The Function of the Soliloquies in Hamlet Research Paper

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

This has been defined as the dramatic monologue that provides the fantasy of reflections that forms a series which is usually not spoken. James has defined it by arguing that, this is when an individual speaks to him/herself while is on stage. He also termed them as characters in a fiction talking in character (Hirsh 23).

This convention in 16th-17th century received much acceptance and was used artfully by Shakespeare William as a way of showing the minds of his character or even in developing characters, (Jenkins 76), on the other hand, it has been indicated that Pierre Corneille used it when emphasizing its lyricism.

A part from them, Jean Racine liked it for just for the effects that were dramatic. This act was very much in 1660-1685 in the plays that were English Restoration, and then it felt into disfavor. After 17th century, the act was rejected by the likes of Ibsen among other dramatists, this continued until 19th century when it gained usage again in plays that were termed as natural.

Many actors in the last decade of the 20th century, were also not using this art of soliloquy because of being artificial, “but Miller Arthur and Tennessee Williams among others”, (Hirsh 32), used the art of soliloquy in the process of introducing narrators on stage who did not like the idea of doing it by themselves, on the reason of hating it or just being amused.

The art of using self-directed speeches has got a way among modern scripwriters, among them, “John Guare and Friel Brian, and the daydreams that that is confide”, (Jenkins 86), by several actors in listeners, has nevertheless been accepted to a culture that has been known in most films. This essay tries to answer the question; what are the functions of soliloquy in the Hamlet play. In the essay I intend to argue out the reasons that might have made William Shakespeare make use of soliloquy in this kind of work.

Hamlet play, narrates a story that makes individuals to adapt and make continue retelling it forever. In the rein of Shakespeare hamlet was one of his popular works he had ever produced, and up to date, the play still highly ranked among his plays are performed most, for instance topping the most royal Shakespeare firm’s list from 1879, (Shakespeare 12).

This play opened on a frosty night at Elsinore. The play itself is a tragedy of Hamlet, who was a prince of Denmark. The exact year in which this play was written is not known, though there is a believe that it was written between 1599 and 1601. In the whole play of hamlet, the plot is maintained on a prince who wants to revenge against Claudius who happens to be his uncle. Claudius murdered King Hamlet, who happened to be his brother and the father of Prince Hamlet.

Claudius then went a head inheriting his throne and ended up marrying Gertrude, who was a widow of king Hamlet and the mother of prince Hamlet. Vividly, the play talks about the reasons, of real and feigned madness. “the play explores treachery, incest, morality, and revenge themes” (Shakespeare 45).

Even after individuals carrying out extensive research, it has proved to be much difficult to identify the real year that the play of Hamlet was written. In analyzing the functions of soliloquy in the play of Hamlet, it is very much important to note that, the three versions that were early written differently, all have survived; they are called Q1, Q2, and then F1. Each and every version has lines and scenes that seem to be missing from other versions; however they all make use of soliloquy (Jenkins 56).

Soliloquies used by Shakespeare in the play Hamlet, is so much different as compared to usual soliloquies commonly used by other playwrights. Being the contrary to others, they are much essential, if not less than that (Hoy 98). What do you think? Where character interaction occurs, soliloquies have been used as segments. By making assumption that soliloquies were not used in the play, it could have been just described as being much vacuous and sporadic.

They were used to ensure that the play is highly dramatic, as it provides the play with momentum. In addition, it propels the play to a new level that can be said to be far much exciting. This happens when it influences the plot, the characterization in the play, and the play’s mood, on top of expressing themes that could be termed to be the main themes. This fact is mainly considered basing on the fact that, many parts in different scenes in the hamlet play, revolves around a struggle that occurs within self.

There exist conflict conflicts between actors; on the other hand, there also exist existential, personal, and psychological war. The highly rated dramatics of Hamlet can be considered to be in the second and third soliloquies. As a result, soliloquies in the play of Hamlet need not to be looked upon as being speeches that can be termed as standalone, but as integral parts of this play action, (Heather79).

Soliloquies have been purposefully used to bring out the theme of procrastination in the play. By assuming that Shakespeare did not make use of soliloquy art, then he would not have emphasized his inactions constantly through self-directed dialogue. This would have been made it much difficult and time consuming for us as audience to identify the theme of or even hard to realize the extent at which he was agonizes over the inexplicable delay of his.

This function has been brought out to light by the first and second soliloquies. The first soliloquy display this function through the violent criticism of Hamlet over himself, “I am pigeon-liver’d and lack gall to make oppression bitter” (Hamlet, Act 1 Scene2). At the time he reveals the doubts about the appeared ghost, it ends up weakening his mission. The second soliloquy talks about his decision to avenge his dead father.

In examining the function of soliloquy in the manner in which it concerns the plot, it will be good if at first I can define nature of this action. It needs should be clear that that inaction is what Hamlet is all about. In ensuring that his filial and morality duties are accomplished, the plot keeps on focusing on his constant irresolution.

Having a look at the second soliloquy in Shakespeare’s play of Hamlet, at the beginning, his opening sentiment is making a comparison between his dismal deficiency to the passion of a dramatist, whose eyes are filled by tears, not seeing far, which seemingly acts as an obstruction aspect, for the kinds of work that are factious. Soliloquies might be given the first priority in explaining the actions that eludes in him.

An excessive meditative faculty curses him through, too much concentration on the two ways of acting or not acting, “enterprises of great pitch and moment” (Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2).

Characteristically, fast actions affect the next action and so forth. This makings the play never ending and brings sequences that overlap, hence causing effect.

As an effect, in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, “soliloquies are not just passages that tend to be isolated”, (Hoy 57), however, in have been used in widening the scope to judge on the way they catalyze the next event in the plot.

There are some decisions that Hamlet makes through soliloquy for instance when thinking about catching the king’s conscience, acts like a turning point, and ends up dictating the direction of the plot hence forth. There is a move from the second soliloquy to the third soliloquy, without any section between them; the “Hamlet interacts with other characters in the play”, (Heather 121).

After this self-pity and an acute depressed indulge, his violent reactions that can be termed as an abnormality towards the rejection of Ophelia, is not surprising at all, this is particularly his reflection on the love that is described to be pangs of dipriz’d, (Hoy 111). Considering the effects of soliloquies in the play Hamlet by Shakespeare, it is much significant to note that, plot fluctuations that keep on happening in the plot, is as a result of soliloquies .

Many scholars like Henrik have rejected the point that soliloquy in a play may be used to identify character traits, however, I argue that, In the Hamlet play, soliloquies have been used to characterize characters, for instance, the character of Hamlet, is much filled out and clarified through soliloquy.

We as audience are allowed to single out the real emotions in the play, by intimate. By inspecting the whole kingdom, it is much important to constrain real emotions in the actors company. By considering the way he is obsessed to death, shows one palpable impression of sadness through his decision of dying or living ‘soliloquy, and also, talking about his disgust at the life’s predictability.

Hamlet can be described as being melancholy, this is depicted in his entire life, nothing was such important other than the mortal coil, something that roping him continuously to a point of human actions in a fleshy package that seems foolish. To him, integrity is much significant, and he ends up agonizing over what nobler is; in enduring the ills of life with patience, is a trait that connects his struggling to get the meaning of truth, (Heather167).

Soliloquies in the play ‘Hamlet’ have been used in depicting the mood and themes in the play. Shakespeare used soliloquies to maintain the enigmatic and squalid quality that fills the tragedy. The soliloquies have been used in the play to explore the human character dimensions, this can be shown in the sordid thought of Hamlet.

This play examines intensively on how the external problems affect the psychology of individuals. This is for instance, the marriage between Gertrude, mother of hamlet, and the uncle. Audience can easily in the second soliloquy, see the self directed anger and torments, “ …, un-pregnant of my cause,/ and can say nothing- no, not for a king”, (Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2). In the same statement, we can see the establishment of hopelessness.

Though, he has the ability to end the life of Claudius, even his father’s spirits demands the same, but he doesn’t do it, why?, even not known by him. Through soliloquy, we can see the way he explodes when he realizes that his entire ranting mean nothing as there is no achievement that he has obtained from them.

The scholar’s argument is vested in soliloquy three, though the point of contention is much weighty, living and dying, he chooses dying, but becomes fearful, when he thinks of the kind of dreams that comes after one dies; this makes him to choose living. This theme of death and sad mood is the one that the play revolves around.

From this, the hamlet ideas develop especially at the grave yard scene, (Hoy 45). Without having any doubt, anybody can conclude that soliloquies in the play, affected the mood it is clear that soliloquies affected the play. Moreover, it is factual that actions of psychology are in most cases part of physical deeds. Having this fact in mind, it can be explained that, the complexity of mood in the Hamlet play is because of soliloquies.

In conclusion, the play Hamlet of very important and dramatic part as a result of soliloquies. This is because audience were at all times reminded of the agonizing feelings in the minds of their so called hero, everybody who has read or watched this play, will declare without any fear that this play has the current perception that would not have been their in the absence of soliloquy.

When Shakespeare wrote this play, he certainly knew that Hamlet’s arouses, will end up evoking some confusions in readers’ minds, so as a solution to that, he used few soliloquies that that have the capability of casting a way obstacles that hinder revelations of Hamlet’s inner conflicts as a remedy. The character development in Hamlet by Shakespeare has been due to the presence of soliloquy.

Though Shakespeare is considered a hero because of his soliloquy construction, the fact remains that, even if they were not there, still his work makes him so. The presence of soliloquies provides the reader with a greater deal about thoughts and feelings that can be described as innermost, that it would have been much difficult to find them. Soliloquies speeches have generally helped Shakespeare develop his characters.

Works Cited

Heather, James. The Norton Anthology of Western Literature. 8th ed. Volume 1. Norton& Co Inc, 2005. Print.

Hirsh, James. Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies. New Jersey: Dickinson University Press. 2003. Print.

Hoy, Cyrus. Hamlet. Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 1992. Print.

Jenkins, Harold. Hamlet, The Arden Shakespeare. London: Methuen, 1982. Print

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. [Kindle Edition]. New York: LeClue, 2008. Print.

Shakespeare, William. Tragedy of Hamlet: The Prince of Denmark. New York: Harper Brothers, 1878. Print.

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