Hamlet Guilt/Remorse Quotes

CLAUDIUS: “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.Words without thoughts never to heaven go” [Pg 139, Ln 97-98] Claudius recognises that he is unable to display adequate guilt in order to truly repent and avoid the punishment his soul is consequently condemned to (according to contextual, religious theory).
CLAUDIUS: ” ‘Forgive me my foul murder’?That cannot be, since I am still possessed of those effects for which I did the murder.”[Pg 137, Ln 52-54] He is not prepared to repent enough to give up what he has gained through the murder. His guilt is overcome by his excessive greed.
OPHELIA: “Let in the maid that out a maidNever departed more.”[Pg 173, Ln 54-55] In the scene where she is revealed as mad, Ophelia sings a song about a young girl who loses her virginity before marriage – a contextually unacceptable action.It seems that these events relate to real life and Ophelia appears to display real guilt at losing her virginity to, potentially, Hamlet.
HAMLET: Sir in my heart there was a kind of fightingThat would not let me sleep. Methought I layWorse than the mutines in the bilboes.[Pg. 217, Ln 4-6] Here, Hamlet shows definitive guilt for inaction and “lay[ing]”. He criticises himself for being indecisive.A ‘mutine’ is a slave who would be chained together meaning that, when trying to sleep, a small movement of one would disturb all those connected. Consequently, Hamlet seems to view him as a slave of his father’s will – contextually he was expected to obey him without question. He is imprisoned by his inaction and conflicted mind.
GERTRUDE: Be thou assured, if words be made of breath,And breath of life, I have no life to breathe,What thou hast said to me. [Pg. 153, Ln. 198-200] This is one of the first examples of Gertrude actually acknowledging Hamlet’s accusations. She has nothing to say to him, seeming to display an element of remorse for marrying Claudius. It is the first time she realises the possibility of Claudius being the murderer of her former husband.
HAMLET: O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous that this player here,But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,Could force his soul so to his own conceit[Pg. 95, Ln. 502-505] Hamlet is incredibly guilty when he compares himself to the actor. He questions how he could be reacting less strongly than an actor in a fictional situation. This, arguably, is the action that triggers Hamlet’s guilt to a point where he is forced to act – triggering the ‘Mousetrap Scene’.

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