Authors and playwrights often use many literary elements to help aid the audience in a further understanding of their play. An element used frequently in the play Hamlet is the soliloquy. Soliloquies hold a significant role in any play. A soliloquy can be defined when a character speaks to themselves, essentially the audience, revealing their thoughts. The function and purpose of these soliloquies in the play Hamlet is for the audience to develop a further understanding of a character’s thoughts, to advance the storyline and create a general mood for the play.
First, soliloquies help to reveal many vital character emotions key to the plot of the play Hamlet. They help the audience achieve a better understanding of the character’s emotions, feelings, attitudes and thoughts. If soliloquies did not exist, the audience would likely not be able to discover a character’s mindset. This is true for many of Hamlet’s soliloquies. For example, in Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy, Hamlet reveals his deep thoughts concerning suicide (III, i, 56-89). In the actual, “To be or not to be” quote he questions whether to exist or not to exist; essentially, he is contemplating suicide (III, i, 56). He contemplates suicide by saying that dying is really only sleeping which ends heartaches and shocks that life gives, “And by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks” (III, i, 63-64). The soliloquy also showed the audience his thoughts concerning his father’s death and mother’s remarriage to Claudius. In addition, it further discusses Hamlet’s feelings about revenging his father’s death and how “the law’s delay” (III, i, 72). By Hamlet saying “the law’s delay”, he is essentially t...
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...s recognize it. These words create a strong imagery of smell. He also says that his heart is black as death, “O bosom black as death!” (III, iii, 68). This simile provides strong imagery alluding to his guilt using “black as death” and an overall dark atmosphere for the play (III, iii, 68).
Soliloquies help to establish a vital part in a play, which is to reveal the character’s emotions and thoughts. Not only does it effectively do that, but also deepens the plot and creates a strong atmosphere for any play. Without soliloquies, plays would lack depth and length, along with various key elements. No doubt, the soliloquy is the most powerful instrument into discovering the deepest thoughts of a character. Hamlet without soliloquies would have a far different effect. The soliloquy gave the depth and emotion needed to reveal Hamlet’s true internal conflicts.
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