Hamlet Soliloquies

“O that this too too solid flesh would melt, that and resolve itself into a dew.” Soliloquy 1: Act 1 Scene 2
“Frailty, thy name is woman” Soliloquy 1: Act 1 Scene 2
“My father’s brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules” Soliloquy 1: Act 1 Scene 2
“With such dexterity to incestuous sheets” Soliloquy 1: Act 1 Scene 2
“But break, my hear, for I must hold my tongue” Soliloquy 1: Act 1 Scene 2
Context of Soliloquy 1 Act 1 Scene 2After having been admonished by Claudius for his continual mourning over the death of his father. Hamlet wishes to commit suicide but cannot, and is deeply troubled by the depravity he sees in the hasty and incestuous marriage of his uncle Claudius to his mother, Gertrude. Has not yet found out about the appearance of his father’s ghost.
MAIN CONCEPT HEADING FOR SOLILOQUY 1 Anguish induced by deceit/betrayal–> An elegy for a world, a court and a father lost
Major Points of Technique in Soliloquy 1 1. Religious references: ‘O God’ ‘Everlasting’ ‘beteem the winds of Heaven’ –> call to God in exclamation; furthermore, human inability to reach heavenly standards2. Juxtaposition of mortal sins and heavenly sanctity: references to ‘Heaven and earth’; semantic field of sin, portraying sexual appetite: ‘rank, gross, unrighteous, wicked, incestuous’; also, the beastiality of man; contrast between Gods and mortal sin, with hyperbole such as “I to Hercules” and “Hyperion to a satyr”3. Metaphor for the world: ‘unweeded garden’4. Extensive hyperbole: for instance, mother and tears (compared to Niobe) FURTHER: spends much time juxtaposing Claudius to his father; Hamlet’s hero, vs his antagonistPortrays MORAL CORRUPTION, and Hamlet’s concern for the SPIRITUAL STATE; an ELEGY for a world and father lost
‘Adieu, adieu, rembember me’ Soliloquy 2: Act 1 Scene 5
‘O all you host of heave! O earth! what else? And shall I couple heaven?’ Soliloquy 2: Act 1 Scene 5
‘And thy commandment all alone shall live within the book and volume of my brain, unmixed with baser matter.’ Soliloquy 2: Act 1 Scene 5
‘That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.’ Soliloquy 2: Act 1 Scene 5
Context of Soliloquy 2 Act 1 Scene 5Hamlet has just seen and spoken to the Ghost of his father, who has added to the burning anger within Hamlet. Not only does he now look negatively upon his uncle and mother for their hasty relationship; he now believes Claudius to be his father’s murderer.This leads him to reject religious traditions; and focus solely on avenging his father.STATE OF SHOCK
Main Points from Soliloquy 2 1. Duplicative – use of tautology; saying things over again in different ways; creates a sense of Hamlet’s obsession, anger and conviction “O villain, villain, smiling damned villain” (also repeated similarly again)2.Rejection of religion: mentions following ‘hell’; his father’s “commandment alone shall live”, religious exclamations with negative connotations towards God3. Evil on earth: ‘pernicious villain’4. References to memory: wiping memory clear to become obsessed over a mission for this father5. Whole soliloquy displays a sense of shock, through its exclamations, short phrases, rhetorical questions and dashes
MAIN CONCEPT HEADING FOR SOLILOQUY 2 The induction of loyalty and will towards vengeance
“O what a rogue and peasant slave am I Is it not monstrous that this player her, but in a fiction, in a dream of passion…” Soliloquy 3: Act 2 Scene 2
“What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, that he should weep for her?” Soliloquy 3: Act 2 Scene 2
“Like a John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause” Soliloquy 3: Act 2 Scene 2
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain”” Soliloquy 3: Act 2 Scene 2
“Oh, vengeance! Why, what an ass am I!” Soliloquy 3: Act 2 Scene 2
“The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” Soliloquy 3: Act 2 Scene 2
Context of Soliloquy 3: Act 2 Scene 2 Hamlet has just spent some time with a company of players at the Royal Court, and has gained the idea of using a company of players to “catch the conscience of the king”.This is a soliloquy of greater energy; of being inspired towards action.
Main points of Soliloquy 3: Act 2 Scene 2 – Hamlet’s self-abasement – Relationship between the stage and real world circumstances: intends to hyperbolically express his plight- Intensity of intent to act/seek revenge is portrayed
MAIN CONCEPT HEADING FOR SOLILOQUY 3 Gathering momentum towards seeking revenge; depth of Hamlet’s will towards vengeance
“To be, or not to be, that is the question” Soliloquy 4: Act 3 Scene 1
“To die, to sleep – to sleep, perchance to dream.” Soliloquy 4: Act 3 Scene 1
“For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, th’oppressors wrong…” Soliloquy 4: Act 3 Scene 1
MAIN CONCEPT HEADING FOR SOLILOQUY 4: Act 3 Scene 1 Ruminating over the concept of existence as a whole; state of suffering; proximity between life and death

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