Hamlet's first soliloquy7
prominently displays deep distress, even emotional fragility. He stands in the castle after having a long conversation with his mother and uncle-turned-step-father. This conversation has left him agitated and contributed to his unstable emotional state. The argument recounts his feelings toward his mother's actions and the current state of his country. All of these things put him in a state of distress. The death of his father is a heavy blow, and his mother's quick marriage, or her words, do nothing to ease his pain, but only exacerbates it. His mother's lack of loyalty and quick submission to Claudius makes Hamlet believe that something is awry in the affairs of Denmark. Hamlet idealized his parents and their relationship, and he bemoans the fact that although his father doted on his mother and was a good husband and father, she rushed into a relationship with another man, much less Hamlet's uncle, a man that differs from his father in almost every respect. In his description of Denmark, he uses a metaphor to compare the country to "an unweeded garden/That grows to seed, things rank and gross in nature/Possess it merely"s. To him, the country has become rotten, and will only lead to more infection. The final two lines of Hamlet's soliloqu/ are a conclusion and an analysis. He reacts to his mother's indecency and lack of respect for his father, and decides her actions will not lead to anything but bad consequences. Hamlet concludes that there is nothing he can do. His mother has been disloyal to his father, which Hamlet takes as a sign of disloyalty to the ideal that he believed his family was, but she is the queen. His country is falling apart, but he has no real power to make any changes. Hamlet must hold his tongue, because he is expected to be a loyal son and fulfill his duties as the prince.
This soliloquy presents Hamlet's emotions and psychological state. Hamlet feels emotional pain and is enraged, and he is directing his anger towards his mother and what he feels is her disloyalty. Hamlet desires the power to change the situation around him. As if for the first time in his life, things are going very wrong, and everyone is acting as if nothing is wrong. His powerlessness is beginning to drive him toward depression and desperation. Because of this pain, he is very agitated, and his speech is disjointed. He often interrupts his thoughts with an impassioned exclamation, as if his thoughts are too painful. Additionally, Hamlet is perceptive. At this point, he only knows that his father is dead. However, his insight tells him to deem Denmark as rotten. Without knowing what has truly happened, he knows that something about his father's death is not rightHamlet's anger with his mother begins very early in the play, and continues into this soliloquy. While Hamlet is expected to play the part of the loyal son, he is rebelling against his mother and what is expected of him. He has expressed the desire to return to school and continue his lengthy education. Claudius denies this request because most royal family members are told where to live and are kept in the same area; the king also wants to keep an eye on his new step- son. While the rest of the court has moved past the death of Hamlet's father, he continues to wear black, defying his mother, who has asked him to take off his black clothing and make friends with Claudius, in a quiet form of rebellion. Hamlet is also hostile to his mother. After she asks
him to remove his clothes of mourning, she says that death is common lO
. After Hamlet agrees
with her statement, she asks why it "seems" to be such a special case with Hamlet's father. Hamlet becomes agitated at her use of "seems," since it does not just appear particular, but is particular to Hamlet. He states that all of the signs of mourning - crying, black clothing, or a sad face - are not an act, but simply a byproduct of the very real, not seemed, pain that Hamlet is feeling. In...
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