Purpose Of Hamlet's First Soliloquy

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Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Gertrude and Claudius have just finished speaking with Hamlet, telling him that he had a right to mourn his father’s death, although, the time has come for him to let it go. Claudius tells Hamlet that he wants Hamlet to see and love him as his father now, just as he sees and loves Hamlet as his son. The King and Queen exit after telling Hamlet that they want him to stay in Denmark and not return to school in Wittenberg; Hamlet is left alone on stage to begin his first soliloquy. The purpose of Hamlet’s first soliloquy in Act I, Scene II is to show how deep rooted his mourning for his late father truly goes, how betrayed he feels by his mother and uncle, and how he now sees the world around him. He’s unable to…show more content…
In addition, Shakespeare successfully utilizes metaphor, and allusion throughout Hamlet’s soliloquy, which, allows audiences to not only understand Hamlet’s motivations, but gives them an opportunity to bond with his feelings of anger, grief, sorrow and betrayal. Shakespeare opens Hamlet’s soliloquy with a metaphor, “o that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew” (1.2.129-130); Hamlet so desperately wishes that his being (flesh) could become as inconsequential as the dew on a plant. If he were to commit suicide and become dew, he would no longer have to carry the burdens associated with the knowledge of his father’s death and mother’s marriage. Hamlet would also be able to escape the hatred and anger he feels toward his uncle for telling him that he is mourning his father too much and that it was time for Hamlet to move on with his life. Again, through metaphor, Hamlet compares what he is feeling and going through to an untended garden, “fie on’t! ah fie! ‘tis an unweeded garden, that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature…” (1.2.135-136). He is attempting to express that at the time his father lived, Denmark was comparable to a beautiful, vibrant, overflowing garden; his father’s love of not only his son and wife, but the people of Denmark as well, helped build the garden to what it was. Although, ever since his uncle, Claudius, took the throne and the place of Hamlet’s father, Denmark has become a disgusting, pungent, and futile place, comparable to a rank, gross, and unweeded garden. This unweeded garden is also representative of the hatred Hamlet feels mounting toward his uncle and his mother, as well as the revenge of death Hamlet will soon discover. Shakespeare uses allusion to compare Gertrude to Niobe, “with which she followed my poor father’s body, like
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