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

Hamlet's soliloquy in Act II, Scene i is governed by reasons and self-doubts unlike his two previous soliloquies which are governed by frenzied emotion.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Shakespeare Passage Commentary Hamlet's soliloquy in Act II, Scene i is governed by reasons and self-doubts unlike his two previous soliloquies which are governed by frenzied emotion. Not yet convinced of the truth in ghost and murderer, Hamlet vacillates over choices which has different results. Shakespeare depicts Hamlet's problems of choosing right action by using imagery, diction, and voice. Shakespeare uses militaristic images to depict the violence of the struggle within the Hamlet's mind. Hamlet refers "slings", "arrows", and "taking arms" while describing his choices of actions. His uses of images of war suggest that each action would be a dilemma or a war to Hamlet. The situation suggests an inevitable defeat and how Hamlet is bound to meet failure in both passive and active resistance. He is fully aware that he would either have to "suffer" or face the "sea of troubles" ahead of him. As both ways would lead to a personal battle that promises inevitable troubles, Hamlet even thinks of killing himself. ...read more.

Middle

He does not refer Ophelia to a holy woman or to other Christianized names, but uses pagan name when he sees Ophelia praying. Hamlet, in this respect, is more attached to pagan beliefs. The belief of Hamlet leads him to believe in the existence of his father's ghost and thus take revenge for his father. The referred name also indicates that he is still in love with Ophelia. He emerges from his intense personal reflection and implores Ophelia, his lover, to pray for him and remember in her prayers. Shakespeare uses dictions to suggest Hamlet's agony and pain while he hesitates what to do. Hamlet says whether it is better to keep on living a miserable life or to die and face the unknown afterlife. He severally mentions "to die", "to sleep", and "to dream" as even "death" itself is divided into "sleep", which is desirable to Hamlet, and "dreams". ...read more.

Conclusion

He weighs and balances one alternative against another and this opening vacillation is continued throughout the soliloquy. The sequences of questions followed by the first question suggest that Hamlet poses several other questions rather than finding an answer to his initial question - to be a person of action, or not to be a person of action. As he imposes further questions, he is "sweating under a weary life" and "puzzle" as he cannot find an answer to his problem and what he truly wants to do. Unlike other soliloquies that provide background information of characters and his future or past actions, Hamlet's "to be or not to be" soliloquy takes a different format. Hamlet not only reflects on himself, but also analyzes and observes self and environment, anticipation over his coming future. While other soliloquies provide answers to the listeners, this soliloquy gives no answer to the audience. Rather Hamlet's doubts are continued with audiences, as they too cannot find exact answers. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Hamlet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    What are your first impressions on Hamlet in Act I scene II?

    4 star(s)

    outcome of his father's death, as people in Denmark are suffering, due to Claudius reign and because he is breaking the Bible's rules. Claudius' calculating nature becomes immediately apparent, as he addresses Hamlet as his "cousin Hamlet and my son.", this can be seen as the idea of Claudius being

  2. Hamlets dilemma - Why can't he act?

    In the hope that his uncle is sent into purgatory: "...At game, a-swearing, or about some act that has no relish of salvation in't- Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven, and that his soul may be as damned as black as hell..."

  1. An analysis of the soliloquy in Hamlet

    preparation being made for war; Fortinbras is planning to regain the lands lost when King Hamlet killed his father. They agree to tell Hamlet about the ghost. We are next in the great hall of Elsinore Castle where Claudius (the late King's brother)

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Hamlet, his moods and motivations, through his soliloquies in Act ...

    "...But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue" In this line Shakespeare conveys the impression that Hamlet feels that he must suffer in silence. However the audience guess that this will not be the case so Hamlet's words are a little ironic.

  1. Select two soliloquies from Hamlet and analyse their significance to the play as a ...

    As previously stated, the audience are aware that Hamlet is suicidal, but it would never be a real option to him as it goes against his religion. The use of the duplication on the word "God" shows that his pain is intolerable.

  2. Hamlet - plot outline and the soliloquies.

    This is the next thing which also affects the state of his mind. Question 7 In Hamlet although Hamlet dies, it is for the best because how can he live the rest of his life with his parents and Ophelia dead.

  1. Hamlets Doubts - helpful or harmful.modified.

    The Ghost also warns Hamlet not to hurt his mother Gertrude, to "Leave her to heaven". Although Hamlet quickly promises that he'll "wipe away all trivial fond records" and set his sights on killing Claudius, his better judgment leads him to wonder whether the Ghost is real or if he is the devil taking the shape of his late father.

  2. With close reference to language examine how fitting a close Act 5 scene ii ...

    The Elizabethans believed that the perfect state for a body is a balance between the four humours. When the humours are unbalanced the result is vulnerability to disease. The themes of blood and judgement and reason and passion run throughout the play.

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