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Hamlet’s Seven Soliloquies Analysis

Hamlet’s Seven Soliloquies Analysis

As you know, one of the summative assignments for this unit on Hamlet will be an analysis of one of Hamlet’s seven soliloquies.

These soliloquies are referred to as the pillars of the play as they fulfill multiple purposes. They:

  • reveal Hamlet’s character and how it develops throughout the play.
  • advance the plot of the play
  • create tension and add to the atmosphere of the play

The soliloquies also have a unique style. They:

  • involve incomplete sentences and thoughts
  • use more complex punctuation such as dashes and exclamation points rather than periods and commas

Finally, the soliloquies have a very obvious form which makes them stand out from the rest of the play. They:

  • start with a extreme emotional reaction
  • involve reflection and analysis of emotions
  • a solution to a problem
  • a definite conclusion summarizing the soliloquy as a whole

Instructions: For this assignment you will be analyzing Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 4. You will analyze the soliloquy looking at these 5 areas:

  1. Context: Explain the significance of the soliloquy within the plot development. What happens before and after the soliloquy.
  2. Character Development: What does the audience learn about Hamlet’s personality traits, values, ideals, etc… Examine the inner conflict Hamlet is going through and how he plans to solve it
  3. Theme: What are the overall themes or issues of the play that are addressed in the soliloquy? What imagery does the soliloquy use? Explain any allusions used in the soliloquy.
  4. Style and Form: see above
  5. Modernization: Modernize the soliloquy by updating the language. Make sure though that the new version still expresses the issues of the original, and make sure to modernize and metaphors used.

Please review this rubric before completing the assignment.

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