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How does Shakespeare portray changes in Hamlets character in soliloquy one and four

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Introduction

Hamlet- How does Shakespeare portray changes in Hamlets character through soliloquy one and four. I am going to be looking at the first and fourth soliloquy in the play "Hamlet" to discover how Shakespeare portrays changes in Hamlet' character through soliloquy's one and four. "Hamlet" was written by William Shakespeare between 1599 and 1601 and is a story based on tragedy. Hamlet is the prince of Demark who has returned from college overseas to mourn his father's death. When Hamlet returns he finds his mother already re-married to his father's brother who will become the next king of Denmark. Denmark is on a high risk of invasion from Norwegian troops under the leadership of a young, inspirational prince named Fortinbras. After the untimely death of his father, Hamlet' emotions begin to come clear. Contempt and anger become a daily emotion after his mother's re-marriage and suicide is a considered option. If not for religion, Hamlet would most likely commit suicide, but this is against his religious beliefs and morals. Hamlet feels self pity which is easily seen in the first line of the first soliloquy. We can see the repetition of the word "too" is used for the emphasis on the "thick skin". Shakespeare uses the word "melt". I think this for two reasons; one being that melting is slow but also to emphasise on the suffering and emotion it causes Hamlet as he can't take any more rumours, rumours surrounding the suspicion of Gertrude' sudden marriage to old king Hamlets brother. When Hamlet talks about the melting of thick skin, I believe that he is referring to his family' reputation. Hamlet's self pity is seen best here, "and resolve itself into a dew!". Hamlet wants everything to be over and to sort itself out. Hamlet is a religious person and it's easy to see that Hamlet wishes he could kill himself. Hamlet's suicidal thoughts are unable to be complete due to his beliefs. Here Hamlet blames"God" for not allowing him to die. ...read more.

Middle

Hamlet tells Claudius that Polonius' body is being eaten by worms, and that the king could send a messenger to find Polonius in heaven or seek him in hell himself. Claudius demands that Hamlet goes to England. Hamlet accepts. Claudius states his hope that England will obey the sealed orders he has sent with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The orders call for Prince Hamlet to be put to death. Hamlet intercepts the letter and makes sure that the instructions are for Rozencrants and Guildenstern to be killed. On a nearby plain in Denmark, young Prince Fortinbras marches at the head of his army, travelling through Denmark on the way to attack Poland. Fortinbras orders his captain to go and ask the King of Denmark for permission to travel through his lands. On his way, the captain encounters Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern on their way to the ship bound for England. Laertes secretly travels back to Denmark after hearing of his sister' and father' deaths. Hamlet's fourth and final soliloquy takes place in act four scene four where his self pitiful feelings are best seen. This is best seen when Hamlet says "How all occasions do inform against me". In this quotation we can easily see that Hamlet thinks that everyone and everything is against him which makes him even more determined to fulfil his father's wishes. This is best seen in the second line, "And spur my dull revenge". In this quotation we can see that Hamlet becomes jaded of seeking this revenge when he uses the word "dull" to describe it. Hamlet's self confidence is seen to be low. It's seen in the following quotations, "What is a man", "Be but to sleep and feed?" Here Hamlet asks the audience a question which is referring to himself. Hamlet implies that he is lazy and that he doesn't work towards fighting for his father's revenge. Hamlet answers the question himself in this quotation "a beast". Shakespeare uses comparison here to compare Hamlet to an animal. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hamlet used to be such a focused and determined man, but by the end he is shy and distracted by the deaths of a number of people in the play. Another reason for Hamlets distraction is the young prince of Norway, Fortinbras. Hamlet's admiration of Fortinbras grows throughout the play to become what I believe to be jealousy. I think this because of the obsession with his motivational ability and his desire to fight for honour and respect when he himself cannot. I think Shakespeare uses Fortinbras to intimidate Hamlet to show the audience that Hamlet has no confidence. This is a very clever technique used by Shakespeare as it is done in a subtle way. Shakespeare uses more comparison in the fourth soliloquy to show how ashamed of himself and his family Hamlet is by comparing himself to Fortinbras. Hamlet blames himself for the state his family is in. A good example of this is, "how stand I then". Finally, Shakespeare uses hyperbole to emphasise on the pity that Hamlet shows towards the "twenty thousand" Norwegian soldiers that are about to lose their lives. On a hole Hamlet's character has changed massively thorough the play. Shakespeare uses techniques such as Hyperbole to add to the drama and always writes in such detail throughout to supply a constant feed of information. At the beginning of the play Hamlet was a; suicidal, confused, angry and sad character who could not cope with his father's death and mothers re-marriage. Hamlets self pitiful emotions and inconsistent day to day life lead to an out poor of depression and anger towards Claudius and his mother which cause him to kill on many occasions. Hamlets frustration during the play lead to further determination to complete his father's revenge and under constant pressure from Fortinbras to become a better leader was forced into being "bloody" minded. What was the young "prince of Denmark" became an insane monster riddled with jealousy. ...read more.

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