Hamlet's Fourth Soliloquy Analysis

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Of Monsters and Men: Soliloquy Four “To be or not to be?” “Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?” Hamlet, as a work of literature, is defined by its questions. Similarly, Hamlet, as a person, is defined by his conflicts. His mission throughout the play is to avenge his father’s murder by killing Claudius, yet for the majority of the story, he cannot bring himself to follow through, as he is not integrally a killer, but a lover. Hamlet’s fourth soliloquy is truly demonstrative of this, depicting Hamlet in his rawest form- a man defined by love-not vengeance or insanity-but burdened by tragedy. His fervid diction and employment of morose figurative language and imagery portray him as a victim of circumstance, and contrary …show more content…
For example, the morbid imagery in the introductory lines “Tis now the very witching time of night, when churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out contagion to this world,” (161) which lead into the antithetical “Soft, now to my mother. O heart, lose not thy nature,” (161) is a parallel to the clash between Hamlet’s desire to keep his humaneness intact and the need to avenge his father. The hyperbole shown in his statement “Now I could drink blood and do such bitter business as the day would quake to look on,” (161) is a projection of Hamlet’s frustration with himself, as he feels vengeful enough to kill, but cannot ultimately find it within himself follow through. His employment of apostrophe- “O heart, lose not thy nature,” (161)- denotes that he feels his inherent self is dissonant from the fate he must realize in committing murder. Additionally, the visceral symbols utilized throughout the soliloquy, such as “O heart,” (161) “this firm bosom,” (161) “my tongue,” (161) “hot blood,” (161) and-in an abstract sense- “my soul,” (161) represent how deeply and intrinsically this conflict affects him. The symbols are also another use of irony in the soliloquy, as Hamlet uses concrete figures to affirm that he refuses to harm his mother