Hamlet's 'To Be or Not To Be' Essay

Submitted By youmakemesmileeXD
Words: 435
Pages: 2

Hamlet’s first soliloquy provides a contrast with his controlled, eloquent dialogue with Claudius and the disgust and betrayal felt by his mother, Gertrude. This soliloquy is also reflective of Hamlet’s true aspect of character and also provides a foundation for the development of the central concerns of the play.
In the opening lines of the soliloquy, Hamlet is suicidal “O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!” To him suicide is a desirable option compared to living in the painful world however this is quickly eliminated as it is forbidden by religion. These lines not only provide an insight into Hamlet’s current mental state but also introduces a central concern that is echoed throughout the play; suicide. It is considered multiple times throughout the play “To be, or not to be: that is the question” and his disgust towards his mother further resonates his suicidal thoughts and betrayal felt.
The soliloquy also sets up another concern that is resonated through the play, corruption. Corruption in Denmark is highlighted metaphorically by ‘an unweeded garden… things rank and gross in nature’, all beauty has been extracted from his country and this cumulative negative imagery can be juxtaposed by his beautiful imagery of death, further illustrating his desire for death. Another source of his depression stems from Claudius attempting to take on the role of his father and the juxtaposition of ‘Hyperion to a satyr’ instils Hamlet’s belief that Claudius is not worthy to be King and will always be half the man his father was, also foreshadowing the revelation of Claudius’ murder.
However Hamlet’s true cause of his depression lies with the dissatisfaction towards his mother Gertrude. He views his mother’s actions as a