Compare and Contrast two of Hamlet's Soliloquies.

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Compare/Contrast 2 of Hamlet's Soliloquies In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the first and last soliloquies delivered by Hamlet are both dramatically significant to the play, and despite their contrasts in terms of imagery, language, and dramatic devices, are similarly used by Shakespeare in their respective parts of the play. Although they are delivered at far different situations in the play, Shakespeare uses each monologue of philosophical analysis as part of the "introduction" to a very significant section of the play. In this way they are both crucial to the audience's understanding of the events that will follow. In the first soliloquy, delivered very soon after Hamlet has taken the stage and the major past events have been established, Hamlet's strong thoughts about the death of his father and more so the remarriage of his mother are revealed.


As soon as the third line, Hamlet acknowledges the "Everlasting", whose laws, he notes, condemn suicide as a sin. Additionally Hamlet makes three exclamations of "O God!" and several references to the heavens. In this soliloquy there are also many mythological references used, for example in the comparison between his father and the sun god Hyperion. Not only do these references effectively add depth to the audiences understanding of the characters mentioned, but their use shows Hamlets idealization of his circumstances and of other people, as well as highlights his reverence of the divine. However, the words of Hamlet's last soliloquy are not used in the glorification or depreciation of anyone by use of divine references, even as he mentions his respect of Fortinbras.


In the first soliloquy Shakespeare creates a sordid and foul tone, using disease imagery and metaphors to establish the reasons for Hamlet's melancholia and bitterness towards Claudius and Gertrude. Hamlet's first lines in this soliloquy, incorporating metaphors about the "flesh", immediately begin the chain of disease imagery that continues throughout the play. Although the imagery used by Shakespeare in the last soliloquy is consistent with the Hamlet's disgust of the physical, its focus is on the association of man and beast. This soliloquy is less descriptive and more focused on prefacing action than the first. In contrast to the elevation of the intellectual, in this soliloquy Hamlet makes the first depreciatory comment towards the intellect and language: "of thinking too precisely on the event" and "my thoughts be bloody".

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