SOLILOQUIES WE HAVE LITTLE UNDERSTANDING OF HAMLET'S STATE OF MIND. DO YOU AGREE? Shakespeare employs the use of soliloquies to convey the true thoughts, ambitions and ideas about important characters to the audience. Through Hamlet's soliloquies the audience is given an insight into his real personality, which helps to deepens our perception of him as we can discover how he acts differently or puts on pretences in the ever changing political and social conditions from scene to scene. In the play we see a number of soliloquies by Hamlet, enabling us to witness his character's maturing and developing nature. The first of these appears after Claudius has sent messengers to Norway to halt Fortinbras' invasion. Laertes has been given leave to return to France and Hamlet has had his melancholy state of mind sarcastically discussed in front of the court by his mother and Claudius. This concludes that Hamlet 'shows a will most incorrect to heaven' to mourn for so long for his father's death. ...read more.

Middle

This soliloquy is essential because it introduces us to Hamlet's true self, it establishes his loneliness, lack of trust and isolation, as well as his true state of mind at the beginning of the play. This enables the audience to monitor Hamlet and recognise any changes in personality and mentality that take place. Hamlet progresses to his second soliloquy after talking to the ghost of his father and becoming determined to seek his revenge on Claudius. Hamlet needs to test the conscience of Claudius to ensure the ghost's accusations against him are true, and plans to do so by inserting some lines into a play that the King will view. This further extends the argument that Hamlet is a man of reason who gives much thought and consequence to his actions. Hamlet, through this soliloquy, demonstrates his fondness for the craft of acting. He has just heard a player deliver an emotional speech on Hecuba, which moves the player to tears. ...read more.

Conclusion

This soliloquy is particularly useful in explaining why Hamlet still has not taken any action against Claudius. Hamlet is a man who thinks too much and as a consequence makes himself unable to act. It also introduces us further to the new rational toned and intellectual, that is Hamlet. Due to the fact that he is pretending to be mad, it is necessary to have such soliloquies to be informed of any developments in Hamlet's actual state of mind. Hamlet's soliloquies are imperative to his character. They allow us, as the audience, to delve into his mind and discover the reasoning behind his actions, or lack of them. They also show us that he is a man of much deliberation. Hamlet grows to understand himself through the play and his soliloquies allow him to voice his fears, aims and concerns with his life particularly concerning the death of his father. Without his soliloquies, the audience would know relatively little about Hamlet's true state of mind because they are the only times in the play where he is truly honest with himself revealing an immense amount about his character. ...read more.

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