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, (5) 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, (20) 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: (25) 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: (30) 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 her. 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 ) 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.