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Word Count: 1,196
A Soliloquy is a dramatic convention in which the character stands alone on stage speaking Originally it was a plot device to enable a character to tell the audience what he planned to do next for example in the course of revenge But the device is heightened in Shakespeare as it enables a character to reveal the inner soul to the audience without telling the other characters It is usual that one discovers more of a character from a soliloquy than from the action of the play alone Shakespeare uses the soliloquies in Hamlet to great effect with Hamlets state of mind his indecision and his use of imagery Hamlets state of mind in his first soliloquy is deeply nihilistic Shakespeare presents the world as an unneeded garden rank in nature In the first soliloquy and the third Hamlet is particularly nihilistic In the first he says Oh that this too too solid flesh would melt Thaw and resolve into a dew He clearly has suicidal tendencies which crop up again in the third soliloquy When he himself his quietus make With a bare bodkin Clearly Hamlet is unhappy but it may be because he has too little to do He is briefly happy when things take his mind off his problems - eg when the players arrive - but even this on reflection leads to more soul searching in a soliloquy Other aspects of Hamlets character for the most part get swallowed up by this consuming depression but certainly he is oppressed by the hypocrisy of his uncle O villain villain smiling damned villain and That one may smile and smile and be a villain are two fine examples which do not bring out anger in him It is not clear as regards Hamlets state of mind prior to the play but the hasty marriage between Gertrude and Claudius so soon after old King
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