Soliloquies of Hamlet

Essay by Jim VanettenCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 1997

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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),

he said.

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...