The Use Of Soliloquies In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Shakespeare was a man who never was able to see the full impact of his plays on the world. They were very popular when he was alive, but that was a time when plays were watched and not read as they are today. When reading his plays it is evident that everything in the play was intentional with double and even triple meanings built into single lines. His play Hamlet is full of these punch lines that Shakespeare is now famous for. Hamlet is a tragedy that is almost void of all action. What it really is, is a play about words. For the first few acts of the play nothing really takes place, it is all words and contemplation with no action. Shakespeare uses all of these words to build up the characters in his play. In the story of Hamlet, King Hamlet…show more content…
In this play, Hamlet is the king of soliloquies. Since he is trying to convince everyone that he is crazy, the only time that the audience gets a real sense of who Hamlet is, is when he is doing these long speeches. These are not just thrown into the play at random, Shakespeare was very crafty with the placement of these speeches. The most famous soliloquy comes from Act Three, Scene One. “To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.” In this speech Hamlet discusses whether or not it is better to be dead or alive. He talks of living like it is a choice, as if he is contemplating taking his own life. He can find so many reasons not to live because the world that he lives in is so full of evil and injustice. Ironically his speech ends abruptly when he sees Ophelia who takes her own life in the end of the play. What really shows Shakespeare’s style in this speech is that he is able to get the audience to think that living is a choice. By the end of the play he has crushed that belief because no one in the play is given the choice to live or die. Everyone unknowingly is the cause of their own death, which could also insinuate that there is a choice in death, but the choice is not left up to the…show more content…
Shakespeare uses soliloquies like the “to be, or not to be” speech to get his audience to begin to question bigger things like whether or not living is a choice. After getting them to contemplate such questions he answers them, more often than not in the opposite way of what the audience would think. For example, by the end of the play he has proven that while many think life is a choice, it rarely ever is. Shakespeare uses word wars to give action that is different for battles where weapons can kill. These word battles reveal how the characters truly feel, and hint towards what will happen later in the play. The final way that Shakespeare uses rhetoric in Hamlet is through plays within a play. He uses these to confirm suspicions, and also to prepare the audience for the tragedy that is in store at the end of the play because of what is found out during the play within the play. Shakespeare was a very skilled writer who was able to pack a lot of meaning into his
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