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Use Of Soliloquies In Hamlet Essay

1189 words - 5 pages

A soliloquy is a speech in a play that is meant to be heard by the audience but not the other characters on the stage. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the use of soliloquies allows the audience to know what the characters are feeling and what their pure motives are. They are also able to hear the characters’ thoughts directly. The character’s secrets are revealed only to the audience which gives way for irony to take a part in the play. Shakespeare uses soliloquies throughout the play enhance the story by making the personal thoughts and feelings of characters open to the audience, creating irony, and setting a course of action.
Hamlet has a number of soliloquies that express his thoughts and feelings throughout the play, for example, Hamlet’s feelings towards his mother’s new marriage. “Within a month, / ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears / Had left the flushing in her galléd eyes, / She married. O, most wicked speed, to post / With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! / …But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue” (I.ii.159-164). Hamlet is very disappointed in his mother’s actions, for marrying so soon after the Old King’s death to his brother Claudius, and Hamlet is currently not able to express those feelings to her. In Hamlet’s to be or not to be soliloquy, his thoughts about life and death are brought to light. “To grunt and sweat under a weary life, / But that the dread of something after death, / The undiscovered country from whose bourn / …And makes us rather bear those ills we have / Than fly to others that we know not of” (II.i.85-90)? He debates over whether it is better to continue to live under the hardships and demands of life or to die and escape it. He then realizes that death is an unfamiliar place and what accompanies it is unknown. Shakespeare uses these soliloquies to help the audience understand what Hamlet is going through and the motives behind his actions. It allows the audience to side with Hamlet and sympathize with him.
In the soliloquies given by Hamlet, it is made known what he plans to do and his method of operation. After speaking with the Old King’s ghost and learning that his father was killed by his brother Claudius, Hamlet’s main goal is to kill Claudius to avenge his father’s death. He begins to do so by pretending to be crazy. “How strange or odd some’er I bear myself / (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet / To put an antic disposition on)” (I.v. 190-192). Hamlet pretends to be crazy as a way to protect himself because it was believed that whoever kills a crazy person will also become crazy. This would allow Hamlet the time needed to devise a plan and kill Claudius. To verify that the Ghost’s statement about his cause of death is true, Hamlets sets up a “mousetrap” to prove that indeed Claudius did kill the Old King. “I’ll have these players / Play something like the murder of my father / Before mine uncle…The play’s the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King”...

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