The Role of the Soliloquies in Hamlet

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The role of the soliloquies in Hamlet Hamlet’s soliloquies reveal a lot about his character. They focus mostly on his indecisiveness and his desire to do what is right. His soliloquies help to further develop his character and we gain a better understanding of hamlets mindset throughout the play. Hamlet constantly insults himself for not doing what he believes is right and he constantly has to reassure himself that his actions do what he is trying to accomplish. Hamlets first soliloquy in act one scene is meant to tell the audience why he is depressed in the previous scene.

Hamlet says, “How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world! ” This line helps to show Hamlets depression. He thinks that the world no longer has any meaning and there is nothing to gain from life. In his soliloquy Hamlet is both upset about his father’s death and shocked that Gertrude only mourned for Hamlets father for a month. Although Hamlet doesn’t agree with his mother’s relationship he wants to stay out of it and keep his mouth shut, “But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue. Hamlet’s depression could also be fed by his inability to reveal his true feelings about his mother’s relationship openly. He has conflicting emotions because he doesn’t want to speak up about the relationship but by doing so he is going against his own beliefs. In Act one scene five hamlet has another soliloquy. It helps to characterize his as a dedicated. His dedication is emphasized when he says “And thy commandment all alone shall live within the book and volume of my brain, Unmix’d with baser matter: yes, by heaven! ” Hamlet is basically saying that all other tasks will come second after his plan to avenge his father.

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Hamlet tells himself that he must not grow tired and that he has to accomplish his new task. Hamlet is both confident and courageous in this scene. It takes great courage to face the king and the diction on “At least I’m sure it may be so in Denmark,” tells the audience that hamlet is sure that he will bring about change. In act two scene two Hamlet shows a lack of confidence. He is unsure that Claudius killed his father and is doubtful so he decides that he will put on a show similar to the way that his father was killed and he would observe the kings reaction.

Hamlets mores are emphasized in this soliloquy because even though it is quite obvious that he seeks revenge he can’t seem to get past the consequences of murder. The play within a play is a way for Hamlet to be at peace internally. He wants to be sure that what he is doing is the right thing to do. When Hamlet says, “But I am pigeon-liver’d and lack gall” it shows how he is lacking the decisiveness to follow through with his plans despite it being the only thing he wants to accomplish. Throughout the soliloquy Hamlet constantly insults himself, “” O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! He is stuck between two rights, his desire to avenge his father, and his desire to do what is right with God. When Hamlet says, “To be or not to be: that is the question,” it reveals how troubled he truly is. The diction of, “To be” creates a more dark mood. It’s more dramatic than just saying to live or not to live. This shows just how indecisive he really is. Living and not living are on completely opposite spectrums and Hamlet can’t decide which one of the two he wants to chose. This reveals the toll that has been put on him since his heart as filled with desires of revenge.

When hamlet starts to weigh his options it characterizes him as analytical. He wants to take a reasonable approach and he want to think things through. Hamlet’s short soliloquy in act three scene two reveals to the audience that Hamlet is not the person that he says he is. “My tongue and soul in this will be hypocrites. ” He is planning to speak and act one way, yet feel differently in his heart. Hamlet is still very indecisive and he isn’t acting in the way that he truly feels. He feels like he is a hypocrite. A villain kills my father, and for that I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven” Hamlets dark side is shown in this soliloquy. Hamlets wants Claudius to be eternally damned so hamlets decides to miss his opportunity to kill him because he doesn’t want Claudius to be saved. This is shown when Hamlet says “Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven and that his soul may be damned and black as hell, whereto it goes. ” This shows how filled with hate hamlet is. There is nothing that he wants more than to make Claudius suffer for what he did to his father.

Ironically Claudius was just saying words with absolutely no meaning so Hamlet was foolish not to kill him when he had the opportunity. Hamlet realizes that he would be doing Claudius a favor by killing him then when he says “Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge. ” In the last soliloquy, Hamlet is frustrated with himself because he hasn’t done anything to avenge his father and to complete his task which he promised himself was most important. “How stand I then, that have a father killed, a mother tained, excitements of my reason and my blood, and let all sleep” Hamlet feels as if he has let both himself down and he now sees himself as unworthy. By the end of the soliloquy, Hamlet ends his indecisiveness with murder based on rage. Hamlet finally accepts that he has to kill Claudius and is no longer struggling with his morals. The soliloquies helped to characterize Hamlet as indecisive and they showed Hamlets growth as a character and his final struggle to overcome his morals. Without them Hamlet would just be a two dimensional character, and the purpose behind Hamlet would have been lost.

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The Role of the Soliloquies in Hamlet. (2016, Sep 16). Retrieved from

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