Essay on Shakespeare's Use of Soliloquies

Essay on Shakespeare's Use of Soliloquies

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Before starting my introduction, I must show and help the audience to understand what a soliloquy is. A soliloquy is a dramatic or literary form of communication in which a character talks to him/herself or reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener apart from the audience. This use could be very important to a playwright because it helps the audience understand the play, the characters and it helps the audience to predict and expect things.

Shakespeare uses soliloquies to form moral judgement about characters in the play. Audience’s moral judgment towards characters like Macbeth is simply evil. We know this because in the soliloquies Macbeth speaks his true thoughts, whereas in other scenes Macbeth lies. There is a big difference to Macbeth’s character, to how he speaks to himself in a soliloquy on stage and to other people in the play. This may be the fact that he doesn’t want people to know his schemes and evilness of King Duncan’s death. We experience this in act 2 scene 1, “It is the bloody business which informs thus to mine eyes.” Line 48-49. Macbeth presents his evilness in act 1 scene 7 lines 1-2 where he reveals his impatience of King Duncan’s death, “If it were done when tis done, then twere well it were done quickly.” This shows how much he truly wants to become king and how eager he is as he says that if the job is to be done one way or another, it should be done straight away. On the other hand Macbeth presents himself differently and speaks totally different to other people such as best friend Banquo about the witches’ predictions lately in act 2 scene 1, “I think not of them. Yet when we can entreat an hour to serve, we could spend it on some words upon on that business.” Macbeth lies to his fel...


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..., and as they speak in soliloquies it helps to keep the audiences attention.

Shakespeare’s use of structure towards soliloquies has a big contrast to the beginning and the end. In the beginning, most characters just think of what they should do and how they express their feelings which is quite long e.g. act 1 scene 7 page 31, Macbeths long thoughts on the attempt of murder. However, as we reach the end of the play the soliloquies shorten this may be because they react to other characters and how characters regret things.

The use of soliloquies attracts the audience’s attention throughout the play because characters reveal their unexpected thoughts to the audience, they show what kind of people they are and the soliloquies are mostly the key parts of the play. Also it shows how the characters perform and respond after and before actions throughout the play.

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