Hamlet (Act I, Scene II)

four points of Claudius’ agenda 1. to explain away the “hasty marriage”—that it was for the good of Denmark2. to address the annoying problem with Prince Fortinbras’ threats of attack, for which he will send two ambassadors to Norway to inform the new King Fortinbras what his nephew has been up to3. to hear some request from Laertes to return to the University of Paris now that his duties have been fulfilled4. to deal with the now-public problem with Hamlet—open animosity of the prince for the new kingg*, his uncle/father
two ambassadors Claudius will send to Norway Voltemand, Cornelius
Who says the following? Who is he/she speaking to?”With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage . . . “ Claudius; royal court of Denmark
Explain the significance of this line:”With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage . . . “ ironic juxtaposition: The words mirth and dirge are switched as a partial explanation for the mixed emotions for the two recent events—a funeral and a wedding.
Who says the following? Who is he/she speaking to?”But now, my cousin Hamlet and my son . . . “ Claudius; Hamlet
Explain the significance of this line:”But now, my cousin Hamlet and my son . . . “ It is now time for Claudius to address his neph-son. The problem has been made public and must be dealt with publicly in front of the entire court at Elsinore.
Who says the following? Who is he/she speaking to?”A little more than kin and less than kind.” Hamlet; himself in an aside
Explain the significance of this line:”A little more than kin and less than kind.” pun: Hamlet reveals his disgust at his mother’s speedy marriage to his uncle. This is the first pun of the play.
Who says the following? Who is he/she speaking to?”Not so, my lord; I am too much in the sun.” Hamlet; Claudius
Explain the significance of this line:”Not so, my lord; I am too much in the sun.” pun: Hamlet responds to Claudius’ comment about “clouds still [hanging]” by telling him that he is “too much in the sun,” which expresses to Claudius that he is too much his father’s son to like what he sees one bit.
Who says the following? Who is he/she speaking to?”Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,Passing through nature to eternity.” Gertrude; Hamlet
Explain the significance of these lines:”Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,Passing through nature to eternity.” Gertrude comments on Hamlet’s depression as she sees it, reminding him that death is common.
Who says the following? Who is he/she speaking to?”Ay, madam, it is common.” Hamlet; Gertrude
Explain the significance of this line:”Ay, madam, it is common.” pun and theme development: Here is set the play’s first theme, which is the commonality or inevitability of death. Additionally, Hamlet has just called his mother common (hoe-ish).
Who says the following? Who is he/she speaking to?”‘Seems,’ madam? Nay, it is. I know not ‘seems.”Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother . . . “ Hamlet; Gertrude
Explain the significance of these lines:”‘Seems,’ madam? Nay, it is. I know not ‘seems.”Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother . . . “ theme development: With the word seems, Hamlet sets the plays second theme, which is the discrepancy between appearance and reality. He is enraged that his mother has so quickly remarried.
Who says the following? Who is he/she speaking to?”But I have that within which passes show,These but the trappings and the suits of woe.” Hamlet; Gertrude
Explain the significance of these lines:”But I have that within which passes show,These but the trappings and the suits of woe.” discrepancy between appearance and reality: Hamlet’s grief is inside as well as outward, whereas his mother’s is obviously only outward.
meaning of “too sullied a flesh would melt” metaphor for suicide, greatly condemned in the Catholic Church
to what an “unweeded garden” is compared Denmark
meaning of “unweeded garden” theme of poison and corruption
to what Hyperion is compared King Hamlet
to what a satyr is compared Claudius
significance of ” . . . frailty, thy name is woman!” metaphor and apostrophe: misogyny caused by Hamlet’s feelings towards his mother, leading to his treatment of Ophelia
to what Niobe is compared Gertrude
to what Hercules is compared Hamlet
person whom Hamlet takes his anger out on Horatio
key difference between sarcasm and irony sarcasm is to injure
Who says the following? Who is he/she speaking to?”Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral baked meatsDid coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.” Hamlet; Horatio
Explain the significance of these lines:”Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral baked meatsDid coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.” sarcasm: Hamlet is telling Horatio that the leftovers from his father’s funeral were used in Gertrude and Claudius’ wedding.
Who says the following? Who is he/she speaking to?”My father’s spirit—in arms! All is not well.I doubt some foul play. Would the night were come!Till then, sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.” Hamlet; himself in an aside (?)
Explain the significance of these lines:”My father’s spirit—in arms! All is not well.I doubt some foul play. Would the night were come!Till then, sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.” discrepancy of appearance and reality and poison and corruption: This passage sums up Hamlet’s initial reaction to the ghost. It has created such a diversion from his internal view of himself and his world that he seems excited, if not overjoyed, to see the specter for himself.

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