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McKinsey Schmahlenberger

Mrs. Bernhard
AP English
10 October 2015
Hamlet Research Paper
Hamlet is a play written by William Shakespeare. In this play, Hamlet, the
main character, expressed his feelings through seven soliloquies. In many ways he
shows his character throughout his works. His soliloquies show strong importance
throughout the play. They not only express his feelings, but they also help spice up
the setting of the play altogether. Hamlet starts out being selfish and cowardly but
soon changes his mindset once he figures out the truth behind the madness.
Although he changes his views for a while, as the play progresses, he goes back to
his old ways. The way the seven soliloquies define him change throughout the
scenes. Its a rollercoaster of emotion and madness.
Hamlets first soliloquy is in Act 1 Scene 2. He expresses, O that this too too
solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! which suggests he
wishes to die. This sorrow comes partly from his fathers death, but also the anger
he has for his mother marrying his uncle not long after her husbands death. He
claims that a beast that wants discourse of reason, would have mourn'd longer.
He feels as if his mother has betrayed her deceased husband, and broken her sons
heart. His feelings in his words show his loyalty and deep love for his father. They
show that he is hurt by what his mother did and show how strongly connected his
father and him were.

Hamlets second soliloquy falls in Act 1 Scene 5. He is furious now, as he has


just found out that his uncle is the one who committed the murder against his own
brother Hamlets father. He calls to the heavens and says, What else? since he is
devastated and heartbroken over his fathers death. Hamlet says for people to
remember him for he will wipe out all memories of the past. He then refers to his
uncle as a smiling, damned villain for being able to commit such a crime and feel
no regret. Ambition is shown in his words of this soliloquy because he is now on a
mission to get revenge on his uncle.
Soliloquy #3 is in Act 2 Scene 2. He starts off by calling himself a peasant
because he feels as if hes failed on his attempt of revenge. He compares his
feelings to those of Hecubas. He feels saddened because he feels like what he
would do in this situation is nowhere close to what Hecuba would have done. He
feels like he has failed himself and his father and questions if he is a coward. He
then decides to perform a play that resembles his fathers death, hopefully to
trigger some type of guilt in Claudius. His character is now showing weakness and
confusion on the plays significance and if it will work like he wishes for it to.
One of Hamlets most famous and fourth soliloquy is in Act 3 Scene 1. In this
soliloquy he questions his existence and whether or not he should continue to live.
He shows great confusion. He compares death to being the same as being in a long
sleep. He wanders what someone going through the same struggles that he is
would do if there wasnt an existing afterlife. Hamlet believes that, because of the
afterlife we believe is there, we go through crazy things that may push us to our
limits. He gets deep into his mind, thinking about life in general. This shows
confusion and sadness in his character. Although he is concerned and upset, this
shows how complex his mind is.

Act 3 Scene 2 holds Hamlets 5th soliloquy. It now seems that his plan has
worked and has caused Claudius to step down. Because his plan worked, Hamlet
now becomes a lot more ambitious in his plans. He now believes that he has enough
courage to commit the crime hes been wanting to commit killing his uncle.
Hamlet still has love for his mother, but he believes that he should still treat her
badly to pressure her into feeling guilty. He says, "My tongue and soul in this be
hypocrites." This means that deep in his heart he feels for his mom and still loves
her a lot but will talk badly to her to make her feel bad for the pain he has. This
reveals ambition and courage in his character. It also shows the overall strength he
has as a person.
Hamlets 6th soliloquy falls in Act 3 Scene 3. Hamlet, in this scene, believes he
is ready to take on Claudius. As soon as he gets alone with Claudius, Hamlet
chickens out. He says that since Claudius is praying at the time, if he is killed he will
go to heaven. He then decides it is unjust to take his life there. He believes that
Claudius should be killed while doing a sinful act that way he will not go to
heaven. Although this makes Hamlet seem cowardly, it also shows that he is
thinking ahead and trying to go with the better option.
Act 4 Scene 4 houses the 7th and final soliloquy in Hamlet. It is viewed as the
climax of the play. He is warned that Fortinbras troops will soon be coming after
him. Hamlet then finally decides that he is capable of getting revenge on Claudius.
Hamlet expresses, Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more. Sure he that made
us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not That capability
and godlike reason To fust in us unused. By saying this he believes that everyone
has a purpose with their life and to not waste what you have. This is the part of the
play when he finally finds his character of being ambitious and courageous.

Although Hamlet is a story that is spread all over the place, it is an interesting
read. It teaches some values and shows character. Hamlet is cowardly in the
beginning of the play but gains power and courage. He believes he can do what is
right and that he is good at it. Although he admits he knows what to do and says he
will do it, there are times when he decides it isnt best for the situation. He may
change during the play, but at the end he decides who his character is and realizes
his purpose.

Works Cited

"Analysis on Hamlet Act Four Scene Four." Authspot RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 10

Oct. 2015
"Hamlet's Soliloquy: Now Might I Do It Pat, Now He Is Praying." Hamlet's
Soliloquy: Now Might I Do It Pat, Now He Is Praying. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct.

2015.
"Hamlet's Third Soliloquy - Original Text & Summary." HubPages. 16 Aug.

2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.


Mabillard, Amanda. "Hamlet's Soliloquies: Tis Now the Very Witching Time of
Night(3.2.380-391) Commentary." Hamlet's Soliloquies: Tis Now the Very
Witching Time of Night(3.2.380-391) Commentary. 20 Aug. 2000. Web. 10

Oct. 2015.
"To Be Or Not To Be: Hamlets Soliloquy." No Sweat Shakespeare. Web. 10
Oct. 2015.