Hamlet is a notable literary work by William Shakespeare. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Hamlet.
What impression of Hamlet do you find from his soliloquies?
Hamlet is the most prominent creation of the father of English Drama William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Hamlet’s soliloquies are some of the most famous and iconic speeches in the History of English Literature. They reveal his inner thoughts and feelings. Again, they provide insight into his character and motivations.
Soliloquies: A soliloquy is a Literary device that expresses the inner thoughts and feelings of a character. It helps the audience to understand the character’s thinks and beliefs. There are seven soliloquies in Hamlet. Here, are some of his most famous soliloquies.
The 1st Soliloquy: In the first soliloquy, Hamlet expresses his deep sorrow and despair at the death of his father and his mother’s remarriage to his uncle. He wishes that he could die. At least he wishes to get released from the burdens of life. This soliloquy makes Hamlet a melancholic character. Again, it exposes his sense of despair. We find him saying,
“O that this too too solid flesh would melt“
The 2nd Soliloquy: Hamlet’s emotional state is revealed after meeting with his father’s ghost in this soliloquy. The ghost of his father clears that Claudius is the real murderer. Here his father’s ghost gives him two responsibilities to avenge his father’s murder and To treat well with his mother Gertrude and not to hurt her.
The 3rd soliloquy: In the third soliloquy, Hamlet criticizes himself for his inactivity and lack of resolve. He becomes upset because he has not yet taken revenge for his father’s murder. He feels weak and powerless. He also compares himself to the passionate and cool-headed actors who perform in the play within the play. This soliloquy highlights Hamlet’s self-doubt and his struggle to take action.
The 4th soliloquy: This soliloquy is perhaps the most famous in the play. Hamlet contemplates the merits of life vs death. He decides to suicide as a possible solution to his problems. He Thinks about the nature of death. Again, he wonders whether it is better to suffer the pains and arrows of terrible fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and end them. He says,
“To be, or not to be; that is the question”
This soliloquy is a meditation on the human condition and the struggle to find meaning in life.
The 5th Soliloquy: In this soliloquy, Hamlet reveals his inner pain. Again, he reveals his annoyance to his mother.
The 6th Soliloquy: In this soliloquy, Hamlet has the opportunity to kill Claudius while he is praying. Then he decides not to kill him right now because he fears that Claudius will go to heaven if he dies while confessing his sins. This soliloquy highlights Hamlet’s morality. His hesitation to take action that he senses to kill Claudius while praying is described as morally wrong.
The 7th soliloquy: In this soliloquy, Hamlet reflects on the events that have led him to this point in the play. He is aware that his delay in avenging his father’s murder has cost him dearly. He has missed multiple opportunities to kill Claudius. He realizes that his fate is largely out of his control. That is why he must accept the consequences of his actions or inaction. Here we find him saying,
“How all occasions do inform against me”
This soliloquy is a moment of self-reflection and acceptance for Hamlet. Finally, he says,
“Be all my sins remembered”
Through the quote, Hamlet gives us a message that revenge is a noble act and justifiable.
In conclusion, Hamlet’s soliloquies provide a deep insight into his character and motivations. They reveal his melancholy temperament, his struggle to take action, his moral scruples, and his contemplation of life and death.