Hamlet: Shakespeare’s Masterpiece
“Hamlet” is one of the masterpieces of Shakespeare, in which he cleverly weaves a plot high in drama and reflecting positive and negative human emotions through his wonderful and intriguing characters. A chance encounter with the Captain of the Norwegian army sets about a thought process in the mind of Hamlet. The sixth and final soliloquy in Act 4, Scene 4 of the play is a high point in the play and it throws light on Hamlet’s emotional conflicts and his opinions on human sensibilities.
When the captain of the Norwegian army tells Hamlet that Fortinbras is leading an army to fight over a “little patch of land”, Hamlet gets into a reflective mood and ponders on human emotions. He is surprised that people could go to war over such trivial matters while he had a much serious issue to fight for. He convinces himself that he stands more to gain by taking revenge on Claudius. He blames himself for the delay in avenging the death of his father and ponders if his “dull revenge” was probably the reason for the procrastination.
He also regrets the fact that even though he had “all occasions” in the past to execute his plans, he had failed to do so. The soliloquy also reflects upon the resentment that Hamlet harbors towards his mother, Gertrude. He despises her and wants to punish her but is unable to do so, since it is against his nature to hurt his own mother. But he decides to punish her through his words and not through his actions. “speak daggers to her, but use none”(1328) The soliloquy serves as an important turning point in the plot because Hamlet embarks on an action plan to avenge his father’s death. After the encounter with Fortinbras, he is more determined than ever to execute his plans.
He vows to be more aggressive and shrewd. He tells himself, “O, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth” (1342). Thus, this soliloquy reflects the sensitive nature of Prince Hamlet and his change of mind.
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