Hamlet Essay Significance of Soliloquies

1770 Words Jan 31st, 2013 8 Pages
Savanna-Jae Busia
Mrs. Krynski
ENG4U
12 November 2012
Hamlet: The Dramatic Significance of Each Soliloquy
Shakespearean Tragedy defines a soliloquy as a speech made by a character when he is alone on stage. In Shakespearean dramas, a soliloquy is actually a poem with lyrics in which are highly emotional or philosophic in content and poetic expression. A soliloquy may serve several purposes, such as revealing the mood or character of the speaker, revealing his opinion on specific topics and issues, creating suspense, revealing motives, and advancing the plot. Hamlet, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare is the story about Prince Hamlet whose father, the late King of Denmark, is murdered by his brother, Hamlet’s uncle. The play
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I’ll observe his looks” (II.ii.581-583). With the help of the play and the actors, Hamlet will come to terms as to whether or not the ghost is actually his father or if it is the devil tempting him. This will help push Hamlet into making the decision to murder his uncle or not.
Religion also plays a large role in Hamlets life, throughout the play Hamlet refers to his religious views numerous times. In each of the soliloquies, Hamlet uses analogies and allusions to the bible and religion to get his point across. In the fifth soliloquy, Hamlet expands on his beliefs of life verses death. Through his use of words, Hamlet shows signs of being melancholy and going through despair. At this time of the play, Hamlet contemplates what is more desirable, “To be, or not to be, that is the question” (III.i.56). Although Hamlet does not directly say that he no longer wants to live, he makes it clear that death is what he prefers. Hamlet contests with himself whether the composed bearing of corruption is more noble than bold action, “Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer/ The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,/ Or to take the arms against a sea of troubles/ And by opposing end them” (III.i.57-60). This entire soliloquy shows that Hamlet is a man of reason; by beginning with a question and evaluating both possible answers, he demonstrates his ability to comprehend the good and bad of each situation. Nevertheless, in his

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