“But soft, behold—lo where it comes again!I’ll cross it though it blast me.—Stay, illusion.If thou hast any sound or use of voice,Speak to me.If there be any good thing to be doneThat may to thee do ease and grace to me,Speak to me.If thou art privy to thy country’s fateWhich happily foreknowing may avoid,O speak!Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy lifeExtorted treasure in the womb of earth—For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death—Speak of it, stay and speak.—Stop it, Marcellus.” Speaker – HoratioPlay- HamletContext – In the first encounter with the ghost, Horatio is trying to beckon it to speak and say why it has appeared, but it does not give reason as to why it has appeared before them.Significance – During this passage, the cock crows, causing the ghost to retreat. This could be an indication that the ghost is a demon or the devil in disguise rather than the ghost of Hamlet’s father. An allusion to the fact that disruptions in Denmark cause unnatural occurrences. Ghost suffering in purgatory? Coming back for buried treasure? Also suggests that there is correspondence between the ghost and political corruption. The ghost is also one of the Epistemological puzzles in the play
“Seems, madam? Nay, it is. I know not ‘seems’. ‘Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother, Nor customary suits of solemn black, Nor windy suspiration of forced breath, No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, Nor the dejected haviour of the visage, Together with all forms, moods, shows of grief That can denote me truly. These indeed ‘seem’, For they are actions that a man might play; But I have that within which passeth show— These but the trappings and the suits of woe.” Speaker – HamletContext – Hamlet is speaking to his mother after she has told him that he needs to be happier and that the mourning of his dead father needs to end. Claudius tells Hamlet that it is unmanly to to mourn for this long. Significance – Hamlet speaks about the way in which the world could “play” at being mournful (the way that the rest of the court has been doing, according to Hamlet). He also says that all of the things that his mother referenced can not show grief, as he is too deep to be judged by external judgements. This passage suggests a breakage between the inner and outer correspondence of a person (which is able to be applied in multiple instances throughout the play). For Hamlet, there is no outer appearance that could possibly show his inward depression.
“O that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, Or that the Everlasting had not fixed His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God, O God, How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fie on’t, ah fie, fie! ‘Tis an unweeded garden That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely. That it should come to this— But two months dead—nay, not so much, not two— So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr, so loving to my mother That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly! Speaker – Hamlet Context – Hamlet is alone and is delivering one of his soliloquies (the first implication of his desired suicide, in this circumstance). Furthermore, Hamlet has just spoken to Gertrude and Claudius, and responded in a way so as to merely please them and make them leave (allowing him to be alone). Hamlet has just gotten back from school and he is cut off from his inheritance, he has no father or throne. Significance – Much of this passage reveals Hamlet’s desire for a passive death (passive because he asks to “melt,” “thaw,” and “resolve”), for his life has been completely turned upside-down—he didn’t inherit the kingship, he has just lost his father, his mother has married his own uncle, his mother and Claudius don’t want him to return to Wittenburg, etc. Furthermore, he makes comparison of his father to his uncle, stating his father is great, like Hyperion, whereas his uncle is lowly, like a satyr. Lots of confusion of time and a juxtaposition of Claudius’s put together speech that just happened whereas his is less controlled. We see his lack of desire to take action here as well- he wants to melt away, not actually do anything to cause his own death. Does he really want to commit suicide? That would require taking action.
“O God, a beast that wants discourse of reasonWould have mourned longer!—married with mine uncle,My father’s brother, but no more like my fatherThan I to Hercules; within a month,Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tearsHad left the flushing of of her gallèd eyes,She married. O most wicked speed, to postWith such dexterity to incestuous sheets!It is not, nor it cannot come to good.But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.” Speaker – HamletContext – This section occurs at the end of Hamlet’s first soliloquy. This occurs just before Horatio, Marcellus, and Barnardo appear (which is why he says the he must “hold [his] tongue”). Significance – He is mourning over the fact that his mother seems to have forgotten his father already and the fact that the family has fallen to a state of incest (indicated by “incestuous sheets”) This was very common at the time, but Hamlet feels that it is very unnatural for his mother to have sexual feelings and much more so for his uncle. Even an animal would have mourned longer. Also hints at a lack of self-worth on Hamlet’s part; Hamlet is to Hercules what Claudius was to Hamlet’s father.
“Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned,Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,Be thy intents wicked or charitable,Thou com’st in such a questionable shapeThat I will speak to thee. I’ll call thee Hamlet,King, father, royal Dane. O answer me!” Speaker – HamletContext – Hamlet is speaking to the ghost after Horatio and Marcellus have indicated that it appears thereSignificance – It is significant that, though Hamlet is not completely sure that this is the ghost of his father, he still decides to refer to him as such. This is an indication of Hamlet’s sadness and desire to have his father back. It also suggests that the ghost may be a devil or a demon that takes a shape that will lure Hamlet in, and Hamlet’s desire to change his situation.
Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,–O wicked wit and gifts, that have the powerSo to seduce!–won to his shameful lustThe will of my most seeming-virtuous queen:O [name], what a falling-off was there!From me, whose love was of that dignityThat it went hand in hand even with the vowI made to her in marriage, and to declineUpon a wretch whose natural gifts were poorTo those of mine!But virtue, as it never will be moved,Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,So lust, though to a radiant angel link’d,Will sate itself in a celestial bed,And prey on garbage. Speaker: GhostContext: A part of the conversation between the ghost and Hamlet, during which the Ghost reveals the happenings of its (his?) murder.Significance: Much of the language here is consistent with the soliloquy we heard earlier by Hamlet, which signifies the possibility that this could be part of Hamlet’s imagination. The trouble with this is the fact that Horatio and Marcellus also were able to see the ghost when it appeared. Otherwise, this is significant because it confirms the dirtiness of the incest occurring in Denmark, which is what later becomes a part of Hamlet’s tasks (to rid the state of Denmark of incest). Implications that the ghost could just be preying on Hamlet’s sadness.
“Remember thee?Yea, from the table of my memoryI’ll wipe away all trivial fond records,All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,That youth and observation copied there,And thy commandment all alone shall liveWithin the book and volume of my brainUnmixed with baser matter. Yes, yes, by heaven.O most pernicious woman!O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain! Speaker – HamletContext – This piece of a soliloquy occurs just after Hamlet has spoken to the ghost. Immediately after, Hamlet confides in his friends Horatio and Marcellus regarding the things that were said in the conversation, but he implores them to swear that they will “never make known what [they] have seen tonight” (that they won’t tell anybody), to which the ghost agrees and repeatedly says “swear” from beneath the stage.Significance – The implications of this speech rely heavily on the way in which Hamlet gets caught up in “remembering” the ghost. He immediately decides that he will wipe everything from his brain, treating his brain as though it is a book and deciding he will wipe “all pressure past” as in the things that have already been pressed into the pages of the book. Furthermore, he continues this brain-to-book metaphor when he says that he will write down the new things (“…meet it is I set it down…”). Lastly, we could view the word “remembering” as possibly being interpreted by Hamlet as “taking revenge.”
“I have of late–butwherefore I know not–lost all my mirth, forgone allcustom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavilywith my disposition that this goodly frame, theearth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this mostexcellent canopy, the air, look you, this braveo’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof frettedwith golden fire, why, it appears no other thing tome than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.” Speaker: HamletContext: Hamlet is speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and is the moment when he begins to advertise to people his madness (be it true madness or fake madness). The King and Queen have recruited Ros and Guil to glean what afflicts Hamlet.Significance: The mismatch between his disposition and the outside world. This is where he states to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he has begun to see the world in a different way from what he saw before (again, starting to tell people of his madness to justify his actions). The use of words like “foul” and “pestilent” (contagious, infectious) express his disgust.
“…What apiece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite infaculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, inaction how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god—thebeauty of the world, the paragon of animals! And yet to mewhat is this quintessence of dust?” Speaker – HamletContext – Hamlet reveals his inner emotions of the way in which he views humanity to Rosencrantz and GuildensternSignificance – The passage states that we are celebrated as the ultimate of all animals, yet that we are merely the best of the worst. He begins to wonder whether he should admire those who act with passion or if he should follow those who act out of the baseness of emotion. Man is God like in its capacity, but Hamlet calls man the quintessence of dust, the ultimate nature of dust, or the best of the earth made creature and the pinnacle of that history. What holds man back is our materiality. We are tainted and corrupt and admire those who act on passion. He glorifies the earth and human beings, only to say that at the end of their greatness, they just become dust. Focuses on the physicality of death.
“Now I am alone.O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!Is it not monstrous that the player here,But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,Could force his soul so to his whole conceitThat from her working all his visage wanned,Tears in his eyes, distraction in ‘s aspect,A broken voice, and his whole function suitingWith forms to his conceit? And all for nothing.For Hecuba!What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,That he should weep for her? What would he doHad he the motive and the cue for passionThat I have?” Speaker – HamletContext – Another of Hamlet’s soliloquies, Hamlet has just seen the performance of the players and is now reflecting on the performance and how the Player King was able to evoke emotion so easily about something that isn’t even related to his life whereas Hamlet cannot evoke emotions and action about something that is so real to his life.Significance – Hamlet is upset by the fact that he is incapable of evoking his own emotion to something that is so relevant to his life after having just seen a performance that was so emotional by an actor → Hamlet is upset that the Player who gives this speech is so emotionally affected and he finds it unnatural, “monstrous”; people at this time thought that for actors to effectively act that they had to actually feel the emotions which was thought of as dangerous. He is saying that in a fiction he can force his soul to the idea that he has in his mind and from his soul all these physical things happen (pale, tears, etc)
“…He would drown the stage with tears,And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,Make mad the guilty and appal the free,Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeedThe very faculty of eyes and ears. Yet I,A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peakLike John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,And can say nothing—no, not for a kingUpon whose property and most dear lifeA damned defeat was made.” Speaker – HamletContext – A continuation of Hamlet’s soliloquy (see notes for 2.2.527-539)Significance – This is a description of Hamlet’s physical incapacity to feel the things and properly move forward. Mettle – to be tough and brave. He is trying to provoke his own anger by reminding himself of all the horrible actions of Claudius.
Am I a coward?Who calls me villain, breaks my pate across,Plucks off my beard and blows it in my face,Tweaks me by th’ nose, gives me the lie i’th throatAs deep as to the lungs? Who does me this?Ha? ‘Swounds, I should take it; for it cannot beBut I am pigeon-livered and lack gallTo make oppression bitter, or ere thisI should ‘a ‘fatted all the region kitesWith this slave’s offal.” Speaker – HamletContext – A continuation of Hamlet’s soliloquy (see notes for 2.2.527-539 and 2.2.539-548)Significance – Hamlet is imagining someone calling him a coward and all the things that someone would do to a coward (says he still must be villain) because he lacks gall.
“…Bloody, bawdy villain!Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!O, vengeance!—Why, what an ass am I? Ay, sure, this is most brave,That I, the son of the dear murderèd,Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,Must, like a *****, unpack my heart with wordsAnd fall a-cursing like a very drab,A scullion! Fie upon’t, foh!—About, my brain! Speaker – HamletContext – A continuation of Hamlet’s soliloquy (see notes for 2.2.527-539, 2.2.539-548, and 2.2.548-557)Significance – Hamlet is attempting to make himself angry in order to feel the emotion that he couldn’t feel before, similar to how you try and force yourself to smile when you are depressed in order to make yourself happier. He feels that he is just going through the motions. Like a ***** that sells fantasies, he unpacks his heart with words.
“I have heard that guilty creatures sitting at a playHave by the very cunning of the sceneBeen struck so to the soul that presentlyThey have proclaimed their malefactions;For murder, though it have no tongue, will speakWith most miraculous organ. I’ll have these playersPlay something like the murder of my fatherBefore mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks,I’ll tent him to the quick. If a but blench,I know my course. The spirit that I have seenMay be the devil, and the devil hath powerT’assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps,Out of my weakness and my melancholy—As he is very potent with such spirits—Abuses me to damn me. I’ll have groundsMore relative than this. The play’s the thingWherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King. Speaker – HamletContext – A continuation of Hamlet’s soliloquy (see notes for 2.2.527-539, 2.2.539-548, 2.2.548-557, and 2.2.557-565)Significance – An instance of action (yet passive action). Murder will be confessed, if you see the murder you’ll have to confess. In the play nephew kills an uncle. Very threatening. He is drawing on the belief at the time that there is a way that murder will always come out.
To be, or not to be? That is the question—Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,And, by opposing, end them? Speaker – Hamlet “to bizzle or not to bizzle, that is the quizzle”(<– yes!) Context – Another soliloquy that Hamlet gives while wandering down the hall of the castle, which takes place right before he meets Ophelia. Claudius and Polonius are hiding out of sight to see if his madness is caused because of love for Ophelia. Significance – The obvious question is to commit suicide or don't, but also means to be = suffering and deal with life, or not to be = take action. (Part of Hamlet's indecision stems from the fact that he doesn't know what comes after death. The Ghost has added another layer to the religious ambiguity that he already faced. I take this passage as meaning that Hamlet wants to die, but would rather live if his other option is risking the unknown/facing a possibly worse state after death.)
To die, to sleep—No more—and by a sleep to say we endThe heartache and the thousand natural shocksThat flesh is heir to—’tis a consummationDevoutly to be wished! To die, to sleep.To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub,For in that sleep of death what dreams may comeWhen we have shuffled off this mortal coil,Must give us pause. Speaker: HamletContext: continued soliloquySignificance: When he first conceived the idea of death, it is something to be wished, it is a fulfillment to have an extinguished consciousness and not have to think or feel. Maybe death is like sleep and you still have dreams. He wonders if we will still have thoughts and feelings in death, will he actually not get to be nothing.
Who would fardels bear,To grunt and sweat under a weary life,But that the dread of something after death,The undiscovered country from whose bournNo traveler returns, puzzles the willAnd makes us rather bear those ills we haveThan fly to others that we know not of?Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,And thus the native hue of resolutionIs sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,And enterprises of great pith and momentWith this regard their currents turn awry,And lose the name of action. Speaker: HamletContext: ContinuedSignificance: Hamlet is dreading the thought of something after death. The will is what was conceived to be what moved a person from thought to action, our will achieves action. He is wondering if it is just better to put up with what we know. Ironic that we just saw the ghost and he is now suggesting that no one comes back. It is when we are aware of our own corruption that we do not act (and thus become a coward), it is natural to act and it is thought that is making people less ready to act and hindering people from acting in the way that is natural. Becoming sick with thought.
Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me.I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all. Believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Speaker – HamletContext – When Ophelia has been set up and is talking to Hamlet while Claudius and her father hideSignificance – Hamlet is telling Ophelia to remove herself from society and no longer be a marriageable woman and if she is still chaste, go somewhere that will protect her and her virginity. He is saying that she cannot end up with one of them, referring to all men, because they are all corrupt, everything in Denmark is corrupt and she will be corrupted if she stays in this world. After this is starts criticizing her and another take is that nunneries at this time were corrupted by Protestants and could be seen as a brothel.
I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; Godhas given you one face, and you make yourselvesanother: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, andnick-name God’s creatures, and make your wantonnessyour ignorance. Go to, I’ll no more on’t; it hathmade me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages:those that are married already, all but one, shalllive; the rest shall keep as they are. To anunnery, go Speaker: HamletContext: still speaking to Ophelia, but this is when he begins to attack her more and blame all women. Attacking all of her female traits, paintings (makeup) and associating her to all the negative traits that he associates with women. Denies that he ever loved her and blames her for all vice. Significance: He is blaming her because she is a woman and they are the ones that bring all the negative qualities. Hamlet is associating traits of women with corruption and femininity. He wants to cease all procreation and generation to end corruption. Ophelia could function as a mirror to Hamlet’s own tragedy. Says that they should end all marriages and that “all but one” shall live, meaning the “one” that won’t is the marriage between Gertrude and Claudius.
O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword;The expectancy and rose of the fair state,The glass of fashion and the mould of form,The observed of all observers, quite, quite down!And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,That suck’d the honey of his music vows,Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;That unmatch’d form and feature of blown youthBlasted with ecstasy: O, woe is me,To have seen what I have seen, see what I see! Speaker: OpheliaContext: Hamlet has just left after yelling at her and now she is crying and saddened by his state. She understands what he has truly lost in his state of reason.Significance: This is a moment of true generosity in the play. Also shows that there could be more strength to Ophelia than she is given credit for. This reminds us of the traits that Hamlet and Ophelia once possessed. Sets up Ophelia as a foil and mirror to Hamlet. How much responsibility does Hamlet have for Ophelia’s tragedy? Furthermore, the language here makes us rightfully question if Ophelia and Hamlet had sex or not, which is again brought up when Ophelia sings the song of a man promising to marry a woman before sleeping with her, and then leaving her.
Am I then revenged,To take him in the purging of his soul,When he is fit and season’d for his passage?No!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 actThat has no relish of salvation in’t;Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,And that his soul may be as damn’d and blackAs hell, whereto it goes. Speaker: HamletContext: Hamlet walks in to see Claudius praying and realizes that he has an opportunity to kill him.Significance: Hamlet doesn’t want to kill Claudius when he is in the perfect place to be forgiven and have passage to heaven. He wants to make sure that when he kills Claudius he is damned to hell, because in his mind it would not be revenge if Claudius got to repent. While Hamlet thinks that Claudius is praying and asking for forgiveness, Claudius is actually thinking that he cannot repent when his heart wanting to repent or feeling remorse. Claudius thinks that because he is still in love with his sin that his prayer will soften him within and eventually his words will break through to heaven, but he doesn’t feel different.
Sense, sure, you have,Else could you not have motion; but sure, that senseIs apoplex’d; for madness would not err,Nor sense to ecstasy was ne’er so thrall’dBut it reserved some quantity of choice,To serve in such a difference. What devil was’tThat thus hath cozen’d you at hoodman-blind?Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,Or but a sickly part of one true senseCould not so mope.O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,If thou canst mutine in a matron’s bones,To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,And melt in her own fire: proclaim no shameWhen the compulsive ardour gives the charge,Since frost itself as actively doth burnAnd reason panders will. Speaker: Hamlet Context: Hamlet scolding/confronting his mother for her sinsSignificance: He gets repeatedly distracted by his mother’s sins even though the ghost has told him to leave her to heaven. He is completely disgusted by her because she didn’t mourn long enough and then married her husbands brother. Hecuba in mourning for her son is a woman that understands what grief is, this in comparison to his mother causes Hamlet to have a strong reaction. He is concerned about his mother’s soul. In part he is characterizing the heat of lust and desire as a rebellious hell, that heat and lust can be so powerful that it can actually take place in a matron’s bone, which for her should be cold and dry. If it is will that makes her act it is one thing, but as she could be cold and is no longer young, that means that she is using reason which is wrong – alluding to a physical connection between her and Claudius that is unnatural in many ways.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat,Of habits devil, is angel yet in this,That to the use of actions fair and goodHe likewise gives a frock or livery,That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night,And that shall lend a kind of easinessTo the next abstinence: the next more easy;For use almost can change the stamp of nature,And either [ ] the devil, or throw him outWith wondrous potency. Speaker: HamletContext: This occurs soon after Hamlet has killed Polonius and just before he asks Gertrude to stop allowing Claudius to treat her like his wife and to stop the incestSignificance: Hamlet here asserts that artificial changes to one’s behaviour could produce real changes. This is like a reversal of what he said before, saying that the outside can not accurately portray what the inside feels (“I have that within which passeth show”). Furthermore, this leads us to question his sanity again, for if he really was just pretending to be insane before, how do we know it has not changed his true actions as he protests fake actions can do?
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;As one incapable of her own distress,Or like a creature native and induedUnto that element: but long it could not beTill that her garments, heavy with their drink,Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious layTo muddy death. Speaker: GertrudeContext: When she is telling Laertes that Ophelia has drownedSignificance: Ophelia becomes like water, she almost melts away. This is one of the passive deaths that Hamlet had originally desired. How intentional is this suicide or did she simply fade into the water without any will to live?
No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither withmodesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: asthus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried,Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; ofearth we make loam; and why of that loam, whereto hewas converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?Imperious Caesar, dead and turn’d to clay,Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!But soft! but soft! aside: here comes the king. Speaker: HamletContext: Right before Ophelia’s funeral. Hamlet has just finished talking with the skullSignificance: The idea that all people are made up of dust and in the end will return to dust. Hamlet’s pessimistic view of all mankind, what is the significance of life? A leveling of all people, no matter who you are, we are all just returning to the same place. This seems to liberate him from feeling like he must script or design his own death.
‘Swounds, show me what thou’lt do:Woo’t weep? woo’t fight? woo’t fast? woo’t tear thyself?Woo’t drink up eisel? eat a crocodile?I’ll do’t. Dost thou come here to whine?To outface me with leaping in her grave?Be buried quick with her, and so will I:And, if thou prate of mountains, let them throwMillions of acres on us, till our ground,Singeing his pate against the burning zone,Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou’lt mouth,I’ll rant as well as thou. Speaker: HamletContext: When Hamlet is in the grave arguing with Laertes that he was the only one that truly loved Ophelia and therefore can be the only one to truly mourn her deathSignificance: Hamlet is making a scene because he now has to deal with the fact that he is not the primary mourner anymore. Also shows that he has no understanding that he is somewhat responsible for her death, but he seems to be overcompensating for the guilt that he feels. This is symbolic of the theme that there is disengagement from things once they leave our hands. How much guilt should someone feel for something that happens as a result of something else?
Not a whit, we defy augury: there’s a specialprovidence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now,’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will benow; if it be not now, yet it will come: thereadiness is all: since no man has aught of what heleaves, what is’t to leave betimes? Speaker: HamletContext: Horatio is warning Hamlet that he will lose the duel and Hamlet tells him that he is going to leave it up to fate/he mustSignificance: Hamlet has a new view of death. God oversees everyone’s life and death. Is this willingness to approach death a sign that he has merely been resisting fate the entire time?
But pardon’t, as you are a gentleman.This presence knows,And you must needs have heard, how I am punish’dWith sore distraction. What I have done,That might your nature, honour and exceptionRoughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.Was’t Hamlet wrong’d Laertes? Never Hamlet:If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away,And when he’s not himself does wrong Laertes,Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.Who does it, then? His madness: if’t be so,Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong’d;His madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy. Speaker: HamletContext: Hamlet is apologizing to Laertes before they duelSignificance: Hamlet is claiming that when he was not himself, his wrongs are not his but instead the wrongs of someone else (his madness) – but we still do not know if he was ever really mad or if it was just an act. It is not actually an apology or acceptance of responsibility because Hamlet is saying that Laertes should feel bad for him. In the end it is unknown whether Hamlet just has nothing more to say or he is expressing that both rest and silence await him in the death that he is soon seeking.

You Might Also Like