Hamlet’s 1st Soliloquy Analysis
What, in your opinion, are some of the purposes of this opening soliloquy? Provide at least three possibilities.
Explain your answer by making specific references to the soliloquy and to the events from the play so far. (6) There are several purposes for this soliloquy. This soliloquy aids the audience in gaining a more accurate insight into the character of Hamlet and his thoughts and feelings. The opening lines showcase Hamlets lack of self-worth and that he is a religious man. He wishes to die, “.
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.. that this too too-solid flesh would melt…
but cannot do so because it is a sin. This is evident by him saying, “… the Everlasting had not fix’d His cannon ‘gainst self-slaughter! ” We also learn that Hamlet is depressed. He feels the world to be, “weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable”.
His comparison of the world to an “unweeded garden” is further proof that everything Hamlet sees is to his distaste. Furthermore, this soliloquy also aids the audience in understanding Hamlets feelings about other characters. Hamlet feels that Gertrude, his mom, married too suddenly.
This is evident by him saying, “O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer! “. As a result, he feels his mom is foolish and weak by saying, “frailty thy name is woman! ” This could also show his feelings for women in general. Hamlet also sees Gertrude’s marriage to Claudius as incestuous as evident by him saying “O, most wicked speed to post.
.. with such dexterity to incestuous sheets! ” His feelings for his uncle, the new king, are also plainly apparent. He dehumanizes him by saying, “So excellent a king; that was, to his…
He further denounces his uncle by describing him as a “satyr”. A satyr is a half-man, half-goat creature. Hamlet also expresses his feeling for his late father, old King Hamlet Sr. He admired and respected him as evident by him saying, “So excellent a king”. He boasts about him by comparing him to a “Hyperion”.
Hyperion was the Sun god. This shows how much hamlet admired him. Hamlet also shows how loving and caring his dad was for Gertrude, by saying that his dad never let the “winds of heaven …
visit her face too roughly’.
This soliloquy could also serve to foreshadow the events in the rest of the play. In the opening lines, Hamlet thinks about suicide. (“..
. that this too too-solid flesh would melt… “).
This could foreshadow his death later on. In addition, by even thinking about death Hamlet showcases himself as a weak character. Instead of solving or approaching his problems, Hamlet keeps them inside of him. This could foreshadow Hamlet lack of action throughout the play. Furthermore, Hamlet feels that the hasty marriage, “cannot come to.
.. od” This combined with the arrival of the ghost from the last scene could foreshadow potential wrongdoings going on. The audience gets a feeling that something is not right. In a well-written, multi-paragraph response, discuss how the central ideas in the speech reveal the kind of person Hamlet is and the problems/conflicts he is facing.
Use examples from the soliloquy to support your ideas. This scene begins in a brightly lit court. The new king, Claudius, is celebrating his marriage to Gertrude.