Scene 2 reveals for the first time Hamlets intimate, innermost thoughts to the audience. Hamlet has just been denied his request to study in Wittenberg, and is in a state of distress due to his fathers death, his mother’s hasty marriage to his uncle Claudius, and his own inability to do anything in both occurrences. Through the use of figurative language such as allusions and comparisons, Shakespeare presents Hamlet in an emotional state of grief, bitterness, and disgust. This soliloquy lets the audience know explicitly how Hamlet is struggling with his mind.
Hamlet wishes that his physical flesh could cease to exist : “O that this too too solid flesh would melt,/Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! ” (133-135), and that God has not “fix’d His canon against self-slaughter” (136).
Because Hamlet considers life as “weary”, “stale” and pointless (137), suicide is a desirable alternative to him, but he will not go down that path because it is forbidden by religion. Hamlet compares life to a wild, “unweeded garden” (139) to dramatize his state of depression, and Shakespeare also employs this metaphor to symbolize the rotten things that are occurring in Denmark.
They are “things rank and gross in nature” (140) that undoubtedly have a grave effect on Hamlet, such as King Claudius’s newfound authority over the country, and his marriage to Queen Gertrude, his sister in law. Hamlet’s struggle is also depicted through the slow beat, which matches his sorrow and lack of interest in the world. One of Hamlet’s passionate concerns throughout this soliloquy is that King Claudius is no match against the dead king, and Shakespeare alludes to Greek mythology to form comparisons between the two kings.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. This powerful quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. is by far a very accurate statement that I believe to be true. A man cannot be judged his worth based on what he does during serene times, but rather he must be judged based on his actions during times of hardship. The ...
For example, Hamlet uses the analogy “So excellent a king, that was to this/Hyperion to a satyr” (11-12) to express his view that his father is far superior to his uncle. In Greek mythology, Hyperion is the Titan God of light, whereas a satyr is half man and half goat creature associated with drinking, dancing, and lust. This analogy thus depicts Hamlet’s disgust over King Claudius asserting the position meant for a revered figure such as his father. Not only that, Hamlet describes his father as so loving towards his wife that he kept the “winds of heaven” from blowing too roughly on her face (145-146).
This hyperbole serves to emphasize the King’s caring and loving attitude towards his wife, and at the same time, maintains the idea of him possessing God-like characterisics. Through the use of these devices, Shakespeare enables the audience to see that Hamlet has deep affections for his father, and is understandably grief stricken at his loss. The Queen’s lack of mourning for her husband’s death, and her haste in marrying King Claudius is another source of Hamlet’s loathing.
Shakespeare again alludes to a Greek mythological character, princess Niobe, who could not stop crying over the death of her children , and was turned into a stone waterfall. This shows how unfaithful Queen Gertrude is as opposed to Niobe, who was turned eternally into a crying stone. Hamlet claims that she moved on within a month, and that even a beast “would have mourn’d longer”. The repetition of the words “a month” places emphasis on the speediness of the marriage : “By what it fed on: and yet, within a month… A little month…
Than I to Hercules: within a month” (149-157).
His sentences are not well constructed, and are often interjected, depicting his extreme, emotional state: “Like Niobe, all tears;- why she, even she, – O God! ” (1. 2. 153-154).
SCENE II. Paris. The KING's palace. Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING of France, with letters, and divers Attendants KING The Florentine's and Senors are by the ears; Have fought with equal fortune and continue A braving war. First Lord So 'tis reported, sir. KING Nay, 'tis most credible; we here received itA certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria, With caution that the Florentine will move ...
Hamlet is betrayed by the queen’s quick recovery not only that, is disgusted at her “wicked speed” in which she jumps to “incestuous sheets”. He is so angered over the whole affair and this is depicted in the bitter and hateful tone of his speech; even the Queen’s tears are “unrighteous” and the whole marriage is an “incestuous” affair.
When he exclaims “Frailty, thy name is woman! ” Shakespeare depicts Hamlet as a misogynist, who views women as easily manipulated and weak. Hamlet concludes that the marriage between his mother and uncle “cannot come to no good” (162), which implies that it will have an ill effect on Denmark. The soliloquy ends with him saying “But break my heart,- for I must hold my tongue” (164), which arouses some feelings of pity from the audience because Hamlet must suffer in silence.
This soliloquy belays the reasons for Hamlets deep melancholy, confusion, and state of depression that persists throughout the play. The use of allusions, metaphors, and comparisons greatly heightens Hamlet’s state of grief, as well as the extent of his disgust towards the recent events that have deeply affected him. Shakespeare’s use of figurative languange and his style of writing in this soliloquy is therefore effective in creating an emotional scene of Hamlet venting out his despair for the first time.