Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Soliloquy Term Paper: Hamlet’s Soliloquies -- GCSE English Literature

Hamlet’s Soliloquies      Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet, it seems that at every other turn in the narrative the prince is alone and uttering another soliloquy. What is the nature of his various soliloquies? How many are there? What are their contexts? This essay will answer these questions and more. John Russell Brown in â€Å"Soliloquies and Other Wordplay Let the Audience Share Some of Hamlet’s Thoughts† explains that soliloquies are but one form of wordplay Hamlet uses: By any reckoning Hamlet is one of the most complex of Shakespeare’s characters, and a series of soliloquies is only one of the means which encourage the audience to enter imaginatively into his very personal and frightening predicament. The play’s narrative is handled so that a prolonged two-way chase is sustained between him and the king, during which the audience knows more than either one of them and so thinks ahead and anticipates events. In interplay with Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Polonius, and perhaps with Claudius, Gertrude and Ophelia, Hamlet has asides to draw attention to what dialogue cannot express. (55-56) The first soliloquy, or â€Å"act of talking to oneself, whether silently or aloud† (Abrams 289), occurs when the hero is left alone after the royal social gathering in the room of state in the castle of Elsinore. He is dejected by the â€Å"o’erhasty marriage† of his mother to his uncle less than two months after the funeral of Hamlet’s father (Gordon 128). His first soliloquy emphasizes the frailty of women – an obvious reference to his mother’s hasty and incestuous marriage to her husband’s brother:    O, that this too too solid flesh would melt   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Or that the Everlasting had not... An Impulsive but Earnest Young Aristocrat.† Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Masks of Hamlet. Newark, NJ: Univ. of Delaware P., 1992.    Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995.    West, Rebecca. â€Å"A Court and World Infected by the Disease of Corruption.† Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Court and the Castle. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1957.    Wright, Louis B. and Virginia A. LaMar. â€Å"Hamlet: A Man Who Thinks Before He Acts.† Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Ed. Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar. N. p.: Pocket Books, 1958.

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