Hamlet-Soliloquy 3

Topics: Guilt, Figure of speech, Question Pages: 2 (426 words) Published: May 29, 2014
How does Soliloquy 3 reveal Hamlet’s perceptions of himself and his way of responding to his ‘quest’ for revenge? Upon examination, it is clear that Hamlet is ‘a divided mind’ due to his introspective way of thinking; a typical Renaissance character. Soliloquy 3 reveals that Hamlet has realised that his honour code demands him to exact revenge upon Claudius. However, his moral code manifests itself into constant self-recrimination, testament to his character. Hamlet begins by metaphorically comparing himself to a “peasant slave”, indicating that he has not addressed his honour code, as this distinguished the aristocrat from the peasant in Elizabethan times. The use of the exclamation is the first sign of his denunciation of himself due to his lack of action. This theme is advanced when he classically alludes to Hecuba in reference to the play he has just witnessed. Hamlet is ashamed that “he should weep to her” and ponders what the actor would do “had he the motive and the cue for passion that I have?” Along with revealing the intellectuality of the Renaissance Hamlet, the classical allusion demonstrates that he is clearly frustrated by his impotence for revenge. This is consolidated in the simile “Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause” where Hamlet blatantly admits to inaction, cutting a self-deprecating image of himself. The rhetorical question “Am I a coward” attests to his introspective nature as he is self-analysing whether the last portion of his soliloquy is true or not. This begins a series of rhetorical questions in an attempt to conjure up a sense of passion in the demoralised Hamlet, which culminates with the fragmented sentence, “Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindles villain! O, vengeance!” We can finally observe Hamlet thinking about revenge and this is affirmed when he begins to devise a plan to catch his Uncle’s guilt, so that he “knows his (my) course”. Despite acquiring this new-found passion, his introspection still comes through...
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