Analysis of Hamlet's first Soliloquy

Authors Avatar by earltheduke (student)

Hamlet’s first soliloquy provides a striking contrast between the controlled, composed manner that he has around his mother, Gertrude, and uncle, Claudius, and his passionate melancholy which he expresses when he is alone. In this soliloquy, he is able to pour out his innermost feelings of hatred, anger, grief and pain.

His words are full of disgust and dissatisfaction, that he refers to Denmark as “an unweeded garden” (I,ii,135) and then describes it as being “rank” and “gross” (I,ii,136). It may be possible that due to his father’s death, it had affected the whole country and now the beauty and appeal have been extracted from the country. However this use of a negative language, which he uses to describe life, is opposite to the positive language he uses to describe death. In his first words of his soliloquy, he says “O that this too too sullied flesh would melt,” (I,ii, 129). When he speaks these lines, he wishes that he could somehow melt away but he considers his flesh too “sullied” or too solid. This then further exaggerates his desire for death.

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The nature of his grief is soon revealed to the audience. Although the death of his father has left him feeling depressed and sad, it is in fact that his mother, Gertrude, had married his Uncle at an “oh most wicked speed” (I,ii,156). The memory of his mother and father’s relationship is almost too painful for him to bear, knowing that his mother is marrying Claudius. However, he goes on to explain how perfect their match was. He further praises his father by admiring how he treated his wife by not letting the “winds of heaven / Visit her face ...

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