What aspect of Hamlet's concepts of the death/desire for death is revealed in Hamlet's first soliloguy?William Shakespeare's "Hamlet"

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In his first soliloquy of Shakespeare's play, "Hamlet," the Prince of Denmark expresses his disillusionment with man:

O, that this too too sallied flesh would melt,/Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,/Or that the Everlasting had not fixed/His canon 'gainst self-slaughter. O God, God,/How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable/Seem to me all the uses of this world!(I,ii,129-134)

Depressed by the news that his father has been murdered, Hamlet would like to leave this world himself, but he knows iit is a sin to commit suicide.  Also depressed in his disillusionment regarding his mother, Hamlet expresses his disgust for her "wicked speed" to "incestuous sheets":  "Frailty thy name is woman" (I,ii,146).  The reality of her being married to Claudius causes Hamlet to feel that the world is an "unweeded garden/That grows to seed" (I,ii,135-136)  This last image continues Hamlet's wish that he, too, could go "to seed."  For, he realizes that the situation

cannot come to good./But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue. (I,ii,156-157).

Clearly, this first soliloquy of Hamlet reveals his chagrin,self-reproach, despair, and woe as the death of his father, the king of Denmark, is the death of Hamlet's life as he has known it.

We’ve answered 317,828 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question