Hamlet Soliloquy

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude Pages: 3 (1087 words) Published: March 13, 2001
The character of Prince Hamlet, in Shakespeare's Hamlet, displays many strong yet justified emotions. For instance, the "To be or Not To Be" soliloquy, perhaps one of the most well known quotes in the English language, Hamlet actually debates suicide. His despair, sorrow, anger, and inner peace are all justifiable emotions for this troubled character. Hamlet's feeling of despair towards his life and to the world develops as the play moves on. In Hamlet's first soliloquy he reveals that his despair has driven him to thoughts of suicide; "How weary (horrible) ... His law 'gainst self slaughter." Likewise, when Hamlet talks to his friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Act 2, scene 2, Hamlet wishes they tell the King and Queen that he has "lost all mirth," in this world so "foul and pestilent." In his "To be or not to be" soliloquy, he expresses his despair through thoughts of suicide, suggesting that suicide is an easy way to end life's conflicts. But luckily he concludes that the fear of an unknown afterlife is what keeps us living. All of Hamlet's thoughts of despair can be understood when one looks at the horrible conflicts Hamlet goes through. Sorrow, perhaps the most evident emotion, is very well developed throughout the play. Initially, the only cause of Hamlet's sorrow is his father's death. However, after reading Act 1, scene 2, we see in Hamlet's asides that another source of his melancholy is his mother's hasty marriage to Claudius, the new king of Denmark. Further, when Queen Gertrude asks her son why his father's death "seems" so important, he replies, "Seems, madam? Nay it is. I know not 'seems'." In addition, Shakespeare reveals another source of sadness; now Hamlet is alone, with the most loved character in his life, Ophelia, rejecting him. This cause is well brought out in Hamlet's soliloquy in which he states; "Now I am alone. O, what a rouge and peasant slave am I!" Finally, when Hamlet discovers that Ophelia had died, new reasons for Hamlet's...
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