In Hamlet’s contemplation of suicide, the use of contradicting diction and choppy, repetitive syntax reveals his inner turmoil with his own conscience.
The principal idea of Hamlet’s soliloquy is to choose life or death. He begins by pondering whether it is prudent to put up with life’s calamities or end them instantly with suicide. He compares death to sleep, as if death is like extended dreaming. He continues to list the calamities of human life, making death seem like liberation. He introduces the idea that death is actually completely unknown. It is an “undiscovered country” and no one commits suicide because death is such a mystery. Death and life are both thoroughly compared but by the end he remains in deep contemplation without a sound solution.
The use of Hamlet’s contradicting diction brings out opposing tones towards death and also emphasizes the confusion in his thought. He first suggests a praising tone towards suicide. He states that it may be “nobler” to end all pain, to “devoutly” choose “sleep”, a permanent state of “dreaming”. These words suggest suicide as peaceful, painless and a logical solution in a time of true adversity. As Hamlet lists the calamities of human life, he uses “whips”, “scorns”, “pangs”, “weary” and “dread” to make life seem so awful that suicide is such a reasonable treatment, bringing out that praising tone. He offers that those who choose to put up with their adversity are given “respect” over those who give into it. Here he begins to examine the opposing side to death. He proclaims that most people do not commit suicide because no one actually knows what death is. What they do know is that death is an “undiscover’d country”, a world that “no traveler returns” from. The use of puzzling words outlines a more obscure tone towards suicide. It could be suggested that life is safer because life is a known idea. Hamlet examines that it is our pure conscience that makes us “cowards” or that it is “sicklied”...
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