Hamlet Soliloquy Analysis Essay

2074 Words 9 Pages
This soliloquy by Hamlet is where he first devises the plan of the “Mouse Trap” (Act III, scene 2). It begins with Hamlet describing how he has heard that people can be overcome with guilt and remorse of their “malefactions” that they openly proclaim them, when viewing a scene of a play similar to that of their crime. As a result of this Hamlet resolves to set a trap for Claudius, in which he will watch a play that has a scene closely resembling the murder of Old King Hamlet. Hamlet reasons that upon viewing this scene, if Claudius is indeed guilty of Old King Hamlets murder, he will surely show some visible sign. And so Hamlet will “observe his looks … tent him to the quick”. The meaning of these two lines is that Hamlet will watch his …show more content…
Hamlets so-called “madness” is a central theme throughout the play. Polonius is convinced that Hamlet is indeed insane, and his attempts to discover it origins eventually lead to his death. Claudius uses it as an excuse to send Hamlet to England, where he cannot do anything about Claudius’ murder of Old King Hamlet, as well as to discredit anything that Hamlet says on this subject. Yet Hamlet reveals to Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, that he is “but mad north-north-west” (Act II, Scene 2) meaning that he is only crazy sometimes. This soliloquy is just one of many examples throughout the play that Hamlet’s madness is indeed an act. This plan, and the reasoning behind it, could not have been created by someone who was truly insane. Hence, this section by Hamlet is integral to the play as a whole, as it is where the plan for a play-within-a-play (the climax) is introduced, and is a key example of Hamlets apparent “madness” being a conscious ploy. The main purpose of any dramatic technique is to enhance the play’s meaning and understanding amongst the audience. Soliloquy, end of a scene and act, along with language that invites action, are all examples of dramatic techniques that are evident in this section. A soliloquy is a dramatic technique