Soliolquy in Shakespeare´s Hamlet and The Reverger´s Tragedy Essay

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Shakespeare uses soliloquy as a dramatic tool to unveil the man behind the disguise. The true nature of the protagonist, Hamlet, is riddled by false appearances and deliberate attempts to deceive characters within the play, mainly characterised by his conscious intention “To put on an antic disposition”. Whilst the audience is disorientated by Hamlet’s erratic moods and inconsistent behaviour – the alternation between passive inaction, failing to act when he has an opportunity to avenge and kill Claudius whilst he prays, and volatile linguistic attacks in Gertrude’s chamber – the soliloquies provide consistency. They are intimate, private, confessional accounts in which Hamlet does not have to ‘act’ as he does around other characters.…show more content…
Hamlet’s linguistic restraint becomes a reliable indicator of whether he is expressing his true feeling, or whether he is undertaking a linguistic performance, masking the real character with a linguistic front. In his first soliloquy, the unregulated enjambment gives the speech a sense of immediacy with genuine confessions sprawling from line to line in a stream-of-consciousness. The looseness of the language is more convincing than the calculated, ‘scripted’ feel to Hamlet’s public interaction with other characters. Moreover the logical progression in Hamlet’s interaction with Claudius is lost to a more liberal and erratic composition of ideas in the soliloquy. In dialogue, Hamlet offers explanation and justification: “These indeed seem / For they are…”. There is logic and rationale to this structure; it gives the appearance of a speaker who is well evidenced, certain and in control, however it is an unconvincing reflection of the way we speak. Hamlet collapses into soliloquy, losing this composed structure. His ideas progress sporadically in a disparate sequence of images. Shakespeare uses this ‘collapse’ as a structural device. We see moments of composed, decisive articulation followed by incoherent, procrastinating outpour, and similarly within the soliloquies, we see volatile moments collapse into doubt and mellowing emotion. This device has been transmitted in the
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