Hamlet

1304 Words Apr 22nd, 2012 6 Pages
t With underlying themes of revenge, incest, and suicide, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet was remembered by many Elizabethan Era viewers as both a philosophical and oft-debated masterpiece (Dickson). These controversial themes attracted viewers everywhere, enticing them to see the play. One scene in particular from the original text of the play where this proves true is act IV, scene iv, lines 31-65, in which the titular character Hamlet decides that the time for revenge is at hand in an insightful soliloquy. The audience would have been attracted to the scene because they would receive a moral insight into Hamlet’s mind, revealing his true thoughts. It also would have expanded on the theme of revenge, and how this theme would affect the …show more content…
Within his thoughts, Hamlet also provides the audience with meaningful questions, whose answers affect both the viewers’ and his own life. One of these questions occurs when Hamlet asks himself: How stand I then, That have a father killed, a mother stained, Excitement of my reason and my blood, And let all sleep. (IV, iv, 55-58)
Although the question is rhetorical, the audience still feels a need to answer. They feel connected to both the play and Hamlet’s character, and feel obligated to help out the character in his time of need. Spectators are able to see the turmoil and confusion occurring in the young man’s mind and heart, and can easily relate the pain to similar aspects of their own lives. Therefore, the use of a soliloquy by Shakespeare connects the audience to the play by allowing them to see deeper into Hamlet’s conscience.

Another way Hamlet’s soliloquy targets the audience is through his in-depth examination of the theme of revenge. The speech not only informs the audience of Hamlet’s desire for revenge, but also how this theme will affect the concluding scenes of the play. As the prince’s speech comes to an end, he decides that, "Oh, from this time forth,/ My thoughts be bloody, or be worth nothing! (IV. iv. 64-65). It appears his decision is certain; his revenge is imminent. However, Hamlet has questioned his own intentions

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