What is social context in Literature? Context in literature can be a circumstance in which something happens, it can be a setting, or it can be surrounding evidence that helps in coming to a conclusion and understanding the meaning of something. Social context in literature adds society as a factor to all of these. To find social context in literature, ask questions like: what is happening in the society in which the story or event takes place? Who wrote the story? Who was the audience? How would society react to this situation? In addition, how does society view this situation?
Within the play, “Hamlet” Shakespeare uses many soliloquies to outline the thoughts and feelings of Hamlet, …show more content…
Hamlet longs for death and even though Hamlet is considering suicide, "O that this too solid flesh would melt”; he won’t due to his religion (I, ii, 129). The Christian/catholic teaching states that one cannot take ones own life and Hamlet mirrors this when he says: "Or that the Everlasting had not fixed his canon ˜gainst self-slaughter” (I, ii, 131-132)
Further into his soliloquy Hamlet comments on the loving relationship his parents enjoyed but only in disbelief of Gertrude's, (his mother), actions.
“so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth,
Must I remember?” (I, ii, 144-147)
His mother’s choices make him so sad he asks, “Must I remember?” (I, ii, 147) He does not understand why his mother married Claudius so rapidly. He also does not understand why his mother is rejoicing a thoughtless marriage to the old king's brother, but not mourning the old king’s death. Hamlet feels his mother should be sharing his grief and sadness. He feels she has betrayed his needs as her son and his father's memory. Hamlet shows his disdain when he says: 'a beast, that wants of reason, would have mourned longer' (I, ii, 155-155). Gertrude’s quick marriage is not the only thing that upsets Hamlet though. The husband she has chosen also upsets him. Hamlets mother marries his uncle, who is also his father’s brother. Hamlet believes that she is committing incest because of this. Hamlet dislikes Claudius as an individual and deems him unworthy of his mother. Hamlet believes Claudius to not be even half the man his father