Monday, February 11, 2008

Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2 Soliloquy (1996)

lines 129-159

From the Hamlet movie directed by Kenneth Branagh in 1996, this is Hamlet's 1st soliloquy.

11 comments:

Andrew D 5 said...

I dont know mr.g you have some competition, this guy is good.

Mr. G said...

On my very best days...(and only the very best)--I practice the artform known as "over-acting." I plan to keep my day job. And yes, he is very good--deft indeed.

Christina H 6 said...

In Hamlet’s soliloquy, Lord Hamlet struggles with a number of negative emotions: hatred toward his uncle, King Claudius, disappointment toward himself, and frustration toward his mother, Queen Gertrude, Shakespeare is successful in displaying Lord Hamlet’s discontent through his metaphors, allusions to suicide, and repetition when attacking his mother’s rash behavior.

First Hamlet addresses his uncle’s decision to start a war. Hamlet believes that a war is not necessary during this time. His uncle is merely using his “canon” (132) to bring “[self]-slaughter” (132). King Claudius is using his power over the law and military forces to stir an unnecessary war. He is sending his people into battle for no proper reason except to distract the people from the memory of the deceased king, Hamlet’s father. Hamlet looks to God for an explanation, because he finds no reason that could justify his uncle’s poor leadership and disrespectful attempt to erase his memory of his father from Denmark. The war is “unprofitable” (133) would only “weary,”(133) tire, the state. Hamlet also compares his uncle to a weed that has rooted itself in the state of Denmark. King Claudius begins as a “seed” (136), but from this seed his is able to rise in the ranks by planting his influence over the people, including Hamlet’s mother, and winning their favor. Hamlet chooses to compare his uncle to a weed, because it is an unwanted plant, which reflects Hamlet’s unwillingness to accept his uncle as king and as his father.

Line 132 can also represent Hamlet’s disappointment toward himself. The “canon” (132) represents the weapon like a gun. Hamlet also speaks on “[self]-destruction” (132), which could be interpreted as suicide. Shakespeare may be foreshadowing Hamlet’s death. By even thinking about suicide, Hamlet is displaying weak characteristics. Suicide is often referred to as a “coward’s way out.” Shakespeare indirectly compares Hamlet to a coward. Instead of approaching his problems, he chooses keep them bottled up inside. He resorts to writing and thinking rather than action.

Lord Hamlet feels betrayed by his mother, because he was so quick to find a new husband to replace his father. Hamlet repeats “two months” (137) to emphasize the shortness of the time in which it required his mother to move on. His father was an “excellent king” (139) who had been “loving to [his] mother” (38). Hamlet builds his father as a great man who cared deeply for his wife; His father did not deserve to be betrayed. Shakespeare shows Hamlet’s opinion of woman. He believes that women, like his mother, are easily influenced and weak. Hamlet blames his mother’s actions on the “frailty” of women. It’s also interesting to note that Hamlet compares his father to a pair of “shoes” (147) that were thrown aside before they were old. If related to modern day, women are assumed to own many pieces of clothing and shoes. Therefore, Hamlet stereotypes that women are easily won over by material goods. Like a new pair of shoes, his mother quickly puts them on disregarding her old shoes—his father. Hamlet believed his mother should have “mourn’d longer” (150) and paid proper respects to her dead husband. He attacks his mother’s tears as “unrighteous” (153) to further support his claim that women are dishonest creatures and to further express his contempt for women.

Ronald d5 said...

In Hamlet’s First soliloquy, Hamlets expresses his emotions of the recent events that have taken place. Hamlet shows his love and loyalty to his father, King Hamlet, his depression that drives him insane, and his disappointment in his unfaithful mother, Gertrude. Shakespeare manipulates his words with allusions and description that he hates his mother, and is forever to be loyal and love his father.

Hamlet really cares and loves his father dead or alive. Hamlet describes his father as “so excellent a king” (139) and even compares him to his uncle Claudius who is a “satyr” (140) which is just a wild animal that is part man, part horse, and part goat. Hamlet goes on to call his father “Hyperion,” (140) the Sun god. This creates distance of how apart in rank Claudius is to King Hamlet in Hamlets mind. Hyperion translated means “the watcher from above” which Hamlet uses to immortalize his father in his mind. This way, even in death his father is still there watching him and also this Shakespeare used to foreshadow the ghost of his father returning to speak to Hamlet later in the act. Hamlet brings up “Heaven and earth, Must I remember?” (143) This is an allusion back to Hyperion because Hyperion’s parents were Ouranos (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth). Hamlet says that it is hard for him to remember because it pains him so much he does not want to even recall such memories. “Hercules” (153) Hamlet uses to also describe his father. Hercules, the son of Zues is renowned as having "made the world safe for mankind." Shakespeare suggests that with King Hamlet gone, the world is not going to be safe for long.

Hamlet speaks badly of his mother because of her actions in the aftermath of his father’s death. He can not accept his Uncle Claudius as his new father and king. His emotions take over and cause him to hate his mother. Queen Gertrude is “unrighteous” (154) in her actions. Hamlet describes her as this to show that his mother has not proper morals. With this, he expresses his disgust in his mother and her “frailty.” (146) The term frailty puts the female sex below the level standards that men are at. Hamlet even comes to compare his mother to “Niobe.” (149) Niobe was a princess who had fourteen children. When her children were killed, she ran away to Mount Sipylus of Lydia where she turned into a stone waterfall. The waterfall is to symbolize the weeping and crying that she does in the mourning of her children. The rock formation was called the weeping stone. Hamlet uses this allusion to show how unfaithful his mother is as opposed to Niobe. Niobe was eternally turned into a crying stone while Gertrude cries for a month and is quick to move on. Shakespeare suggests that Hamlet as a child feels betrayed by the quick recovery of his mother.

Hamlet’s soliloquy expresses much of what he feels and wherefore (why) he is to feel such distress. With such allusions and comparisons, Hamlet describes with what emotion he should find truth with but even so, he must “hold his tongue.” (158)

Alexander A.6 said...

In the first soliloquy in Hamlet, Hamlet assures himself that there is more that can be done to avenge his father’s death. At the same time he mourns the loss of his father, Hamlet takes time to assess the damages and disgust he must deal with around him. He is ashamed of the political and family state he is a part of.

To start off he reflects the troubled emotional state he is conflicted with and the misery he feels. He feels that he is “too too sallied” (129) that in essence he would melt at the mere mention of his afterlife. He does, however, site that when he is to refer to his reformation after his passing that he could “thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!” (130) Hamlet practices the belief that if he were to die at this point then he could be cleansed and rejuvenates the earth in metaphorical dew. What is rather interesting is the effect that dew has by creating the continuance of life. The outer shell he refers to is his own skin and expands on the belief as a spiritual counseling of sorts. Hamlet seems to create a paradox because of his usage of the diction “Everlasting” indicates that he is in a solid formation that can not be broken down into this “dew” he mentioned in line 130.

“His canon ‘gainst [self-] slaughter! O God, God, How [weary], stale, flat and unprofitable” (132-133) describe the possibility of suicide for prince Hamlet. He realizes how useless it would be to kill himself knowing that he could not have the satisfaction of killing King Claudius himself. Since the death of his father Hamlet looks upon his own mother, Gertrude, as contributing to Claudius’ destruction of purity. Gertrude is referenced in line 135 when Hamlet calls her an “unweeded garden that grows to seed, things rank and gross in nature possess it merely.” (135-136) To think of this more psychoanalytically, we could assume that Hamlet’s mother is still a figure of purity in his eyes. By describing Claudius as “things rank and gross in nature” he is describing Gertrude as being untouched until she encounters this gross presence.

In comparison to his father, Claudius is a shrew compared to King Hamlet. Hamlet uses the allusion of Hyperion, the sun god, as the all powerful being to the King Claudius in which is represented by a satyr. A satyr is a mythological being that is associated with the wine god, Dionysus, or on a larger scale the flatulence that can be abused with the overabundance of these qualities in humans.

Overall, there is a message involved in the tone of Hamlet’s soliloquy. Rightfully so, Hamlet speaks very seriously and somberly about his past. This is the very first time that he really has any extensive dialogue and it proves to be the first time Hamlet talks emotionally about any personal problem.

Doris T5 said...
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Doris T5 said...

Hamlet’s Soliloquy in Act 1 scene 2 is the start of questioning Hamlet’s sanity. Before this passage the King and Queen are introduced. In Hamlet’s speech Shakespeare also provides insight towards Hamlet’s relationship with his uncle and mother. In the soliloquy Hamlet seems exasperated and annoyed. He also speaks of his mother in a disappointed and disgusted way.

At the beginning of the passage hamlet refers to images of nature to convey what’s happening in Denmark. He says “tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed, thinks rank and gross in nature” (p. 38 135-136). The garden is an allusion to the Garden of Eden. The “unweeded garden” symbolizes what is occurring in Denmark meaning the marriage of Hamlet’s mother to his uncle. The situation resembles what happened in the Garden of Eden. This shows that Hamlet is obsessed with his mother’s marriage.

Further down the passage Hamlet starts to compare his father to his uncle and their relationship with Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. Shakespeare provides an image of a “Hyperion” and a “styr”. King Hamlet is the Hyperion and Claudius is the satyr. Both of these words have very different meanings. The Hyperion was the sun god in mythology. He was said to be great and was held in the highest honor. The satyr is also a mythological creature but depicted as a goat and known to be very riotousness and lasciviousness. In Hamlet’s unweeded mind his father was great and respected while he portrays his uncle as a rough obsessive goat. In the next lines Hamlet describes his mother and her relationship with both men. He says that Hamlet was gentle and loving but Claudius on the other hand is rough.

In this Soliloquy Shakespeare also alludes to another Greek mythological character known as Niobe. In mythology she was turned into a stone waterfall because she wept increasingly over her children’s death. Hamlet compares Niobe to his mother. In Hamlet’s eyes his mother did not grieve enough over the loss of her husband. She moved on to quickly and married Hamlet’s uncle. He says “like Niobe all tears…would have mourn’d longer-married with my uncle” (p.38 149-152). At the end of this quote Hamlet continues to let out his frustrations out over his mother’s marriage.

In conclusion Hamlet’s Soliloquy in Act 1 Scene 1 shows Hamlet’s frustrations towards his mother’s quick marriage. In the passage he does a lot of comparing both the relationship of his mother with the two men as well as the two men separate as on entity. The way he speaks and his tone raises questions about his sanity.

Ping L 6 said...
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Ping L 6 said...

In Hamlet’s soliloquy, he expresses his sensation to events that have happened and ideas about the world. Shakespeare employs a few simple techniques to demonstrate Hamlet’s emotion. Throughout this soliloquy, Shakespeare uses metaphor and repetition to demonstrate Hamlet’s dissatisfaction with his mother, Gertrude, his frustration towards the standards in the lawless society, and his dislikes of King Claudius. With straightforward speech, he is able to show Hamlet’s hatred toward his own cowardice in not speaking up for his dislikes of his uncle, King Claudius.

Shakespeare makes use of foreshadowing in the first few lines of the soliloquy. Hamlet describes King Claudius as “sallied” (129). It is another word for solid. A person who is solid does not have feeling for anything. This seems to foreshadow Hamlet’s acknowledgement of the truth behind King Hamlet’s death—his uncle killed his father. He further says that Claudius “would melt” (129) and “resolve itself into a dew” (130). This foreshadows that Claudius would lose his position as a king. Sun is referred to as the truth. Therefore, when the truth (sun) arises, Claudius (dew) will evaporate and disappear.

It appears that Hamlet knows the truth about his father’s death even from the very beginning. He compares the “world” (134) to “an unweeded garden” (135). This garden is filled with weed “that grows to seed” (136). The world is filled with people who have extreme desire for “rank” (136) and power; this is the reason for the world to be “unprofitable” (133) and “weary” (133). He is tired of living in a world that does not have a “canon” (132) or law that prosecute the act of “slaughter” (132). The world is like a prison to him in which people do not have feelings for each other and would just do anything in order to survive and to gain power over other people.

King Hamlet was “so excellent a king” (139) to Hamlet that he feels betrayal from his mother. Gertrude “married with [Hamlet’s] uncle” (151). He does not understand “why” (143) Gertrude betrays his father when his father is only “two months dead” (138). He relates the word “frailty” (146) to his mother and women as a whole. He believes that Gertrude should “have mourn’d longer” (151) for his father’s death. His mother’s “unrighteous tears” (154) causes his anger and distaste. To him, Claudius is nothing “like [his] father” (152). Claudius is disrespectful to his brother by marrying Gertrude and placing her onto “incestuous sheets” (157) with “dexterity” (157).

Hamlet knows that the relationship between Claudius and Gertrude “cannot come to good” (158) but he “hold [his] tongue” (159) because he was afraid of Claudius. He hated himself for such cowardice. His “heart” (159) breaks, but he dares not speak his will.

Kenneth M5 said...

Hamlet is a very unhappy camper. The first two lines are really confusing. Hamlet talks about “flesh”(129) that “would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,”(129-130). That the flesh would need to melt then thaw suggests something that the skin oozes off the bones, but still needs to be taken away from cold. The melted skin is cold and needs to be made less cold. Another less common definition of thaw is to make less formal. Hamlet may think that melted skin can still have the “form” of who it once was. He wants whose ever skin is being melted and thawed to lose all hints of what it was before it can “resolve itself into a dew.”(130) This could come from a hatred of the person whose skin is sallied or from his want to lose all traces of them.

This person is probably himself, which becomes more and more clear as the soliloquy continues as well as becoming clearer as the play continues. He starts talking about “self-slaughter.”(132), which many others have established as suicide. If the “sallied flesh” is his own he wants his own skin to lose all traces of what he was before becoming “a dew”(130). It could be derived that he hates himself so much that he isn’t even worthy of being used as a nourishment for plants. The plants the he isn’t worthy for are “rank and gross in nature”(136) which suggest an even deep self loathing.

Does this self loathing make Hamlet crazy? I think this could begin to show is steps towards insanity. If he hates himself to the point of feeling he is unworthy as nourishment for weeds, then one can assume he would take steps to become less himself. If you lose yourself, isn’t that insanity? I personally don’t’ think Hamlet has lost his mind yet, but he beginning to show that descending staircase into madness, unless things begin to change in the book.

His world is turned upside down. His uncle is now also his father, and his mother is now also his aunt. His father was someone he looked up to and who he thought was god like, comparing him to “Hyperion”(140) and “Hercules”(153). No one around him took the time to mourn his amazing father, and the king was replaced by a “satyr”(140) that was quickly accepted by the nation, and more quickly accepted by the great kings ex-wife. This could also make the world a confusing place that Hamlet doesn’t belong in. This could push him closer to insanity.

Kristin D. 5 said...

Okay I am sorry if this is totally informal I am just really mad at myself right now because I finished typing it and I wasn't smart enough to save it so it got erased so I will try my hardest AGAIN.

In Hamlet's soliloquy Hamlet is angry and frusterated over his situation. He starts his soliloquy "O that this too too sallied flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew" (129-131) I have a different interpretation of the lines then Alexander did. Hamlet is referring to his own body when he talks about "sallied flesh" Sallied is just something that is dirty. Hamlet
starts his soliloquy after he just found out about his uncle and his mom. He is disgusted over the situation because his mom moved on too quickly and that fact that is is his own uncle. Hamlet is so disgusted over the situation that he feels dirty for even knowing about it. He feels "sallied" and he just wants to "melt and thaw and resolve into a dew". Hamlet is
contemplating suicide. He wants to end his life and melt and turn into dew. The process of melting and turning into dew is evaporation and can also be looked at as a form of
disappearing. Hamlet does not like the situation and he wants to disappear or just die. He wants nothing to do with the situation he wants to be "a dew" which can also be a pun for the French word Adieu which means goodbye. In these few beginning lines we know that Hamlet is not happy about his uncle and his mother. He continues on his mini rant about it.

Hamlet goes on to complain about his mom not mourning long enough. He also adds a lot of drama to his soliloquy. Looking at the words that Hamlet chooses we can also further analyze his anger and frusteration. "O that this" (19) "O god god" (133) "O most wicked" (156) "Fie on't ah fie!" All these little quotes could be looked at as a pause in Hamlet's train of
thought. He goes on to talk about his mother and uncle then he stops to say "O god" and then continues and stops to say "Fie on't ah fie!" it just heightens the anger and frustration. We know that Hamlet is really distraught because he is so angry that he cant even think straight.

Note: Hamlet calling his uncle a Satyr is not just calling him a half man half goat mythological creature. The satyr is known for its sexual promiscuity. Calling his uncle this just lowers the uncles standards compared to his Hyperion sun god father.Hamlet does not understand why his mother would move on so quickly because his father was such a great man and he also doesn't understand why she would downgrade to his uncle. Besides comparing his dad to Hyperion and his uncle to a satyr Hamlet also compares the comparison of his dad and uncle to the comparison of himself and Hercules. "married with my uncle, my father's brother, but no more like my father that I to Hercules" (150-153) The comparison between Hamlet and Hercules is a huge jump because Hercules is the strongest man in the world and no other person can look strong or great next to Hercules just like Hamlet's uncle is nothing compared to Hamlet's father.

Hamlet doesn't understand because his father treated his mother so well. He doesnt understand why his mom would move on and why she would do it so quickly. "so loving to my mother that he might not besteem the winds of heaven visit her face too roughly" (141-143). Hamlet's father would never let harm come in his mother's way yet she would disgrace his fathers memory by moving on so quickly and not mourning long at all. "O most wicked speed: to post" (156) This quote just clarifies that Hamlet is angry at his mom for moving on quickly-- Post like a post office that sends stuff out right away.