How do the soliloquies in Hamlet relate to one another?

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What the soliloquies 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...

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What the soliloquies 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 the world of reality, people are liars and cheats, and often do get away with their immoral and duplicitous actions.

On the one hand, his Christian beliefs (it is doubtful that Old Hamlet shared Hamlet's Protestantism; if he did, the Ghost would not ask revenge but forgiveness) teach him not to seek revenge, but on the other hand, revenge is what he is told he must seek by a King and father who seems suspended in a ghostly purgatory of sorts.

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.

Soliloquies: Act 1, scene 2; Act 2, scene 2; Act 3, scene 1; and Act 4, scene 4.

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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.

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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.

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

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The soliloquies in Act 1, scene 2; Act 2, scene 2; Act 3, scene 1; and Act 4, scene 4, are Hamlet's major soliloquies.  They relate in that Hamlet is pondering his woes. 

  1. In the first one, he is lamenting his father's death and moreover, his mother's marriage to Claudius
  2. 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 perform help him determine if Claudius truly is guilty
  3. In the third soliloquy, Hamlet expresses his general sadness and frustration with his life and his lack of action.
  4. The last one, in Act 4, Hamlet is still bemoaning his lack of action but determines that from this point on, he will be take action.
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