Hamlet: Soliloquies Essay

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Hamlet: Soliloquies

Hamlet, one of Shakespeare’s tragic plays, portrays the story of a young man’s quest to avenge his murdered father and his quest to find his true identity. In his soliloquies, Prince Hamlet reveals to the readers his personal perceptions of the events that take place in his homeland, Denmark, and of which are either indirectly or directly tied to his father’s murder. Many critics and scholars agree that while Hamlet’s soliloquies reveal the search of his identity and true character, his soliloquies universally illustrate man’s search for his true identity.

The first soliloquy of Hamlet takes place early in the play, and Hamlet expresses his lachrymose feelings to the reader and how he wishes that God “had not
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In his mature, adult mind, he knows that he must avenge his father, but there lives an innocent child in his conscience who does not want to commit murder; and Hamlet perceives this as cowardice. It seems as though Hamlet is struggling with what he knows he must do, and actually doing it. While instead of pursuing his father’s revenge, he lets his emotions dictate his actions (in this case, his lack of action). So, in self-justification, he tucks away his apprehension and decides to seek proof of Claudius’s murder of Hamlet’s father. Furthermore, Hamlet is beginning to question his identity as a “pigeon-livered coward.” What is more noteworthy, however, is that both soliloquies exhibit Hamlet to be an immature boy, as he speaks on impulses of emotion, rather than logic itself.

Next, in one of the most famous soliloquies in the English language, Hamlet again contemplates the subject of suicide, but he does not do so on impulses of emotion. Instead, his contemplation is based on reason. “To be or not to be, that is the question: whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer outrageous fortune…or end them. To die, to sleep- no more- and by a sleep to say we end the heartache…’Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time…who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler
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