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Title: Performance and authentic expression : the soliloquies in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Authors: Gauci, Sephora
Keywords: Soliloquy
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Characters -- Hamlet
Discourse analysis, Literary
Issue Date: 2015-03
Publisher: University of Malta. Department of English
Citation: Gauci, S. (2015). Performance and authentic expression : the soliloquies in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Antae Journal, 2(1), 15-27.
Abstract: In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, soliloquies portray a solitary character in midst of a private struggle, voicing emotions and thoughts about the human condition. They throw light on Shakespeare’s prowess in representing the human being; what Harold Bloom calls Shakespeare’s ‘invention of the human’ and what Samuel Johnson refers to as Shakespeare’s chief skill in presenting ‘a map of life.’ And yet, this suggestion constitutes a paradox: soliloquies – which constitute the most contrived speeches in drama – have been accepted as being authentic expressions of human emotions and forming part of faithful representations of the human being. This paper examines the different soliloquies in Hamlet, taking into consideration their power to reveal a character’s emotions. The relation between the audience and the soliloquists is also addressed, especially in relation to the question of whether a soliloquy should be regarded as a private and authentic expression of emotions or as a calculated performance which the character stages intentionally knowing that he is being heard by an audience. The paper also discusses Hamlet’s attempts to introspect about his feelings through the language of theatre and performance, as well as his interest in theatricality and its power to provoke an emotional response.
Appears in Collections:Antae Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1
Antae Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1

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