Hamlet’s first soliloquy comes in act one scene two, as Hamlet reflects on the current state of events. The chief focus of this soliloquy is essentially the rottenness of the king, queen and the world in general. In this passage the reader is introduced to Hamlet pseudo-obsession with death and suicide, which later will become a chief point of indecision. In this particular speech, however, Hamlet is fairly confident. He wishes that his “too too sullied flesh would melt” (Shakespeare 1.2.129), and laments that God has “fixed / his canon against self slaughter” (1.2.131-2). These two lines set up the fundamental dichotomy of indecision in Hamlet, which is mostly action or inaction, but can be expressed in terms of suicide or continuing life. It is important to note that there is little indecision in this particular passage, and though this makes it somewhat more difficult to deconstruct, it provides a point of comparison for Hamlets eventual madness. Here he clearly categorically rejects the idea of suicide as against god’s law, and is thereby free from the indecision seen later in the play. The rest of the passage is essentially a platform for Hamlet to air his grievances, and thus the deconstructionist lens for this soliloquy can be best applied to Hamlet’s beliefs about other characters rather than his own internal conflicts. Hamlet sets up a number of the oppositions directly by comparing his father to his uncle. He first uses the comparison of “Hyperion to a Satyr” (1.2...
... middle of paper ...
...t concern of how to catch Claudius, and how to get revenge for his father.
By recognizing the fear of the unknown and the power of doubt to derail his enterprises Hamlet resolves his indecisiveness and is able to move forward in the play. When viewed through the deconstructionist lens, Hamlet’s own personal demons and his oppositions to the king, queen, and his own inner self, are put into sharper focus and give the reader an understanding of the inner workings of the meandering path Hamlet takes to find his eventual solution.
Coleridge, Samuel T. "On Hamlet." The Bedford Introduction to Drama. Ed. Lee A. Jacobus. New York: St Martin's Press, 1989.
Elliot, T S. "Hamlet and His Problems." The Bedford Introduction to Drama. Ed. Lee A. Jacobus. New York: St Martin\'s Press, 1989.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Bantam Books, 1980.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Hamlet's Soliloquy - To be, or not to be Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy is arguably the most famous soliloquy in the history of the theatre. Even today, 400 years after it was written, most people are vaguely familiar with the soliloquy even though they may not know the play. What gives these 34 lines such universal appeal and recognition. What about Hamlet's introspection has prompted scholars and theatregoers alike to ask questions about their own existence over the centuries. In this soliloquy, Shakespeare strikes a chord with a fundamental human concern: the validity and worthiness of life.... [tags: Hamlet essays]
1219 words (3.5 pages)
- When analyzing Shakespeare's Hamlet through the deconstructionist lens various elements of the play come into sharper focus. Hamlet's beliefs about himself and his crisis over indecision are expounded upon by the binary oppositions created in his soliloquies. Hamlet’s first soliloquy comes in act one scene two, as Hamlet reflects on the current state of events. The chief focus of this soliloquy is essentially the rottenness of the king, queen and the world in general. In this passage the reader is introduced to Hamlet pseudo-obsession with death and suicide, which later will become a chief point of indecision.... [tags: Shakespearean Literature]
1619 words (4.6 pages)
- Hamlet -- the “To be or not to be” Soliloquy In William Shakespeare’s dramatic tragedy Hamlet the fourth of the seven soliloquies by the hero is generally considered exceptional and more famous than the others. This essay will examine and analyze this soliloquy, and explore the reasons for its fame. This famous soliloquy manifests the expression of very deep and conflicting emotions. Ruth Nevo in “Acts III and IV: Problems of Text and Staging” explains the basic conflict within the hero’s most famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy: Since we know what Hamlet’s obligatory task is, we cannot but register the possibility that the taking of arms and the “enterprises of great... [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]
1959 words (5.6 pages)
- The Moral Question in Hamlet's Soliloquy - To be or not to be... "The major question in 'To be or not to be' cannot be suicide. If it were, as many have noted, it would be dramatically irrelevant. Hamlet is no longer sunk in the depths of melancholy, as he was in his first soliloquy. He has been roused to action and has just discovered how to test the Ghost's words. When we last saw him, only five minutes before, he was anticipating the night's performance, and in only a few moments we shall see him eagerly instructing the players and excitedly telling Horatio of his plan.... [tags: Soliloquies Shakespeare Hamlet]
525 words (1.5 pages)
- Hamlet, the main character of William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, is one of the most complex characters ever created. His intricacy can be seen in the amount of soliloquies he speaks throughout the play. Each one of Hamlet’s soliloquies reveals his innermost thoughts and gives the reader or audience insight as to what he is feeling at that time. Hamlet’s quartet of soliloquies illustrates how Hamlet is initially indecisive, but eventually makes a decision to take revenge against his uncle. In Hamlet’s first soliloquy he shows that he is angry with his mother and upset over his father’s death.... [tags: Shakespearean Literature]
617 words (1.8 pages)
- Hamlet -- “To be or not to be” Soliloquy When the Bard of Avon created Hamlet, he simultaneously created the famous soliloquy ever uttered by English-speaking men. Thus it is that literary critics rank Hamlet’s fourth soliloquy as the most notable ever penned. Let’s examine in this essay how such a high ranking is deserved, and what the soliloquy means. In his essay “An Explication of the Player’s Speech,” Harry Levin refers to the fourth soliloquy as the most famous of them all: Dwelling on gross details and imperfections of the flesh (“Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight”), Hamlet will admonish his mother that sense-perception is dulled by sensual indulgence.... [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]
2240 words (6.4 pages)
- The “To be or not to be” Soliloquy in Hamlet One soliloquy stands out above the others in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Of the seven soliloquies by the protagonist, the “To be or not to be” soliloquy is universally recognized as superior to the others. This essay considers this most famous soliloquy. Marchette Chute in “The Story Told in Hamlet” describes just how close the hero is to suicide while reciting his most famous soliloquy: Hamlet enters, desperate enough by this time to be thinking of suicide.... [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]
2232 words (6.4 pages)
- The “To be or not to be” Soliloquy of Hamlet Does the hero in Shakespeare’s Hamlet deliver a soliloquy that does not fit the dramatic context. Does the soliloquy suggest that suicide is imminent. This essay proposes to answer these and other questions relevant to the “To be or not to be” soliloquy. Lawrence Danson in the essay “Tragic Alphabet” discusses the most famous of soliloquies as involving an “eternal dilemma”: The problem of time’s discrediting effects upon human actions and intentions is what makes Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” soliloquy eternal dilemma rather than fulfilled dialectic.... [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]
2233 words (6.4 pages)
- The “To be or not to be” Soliloquy within Hamlet The fame of one particular soliloquy by the hero in Shakespeare’s Hamlet logically requires that special consideration be given to said speech. And such is the intent of this essay. In “Superposed Plays” Richard A. Lanham discusses this most famous of all the soliloquies: The King and Polonius dangle Ophelia as bait and watch. Hamlet sees this. He may even be, as W. A. Bebbington suggested, reading the “To be or not to be” speech from a book, using it, literally, as a stage prop to bemuse the spyers-on, convince them of his now-become-suicidal-madness.... [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]
2221 words (6.3 pages)
- Hamlet Soliloquy Analysis As Act I of Shakespeare's Hamlet concludes, a conversation between the protagonist Hamlet and the ghost of his deceased father, King Hamlet occurs. In response to the ghost's request for Hamlet to take revenge, Hamlet shares his thoughts with the audience in a soliloquy. Through vows and promises, Hamlet's oral reaction to the King's request exposes his full will for revenge. In addition, Hamlet's word-choice begins to exhibit the blind passion and zeal that characterizes his actions throughout the remainder of the play.... [tags: Papers]
509 words (1.5 pages)