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

Compare and Contrast two of Hamlet's Soliloquies.

Extracts from this document...


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. ...read more.


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. ...read more.


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". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

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

  1. Portrayal of women in 'Hamlet'

    As in many of his other plays, one element of Shakespeare's writing style is the use of imagery to convey certain points. This is shown in the previous reference, which eloquently communicates Hamlet's feeling towards the incestuous relationship of his mother and uncle.

  2. The Portrayal of Shakespeare's Hamlet in Cinema

    Early cinematic productions of Shakespeare were of course silent, which creates obvious obstacles for the portrayal of Shakespeare's great characters for which the language is so important. Film was often regarded as merely a means of recording factual evidence, news and public affairs or as entertainment and there was a

  1. Examine the presentation of fathers in "Hamlet" with close reference to three key scenes.

    passage to heaven, perhaps he is not taking the right course of action. He pursues the ancient conviction of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and directs Hamlet into exacting his revenge upon Claudius. He is therefore presented as a rather selfish man, taking his only

  2. Contrast an Elizabethan and a modern audience's understanding of Hamlet's views".

    passes show/These but the trappings and suits of woe', which is perfectly respectful, but with an air of resentment at her apparent lack of grief. In Hamlet's first soliloquy a few lines on, he delivers the 'frailty, thy name is woman', line, showing how natural a response it is for him to criticise women.

  1. In conclusion the attitudes towards women in the plays Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida and ...

    Therefore society would rather class them with boys rather than men. This is shown when Rosalind disguised as Ganymede gives Ganymede's view: And for no passion truly anything, Boys and women are for the most part cattle of this colour42 Rosalind as a female character is aware of the inequality of men and women in society.

  2. Consider the significance of death and disease in 'The Duchess of Malfi' and 'The ...

    The paradox of her beauty (both physically and socially) and her evil is expressed here. The idea of balance in the plays makes Webster seem less obsessed with death than obsessed with death as the most powerful image known to man. Webster's death scenes and last words are probably the main feature which distinguishes him entirely from his contemporaries.

  1. Can we write about the tragedy of Hamlet in any meaningful fashion

    Hamlet is a Renaissance intellectual, scholarly and shows a great knowledge of literature. He is a good swordsman, a philosopher and a scientist and he frequently refers to conventions, which deal with the nature of humanity, the mark of his scholarship at Wittenberg University.

  2. Do you find Aristotle's notion of the tragic error or flaw helpful in understanding ...

    and the process of catharsis would not be able to take place. For Hamlet, to commit revenge is an act of self-definition. He does not know what he will become. Claudius as a Machiavel is governed by his own desire but that in itself is unstable.

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