Homework Help

How do the soliloquies in Hamlet relate to one another?

user profile pic

alexa08 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 14, 2007 at 10:04 PM via web

dislike 2 like

How do the soliloquies in Hamlet relate to one another?

14 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

ybrant6712 | College Teacher | Honors

Posted July 20, 2012 at 4:05 PM (Answer #16)

dislike 1 like
In reply to #3: Sir, aren't there seven soliloquies in Hamlet ? The first one in Act I ii , discussing his mother's over hasty marriage and comparing his father with his devious uncle Claudius. The second soliloquy follows the revelation of his father's murder in Act I v. The third soliloquy speaks about Hamlet's inability to avenge his father's murder Act II ii. The next soliloquy is the most famous one,in terms of Hamlet contemplating death,instead of bearing the "arrows of outrageous fortune" Act III i,followed by his desire to admonish his mother on her hasty incestuous marriage,in Act III ii. Claudius narrowly escapes his death when praying and thus prevents an outraged conscience stricken Hamlet in Act III scene iii . It is the young Fortinbras who actually stirs the dormant thoughts in Hamlet into action once again in Act IV iv.This is the final soliloquy revealing Hamlet's state of mind ,his nobility ,his angst and guilt linked with conscious and unconscious thoughts.Fate does exercise control on his moves and choices,making the reader sympathetic With Hamlet.
user profile pic

luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted November 15, 2007 at 4:01 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

I assume you are referring to all of Hamlet's soliloquies.  If so, then the soliloquies in Act 1, sc. 2, Act 2, sc.2, Act 3, sc. 1, and Act 4, sc. 4 are Hamlet's major speeches.  They relate in that Hamlet is pondering his woes.  In the first one, he is lamenting his father's death and moreover, his mother's marriage to Claudius.  In the second one, he is expressing his frustration in himself for only talking about seeking vengeance and not doing anything yet and he says he has to be sure the ghost was telling the truth.  It is also here that he says he'll let the play that the players will perform help him determine if Claudius truly is guilty.  In the third soliloquy, Hamlet expresses his general sadness and frustration with his life and his lack of action. The last one, in Act 4, Hamlet is still lamenting his lack of action but promises that from this point on, he will be proactive rather than reactive.

user profile pic

alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted December 18, 2007 at 2:40 PM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

Related question and answer topic: which of hamlet's soliloquies is most important?

user profile pic

kisengdep | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted August 23, 2011 at 7:17 PM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

"To be or not to be,THAT is the question!' I feel this is the most important soliloquy as it expresses Hamlet's dilemma and conveys his internal conflict brilliantly. The theme of existentialism can also be considered here.

user profile pic

mehro | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 23, 2011 at 9:44 PM (Answer #9)

dislike 0 like

i need detail answer of soliloquy to be or not to be?

user profile pic

wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 23, 2011 at 8:23 AM (Answer #11)

dislike 0 like

I vote for "What a piece of work is Man?..."a foul and pestulant congregation of vapors..."

user profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 19, 2012 at 8:14 AM (Answer #12)

dislike 0 like

The famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy is typical of Hamlet's character. He can never seem to make up his mind about anything. In this soliloquy he begins by telling himself that death might be better than staying alive, but then he thinks of a reason why living might be preferable to dying. And he leaves the question unresolved. I think the same indesiciveness, the same irresoluteness, could be pointed out in all of his soliloquys. For instance, in the one beginning with "O what a rogue and peasant slave am I," he can't understand why he wants to act and knows he should act but keeps procrastinating. (The audience can't understand why, either.) He wonders whether he is a coward but then assures himself that no one would dare to provoke him.

user profile pic

nataranjan | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted January 23, 2012 at 4:42 AM (Answer #13)

dislike 0 like

i appreciate teacher rozenthalm's thorough answer - thorough as a teacher's answer should be - even though he does stretch it a bit when he brings "world's religions" into it... But BARRING THAT what rozenthalm does is ANALYSES A SHAKESPEARIAN CHARACTER "OUT OF CHARACTER"...When Hamlet soliloquys "To Be Or Not To Be", it only addresses one of the fundamental questions of life AS LIFE IS SEEN, JUDGED, EXPERIENCED AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME BY HAMLET IN HAMLET'S LIFE... MUST I LIVE OUT THIS UNBEARABLE LIFE OR END IT IS THE DILEMMA OF A YOUNG STUDENT, TAUGHT BY HIS TEACHERS TO BE TIDY, NEAT & CLEAN, ORGANISED, HONEST, SCHOLARLY, TRUTHFUL, AND SO ON , ALL PERFECT VIRTUES IN A THEORETICAL WORLD ...BUT WHO HAS TO NOW SUDDENLY CONFRONT THE MESSINESS, COMPLEXITY,TREACHERY, BETRAYAL AND DECEIT OF LIFE THAT HIS SCHOLARLY TEACHERS HAVE NOT QUITE TAUGHT HIM TO COPE WITH ..no wonder he is here contemplating death...his own ! it is therefore , not a fundamental human problem ...only a specific problem of a specific individual type...if we understood that we would realise that Macbeth's quotes will not make murderer's of us all, nor Lear's failed fathers, nor Hamlet's suicidal !

user profile pic

rishakespeare | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 28, 2012 at 3:59 AM (Answer #14)

dislike 0 like

What they all have in common is a juxtaposition between a harsh reality of an immoral world with his idealistic Christian reality.  Each of his speeches, in one way or another addresses two different kinds of realities.  On the one hand, the ideal world has a set of rules that all obey, and if they do not, they are punished.  In reality, people are liars and cheats, and often DO get away with their immoral and dupilitious actions; on the one hand, his Christian upbringing teaches him not to seek revenge, but on the other hand, revenge is what he is told he MUST do, by a father who, himself, is in purgatory due to his own sins; on the one hand, the world is a rotten place, but on the other hand, there is much to love about it.  Hamlet is trapped between dual realities that he cannot reconcile.

user profile pic

reshmirohith | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:20 AM (Answer #15)

dislike 0 like
Hamlet's soliloquy's give us an insight into the character of Hamlet. All the soliloquy show his delaying attitude that ultimately leads to his own end. The most famous soliloquy in the play ' to be or not to be' reveals the tragic flaw in the nature of Hamlet and that is the essence of the tragedy in Hamlet. Thus, all the soliloquy 's have an integral part in conveying the deepest thoughts in Hamlet and that gives a dimension to the flow of the play.
user profile pic

arjun | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted November 15, 2007 at 11:00 AM (Answer #3)

dislike -1 like

The main point to discuss is why all soliloquies are linked to one an other. Its main cause is that Hamlet is under heavy deploation because his father is killed and his mother is married to his uncle. The ghost appears and informs what reality is. The central plot is to seek out the enemy and punish him. When ever he tries to take revenge, nature takes sides with the enemy and he goes into deep deperation.

That desperation reflects the state of his mind that's why all soliloquies are about samething. His soliloquies which utter then the soliloquies in Act 1, sc. 2, Act 2, sc.2, Act 3, sc. 1, and Act 4, sc. 4 . All are leading Hamlet to his down fall.

user profile pic

rozenthalm | High School Teacher | Honors

Posted August 24, 2011 at 1:30 AM (Answer #6)

dislike -1 like

To Be Or Not To Be, is probably the most famous and often quoted soliloquy in Western Literature.  It addresses one of the fundamental questions of life:  Why must I live when life is so unbearable?

Hamlet’s central problem is that he is not sure what to do.  His father has died, his mother, Gertrude, has married his father’s brother, Claudius, and his father’s ghost has revealed that he was murdered by Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle, step-father, and king.  Not only is Hamlet depressed, he is also confused.  Can he trust the ghost?

To escape his misery and confusion he is contemplating suicide.  But he realizes that death might not be an escape from misery.  There may be an afterlife which is worse.

Who would fardels (burdens) bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Why must we live if living is full of suffering and confusion?  Hamlet’s answer is that it might be the lesser of two evils.  We fear death, not only by instinct, but also because we fear that suicide might get us into even more trouble, which is, in most circumstances, what the world’s religions admonish us to remember.

 

 

 

user profile pic

wffef3 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 25, 2011 at 12:58 AM (Answer #8)

dislike -1 like

The most famous one of all, and possibly in all of literature, is his "To be, or not to be..." In which he questions many things about his life and surroundings.

user profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 7, 2011 at 3:25 PM (Answer #10)

dislike -1 like

In the "To be or not to be" soliloquy, we hear again an echo of Hamlet's desire to kill himself from the soliloquy of "Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt" in Act One, scene two. In the first act, we learned that Hamlet wanted to die, but that God prohibited such an act.

In Act Three, scene one, Hamlet again speaks of living or die in the "To be or not to be" soliloquy. He believes that if he died, it would be as tranquil as sleeping—which is easily done, without worry or upset. However, the thing that stops Hamlet is the knowledge that no one knows what is on the other side of death. If it was a good thing, Hamlet thinks most people would opt to leave this life for a better one. However, no one can be sure what lies on the other side, and so people continue to put up with terrible lives—to be thrown about by fate or punished at the hands of someone hateful and/or brutal. In this speech, we learn Hamlet is in a very dark place, but fears that death may not be the release he hopes for.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes