Hamlet`S Soliloquies Essay, Research Paper
The soliloquies spoken by Hamlet were directed to the audience, rather than seeming like conversations with himself. In the first soliloquy, Hamlet talks about how aggravated at life he is and that if it weren’t for God’s laws he would commit suicide. He is not really morning his fathers death in this soliloquy but more his disgust for his mother for marring his uncle especially a few months after his father’s death. He then goes on to explain he must remain silent. He is explaining to the audience that nothing can undo the situation to make it any better. But that isn’t good enough for Hamlet. Something has to be done. This soliloquy sparks an interest in the reader and provides a glimpse into Hamlet’s thoughts while informing the audience of the history of his family’s tribulations.
In the second soliloquy Hamlet calls on the audience, the “distracted globe”, to hear his vow to get revenge on his uncle and to erase all from his mind except that of what the ghost had informed him of. The ghost, Hamlet’s father, had explained to him that Claudius had killed him and his soul couldn’t rest until revenge was brought onto his brother. The audience hears Hamlet’s promise to make Claudius pay for his murderous ways. Already, the audience is excited by hearing Hamlet’s promise because it is giving them something to look forward to.
In the third soliloquy, Hamlet admits to the audience he is a coward; “What an ass am I!” He then goes on to tell the audience of his new idea to help draw the truth out of Claudius. He believes that the theater can make a person experience real emotion. He finds this remarkable that something fictional can create a reality. But Hamlet admits that he is not sure if the ghost said to be his father is really who he says to be and not the creation of Satan. Now the audience is aware of Hamlet’s concerns and maybe what has been holding him back from taking action. But the prince decides to feed on Claudius’s conscience by having the players reenact the murder of his father. Then it is up to Claudius’s reaction to prove to Hamlet that what the ghost spoke of was in fact the truth. Now the audience had even more of a build up of what is to come.
The best-known soliloquy, the fourth, is not as passionate but more subdued. With this speech, Hamlet is not just talking about taking his own life but more the choice that is put before man between accepting insults and pain from the world or fighting back at it. Hamlet poses the question “To be or not to be.” Hamlet seems to search for some kind of meaning to life which is something each individual in the audience has contemplated before too. Hamlet seeks to find an answer we all have yearned to know; is there life after death and if so, is the life he leads now any better? Should Hamlet right the wrong his uncle has made? That is what he is asking himself. If he does he will himself be making a morally unjust decision that would weigh down his own conscience. The audience is able to relate with this; everyone has been faced with a moral dilemma more than once in his or her life. “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all.” The audience in hearing these words from Hamlet sees that Hamlet is incapable of revenge.
The audience is always being included in Hamlet’s thinking process through the use of soliloquies. By involving the audience in the protagonist’s thoughts it helps the real meaning of the play shine through. The audience is told of past events without a narration that can sometimes take away from the play itself. The main characters’ thoughts are not always obvious to the audience. By Shakespeare’s writings, the audience is always aware of Hamlet’s current state of mind.