Ambiguity Of Death In Hamlet's Soliloquy

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Hamlet's soliloquy "To be, or not to be", is arguably the most famous in the history of English literature and theater. The first line is the source of everyday expressions, ornate speeches and newspaper editorials, but without accordance to the rest of the monologue or the play. In this speech, Hamlet’s contemplates suicide and its consequences, either to suffer the hardships of life or to trust the ambiguity of the afterlife. This develops the play’s and Hamlet’s fascination with death as an intrinsic theme and his uncertainty of the afterlife. Shakespeare captures the reader’s attention regarding death in the initial scene when the ghost of his dead father visits Hamlet. This beginning sets the tone of the entire tragedy
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One use is an illustration of Hamlet’s attitude towards mortality when he discusses the location of Polonius’ dead body. “Not where he’s eating, but where he’s being eaten. A certain conference of worms is chowing down on him. We fatten up all creatures to feed ourselves, and we fatten ourselves for the worms to eat when we’re dead.” (4.3.21-25) This grim symbolism is a mention of the fact that humans are also part of the life circle, that as humans eat animals to survive, worms also live off our corpses to survive. Another example is of Hamlet’s black “inky cloak” that he wears during the play, which is an additional symbol that serves as a continuous reminder of Hamlet’s obsession and relationship with death. He never changes from these black clothes once throughout the play, suggesting that he is in endless lamentation, but the further we are drawn into Hamlet’s mentality the more we realize that he is also mourning his own eventual death which he becomes completely preoccupied with in the course of the play. He cannot escape the concept of dying, his father’s passing, and the revenge he must pursue, though it sits heavy on his
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