Soliloquy of Hamlet

768 Words4 Pages
Justin Minh
English
Nov. 21st 2010
Soliloquy Analysis “To be, or not to be”(III. 1. 57) is one of the most famous lines in William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. In the soliloquy of Act III scene one, Hamlet juggles around the idea of life or death. Hamlets soliloquy lays out his conception on whether he shall continue to live miserably or commit suicide. The soliloquy also reveals one of Hamlet’s fears. Hamlet’s monologue creates strong visualizations of his options “To be or not to be” (III. 1. 57). In this soliloquy, Hamlet is flustered and ponders the idea of committing suicide. Why is hamlet confused and thinking about committing suicide? Hamlet is overwhelmed about the news of his father’s death he has heard
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“for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled?” (III. 1. 66-67). Hamlet realizes that if one were to commit suicide there is no proof that peacefulness will be granted after they die. “ay, there’s the rub” (III. 1. 65) and that is where he realizes that there is a catch to committing suicide. Hamlet is fearful of not knowing what would happen after one commits suicide. And for that very reason I believe that’s why he hasn’t killed himself already. “But that the dread of something after death” (III. 1. 68), the “but”, is the hesitation that feeds the idea that Hamlet fears the unexpected after death. This soliloquy gives the idea that the obstacle brought forward is the unsung aftermath behind death. “No traveler returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others we know not of?” (III. 1. 80-82). Lines 80-82 are very significant for multiple reasons. “No traveler returns, puzzles the will” (III. 1. 80-82), implies those that have gone down the road of suicide have not come back to indicate struggles or “dreams” after life. Therefore the unknown afterlife makes individuals reconsider suicide, such as Hamlet. As a result the individuals “us” and “we”, like Hamlet, end up accepting the troubles they’re going through rather than “fly to others we know not of” (III. 1. 83). The fact that afterlife is unrevealed, Hamlet continues to live aware of his uncle’s actions, the soliloquy has not

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