Hamlet's Fifth Soliloquy - Original Text and Summary

Updated on February 22, 2018

BACKGROUND:

Hamlet's Fifth Soliloquy falls in the Act 3, Scene 2 prior to going in his mother's chambers for a conversation. Prince Hamlet's mother, Queen Gertrude, sends words to summon Hamlet into her chamber to have a talk with him.

Hamlet asks for a short amount of time alone, and in this short period, he delivers this soliloquy, in which he plans out the conversation.

ORIGINAL TEXT:


'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother. —
O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom:
Let me be cruel, not unnatural;
I will speak daggers to her, but use none;
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites, —
How in my words somever she be shent,
To give them seals never, my soul, consent!

SUMMARY:

Hamlet’s fifth soliloquy falls in Act 3, Scene 2, when he is about to go to his mother’s chamber in response to her summons. When Polonius was escorting Prince Hamlet to Queen Gertrude’s chamber, Hamlet asks for a moment alone and says that he will meet her mother in a short moment, and then in the moment alone, he delivers his short soliloquy in which he resolves to be brutally honest with her but not to lose control of himself.

At this moment, Hamlet is so to be say, in a mood in which he could “drink hot blood, and do such bitter business as the day would quake to look on.” In this mood he could even kill his mother, but he would not do so: “Let me be cruel, not unnatural.”

This short soliloquy focuses on the upcoming conversation between Hamlet and his mother, Queen Gertrude, and its preparation in Hamlet’s mind. Hamlet decides his course of action for the conversation with his mother. He vows to treat her harshly, but to refrain from harming her, saying, “I will speak daggers to her, but use none.”

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Aaisha rashidd 

        16 months ago

        Plz make the grammar right as it is written, he want to meet "her " mother instead of his .

      • profile image

        Wandile BHC 

        4 years ago

        this is a nice book and the fact that its a play makes it even better than it would have been if it were made a movie with photo shop editing and all. I am in grade 11 and I am really enjoying the book , it is as interesting as the Merchant of Venice .

      • profile image

        Cebsile 

        4 years ago

        useful it is preparing for a test tomorrow and i feel i've never been this ready

      • profile image

        juan 

        4 years ago

        yeah.

      • profile image

        Edward 

        4 years ago

        This is a masterpiece .

      • profile image

        jade 

        6 years ago

        sorry i made a mistake, my page splits and thanks for your amazing summary :)

      • profile image

        jade 

        6 years ago

        Is this wrong but in my text this soliloquy falls in Act £ Scene 3...great summary though thanks :)

      • Hunbbel Meer profile imageAUTHOR

        Syed Hunbbel Meer 

        7 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

        Hi Shanaya. I am really glad that you liked it. Thank you for stopping by :) Be blessed!

      • shanaya profile image

        shanaya 

        7 years ago from Living in my Own Dreams:)

        Hello Hunbbel! I realy liked you HUB. Amazingly Written.

        You are a True Shakespeare Fan.

        VOTED UP, AWESOME, BEAUTIFUL.

        With Respect

        From SHANAYA:)

      • Hunbbel Meer profile imageAUTHOR

        Syed Hunbbel Meer 

        7 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

        @leni sands: Thank you. I am glad that you liked this Hamlet's series of mine :)

      • leni sands profile image

        Leni Sands 

        7 years ago from UK

        This is a really useful article for anyone studying Shakespeare's Hamlet. I will follow your Shakespeare articles with interest.

      • profile image

        gekeye 

        7 years ago

        This sollioqy follows a pattern very much like those prior to it. A fervent Hamlet opens full of bluster, but as he conveys his thoughts, his tone softens. One distinct difference here is that his opening words demonstrate a thirst for blood, and while he does moderate that tone, he still vows to "speak to her in daggers but use none," which he certainly does.

      • Hunbbel Meer profile imageAUTHOR

        Syed Hunbbel Meer 

        7 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

        I totally agree with you. With Shakespeare, it seemed to come to naturally to him. He was so perfect in penning down the situations, the characters and the environment and intensity he made. Truly amazing.

      • Paradise7 profile image

        Paradise7 

        7 years ago from Upstate New York

        Ah, another Shakespeare lover. It's such powerful writing to have lasted through the centuries. When we read it again, we can see why.

        Shakespeare had such an unerring instinct for drama. I believe no one has ever matched it; "Hamlet" is matchless drama to my mind.

        It remains fresh; the emotions remain real, to this very day. Thanks for putting this out here.

      • zainab-s profile image

        zainab-s 

        7 years ago from Pakistan

        summary is really well written

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