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How does Shakespeare use the soliloquies in Hamlet to explore the moods of the main protagonist?

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Introduction

"How does Shakespeare use the soliloquies in 'Hamlet' to explore the moods of the main protagonist?" Within 'Hamlet' there are many different mood changes of the main character these are shown clearly through the soliloquies. A soliloquy is a long speech spoken by one character; it shows the characters true inner feelings and usually shows what they are really like. Soliloquies are very useful in 'Hamlet' as it is a short summary of the plot so far and shows what Hamlet is really thinking at a particular point in the play. Without using soliloquies the play would become confusing as the audience will not know what main character is really thinking as it helps us to understand Hamlet's actions or inactions. I will hope to show how soliloquies are used in the 'Hamlet' to show the different mood changes of the main protagonist (Hamlet). I will then examine why Hamlet is feeling like this and what effect is has on the audience. The first soliloquy is in Act 1 scene 2 (page 95) before the soliloquy we find out that Hamlet's father has recently passed away, not long after Hamlet's mother marries Claudius. Within the soliloquy Hamlet shows many feelings, these are: anger, disgust, suicidal and disappointment. Hamlet begins talking about suicide "O that this too too solid flesh would melt" he is talking about how he wants to melt away like a candle; this shows us how upset he is as he is considering suicide. ...read more.

Middle

Later on in the soliloquy, Hamlet's mood changes dramatically, he is now beginning to hate himself "yet I, a dull muddy-mettled rascal" this shows us that Hamlet is beginning to show self disgust, this will keep the audience interested because again it shows us that he is insecure and that he may do something which is irrational. It may also make the audience think as to whether he is now going to tell his mother what he really thinks about her and Claudius. Hamlet then begins to show anger when he says "bloody, bawdy, villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!" again hamlet changes his mood very dramatically, this is creating tension because what he says now is quite strong and powerful, this leads the audience to think that he is going to do something to Claudius soon because he hates him a lot. Within this Shakespeare has used many techniques which make this soliloquy a lot more effective. The first technique that Shakespeare uses is alliteration "bloody, bawdy" this makes it a lot more powerful as these words when said seem quite aggressive. The second technique that is used is repetition (Hamlet says villain twice) when someone is angry they usually repeat what they say, again this technique shows us how angry Hamlet really is. The last technique that is used is rhyme, by using rhyme these words come of the tongue very easily but again seems very aggressive. ...read more.

Conclusion

These emotions have sometimes repeated in some of the soliloquies. In soliloquy one Hamlet showed signs of disgust, this was not shown again in any of the soliloquies however suicide was shown again in soliloquy three, the suicidal emotion was a lot stronger in soliloquy three as he did not change his mind. Soliloquy two did not show signs of suicide however the emotions changed very quickly within it. This created a lot of tension for the audience as we could empathise with how strong Hamlet's feelings were. Confusion was shown in both soliloquy one and soliloquy two, however it was shown more in soliloquy two because Hamlet was considering a lot more things. I think that soliloquy two was the most effective soliloquy of the three because it gave a clear idea to the audience of what he is feeling and how strong these feelings were, it was also a lot more interesting because the range of moods shown. The second most soliloquy in my opinion was the first one because again we learn a lot more. Lastly comes the third soliloquy, the reason why I think that it comes last is because it focuses on only one type of emotion but the others focus on a lot more. Also the other two soliloquies made the story a lot clearer as he related to things which have happened in the play. Soliloquies overall have been very effective within 'Hamlet' as it has made the protagonists feelings a lot clearer for the audience and has helped me understand a lot more of the plot. ?? ?? ?? ?? Azam Din English coursework 11 Orange Ms Gobindram ...read more.

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