Hamlet Commentary

Hamlet Commentary

  • Submitted By: lauradan91
  • Date Submitted: 02/21/2009 4:18 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 849
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 338

Act 1 Scene 2, Lines 133-172

The passage I have before me is taken from the beginning of Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, and contains the protagonist’s first soliloquy. Throughout it, the reader is able to engage with Hamlet’s most inner thoughts as he provides the reasons to explain the despair and melancholy he feels due to his father’s recent death. Although it is clear that this is the greatest reason for his sorrow, his mother’s “incestuous” marriage to his uncle poses another issue for which to grief. Hamlet also reveals his dislike for his uncle towards the end of this passage, by saying that he is “no more like (his) father/Than (Hamlet himself) to Hercules. It is important to realize that being a soliloquy makes the passage known only to the reader, and that it contains thoughts that Hamlet wouldn’t repeat in public. Hamlet’s generally respectful behavior towards his uncle throughout the rest of the play clearly demonstrates the hypocrisy with which he treats him.

In Lines 165 through 172, which come after the soliloquy; Horatio, Marcellus and Barnardo come into the scene. Their purpose is to make clear to the reader the type of relationship Hamlet and Horatio share, which will be very important later in the play. Hamlet describes Horatio as his “good friend,” a title he definitely is worthy of by the play’s end. Horatio is the only person to which Hamlet discloses the false madness he will assume in an attempt to discovering the truth about his father’s death, he is the first to know about Hamlet’s return to Denmark after king Claudius has sent him to meet his death in England, and is there at Hamlet’s death, determined to take his own life and die at the same moment, something Hamlet has to convince him of not doing.

Going back to the soliloquy, King Hamlet’s death has troubled Hamlet to such an extent that throughout it, he expresses his desire to also cease to exist. The quote “O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt,/Thaw,...

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