Hamlet Soliloquies Flashcard Example #51622

“O that this too too solid flesh will melt”
First Soliloquy; Act 1, Scene 2; Contemplates suicide but doesn’t want to be separate from father. Hamlet mulls over death of his father and the quick remarrying of his mother (talks about how he can’t trust women), talks about how much less of a man Claudius is compered to his father. Religion and revenge can’t go together; Sorrowful tone
“O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?”
Second Soliloquy; Act 1, Scene 5; after talking to ghost, swears to get revenge for his fathers death and now sees his mother and Claudius in a worse light. Hamlet sees all that matters in his life as what the ghost told him. Religion and revenge can’t go together. Hamlet is a thinker, not a doer.
“O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!”
Third Soliloquy; Act 2, Scene 2; After players give their speech, Hamlet curses himself for not being able to summon the depth and motivation for his causes that they players summoned for their faux motivations. Shamed by inability to have strong emotions. What are actors and plays capable of doing? Knows how to describe his feelings but doesn’t know how to act on them.
“To be, or not to be: that is the question”
Fourth Soliloquy; Act 3, Scene 1; To silently suffer the cruelties of fate or to put up a fight against the misfortunes of life? Hamlet thinks for a while that death may end all the troubles and problems of life. But is it worth taking the chance that there is an afterlife and he goes to hell? If Hamlet kills King Claudius, he was sure that he’ll be dead too after killing him, and he was afraid of death because of the unknown consequences. Unnatural relationship of uncle and mother shown through unnatural diction.
“‘Tis now the very witching time of night”
Fifth Soliloquy; Act 3, Scene 2, Before Hamlet goes to talk with mother, plans out conversation. “Let me be cruel, not unnatural; / I will speak daggers to her, but use none”. Hamlet feels like he could kill her but tells himself he won’t. Maybe he does care about mother, or maybe he just is unable to act due to his contemplative nature. Unnatural relationship of uncle and mother shown through unnatural diction.
“Now might I do it pat now he is praying,”
Sixth Soliloquy; Act 3, Scene 3; Hamlet has his chance to kill Claudius while he prays but resolves not to do so as he would go to heaven. Hamlet sees justice as an exact repayment for sins, and as Claudius killed his father before he was able to repent, Claudius must also die this way. Another way to look at this is Hamlet making excuses for continuing contemplation instead of action. He can’t act, just like Denmark can’t act on the corruption that runs through it.
“How all occasions do inform against me”
Seventh Soliloquy; Act 4, Scene 4; After he meets Fortinbra’s army on the plain on his way to England. Upset at himself, if thousands of men will die for a worthless piece of land, how can he not bring himself to kill Claudius? Now fixed on killing Claudius. Hamlet believes the ends justify the means and seeks to transform his thoughts to be bloody.

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