Purpose of a Soliloquy

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Rishi Kanagarajah and Rahul Ramesh
Mr. Fontaine
ENG4UN
July 24/12

Soliloquy

Definition

Soliloquy is the literary device used to describe when a character is talking to oneself addressing his or her emotions and feelings, without acknowledging an audience or any other characters. It is a term from Latin derived by combing “solus”, meaning alone, and “loqui”, meaning to speak.

Historical Context

Shakespeare’s soliloquies were classified under feigned soliloquies; they were intended to be overheard. Soliloquies were mainly used in plays during the seventeenth century. Hamlet was written in a time of great instability for Queen Elizabeth I because of a failed uprising, a failed invasion attempt, and failed assassination attempt. There was a lot of uncertainty, so Shakespeare included themes like a murdered king to arouse empathy. Also in this time period, instead of using brute force to solve a situation, the concept of diplomatic approach was introduced. For an example, Hamlet is always contemplating if his uncle is really the murderer of his father. This portrays that Hamlet uses reasoning to determine his actions. Shakespeare may have been conveying a message to the Queen in handling her issues similar to the way Hamlet does. Soliloquies were used in plays during this time so that taboo subjects about love or death can be taken in to consideration and be spoken about openly. Since there was a lot of uncertainty in this time people were interested in understanding what people are thinking or to find out what they are hiding behind their persona (ego). Soliloquies though faded away during the nineteenth century and are not used much anymore. This is because dramas were pushing to be more realistic. Literary Analysis

Susan Griffin is an eco-feminist author. She is also a famous script- writer. She has received a numerous number of awards such as the McArthur grant for peace and...
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