Essay about The Purpose of Soliloquies in Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Soliloquies in Hamlet Authors and playwrights often use many literary elements to help aid the audience in a further understanding of their play. An element used frequently in the play Hamlet is the soliloquy. Soliloquies hold a significant role in any play. A soliloquy can be defined when a character speaks to themselves, essentially the audience, revealing their thoughts. The function and purpose of these soliloquies in the play Hamlet is for the audience to develop a further understanding of a character’s thoughts, to advance the storyline and create a general mood for the play. First, soliloquies help to reveal many vital character emotions key to the plot of the play Hamlet. They help the audience achieve a better …show more content…
He talks about his delay for his revenge and feels he has betrayed his father by delaying, “what a rogue and peasant slave I am!” (II, ii, 549). He also feels deeply ashamed and depressed, “Why, what an ass I am!” (II, ii, 584). With this information, the audience now knows that Hamlet is emotionally depressed and ashamed because of his hesitation. He is depressed and ashamed because he calls himself an “ass” for standing around ( II, ii, 584). Next, soliloquies in the play Hamlet also help to further the storyline. Many characters, when they talk alone, reveal to the audience their plan of action. This creates a strong dramatic irony, which aids in the development of the plot. For instance, the soliloquy that Hamlet speaks just as he sees Claudius praying significantly aids in the development of the plot (III, iii, 73-96). It is essentially the turning point of the play because the audience discovers his hesitation to kill Claudius in a prime opportunity, “Now might I do it pat…so he goes to heaven” (III, iii, 74-75). This furthers the plot because obviously if Hamlet had killed Claudius there and then, the play would be over. Another example is in Hamlet’s “Oh what a rogue” soliloquy when near the end Hamlet reveals his plan to alter “The murder of Gonzago” (II, ii, 549-647). He did this to test the King’s guilt, “I’ll have these players play something like the murder of my father before my mine uncle.” (II, ii, 596-598). This

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