The Soliloquies of Hamlet
Authors use various literary elements to give insight
into the mental composition of their characters. In
Shakespeare's "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," we can trace
Hamlet's mental process through his soliloquies.
Hamlet's first soliloquy reveals him to be thoroughly
disgusted with Gertrude, Claudius, and the world in general.
"How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, seem to me all the
uses of this world" (1284), he said. He is saddened by the
death of his father, who he admired as a king and husband to
his mother. His grief over his father's death is
compounded by his mother's hasty marriage to Claudius.
Hamlet protests, "a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
would have mourn'd longer" (1285). The worst part is that
he cannot tell them how he feels.
In his second soliloquy, Hamlet becomes curious and
suspicious after hearing of the ghost. "My father's spirit
in arms! All is not well; I doubt some foul play" (1287),
Hamlet feels that the presence of the ghost
indicates that his father died due to dubious circumstance.
After talking with his father's ghost, in the 3rd
Soliloquy Hamlet is angered by the news that Claudius had
murdered his father. Hamlet assures that he will think of
nothing but revenge. "I'll wipe away all trivial fond
records...and thy commandment all alone shall live within
the book and volume of my brain" (1296), he proclaims.
In Hamlet's fourth soliloquy, his mental state shows
signs of declination. He castigates himself for not taking
action to avenge his father. He realizes that he has cause
to kill Claudius, but cannot muster the chutzpah to go
through with it. He said, "Why, what an ass am I! This is
most brave, that I...must, like a whore, unpack my heart...