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Hamlet Summary

O THAT THIS TOO TOO SULLIED FLESH WOULD MELT 1 ST SOLILOQUY


O that this too, too sullied flesh would melt [emotive language]
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew His canon gainst self-slaughter
Weary, stale, flat and unprofitable [cumulation] Hamlet voices his despair.
An unweeded garden that grows to seed, things rank and gross in nature
[imagery].
so excellent a king
Hyperion to a satyr [classical allusion] sun-god = honour and mythical beast
= lust.
Frailty, thy name is woman incestuous and misogyny.
A beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer.
O most wicked speed such dexterity to incestuous sheets [sexual imagery].
It is not, nor it cannot come to good [foreshadowing].
O ALL YOU HOST OF HEAVEN! 2 ND SOLILOQUY
Shall I couple hell? Philosophical questioning.
Remember thee? [repetition] Portrayal of his confusion and doubts.
Metaphor of the distracted globe Elsinore is a disordered world.
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain! [Repetition].
Proverbial image of treachery, That one may smile, and smile, and be a
villain.
O WHAT A ROGUE AND PEASANT SLAVE AM I! 3 RD SOLILOQUY
It is not monstrous that this player here, but in a fiction, in a dream of passion
could force his soul to his own conceit had he the motive and the cue for
passion that I have? Hamlet compares himself to the actor who can create
emotion through acting while he cannot.
He would drown the stage with tears [hyperbolic]
and cleave the general ear with horrid speech [the motif of the ear].
Yet I, a dull and muddy-mettled rascal sluggish spirited, highlighting his
inaction.
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause and can say nothing; no, not for a
King
A damned defeat was made. Am I a coward?
But I am pigeon-livered and lack gall lacks guts.
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindles villain! O vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell
The guilty creatures sitting at a play have by the very cunning of the scene
been struck so to the soul, that presently they have proclaimed their
malefactions [meta-theatre] confession of sins.
The spirit that I have seen may be the devil [low modality].
The plays the thing wherein Ill catch the conscience of the king [rhyming
couplet].
TO BE OR NOT TO BE 4 TH SOLILOQUY
to be or not to be to suffer or to take arms [dichotomies]
the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune a sea of troubles
by a sleep we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished
shuffled off this mortal coil living can be unbearable?
makes calamity of so long life for who would bear the whips and scorns of time
Oppressors wrong, the proud mans contumely, the pangs of despised love,
the laws delay
To grunt and sweat under a weary life
The dread of something after death the afterlife? His fear of the unknown?
Metaphor of the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns.

Thus, conscience does make cowards of us all, thinking makes him impotent.
Juxtaposition of native hue of resolution and pale cast of thought.
Their currents turn awry, and lose the name of action
TIS NOW THE VERY WITCHING TIME OF NIGHT 5 TH SOLILOQUY
Now could I drink hot blood, and do such bitter business Hamlet is consumed
by evil.
Allusion to the soul of Nero a Roman emperor who murdered his mother.
Let me be cruel, not unnatural, I will speak daggers to her
CLAUDIUS SOLILOQUY
O my offence is rank, it smells to heaven [imagery of rot and disease].
It hath the primal eldest curse upont, a brothers murder [biblical allusion to
Cains curse].
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent like a man to double business
bound
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens to wash it white as snow? [Evil
VS purity].
My crown, mine own ambition and my Queen Claudius cannot give up his
possessions.
in the corrupted currents of this world the wicked prize itself buys out the
law
But tis not so above; there is no shuffling, there the action lies in his true
nature
On Earth, bribery and corruption works but in heaven, you will be punished.
Dramatic [rising] My words fly up, my thoughts remain below he cannot
repent.
NOW MIGHT I DO IT PAT 6 TH SOLILOQUY
I his sole son do this same villain send to heaven dramatic irony as we
know Claudius cannot repent yet Hamlet is reluctant because he is tricked by
the praying faade.
I then revenged, to take him in the purging of his soul, when he is fit and
seasoned for his passage? Signs of hesitation and this event = opposite to the
typical revenge tragedy plot.
Hamlet wants to kill Claudius when he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, or in th
incestuous pleasure of his bed to ultimately send him to hell.
His soul may be as damned and black as hell whereto it goes. My mother
stays.
HOW ALL OCCASIONS DO INFORM AGAINST ME 7 TH SOLILOQUY
What is a main, if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and
feed? This clearly shows Hamlets Humanist side where man can do anything.
That capability and god-like reason to fust in us unused more Humanist
thinking.
Contrast between Fortinbras and Hamlet, bestial oblivion, of thinking too
precisely.
One part wisdom and ever three parts coward coward due to contemplation?
Hamlet describes Fortinbras as a delicate and tender prince hypocritical?
Hamlet criticising Fortinbras rashness death and danger dare, even for an eggshell.
A father killed, a mother stained, excitements of my reason and let all sleep
his inaction.
Fortinbras causes imminent death of twenty thousand men... go to their graves
like beds.
O, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth. [Rhyming
couplet].
OPENING [King Hamlet has just died Elizabethan superstition of the supernatural
after a kings death]

Whos there?, this portentous figure, prologue to the omen coming


[foreboding mood]
CLAUDIUS OPENING SPEECH [IAMBIC PENTAMETER RHYTHM]
our dear brothers death us befitted to bear our hearts in grief [possessive
pronoun]
Our whole kingdom to be contracted in one brow of woe [personification]
Defeated joy [oxymoronic], an auspicious and a dropping eye (emblematic
of deceit proverb for weeping with one eye and laugh with the other)
[antithetical]
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage
In equal scale weighting delight and dole [juxtaposition]
Denmarks state to be disjoint and out of frame highlighting vulnerability.
GHOST SCENE [DRAMATIC DEVICE]
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned from heaven from hell, my
fates cries out.
Horatios warning - might deprive your sovereignty of reason and draw you into
madness
lend thy serious hearing to what I shall unfold, Speak, I am bound to hear
Hamlets fathers spirit urges him to seek vengeance - So art thou to revenge,
when thou shalt hear [subverted Revenge Tragedy convention].
Murder most foul, strange and unnatural [accumulation].
So the whole ear of Denmark is by a forged process of my death [motif of the
ear].
The serpent that did sting thy fathers life now wears his crown [biblical
allusion].
That incestuous, that adulterate beast apparitions description of Claudius.
My ears did pour the leperous distilment [disease imagery].
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be a couch for luxury and damned incest
[imperative].
Tells him not to let revenge taint not thy mind yet he later adopts an antic
disposition.
O cursed spite that ever I was born to set it right [rhyming couplet].
HAMLET AND OPHELIA and the NUNNERY SCENE
Polonius: You speak like a green girl think yourself a baby, Ophelia: I shall
obey my lord
As if he had been loosed out of hell to speak of horrors- Ophelia describing
Hamlet.
As you did command, I did repel his letters, and denied his access to me
Ha, ha, are you honest? Are you fair? Hamlet knows her dishonesty.
I did love you once I loved you not - him messing with her feelings after her
betrayal.
Get thee to a nunnery why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners
Hamlet criticises Ophelia, God has given you one face, and you make
yourselves another.
POLONIUS DEATH and HAMLETs CONVERSATION with GERTRUDE
Hamlets dramatic [drawing] to slay Polonius A rat? Dead for a ducat, dead.
O I am slain! Polonius dramatic [behind].
Is it the King? For Hamlet, a shocking ironical anti-climax.
Gertrude: O what a rash and bloody deed is this!
A bloody deed, almost as bad, good mother, as kill a king, and marry with his
brother
Takes off the rose from the fair forehead of an innocent love, and sets a blister
there, makes marriage vows [garden and disease imagery in Hamlets
speech]

Here is your husband like a mildewed ear, blasting his wholesome brother
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed, and batten on this moor? ... King
of shred and patches Comparison between King Hamlet and the moor
Claudius.
Queen: O, speak to me no more; these words, like daggers, enter in mine ears
Ghost: This visitation is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But my madness speaks. It will but skin and film the ulcerous place, whiles
rank corruption infects unseen do not spread the compost on the weeds to
make them ranker.
Telling Gertrude - Confess yourself to heaven, repent whats past, avoid what is
to come
To punish me with this that I must be their scourge and minister Hamlet
feels burdened.
Ill lug the guts into the neighbour room Hamlet is shown to be capable of
being violent.
GRAVEYARD SCENE
Gravediggers black humour the gallows maker, for that frame outlives a
thousand tenants.
Hamlet tells Horatio that death makes us equals the age is grown so picked
that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier.
Confrontation with Yoricks skull, symbolic of death, leads to his acceptance of
mortality.
Anaphora/allusion Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander
returneth into dust.
OPHELIAS FUNERAL [GRAVE FIGHTING BETWEEN HAMLET AND LAERTES]
Like wonder-wounded bearers? This is I, Hamlet the Dane notion of identity.
[Leaps into the grave] and [grapples with him] dramatic action with Laertes
and Hamlet.
I loved Ophelia, forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of
love, make up my sum.
ENDING [Dramatic irony in fight scene as audience knows that Claudius has
planned for everything]
Anti-Humanist thinking, theres a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew
them how we will
There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow yet it will come the
readiness is all
Whose motive in this case should stir me most to my revenge but in terms of
my honour Laertes is driven by medieval values such as honour and will take
action.
Claudius dramatic aside, it is the poisoned cup, it is too late, indicates lack
of feelings.
Laertes states that the King, the Kings to blame Claudius death = order
restored.
Horatio, I am dead, thou livest; report me and my cause alright to the
unsatisfied
But I do prophesy the election lights on Fortinbras, he has my dying voice
Horatios summation so shall you hear of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts
purposes mistook falln on the inventors heads
Fortinbras acknowledgement Let four captains bear Hamlet like a soldier to
the stage.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern [loyalty, betrayal]
By Act 2 Scene 2, Hamlet knows that R&G were sent for the notion of
BETRAYAL.

Hamlets final warning to Guildenstern and Rosencrantz about his madness thatI am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk
from a handsaw.
Metaphor of this duo as a sponge that soaks up the kings countenance
Polonius
Gives advice such as to thine own self be true yet he is shown to be a
pompous fool brevity is the soul of wit which is ironic as his character is the
opposite of this suggestion of being brief.
Actually believes Hamlet is mad Mad call I it what ist but to be nothing else
but mad?