An investigation into the ways in which the langua
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An investigation into the ways in which the language and subject matter of Hamlet’s three soliloquies reveal the key concerns of the play.
The play ‘Hamlet’ is one of Shakespeare’s most tragic plays. The play consists of
different themes. A main theme in the play is how mad the character Hamlet is and how
his madness is presented to the audience. Another interesting theme is
Hamlet\'s obsession with death, as Hamlet repeatedly refers to death on several occasions.
The theme of the Oedipus complex appears at the beginning of the play where as the
revenge tragedy occurs further on in the play, when Hamlet is told by the ghost of his
father, that his father was murdered by his uncle.
A major theme in the play is madness, as two characters seem to suffer from it;
Ophelia and prince Hamlet. Hamlet appears to be mad, because of his father\'s death and
his mother\'s indecent rushed marriage to his uncle. We do not know however, whether
Hamlet is truly mad, as he warns his good friend Horatio that he will pretend to be mad
and to put on "an antic disposition." Hence, Hamlet is putting on this act of madness so
that he can carry out the instructions given to him by his father\'s ghost, who declared that
he was murdered by the prince\'s own uncle. His father to therefore assigns hamlet
avenge his murder.
In the patriarchal society in which Ophelia lives, the men are responsible for their
women and therefore dominate them, for example; a father dominates his wife and
daughter, and a brother dominates his sister. Ophelia\'s madness mainly occurs because
there is no man in her life to dominate her, or rather because too many men have tried
to dominate her, but then all the men suddenly left her. Hamlet
presented her to the audience more of an object than a human being. Her brother often
lectures her, seeking to control her sexuality and her father uses her to spy on Hamlet
like a farm yard animal
"I\'ll lose my daughter to him."
Ophelia\'s father is accidentally killed by Hamlet; her brother leaves Denmark to go to
France and prince Hamlet is so busy with his own act of madness and avenging his
father\'s murder, that he ends his relationship with Ophelia. Ophelia therefore has no man
in her life to dominate her, which drives her to craziness as she is not used to doing
In the Elizabethan times, revenge tragedies were hugely popular. ‘Hamlet’
included the main theme of tragedy. Elizabethan revenge tragedies contained typical
components such as a melancholy hero, who is a typical revenge hero, a hesitating
avenger, a villain, some sexual obsession and complex plotting.
The play ‘Hamlet’ contains many elements of the Elizabethan revenge tragedy.
There are three characters that seek revenge for their father’s death. Young Fortinbras
seeks revenge for his father’s death, which old king Hamlet\'s doings caused, Laertes
swears to take revenge for both his father’s and sister’s death by killing Hamlet, and
finally Hamlet vows to take revenge for his father by killing Claudius. At the end of
the play, all three characters get their revenge.
Shakespeare uses soliloquies so that Hamlet can share with the audience his true
feelings which he could not voice in public otherwise. A soliloquy is used for the benefit
of the audience as it is a dramatic device which enables the audience to get a deep insight
into the true thoughts and feelings of the character, as well as get a better understanding
of Hamlet\'s motives.
In Act1, Scene 2 Hamlet delivers his first soliloquy. He starts his soliloquy by
wishing to die;
"O that this too too solid flesh would melt"
Hamlet is hereby wishing that his skin would rot away and decay, he then goes on
wishing that suicide was not a mortal sin and not against God\'s orders so that he could
commit it with nothing religious stopping him.
"Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon \'gainst self-slaughter"
It is undoubtedly detectable that Hamlet\'s first sentences reveal despair and he appears to
desire death. This does not represent Hamlet as a typical revenge hero. A typical revenge
hero would not desire death so quickly and instead of talking about
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Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet, Ophelia, Gertrude, Laertes, Horatio, Ghost, Critical approaches to Hamlet, Hamlet in popular culture
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