Free Essays - Asides in Hamlet

Free Essays - Asides in Hamlet

Length: 1575 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Free Essays - Asides in Hamlet

 Asides... what is an asides?  Unlike a soliloquy that is spoken when the speaker is the only actor onstage, an aside is spoken by an actor when there are other actors present on the stage.  The aside is also meant for the audience, but sometimes an aside is spoken to an actor(s) on the stage, but not to all of the actors on the stage.  How  do the asides in  “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare effect the dynamics of the play?  The asides in “Hamlet” have several different  dramatic functions; Some of the asides are used to add a bit of irony to the play, others are premonitions of what is going to happen in the play (one is even an ironic premonition), and yet others (most importantly) can be used to look into the character of the actor by what he says of others or  what he says of himself (or too himself), and finally all of the asides have the function of helping to set the plot of the play.  (I use the male gender because I did not encounter an aside from a female).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Essays - Asides in Hamlet." 19 Mar 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Free Will : William Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' And ' Oedipus ' Essay

- Free Will: A response to Hamlet and Oedipus The absence or presence of fate and free will is as controversial as religion and science. The question of whether one can exist without the other is purely a matter of perspective, but the amount of evidence for both is vast. Like all topics of this magnitude, the fate or free will influence reaches all aspects of life. In literature, whether knowingly or unknowingly, works are subjective to the author’s ideals, but the interpretation of the works by the reader is a product of his or her ideals....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Oedipus, Free will]

Research Papers
2015 words (5.8 pages)

Free Will in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- The Free Will of Hamlet Choices made by Hamlet, which ultimately lead to his death, are all guided by his own free will. In mourning his father's death, Hamlet chooses to do so for what others consider to be an excessive amount of time. “But to persever/ In obstinate condolement is a course/ Of impious stubbornness”(I.ii.99-100), according to Claudius. During this period of mourning, Hamlet meets his father’s spirit and promises to avenge his father’s death.  However, upon reflection, he questions the validity of the ghost’s message.  At this point he carefully goes about choosing a plan of action that will inevitably show that “the king is to blame” (V.ii.340) In following his plan, Haml...   [tags: Free Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
566 words (1.6 pages)

Free Essays - Sanity of Hamlet

- Sanity of Hamlet Is he insane or isn't he. That is the question. What is the answer. Literary scholars have debated that question for over 400 years. Still people wonder. I, for one, don't think Hamlet is crazy at all. I feel that he is very depressed because of his father's death. But especially because of his mother's hasty marriage to his Uncle Claudius one month after his father's death. Hamlet is still in mourning, his mother should be also. He doesn't understand why she isn't in mourning....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Free Essays
621 words (1.8 pages)

Free Hamlet Essays: Foils of Hamlet

- Foils of Hamlet In the classic play Hamlet by William Shakespeare is a work that has and will test time. [SS - 1] In this piece of work there are many characters that contribute as foils. A foil is a minor character in a literary work who by the similarities and differences in what the character does (compared to a more important character) or by simple [sic] being there for another character to talk to which helps the audience understand a more important character. [SS - 1] There are many foils of the main character, Hamlet....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]

Free Essays
674 words (1.9 pages)

Free Hamlet Essays: The Naivete of Hamlet

- The Naivete of Hamlet Keeping secrets keep you isolated from your friends and make you very lonely. Hamlet’s loneliness, false friends, and betrayals cause his downfall to a great extent. The court of Denmark is filled with spies: Claudius hires Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to spy on Hamlet; Polonius spies on Hamlet in Gertrude’s bedchamber; Polonius uses Ophelia as bait to spy on Hamlet. Hamlet is not a part of this deceit; he is honest. For example, Claudius suggests Hamlet is honest when he and Laertes are discussing their dual scheme; Ophelia believes Hamlet is honest and says, "What a noble mind here is o’erthrown!" (III; i; 157), referring to Hamlet’s antic disposition, even...   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
828 words (2.4 pages)

Free Hamlet Essays: Loneliness in Hamlet

- Loneliness in Hamlet Everyone faces loneliness and despair in their lives. In today’s world people may feel misunderstood or isolated. In Hamlet, much of the loneliness and suffering he endures is due to the secrets and betrayals he is forced to keep. There were many instances where Hamlet felt alone and upset but he could not share his pain with anyone else. This was a factor that added to his suffering. We can also find many examples of Hamlet’s despair due to betrayal from his so called friends....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
589 words (1.7 pages)

Free Hamlet Essays: Thoughts on Hamlet

- Final Thoughts on The Tragedy of Hamlet In light of the biographical information that was recently presented in class, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark has the potential to take on new meaning. Instead of just being a play that takes a closer look at honor, revenge and suicide, Hamlet turns into a canvas that gave Edward DeVere the opportunity to express himself without exposing himself at the same time. Assuming that the role of Hamlet was based on DeVere, the query that plagues my mind is: DeVere or not DeVere....   [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
453 words (1.3 pages)

Free Hamlet Essays: The Downfall of Hamlet

- The Downfall of Hamlet There are many reasons why Hamlet had his downfall. One being his decision to keeping the murder of his father a secret. Another one being the betrayals of his closest friends. Perhaps if Guildenstern or Rosencrantz had been there for Hamlet, to rely and place trust upon, he might not had to fell so alone. A little sympathy from his girlfriend Ophelia, and even his mother Gertrude would have been nice as well. Unfortunately Ophelia is held back from Hamlet, due to her father....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
695 words (2 pages)

Free Hamlet Essays: Freud and Hamlet

- Hamlet Essay:  Freud and Hamlet   Freud believed that Hamlet did not kill Claudius the first time he saw him because Hamlet saw himself as the enemy. This sounds like a solid reason to me.  Who am I to say that it is not?  However,  I also find  Samuel Taylor Coleridge's  reasoning very interesting.  He believed that Hamlet did not kill Claudius the first time because he was praying.  This sounds almost too easy, although very legitimate.  Now, I am not one to say which interpretation is right, or even ponder if either is right; however, they both come credible critics....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]

Free Essays
425 words (1.2 pages)

Free Hamlet Essays: Hamlet Interpreted

- Hamlet Interpreted It is clear Hamlet can be interpreted from a multitude of perspectives on numerous levels. I cannot quite grasp Mr. Bloom's contention that this is a work of near biblical importance nor can I accept his allusions to Jesus or the Buddha. "Hamlet remains apart; something transcendent about him places him more aptly with the biblical King David, or with even more exalted scriptural figures."(Bloom, 384). My immediate response is that when Mr. Bloom shuffles off this mortal coil, I don't believe Billy Shakespeare will be waiting with a pint of ale....   [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
517 words (1.5 pages)

Related Searches

The first line said by Hamlet in “Hamlet” is an aside in which Hamlet tells us his feelings on the King of Denmark, his uncle Claudius.  What he says turns out to be very  ironic after his confrontation with the ghost, “A little more than kin, and less than kind” (1.2.66).  Hamlet and the King are not direct kin, that is to say father and son, or siblings, but the King is married to his mother.  He is only the nephew of Claudius, but also now in the position of a son within the marriage.  Hamlet is not on good terms with the King after the hasty marriage to his mother.  It turns out to be ironic what Hamlet has chosen to tell us here, the King turns out to be his ‘arch-enemy’.  His feelings towards the King are questionable and soon he will find out that the King is an enemy to the state of Denmark and the cause of why Hamlet is the state of mind that he is in.  This aside will culminate with the story of the ghost to form the heaviest part of the plot of the different subplots.  One very important and ironic set of asides is given by Polonius, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t”(2.2.213-214).  The Lord says this shortly after saying that he thinks that Hamlet is crazy.  He realizes that possibly Hamlet is not crazy, or still a little bit there.  “How pregnant sometimes his replies are!   A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason could not so prosperously be deliver’d of.”(2.2.216-218).  Here it seems that Polonius is quick to negate the possibility of Hamlet even being a little bit there.  It is the wit of Hamlet that keeps him alive to the end.  By dismissing the smarts of Hamlet here, Polonius is setting his own doom and making the King and Queen see Hamlet how he thinks he is.  By giving the King ignorant opinion he helps to alter the end of the play too.  It is possible that the King would have taken more precautions had he thought that Hamlet was the least bit with it.  One aside is used has a ironic function that serves as a premonition about the end of the final act of the play, “To my sick soul, as sin’s true nature is, Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss,  So full of artless jealousy is guilt, It spills itself in fearing to be split”(4.5.18-21).  It is a look at the reasons for the deaths in the final scene.  The calamity at the end arises out of the suspicions of the guilty and comes to an end with the death of Hamlet, the King, the Queen, and Laertes.  Do to the suspicions of the King and Laertes, themselves, Hamlet and the Queen will lose their lives.  The ironic aspect of it is that Horatio is breathing these words tens of minutes or hours before the ‘guilt spills itself’.

Besides the use of dramatic irony with the asides, we can also use an aside to look at the character of the actor saying the aside.  We can get a sort of psychological read of the character of the speaker. “That’s wormwood”(3.2.158).  Hamlet here is responding to the play within the play.  He is responding to a line said by the play queen.  The play queen has just said how she would not remarry and Hamlet is saying that he does not believe that.  This is a look at how Hamlet sees women in general.  Do to what has occurred between he and Ophelia and how his mother has acted  after the death of his father, he has a deep distrust of women.  One promised him something and another he supposes promised his father something, and they have both broken their words.  “Nay then I have an eye of you!”(2.2.283).  Hamlet here is contemplating the actions of his ‘dear’ friends from school, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz.  He is assuming, and rightly so, the purpose of the appearance of his two oldest friends.  He knows their purpose of spying on him for the King and Queen.  His knowledge of this will again turn out to be significant again later in the play.  With this knowledge, he escapes death by their hands, and has them put to death.  “Hark you, Guildenstern, and you too-at each ear a hearer-that great baby you see there is not yet out of his swaddling-clouts”(2.2.352-353)   Hamlet is addressing his two friends and us of his distrust for Polonius.  He knows that Polonius is a back stabbing old man trying to find out what  he can in any situation.  He is telling his friends to mark their words in the presence of this fiend.  Other than what has just been mentioned, Hamlet is showing his distrust for humankind in general.  It is not surprising that he can not trust the Lord Chamberlain, but to not trust two of his oldest buddies really shows something about how he sees the people around him. “They fool me to the top of my bent.”(3.2.336-337).  At this point Hamlet is having troubles with his ‘acting’.  He thinks that it is now becoming harder to act the fool with all of the treachery going on around him.  Not only is it Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, Polonius, the King, but it is now his mother.  Why is this making it so hard for him to act?  It could be that it is too many people to act for, or the new person of the audience is his mother, and that could be a hard act to pass.  This is when Hamlet reaches his low point in the play of trust for humanity.  He thinks his mother to be in on the conspiracy theory with all of the others around him and in the last scene he had told Ophelia that he did not love her.

 Polonius is another with significant asides that hinge on Ophelia and Hamlet and reveal things about himself.   “How say you by that? still harping on my daughter.  Yet he knew me not at first, ’a said I was a fishmonger.’ ’A is far gone. And truly in my youth I suff’red much extremity for love-very near this.  I’ll speak to him again.”(2.2.199-201).  Polonius here thinks that Hamlet is still in love with his daughter, and in this he has another reason to spy or check-up on Hamlet.  Polonius has already given his daughter the ultimatum concerning Hamlet.  He is starting to think that Hamlet is a little crazy also.  He also states that he thinks that Hamlet does not really know him (which is not true).  “Still on my daughter”(2.2.375).  This aside is given shortly after the previous of Polonius´s asides.  The only thing that has occurred since the previous one is that Hamlet has had a talk with his two friends.  This is showing the mentality of the Lord Chamberlain.  He is stuck on the thought that Hamlet is in love with his daughter and is convinced to spy on Hamlet.  He also faults to show respect for the intelligence of Hamlet which will have later effects.  It shows that he is a man who thinks himself very smart and is not one who will change his mind easily.  It also shows his parallel to Hamlet.  They are both people who distrust those around them.  Polonius goes to the extent of having people spy on his son in France.  

 Through the dramatical use of asides in the play “Hamlet” we can see many things.  Through the few lines that are muttered here and there throughout the play in the form of asides we get a look inside of certain actors.  We also see a bit of dramatic irony and premonitions.  The largest contribution that these asides make to the play is that they help to form the plot of the play.  Whether by giving us looks into the suspicious behavior of the actors which forms a major part of the plot or by setting the tension with Hamlet’s first spoken words in the form of an aside.

Works Cited
Shakespeare, William “Hamlet”.  Heath Introduction to Literature. Eds. Alice S. Landy and
 William Rodney Allen. Sixth Edition. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. Pages 633-747.

Return to