What can we learn from Hamlet's soliloquies?

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kapokkid eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Not to beat a dead horse, but yes, thousands of pages could be and have been written about the soliloquies.  One of the things that previous posters have not pointed out is the fact that you can learn a great deal about the skillful use of the English language from Hamlet's soliloquies.

If we look at Hamlet's soliloquy in Act I, scene ii, the two sentences are themselves a wonderful demonstration of Shakespeare's ability and also happens to show us a great deal about Hamlet and about his state of mind.

O that this too too sullied 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!

We learn here that it isn't just that he suspects some foul play in his father's death, it isn't just that things with Ophelia might not be going the way he hoped, but that everything, "all the uses of this world" are empty and meaningless to him.  He...

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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