Hamlet Act 2 and 3

– Do you know me my lord?- Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.- Not I, my lord.- Then I would you were so honest a man.- Honest, my lord!- Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to beone man picked out of ten thousand.- That’s very true, my lord.- For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being agod kissing carrion,–Have you a daughter?- I have, my lord.- Let her not walk i’ the sun: conception is ablessing: but not as your daughter may conceive.Friend, look to ‘t. Speaker: HamletAudience: Polonius, in the hallNotes:- Fishmonger = seller of fish or prostitutes- most people are not honest- theory of spontaneous generation (sun causing life)*sun causing the maggots*b/c the dog is flesh = ophelia*sun=son (Hamlet-“Don’t let Ophelia near me”–> dangle Ophelia- Blessing to be pregnant but not how she will
Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.- Will you walk out of the air, my lord? Speaker: PoloniusAudience: real audience (Aside, in the hall with Hamlet)Notes:- What he’s saying seems crazy but underlaying meaning to it
– Denmark’s a prison.- Then is the world one.- A goodly one; in which there are many confines,wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.- We think not so, my lord.- Why, then, ’tis none to you; for there is nothingeither good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to meit is a prison.- Why then, your ambition makes it one; ’tis toonarrow for your mind.-O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and countmyself a king of infinite space, were it not that Ihave bad dreams. Speaker: hamletAudience: R&D when arrivingNotes:- describing country as a prison –> world is a prison too then- Hamlet agrees but Denmark is the worst- meet expectations, limited by own capabilities- Hamlet is being ironic –> objective morality- something is not always right or wrong- Hamlet says he doesn’t need power –> his dreams are bothering him
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.What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!how infinite in faculty! in form and moving howexpress and admirable! in action how like an angel!in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of theworld! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,what is this quintessence of dust? Speaker: HamletAudience: R&G when they arriveNotes:- description + feelings of depression- don’t want to engage in customary activities- earth = fruitless; air + sky –> beautiful but that also seems like something poisonous- humans = wonderful but no pleasure in them, capable of angelic actions –> seem like highest essence of dust to him
I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw. Speaker: HamletAudience: R&G when they first arriveNotes:- the players are coming, excited b/c will do something to expose the king- cliché –> “what?”- I may be mad when the wind is in 1 direction, sane when the other way- typo with “handshaw”?
– Do you hear, let them be well used; forthey are the abstract and brief chronicles of thetime: after your death you were better have a badepitaph than their ill report while you live.- My lord, I will use them according to their desert.- God’s bodykins, man, much better: use every manafter his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping?Use them after your own honour and dignity: the lessthey deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.Take them in. Speaker: HamletAudience: Polonius after players arriveNotes:- asked Polonius to take care of the actors- treat them well; they are the short historians of their era- better to have something negative on tombstone than them saying bad thing things while alive- if you treat people the way they deserve –> they will all be whipped otherwise –> so treat them better- even better if they don’t deserve it –> more honorable
We are oft to blame in this,–‘Tis too much proved–that with devotion’s visageAnd pious action we do sugar o’erThe devil himself. Speaker: PoloniusAudience: ClaudiusNotes:- guilty to use a prayer book to spy on someone (sin) –> but for good- we can even make the devil look good- just a way to get Ophelia out there
How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!The harlot’s cheek, beautied with plastering art,Is not more ugly to the thing that helps itThan is my deed to my most painted word:O heavy burthen! Speaker: ClaudiusAudience: Aside, in the hall with PoloniusNotes: – “I feel guilty” about something –> lies don’t want to cover it up- metaphors –> makeup doesn’t wan to go on harlot’s cheek- “I don’t want to cover that cheek” – makeup (can’t cover up the lie)
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? To die: to sleep;No more; and by a sleep to say we endThe heart-ache and the thousand natural shocksThat flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummationDevoutly to be wish’d. 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: there’s the respectThat makes calamity of so long life;For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,The insolence of office and the spurnsThat patient merit of the unworthy takes,When he himself might his quietus makeWith a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,To grunt and sweat under a weary life,But that the dread of something after death,The undiscover’d country from whose bournNo traveller 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.–Soft you now!The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisonsBe all my sins remember’d. Speaker: HamletAudience: soliloquy, before meeting Ophelia in the hallNotes:- To live or die, that’s the issue- better to endure horrible things that happen in life? or fight them and end them one way? (you stop the problem or die for it)- die = sleep –> not exist* having an end that has no more suffering- going to “sleep” = relaxing; but what if you dream?* dreaming while being dead* we don’t kill ourselves b/c afraid of afterlife- that’s why we let bad things happen b/c afraid of afterlife- he is depressed and suicidal- tells about all that could happen –> easy to kill self- good people are ill-treated- who could stand all of that if you can kill yourself?- after life = undiscovered country- will power weakens –> accusing himself of thinking too much- afraid to act b/c he thinks too much
-Ha, ha! are you honest?-My lord?-Are you fair?-What means your lordship?-That if you be honest and fair, your honesty shouldadmit no discourse to your beauty.-Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce thanwith honesty?-Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will soonertransform honesty from what it is to a bawd than theforce of honesty can translate beauty into hislikeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now thetime gives it proof Speaker: HamletAudience: Ophelia, in the hallNotes:- are you truthful/chaste?- are you fair –> just and beautiful- if you are both, then don’t let honesty have anything to do with your beaut- it will corrupt the honest- beauty can be a corrupting source- he is caller her corrupt –> b/c she’s parading like that
Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be abreeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest;but yet I could accuse me of such things that itwere better my mother had not borne me: I am veryproud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences atmy beck than I have thoughts to put them in,imagination to give them shape, or time to act themin. What should such fellows as I do crawlingbetween earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves,all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Speaker: HamletAudience: Ophelia, in the hallNotes: – 1) place where nuns live 2) wh*re house (he means both)- he is rude basically- “I am honest” (in a different way) –> “I am a terrible sinner/person like everybody else”- he is proud, vengeful, ambitious (it’s a list)- more intelligent, creative, and more time –> could do more crimes- disdain for marriage, procreation, sexuality…
-Horatio, thou art e’en as just a manAs e’er my conversation coped withal.-O, my dear lord,—Nay, do not think I flatter;For what advancement may I hope from theeThat no revenue hast but thy good spirits,To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter’d?No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,And crook the pregnant hinges of the kneeWhere thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?Since my dear soul was mistress of her choiceAnd could of men distinguish, her electionHath seal’d thee for herself; for thou hast beenAs one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing,A man that fortune’s buffets and rewardsHast ta’en with equal thanks: and blest are thoseWhose blood and judgment are so well commingled,That they are not a pipe for fortune’s fingerTo sound what stop she please. Give me that manThat is not passion’s slave, and I will wear himIn my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart,As I do thee. Speaker: HamletAudience: Horatio, before the playNotes:- the dices are thrown after the play –> get confirmation- tells Horatio how much he values him- most even tempered people “don’t think I’m flattering you b/c I can get no advantage from your flattery”- let others flatter –> they bow + flatter to get stuffs- Horatio = stoic (stay at peace at all time) –> endure everything- BUFFET –> hit/knock (taken bad and good things of fate)- wants someone who is not emotionally motivated
The lady doth protest too much, methinks Speaker: GertrudeAudience: To Hamlet at the playNotes:- Gertrude is criticizing the player queen for exaggerating her resolve not to marry to such an extent that the opposite seems likely- “I don’t believe the player queen will keep her word”
Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make ofme! You would play upon me; you would seem to knowmy stops; you would pluck out the heart of mymystery; you would sound me from my lowest note tothe top of my compass: and there is much music,excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannotyou make it speak. ‘Sblood, do you think I ameasier to be played on than a pipe? Call me whatinstrument you will, though you can fret me, yet youcannot play upon me. Speaker: HamletAudience: R&D after the playNotes:- Hamlet is letting them know that he will not be manipulated like an instrument- musical metaphor w/ “fret me” (manipulate him like an instrument)- you can bother me, (or play me as an instrument with frets), but you cannot figure me out and make me behave as you would wish- He knows that Claudius is the murderer – Hamlet speaks honestly to them –> the game is over, can say whatever he wants to them
O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven;It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t,A brother’s murder. Pray can I not,Though inclination be as sharp as will:My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;And, like a man to double business bound,I stand in pause where I shall first begin,And both neglect. What if this cursed handWere thicker than itself with brother’s blood,Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavensTo wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercyBut to confront the visage of offence?And what’s in prayer but this two-fold force,To be forestalled ere we come to fall,Or pardon’d being down? Then I’ll look up;My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayerCan serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder’?That cannot be; since I am still possess’dOf those effects for which I did the murder,My crown, mine own ambition and my queen.May one be pardon’d and retain the offence?In the corrupted currents of this worldOffence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itselfBuys out the law: but ’tis not so above;There is no shuffling, there the action liesIn his true nature; and we ourselves compell’d,Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,To give in evidence. What then? what rests?Try what repentance can: what can it not?Yet what can it when one can not repent?O wretched state! O bosom black as death!O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,Art more engaged! Help, angels! Make assay!Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart with strings of steel,Be soft as sinews of the newborn babe!All may be well. Speaker: ClaudiusAudience: Soliloquy after the playNotes:- my crime is so horrible that God is sure to know about it- crime ressembles the first murder (Cain killing Abel)- cannot pray even tho he wants toif my hands were covered with blood from murdering a brother, isn’t God’s mercy great enough to forgive that sin?Isn’t that what mercy is for, to directly oppose sin?- What is the point of prayer except to be prevented from sin or forgiven after we have sinned?- try to pray; my sin is in the past- But what can I pray? Can I ask to be forgiven?- In God’s court, one cannot escape justice, and we are forced even to testify against ourselves. What can I do?- He’s in a horrible situation- soul = bird that has been caught in line. The more I try to free myself, the more entrapped I am (the more he’s trying to relieve his guilt, he’s actually picking up more guilt)- HELP. Let me bow down and pray like an innocent child. Maybe it will work- shows his guilt, knows he’s cursed- guilt is stronger than desire to pray- is there enough mercy no matter what?- payer –> 1) keep us from sinning 2) pardon after sinning- Has to make reparations after sinning, can’t just sin and ask for forgiveness
There’s letters seal’d: and my two schoolfellows,Whom I will trust as I will adders fang’d,They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way,And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;For ’tis the sport to have the engineerHoist with his own petard: and ‘t shall go hardBut I will delve one yard below their mines,And blow them at the moon: O, ’tis most sweet,When in one line two crafts directly meet. Speaker: HamletAudience: In his mother’s bedchamberNotes:- the orders have been prepared, and I don’t trust R&G. any more than poisonous snakes, they have the orders- They must clear my path and lead me to trickery. Well let it happen- For it is fun to have the bomb maker blown up by his own bomb, and it may be difficult, but I will dig below their explosive and blow them up- it is so great when 2 crafty plots or 2 ships are heading straight for one another- he’s relieved and excited that all is out in the open now- Gertrude knows her husband is a murderer and Hamlet is not crazy

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