In the third soliloquy, Hamlet admits to the audience he is a coward;

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With particular reference to language, examine to what extent Hamlet’s Third Soliloquy sums up the atmosphere and themes of acts 1 and 2.

Matthew Willbye

In the third soliloquy, Hamlet admits to the audience he is a coward;

“What an ass am I!”  He then goes on to tell the audience of his new idea to help draw the truth out of Claudius.  He believes that the theatre can make a person experience real emotion.  He finds this remarkable that something fictional can create a reality.  But Hamlet admits that he is not sure if the ghost said to be his father is really who he says to be and not the creation of Satan.  Now the audience is aware of Hamlet’s concerns and maybe what has been holding him back from taking action.  But the prince decides to feed on Claudius’s conscience by having the players re-enact the murder of his father.  Then it is up to Claudius’s reaction to prove to Hamlet that what the ghost spoke of was in fact the truth.  Now the audience had even more of a build up of what is to come.

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The soliloquies divide into three pairs and one "commentary" which refers to each sentiment in the pairs, as follows:

1 & 2 are constructed round the ideas of memory of the past

3 & 4 are the present situation and his conscience

5 & 6 are his future intentions to kill and extract the vengeance.

7 draw threads from all the others

"Rogue & peasant slave" is present tense, powerful language. In Phyrrus speech, it has a broken line "Did nothing".... which illustrates the idea of hiatus (pause) and inaction, an important theme in the play as a whole. The actor's ...

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