Hamlet's Soliloquy Essay

Hamlet's Soliloquy Essay

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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. 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.




Works Cited
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.

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