What function do Hamlet’s soliloquies (or any one of them you’d like to analyze) serve in the play?
A soliloquy is an act of speaking one’s thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers. The monologue of Hamlet is the essence of the play. That is key to understanding Hamlet as a tragic character. In the monologue, the reader realized that Hamlet was experiencing a huge emotional shock. His father’s mysterious and sudden death and his mother remarried so quickly.
‘O God, God, How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world!’ (I.ii.) The monologue here shows that he is not only sad for his father and mother but also that he is bored with life itself. Shakespeare used character monologues to provide readers with information to understand Hamlet. Without this information, it will be difficult for readers to understand the character’s behavior. Through these monologues, we can learn about Hamlet’s character and experience pain with him.
What is the role of friendship in the play? Who are the most genuine friends, if there are any in the play?
The play Hamlet shows mostly the dark side of human nature. There are many betrayals happening in the play. Even the so-called friends, from school, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are not loyal to Hamlet. The only genuine friendship that Hamlet holds is the one with Horatio. In Act 3, Scene 2, right before the play, Hamlet says to Horatio: “There is a play tonight before the king. One scene of it comes near the circumstance Which I have told thee of my father’s death.” Hamlet trusts Horatio enough to tell him how the new King kills the old King, and his plan to catch the new King off guard with the play-in-play. Horatio delivers his loyalty by not telling the king of Hamlet’s accusation and the plan.
Shakespeare uses the friendship between Hamlet and Horatio as a vehicle to tell the readers Hamlet’s true thoughts, plans and feelings. Horatio is the only true friend Hamlet has in the play. Throughout the play, Horatio demonstrates his friendship and loyalty to Hamlet. He helps Hamlet with his plans and keeps his secrets. Horatio would have reported Hamlet for his accusations against Claudius if they were not friends. Moreover, Hamlet loves Horatio deeply and trusts him personally. When Hamlet is dying, Horatio is the one who comforts him at his death. Horatio is the only person who understands for certain that Hamlet madness is an act. The reader learns Hamlet’s true character from the Horatio’s thoughts and words in the play.
Does Hamlet change throughout the play? If so, how? Why?
I believe Hamlet changes at the very beginning off the play. Hamlet changed as soon as he saw the ghost of his father. This event could make anyone change their perspective on life. Not only that, but then finding out that it was his uncle who killed him, and his mom helped him. This change Hamlet, he started focusing on revenge, and all he could think about was death. This led him to kill someone and not feel bad. Hamlet probably questioned everyone around him and didn’t trust anyone.
Consider the role of fortune (i.e. fate and/or chance) in the play.
Life or death has been a common theme in Hamlet, and the consequences of each characters’ actions that lead to them are undoubtedly affected by the strings of fate. Whether it is to “suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” or “take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing them”, fate has already narrowed the characters’ paths. The fact that Hamlet’s supposed fate after the King’s death was eventually be king, has already lead him on a gruesome path of whether to end his own life or find a way to seek justice for his dead father. Throughout the play Hamlet is tormented by the question of whether to kill his uncle or end his own life. Every event that effects the decision he makes may alter his ultimate ending. Although he goes off the path to argue against his fate, the ghost of the past king has been shown to correct him onto the “right” path.
Augustine reveals his sinful acts in the books leading to conversion. He describes how beauty in the lower goods in sinful. The beginning of each book starts with a prayer in his intimate dialogue between Augustine and the supreme being corresponds throughout the text to the biblical references reasoning his justifications to his sins. It is not just impactful on religious readers. Augustine simply informs us of human development from infancy to adolescence which he deems sinful. He raises a philosophical question of what constitutes a criminal psyche. The turning point in the confession is the incident of the pearl stealing which resulted from “pleasure from doing something forbidden without getting punished.”
In the first nine of the thirteen Confessions books, Augustine describes his life conversion to Christianity. Augustine was born in Thagaste (modern South Ahras, Algeria,) the son of Patricius, a man of pagan belief and Monica, of Christian faith. In Augustine’s confessions to God, he admits all the sins that he committed during his youth before his conversion to Christianity. One of his regrets that made him feel guilty was the stealing of a pear from a tree for no reason because he was not hungry. It was just to show his bravery as a youth in front of his friends. He believed it was awful. Furthermore, Augustine believed that sex was a psychological necessity, as he struggled with the idea of giving up his sexual desires since he was surrounded by mistresses and friends. At some point, Augustine believed that we are sinners from the day we are born, and everything that we do wrong in life is a sin.
What is the role of death in the play? Why does Hamlet spend so much time thinking about and/or discussing it?
In the play, death serves as a catalyst to further the plot. For instance, the play is set into motion with the death of Hamlet’s father, Hamlet’s inner conflict results in his indecision of killing Claudius, and conflict arises when Hamlet mistakenly kills Polonius. In all of these instances, death furthers the plot by providing a new direction for Hamlet to follow in order to ultimately achieve his goal. For example, the conflict between Laertes and Hamlet, which arose due to Hamlet killing Polonius, further the plot to bring Hamlet to the situation in which he is able to finally kill Claudius before succumbing to death himself. The reason why Hamlet spends so much time thinking about death can be attributed to his fascination. Such as in the case of the scene of Yorick’s skull, Hamlet is fascinated by the notion that the skull, now a piece of the earth, had once been a person who entertained him as a child. Furthermore, Hamlet’s thoughts often turn toward death as he lays it down as one of his options for escaping his miserable reality. Thus, the role of death in the play is to provide Hamlet with the incentive to keep pursuing his revenge and to exist as an escape route and subject of fascination for Hamlet’s mind.
Virgil tries to depict warfare as unnecessary and bad. His vision with The Aeneid is to have a time where there are no more wars and the Roman’s lead a successful Empire. Virgil depicts his anti-war views throughout the poem. He uses Aeneas to get his point across by showing that he is tired of war and killing. In book 12, Aeneas feels empathy and forgiveness for Turnus and was even willing to let him live until he saw that he was wearing Pallas’ belt.
Virgil spent his youth in the end of Roman Republic, so he suffered tremendous fear and hatred because of the political turmoil and the battle of hegemony. He wasn’t healthy so he couldn’t join neither the military nor the politic. Virgil never married and had lived as a hermit until he became famous as a poet. The author projects his hearts deepest wishes, desires though Aeneid who is a hero. However, what makes this poem extraordinary among class poems is that it treats individual sacrifice and pain onto this poem as much as the public.
A questions arose that the Rome must be built even at a cost of a lover’s sacrifice? Aeneid would do the same thing if it was his daughter or son? It would make me think what/why I’m doing now and what I would choose for the future.