Critical Essays On Hamlet Soliloquies

Critical Essays On Hamlet Soliloquies-87
Sleep also seems to transcend time which is very relevant when talking about death.

Sleep also seems to transcend time which is very relevant when talking about death.

In his most famous soliloquy, Hamlet ponders whether he should take action against his "sea of troubles" and seek revenge for his father's death or live with the pain of his father's murder.

Hamlet's weakness is later illustrated when he passes up the opportunity to kill Claudius by rationalizing that he has made peace with God, therefore sending him to Heaven if he were to be slain.

Throughout this Hamlet soliloquy Shakespeare has used several literary devices which are extremely important in creating the profound effect which this piece clearly has on people.

The question “To be or not be” is in fact an example of antithesis.

In addition to his proposal of vengeance, he also contemplates whether it is better to stay alive or commit suicide.

"To die, to sleep--/No more--and by a sleep to say we end/The heartache and the thousand natural shocks/That flash is heir to--'tis a consummation/Devoutly to be wished" (III,i,68-71).

If he were to sleep, he feels that all his troubles would vanish, and this would not be such a bad thing.

However, he says that if he were to sleep, he might have disturbing dreams while in slumber which would be wholly undesirable.

After posing this question and wondering about the nature of the great sleep, Hamlet then goes on to list many sufferings men are prone to in the rough course of life, which unsurprisingly makes it seem as though he is moving towards death yet again.

By the end of the soliloquy, however, he finally realises, “But that dread of something after death, / The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn / No traveller returns—puzzles the will / And makes us rather bear those ills we have.


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