Hamlet Essay | Hamlet’s First Soliloquy | GradeSaver

In his essay “An Explication of the Player’s Speech,” Harry Levin refers to the fourth soliloquy as the most famous of them all: Dwelling on gross details and imperfections of the flesh (“Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight”), Hamlet will admonish his mother that sense-perception is dulled by sensual indulgence....

Hamlet is no longer sunk in the depths of melancholy, as he was in his first soliloquy.
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In a letter dated October 1, 1775, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, commenting on David Garrick's production of Hamlet (1742-1776) to his friend Heinrich Christian Boie, likens the "To be, or not to be" soliloquy to the Lord's Prayer.


Hamlet’s First Soliloquy Nathaniel Clark

Thus it is that literary critics rank Hamlet’s fourth soliloquy as the most notable ever penned.
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(Tardiff 19)

Scholarly Criticism

Despite the extreme popularity of Hamlet's famous soliloquy, there are some scholars who have criticized its imperfections, and even have been so bold as to say that Hamlet speaks out of character when he delivers the famous words.