Hamlet Soliloquy 1 Practice, Carroll

Hamlet Soliloquy One Annotation Example Hamlet Soliloquy 1.2
Annotations and Commentary
O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two: (10)
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him, (15)
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month—
Let me not think on't—Frailty, thy name is woman! —
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears: —why she, even she—
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer—married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.
1) “that this…flesh would melt” refers to his body; he
wishes he would disappear; “a dew” sounds the same
as “adieu”—goodbye
4) “O God!”—This is apostrophe; it shows how
desperate he is
7-9) “unweeded garden…seed” = metaphor for world:
a garden untended will grow weeds which will seed
and, if left untended, eventually take. “weeds” =
corruption, a threat to the good in the world.
12) “Hyperion” (sun god) symbolizes King Hamlet;
“satyr” (goat-man) symbolizes King Claudius
12-14) hyperbole: Hamlet’s father loved his mother so
much that he wouldn’t let the wind blow too hard on
15-17) paradox: his mother was remarkably attached
to his father—unlike normal hunger, her appetite for
him increased as she was with him
21) allusion to Niobe: grief-stricken goddess (loss of
her children) = what how his mother acted at first, but
too soon (before her funeral shoes became worn [1220]) she stopped grieving
22-3) “beast…longer”: hyperbole—even an animal
that can’t think would have shown more grief
25) allusion to Hercules, revealing Hamlet’s
continued loss of self-esteem—Hamlet is not like him
28-9) He is disgusted at the thought of his mother in
bed with his uncle.
31) “break…tongue”: not being able to say anything
makes things even worse for him
Literary focus: juxtaposition
As a literary technique, juxtaposition is the placing of two concepts, characters, ideas, or places
near each other so that the reader will see the contrast.
1. Categorizing words: Circle all of the words related to rot or corruption. Underline words
related to the divine, heavenly.
2. Label other places in the speech where ideas or things that are very different from each other
are placed near each other.
3. Prompt for paragraph: What does the juxtaposition in this soliloquy emphasize about
Hamlet’s situation and the way he feels about it?
Talk over the question and the speech with a partner. Jot down ideas for what you would include.
Then on your own write a paragraph that answers the question, gives examples that show your
answer, and explains the examples. 8-10 sentences. You will want to include several examples.