After Claudius and Gertrude announce their marriage to the kingdom, Hamlet grieves deeply over his father's death.

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Jenny Neal        

AP Literature and Composition

Period 7

January 14, 2002

Essay #5 on a Soliloquy

        After Claudius and Gertrude announce their marriage to the kingdom, Hamlet grieves deeply over his father’s death. He is most bothered by the fact that his mother is remarrying so quickly, even going so far as to privately contemplate suicide. The diction and imagery of the first soliloquy provide insight into Hamlet’s feelings, showing his true character. This soliloquy sparks an interest in the reader and provides a glimpse into Hamlet’s thoughts while informing the audience of the history of his family’s tribulations.

        In the soliloquy that begins “O that this too too sullied flesh would melt….”,(I:ii) Hamlet is alone with his thoughts, depressed to the point of talk of suicide. Hamlet tries desperately to make sense of the events that have recently taken place, but remains confused and pessimistic. He feels restricted by the physical world that he calls unbearable, wanting his "too too solid flesh"(I:ii)  to "...melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew"(I:ii). He appears to be trying to get away, to become innocent once again. There was a time when he didn’t have many responsibilities to deal with, and that’s what he wants to go back to. However, he has obligations to fulfill. Since Hamlet has been raised and living as a noble person, not fulfilling his tasks is an impossible act, as is having his "flesh…melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew”(I:ii). The journey of a solid turning into dew relates similarly to how difficult it is for Hamlet to live in the world, needing to be free to deal with himself only. There is an underlying feeling of anger that runs through each word he speaks.

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Hamlet is not only feeling powerless that he cannot do anything to change the fact that his father is gone, but he is mad that it happened in the first place. He is feeling the loss of his father and feels angry that his father had to come across the bad luck to die so soon in life. To make matters more complex, an apparition of his father shows up and wants him to seek revenge on Claudius. The only way that Hamlet can consider getting out of his father's expectations, is suicide. However, Hamlet's god has "fixed his canon ...

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