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Compare and Contrast Essay By Vivi Vargas English, Mr. Neil November 24, 2009

Shakespeare’s theatrical masterpieces often contain soliloquies, in which the reader receives an earnest view of a character’s state of mind and motivation, or lack thereof. Aside from revealing character, soliloquies also serve to advance the plot and create atmosphere. Hamlet, is no exception; the famous soliloquies that it holds give insight of vital importance to the comprehension of the play as a whole. However, the soliloquies in 3.2 and 3.3 encompass both distinct and similar themes, which makes them extremely comparable and contrastable.

One of the recurrent themes in soliloquies five and six, but also throughout
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O, heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom: Let me be cruel, not unnatural:” (3.2, 425-428)

He is exceptionally angry with his mother, but promises himself he will not harm her. While Hamlet witnesses how everything around him is deteriorating: his country, his purpose in life, his state of mind, he wonders why Gertrude seems completely unaffected by the situation, but decides he must restrain his impulses. In contrast, the soliloquy in 3.3 states,

“Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent: When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed; At gaming, swearing, or about some act That has no relish of salvation in't; Then trip him” (3.3, 93-98)

Hamlet knows that Claudius, despite his alleged repentance with God, will inevitably become corrupt again. He is befuddled; he is unable to understand how Gertrude, who probably should have been the most vulnerable to emotional corruption due to the recent tragedies, remains unaltered, while Claudius, who is evidently corrupt in every sense of the word, seems to be in the grace of God. The decay of the state is a theme that is represented in each of these soliloquies through different forms of human corruption, or lack thereof.

Perhaps the most important and central theme in Hamlet is the value of revenge. The

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