How do the ideas in the first soliloquy of Hamlet interconnect? This question is about the first solioquy which begins with the following: “O, that this too too solid flesh would melt”...
How do the ideas in the first soliloquy of Hamlet interconnect?
This question is about the first solioquy which begins with the following: “O, that this too too solid flesh would melt” (Act I Scene II).
Although one could probably write a master's thesis on this subject, I am happy to give a few interconnecting ideas found within this soliloquy. The gist of Hamlet's words here are to express disgust about the marriage between Gertrude and Claudius and to remark upon the short timeframe during which these events happened. Hidden within his words, however, are three important and interconnecting comments. First, Hamlet says, "Frailty, thy name is woman." Here Hamlet is admitting that if his mother, who appeared so loving to his father, could so quickly marry Hamlet's uncle, then all women are full of immorality. The connection here is with Hamlet's future relationship with the "frail" Ophelia because Hamlet does eventually turn to her and she is frail enough to lose her mental faculties. Hamlet also says two different things that reveal his tragic flaw of inaction. First, he says, "My father's brother, no more like my father / Than I to Hercules," because Hercules was all about action while Hamlet is not (in that he procrastinates terribly in avenging his father). Second, Hamlet says, "But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue." Again, this is another salute to Hamlet's inaction. Hamlet will do nothing and end up dead in the end.