Hamlet Soliloquy Analysis

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Hamlet, the protagonist of William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”, struggles to take action. Specifically, Hamlet’s inability to take action is illustrated in one of his soliloquies in Act IV, Scene IV. Soliloquies serve as a way of revealing internal thought without external influence.The soliloquy takes place after Hamlet has embarked on a voyage to England and is finishing his conversation with Rosencrantz and Fortinbras about the upcoming battle. In this speech, reveals Hamlet’s frustration with his inactivity in response to the sexual impurity of his mother and the murder of his father. Additionally, Hamlet reveals his jealousy of Fortinbras, who is able to motivate thousands of men to “go to their graves like beds” (IV.iv.62) in a fight over a meaningless portion of land. Unlike the soldiers, Hamlet has great reason to …show more content…
Hamlet’s primary mentioning of greatness occurs in Line 53, when Hamlet utilizes the word “great” to mean honorable. Hamlet relates that “rightly to be great” is to be willing to defend oneself when one “honor’s at the stake”. Hamlet’s focus on his honor is directly reflective of his low-self esteem, which stems from his overwhelming guilt brought on by Hamlet’s passivity. In the next line, Hamlet uses the word “great” to entail something that is meaningful. The prince portrays that being honorable is not “to stir”, or seek violence, without a meaningful purpose for doing so. Yet, Hamlet admits in the following line that greatness is having the ability to take action when “honor’s at the stake”. Throughout these few lines, Hamlet depicts what it means to be great by defining to the reader when one should “find quarrel” and when one should not ; it comes down to honor. Hamlet makes a conscious decision to avenge his father’s death so that he himself can prove to be great when his honor is on the

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