Hamlet Soliloquy Analysis: Act 1 Scene 2

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Samantha Supsky
Noren
English IV AP
20 December 2012
Hamlet Explication
In Act 1 Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the audience is formally introduced to the thoughts and feelings of main character: Hamlet, through a soliloquy describing the current situation in Denmark. This includes the usage of mythical allusions, metaphors and tone to portray Hamlets feelings. The time between Hamlet’s fathers death and his mothers second marriage is demonstrated in the sentence, “But two months dead: nay not so much, not two.” For the rest of the time Hamlet speaks, he is very sarcastic and condescending towards the thought of his mother’s marriage. Hamlet compares his stepfather and his father using mythical allusions that creates solid imagery as to how Hamlet feels about these men. “So excellent a king, that was, to this/Hyperion, to a satyr,” this contrast elaborates on Hamlets disapproval of his mother’s new husband. Here he implies that he is a half-goat creature that is often mocked by society and that his father had the quality of one of the 12 Titans. Hamlet continues to allude to Greek mythology when he ironically calls his mother Niobe; implying that she shed so many tears for her deceased husband when in fact she did not seem too distraught at all. Finally, both of those literary devises contribute to the overall metaphor of Denmark being “an unweeded garden.” Without the leadership of King Hamlet and the chaos within the royal family, Elsinore will suffer. The kingdom has been spoiled and will soon be in ruins according to Hamlet. This can be inferred from Hamlet’s condescending and disapproving word choice. It is portrayed through this soliloquy that Hamlet is unhappy with how things are going in Denmark. i
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