Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Act 2 Scene 2 "Hamlet's Soliloquy"


video

lines 530-585

14 comments:

Shuyi G 6 said...

Soliloquy 530-585

In Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 2, Scene 2, Shakespeare successfully creates a dual character for Hamlet. He does this by pointing out through diction both Hamlet’s passion and fear for revenge and Hamlet’s love and doubt toward his father’s ghost.

Hamlet speaks his soliloquy after watching the player’s performance. Hamlet is amazed at the player’s ability to develop emotions for “Hecuba”. Hamlet wonders how he can do it without experiencing the story. He then imagines what the player would do if the player “had the motive and [the cue] for passion that I [he] has”. (541-542) Hamlet believes that the player would bring the “stage with [to] tears” (542), horrify “the general ear” (543) or the ears of the audience with speech, threaten the “guilty” (544) ones, “confound the ignorant” (545) ones and stun every “eyes and ears”. (546) Hamlet assumes these actions from the player because these actually are the actions that Hamlet would employ in order to express his horror feelings. Hamlet here only imagines since he restrains himself from disclosing anything yet.

Hamlet then feels that he is a “dull and muddy-mettled rascal” (547) who couldn’t do anything for his father to revenge. The word “muddy-mettled” means dull spirited, it points out that Hamlet is frustrated at himself. Hamlet thirsts for revenge to bravely kill his father’s murder, King Claudius. However all he can do is to “mope/ like John-a-dreams”. (548) He puts himself at the peak of frustration, since he has not seen anything accomplished yet. He starts to doubt his ability for revenge. He becomes fearful of dangers and death. And he starts calling himself “a rogue” (531), “a peasant slave” (530), and “an ass” (562), while he also questions himself if he’s a “coward” (551).

Hamlet then reproaches King Claudius by calling him a “bloody, bawdy villain!” (560) He accounts King Claudius’ sins as “remorselessly” (561) murdered his father without letting him to repent; “treacherously” (561) stole his father’s crown; “lecherously” seduce his father’s queen and “kindlessly” (561) destroyed the futures of Hamlet and Denmark. Hamlet escalates his hatred toward this malicious King. He eagerly looks forward to the day of his revenge. Hamlet also reminds himself of his identity as the “son of a dear [father] murthered” (563) that he has to seek “my [his] revenge by heaven and hell”. (563-564) Hamlet becomes aware that he needs to get his “brains” (569) “About” (569) or to work. He switches his eager heart for revenge to the calmly scheming. He is planning to have the “players play something like the murther of my [his] father before my [his] uncle” that he can “observe his [his uncle’s] looks” to judge his guilt. Hamlet concludes to himself that “[he] know my [his course]” (578) of what to do if his uncle “do blench” (576) or flinch.

However, Hamlet is indeed losing his faith. He doubts the validity of the ghost being his father. He depends on King Claudius’ reaction to the play to verify the words from the ghost. And he becomes a “coward” (551) who fears death, since he knows his death might come if overflow the king. Hamlet even blasphemes his father ghost by saying that it might be “a [dev’l]” who “hath power T’ assume a pleasing shape” (579-580), or lure him to sin, which would “abuse me [him] and damn me [him]”. (583) Hamlet becomes unsure of the story told by the ghost. His faith starts to dim. Nevertheless, he continues to execute his plan to detect King Claudius’ guilt as he says “I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (585).

In conclusion, Shakespeare obviously shows the hardest situation and greatest agonies for Hamlet, but intentionally hides the dual character of Hamlet in the text. Shakespeare brilliantly creates this dual character that Hamlet is eager but fearful to revenge, and respectful to the ghost to but suspects its intention. Also, this dual character he created is fascinating but is ironic because through Hamlet he delivers the idea that having wants or relations in two extreme directions is what usually people in the society do.

sarah c 6 said...

In Act two-scene two new characters are presented. Guildenstern and Rosencrantz are now a part of the play. The reason they are there is because the king and queen sent for them to help figure out what is bothering Hamlet. The king and queen know that Guildenstern and Rosencrantz are very good friends of Hamlet, but to have them spy on their own friend may not be such a good idea. When Polonius comes to tell the king and queen about his ideas about Hamlet’s behavior, the queen gives her own reasoning. I think it is interesting that the queen says that he may be acting this way because of her hasty marriage. We now know that the queen realizes her mistake and for the first time it seems, she is possibly realizing how it can affect her son. Polonius is stalled from telling his story by the entering of Voltemand. Voltemand’s purpose in this scene is only to tell news of Norway. Young Fortinbras’ uncle does in fact have power and wants to imprison Young Fortinbras. This is ironic because Hamlet later mentions that Denmark, his home, is like a prison. With both their father’s dead, this imprisonment creates another parallel between the two characters.

When Polonius starts telling his story the queen seems a little annoyed and is basically telling him to get to the point. She says, “More matter with less art.” It’s telling him not to beat around the bush, to get to the point. Polonius presents his theory that Hamlet’s madness comes from his love for Ophelia. Polonius is trying to say that passion and love can make a man crazy. I don’t think that Hamlet’s love for Ophelia has much of anything to do with his sanity. I think Hamlet is acting strange because of what he has been told by his father’s ghost. Polonius’ attempts to speak with Hamlet seem to have no affect on hamlet. Hamlet shows disrespect for Polonius. He mocks him by asking, “Have you a daughter?” It is clear that the characters know who one another are. As the conversation carries on, Hamlet says, “You cannot take from me any thing that I will not more willingly part withal-except my life, except my life, except my life.” I am not really sure what Hamlet is saying here, but there are a few different explanations. If Hamlet is so deeply in love with Ophelia as Polonius says, then Polonius may be able to take Ophelia away from him. Hamlet could also be saying that since his father had been betrayed and killed, he could also be just as easily.

When Guildenstern and Rosencrantz come to Hamlet, he greets them cordially. Hamlet tells them that Denmark is a prison. He goes on to explain that Denmark is a prison for him because of his thoughts and dreams. After this conversation, Hamlet decides to ask them why they have come and who has sent for them. Hamlet knows that they have been sent for and he knows why they have come, but I think he is trying to see of they will tell him the truth. I think Hamlet may feel a little bit betrayed at this point because these are supposed to be his friends and here they are spying on him. After Hamlet’s struggle with his mother’s sudden marriage and his encounter with the ghost, this event adds on to build up a wall inside of him. I think Hamlet is starting to think that he cannot really trust anyone anymore. The players now come and Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, and Hamlet welcome them. After they come, Polonius returns. When he does, Hamlet tells the others that Polonius is a spy and he basically says that Polonius is an old idiot. Hamlet mocks Polonius again and shows him disrespect. He insults him harshly by comparing him to old Jephthah. Hamlet and Polonius are talking about plays and Hamlet starts talking for a great while and even quoting things. Polonius compliments after his long speech and talk of Pyrrus, which I think is funny because Hamlet doesn’t like Polonius. After the first player says his first part Polonius tries to say it is too long and Hamlet again just brushes him off. He doesn’t really pay attention to Polonius or take him seriously. After the first player goes on, Polonius tells him top stop and the players, Polonius, and Guildenstern and Rosencrantz exit.

Eventually everyone leaves and Hamlet says a lot of important things. Through Hamlet’s soliloquoy, Shakespeare shows us that Hamlet is torn between emotions. He is unsure of what to do because he does not want to seek revenge if it is not reasonable. Hamlet is confused because of what the ghost has told him, but he wants justice for his father because he loved him dearly. Hamlet is angered because the player feels more emotion for people he did not even know, and Hamlet has a lot of trouble expressing his emotion. He has a lot of anger toward the king and queen and does not know how to express it. He has more anger towards Claudius than anyone else for many reasons. Hamlet wants to set a trap for Claudius. He wants to see if Claudius actors guilty after the play that resembles the murder of his father. This is what is bothering Hamlet so much, whether his uncle is guilty or not, and struggling to understand everything about his father’s murder.

Michael R. 6 said...

Act 2:2 Hamlet’s Soliloquy
In Act 2 scene 2 of Shakespeare’s classic Hamlet, Shakespeare creates a character that is on the verge of insanity. This facade of insanity originates from a mission to expose King Claudius and how he became King. The character, Hamlet, initiates his plan to pretend to have lost his mind so that he won’t be suspected or watched while he creates his play. The play, inspired by King Hamlet’s ghost, will arise guilt in King Claudius. The ghost of King Hamlet revealed to his son, “the serpent that did stung thy father’s life / Now wears thy father’s crown,” (p. 51 38-39) and from that point on Hamlet’s character has changed dramatically and evolved in phases, edging ever closer to insanity.

The death of Hamlet’s father sets the backdrop for the uncertainty of Hamlet’s sanity. He may be upset and unsure of what to do because of the fact that his father is now dead and the country is in the middle of a war with a neighboring country. Hamlet may also be upset with his mother marrying his uncle. Hamlet does not know how to deal with a situation so complex and horrible. These questions bring up the argument of just how stable Hamlet may be before he speaks to his father’s ghost in Scene 5 of Act 1.

The initial characters of the play (Horatio, Marcellus, and Barnardo) don’t even believe that the ghost is real. They mock its presence when Marcellus says, “Shall I strike it with my partisan,” (I i 140) and the others sternly warn him against such action. Later on in scene 5 of Act 1, when Hamlet actually follows and speaks with the ghost after being advised not to, his actions add to the growing warning signs that Hamlet may be going insane.

After having a conversation with the ghost, and finding out that King Claudius murdered his father, Hamlet vows revenge for his father’s wrongful death, “Now to my word. / It is ‘Adieu, adieu! Remember me.’ I have sworn’t,” (p. 53 110) choosing to speak in ways that do not make sense. Later, in the scene it is learned that Hamlet is going to pretend to be a madman explaining, “As I perchance hereafter shall think meet / To put an antic disposition on –,” (p. 56 171-172), in hopes that it will cover his master plan to unviel King Claudius’ crime.

The idea that Hamlet is actually insane now has foundation for it is not known what goes on in the mind of the main character. Hamlet’s language is growing continuously enigmatic in the progression of the play and the other characters notice. One of the main character’s Polonius already thinks that because he has asked his daughter Ophelia, the love of Hamlet’s life, to stop seeing Hamlet he has gone insane. The possibility that love has driven Hamlet mad is real.

In Act 2 Scene 2, a lot is revealed to the surrounding character’s about Hamlet’s insane façade. In the conversation between Polonius and Hamlet in the hallway, Hamlet mocks his lover’s father. They exchange words and Hamlet puns on Polonius’ every sentence in a way that is trying to bring out an idea that something is happening. Polonius is oblivious at first but later catches on, concluding to himself, “though this be madness, yet there is / method in’t,” (p.67 203-204). There is suspicion but still no evidence. Throughout the rest of the conversation, Hamlet continues to speak with irregularity and the two part ways and Hamlet meets with his friends. He exchanges words and accuses them of “spying” for the King and Queen but they refuse. Then, Hamlet is left alone.

In Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 2 scene 2, Hamlet absolutely goes insane. He is upset with himself in the beginning of a speech addressed to him. Hamlet is jealous of the player who put on a show for him in the middle of the scene which may allude to his insecurity and his place in the Kingdom. Using such phrases as, “I should ‘a’ fatted all the region’s kites / With this slave’s offal. Bloody, bawdy, villain,” (II ii 559 – 560). Hamlet asks why he cannot bring about emotion that the player made palpable for his audience. The insanity that Hamlet uses as cover may be his vice for dealing with these feelings of insecurity and his questions of, “Am I a coward,” (II ii 551). Hamlet’s questioning of himself reveals his feelings of whether or not he is capable of avenging his father’s death.

But, Hamlet regains control and reveal’s his plan to uncover the King’s guilt. Hamlet is going to have the players put on a play much like his father’s death and “observe his looks,” (II ii 576) to see if there is any hint of remorse in King Claudius’ being.

Surely throughout the whole beginning of this play, Hamlet’s character has grown from a timid almost subdued person to one foaming for revenge and he is going insane because of it. It is said that some actors are unable to get rid of the parts that they have played and so deliberately acted out. Hamlet’s insane role is taking over him and he will be found out at some time in the rest of the play.

Rodney B5 said...

Act 2:2 Hamlet’s Second Soliloquy

In Hamlet’s second soliloquy we get a better understanding of Hamlet’s views and feelings. Many tones are presented by Hamlet’s speech. He feels worthless for his lack of taking action of everything that is going around him since he has not accomplished what he feels he needs to do. He has a promise with the ghost but he has not fulfilled it. Hamlet continues to talk and his self-pity is evident. Fulfilling his promise has not been his first goal. He has been thinking more of what has been going on with Ophelia and also with himself.

At the beginning of Hamlet’s second soliloquy, he has finished watching one of the players acting out a scene of a play that was full of emotion. This reminds Hamlet of his own lack of dedication at fulfilling the promise he has made. He also feels that it is "monstrous" (531) that the player "in a dream of passion" (532) could put so much emotion into the piece that he even cried "all for nothing" (537). Hamlet is amazed at what he has just seen but feelings of worthlessness come to him. He sees the player acting out the play with more emotion and more feeling than what he has been willing to set forth at getting revenge for his father’s death. He feels he should be putting forth just as much emotion as the players are into their play since he loves his father and is mourning his death even after everybody else has seemed to moved on. "No, not for a king, upon whose property and most dear life A damn’d defeat was made"(549-551).

Claudius, the new king and Hamlet’s uncle, killed King Hamlet so now he suffers in hell because he did not have a chance to confess his sins. Even after Hamlet finds out of all of this and of everything that has happened to his father, he does not stir. He seems to simple talk of what he will do with “words, words, words” but does not act upon any of them. Hamlet’s uncle is very much evil to him but he is also like his uncle since he does not stand up for his father’s cause. He explains his weakness to take action to and stand up for the cause. “But I am pigeon-liver’d, and lack gall”(557). Instead he pities himself and watches his uncle continue to be kind.

At the end of the soliloquy, Hamlet comes up with a plan that will unveil his uncle’s sins and what he had done. This is the first step towards taking action that Hamlet has taken since promising the ghost that he shall revenge his father. Even though this is his first action, it is not what the ghost wants him to do. This is a plot to determine if the ghost is telling the truth by attempting to see if his uncle is truly guilty of his father's murder by having the players act out a scene where a son’s father is killed and he seeks revenge. Through this, Hamlet’s view of the ghost changes. When he had first met the ghost he felt he was sent as good. Now his thoughts lean toward the ghost possibly being a devil. “The spirit that I have seen May be a [dev’l], and the [dev’l] hath power T’ assume a pleasing shape”(578-580) He also feels that the ghost may be out to punish him for being weak. “and perhaps, Out of my weakness and my melancholy”(580-581). This is why he decides to follow with this plan in order to find out if the ghost is telling the truth which also shows his selfishness.
The plans he has created is there inorder to help himself find the truth behind the ghost. It will not fulfill the promise. What he has promised is to kill his fathers murderer. He continues to feel worthless for he has not done what he was asked to do.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

Readers get a real feeling of what is going through Hamlet’s mind and thoughts when his soliloquy comes in. I believe that was Shakespeare’s purpose. Hamlet seems to act differently or maybe even have these different personalities. There is the Hamlet who speaks to mother and uncle; readers can tell that he is slightly bitter towards his current situation. There is the Hamlet who is rude bluntly rude to Polonius and acts crazy. Finally there is this Hamlet who readers can see his true grieving and his true, clear feeling toward his current situation.

Hamlet has just finished speaking to Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and the first player. In the Middle of his soliloquy Hamlet says, “Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, and can say nothing; no, not for a king, upon whose property and most dear life a damn’d defeat was made.” (548-551) Hamlets saying that only a dreamer can say nothing but for his father whose life was stolen from him something has to be done. Dreamers would stop dreaming and do something. Hamlet could also be referring to John in the Bible. John was reluctant to baptize Christ but in the end it had to be done for the king. Hamlet has to avenge that king, his father.

“Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave, that I, the son of a dear father murthered, prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,” (562-564) Hamlets says. Readers talk about that changes that Hamlet in this passage he talks about how he has to be brave. He has to do this for his father. Hamlet is not only being driven to insanity by the fact that his uncle is sleeping with his mother but also by that fact that he has to be brave and avenge his father.

In my opinion the actor did a great job in portraying Hamlet. In the beginning when Hamlet says, “Now I am alone”(529) he should sound a little more relieved. I pictured Hamlet relieved to gather his thoughts together.

Jessica S. 6 said...

In Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2 it starts off with the queen and king sending Hamlets' friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to visit him to see whats wrong with him. Not to long after Polonius comes by to see the king and queen and tells them that he knows why Hamlets been down, which is because he loves Ophelia. Polonius plots to get Hamlet to confess by talking to him. But Hamlet mocks Polonius the whole entire time such as when the player s came. And the player basically put on a play of the Aenied. Which leads up to Hamlet's soliloquy. In Hamlet's soliloquy of Act 2, Scene 2, Shakespeare develops characterization of Hamlet by connecting his feeling to the player in which eventually builds up to his true intention.

Hamlet starts the beginning of his soliloquy with "now I am alone" (508), in a tone that he's had enough of it and that he needs to get away from other people. Hamlet feels sorry for forcing the players express so much of his made up feeling, "Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting/With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing—For Hecuba!"(514-516). This shows that Hamlet is a sensitive person, he's a prince, a player has no comparison to him, he has such a high status why should he care for someone who is unimportant. But that just show how pure and innocent he is. And then Shakespeare talks about Hecuba because Hecuba is the person that the player is playing, where Hecuba cries because Priam is killed. Then Hamlet feeling for the player leads him to his own problem about not planning his revenge. He questions himself "am i a coward"(530). This shows that Hamlet is confused, he's so innocent that he doesn't know what he should or shouldn't do. He is so fustrated that he calls himself names. He is angry and yet he goes back to the play and talks about how guilty people watching a play become affected by the artistry of the scene that they sometimes pushes them to confess.

And that's why in Hamlet's soliloquy of Act 2, Scene 2, Shakespeare develops characterization of Hamlet by connecting his feeling to the player in which eventually builds up to his true intention.

William C5 said...

In act two scene two, Hamlet's soliloquy offers an explanation to his cowardice and stalled "murther" of good ol' uncle-father Claudius. As Quan points out: "Shakespeare alludes to Hecuba in order to characterize Gertrude". In the interpretation that Hecuba represents Gertrude, then perhaps Hamlet is not as "pigeon-liver'd"(557) or "gall[less]"(557) as he believes, and in thought of his dear mother has yet to take action against Claudius.

Hamlet begins his soliloquy with observations regarding the occupation of players, leading to the subject of Hecuba in the latter. He claims that "this player here"(531) is "monstrous"(531) where "in a fiction, in a dream of passion"(532), in other words, a play, is able to "force his soul so to his own conceit"(533), his imaginative conception. All of the acting the player does, the emotions he conveys, "tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect, a broken voice ... suiting with forms to his conceit"(535-537) are "all for nothing"(537), except, according to Hamlet, "For Hecuba!"(538). Hamlet criticizes the player's ability to act easily, proposing the question "What's Hecuba to him, or he to [Hecuba], that he should weep for her? What would he do had he the motive and [the cue] for passion that I have?"(539-542). Hamlet compares his situation to the player's, where it is not easy for him to act as the player would in the play, since the player does not have to consider Hecuba, or in Hamlet's case, Gertrude's, feelings. So strong are Hamlet's emotions that if the player were made known to Hamlet's feelings, "[the player] would drown the stage with tears, and cleave the general ear with horrid speech, make mad the guilty, and appall the free, confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed the very faculties of eyes and ears"(542-546), when acting on stage.

Although Hamlet is responsible for avenging the death of his late father by murdering his uncle-father Claudius, perhaps the loyalty he feels towards his mother, though she deserves none, prevents him from executing his duty. With Claudius' death, comes Gertrude's sadness, and Hamlet, conscious or unconsciously, considers his mother's feelings and instead blames his inability to hastily carry out his promise to his father's ghost on his own cowardice. In this sense, Hamlet does not seem as insane or selfless as readers may interpret him to be.

Benwit L 6 said...

What interests me in Hamlet’s soliloquy is the changing of subject on line 568. I question why he would go about calling himself a “stallion” (568) to scheming his plot to reveal his uncle’s guilt. It seems as if it is no longer a matter of avenging his father. He is using the play and the matter with his uncle as a means to justify his recent madness and his self-loathing. One can interpret this changing of subjects as a means of satisfying his own feelings. Hamlet is currently under a great deal of stress and responsibility; it is easy for him to forget who he once was as Shakespeare might suggest through his lack of sanity in earlier parts of the act. He has gone through a great deal of preparation so if it were a matter of the actual revelation, then he would have no reason to be nervous or to doubt whether he is a coward or not. Avenging his father doesn’t seem to be his top priority anymore, creating meaning for himself and discovering himself is.

In past scenes, Hamlet would always address his father with the utmost respect. However, in his soliloquy, the manner in which he addresses his father is bland. The fact that he is willing to “play something like the murther of [his] father//Before [his] uncle” (575-576) can suggest a lost of respect to King Hamlet. Though avenging his father is of the utmost importance, if Hamlet truly did respect his father in the past, he’d try to find some other way to get King Claudius to admit to his crime, rather than to use his late father’s name. If he were to reveal Claudius’ guilt through this method, Hamlet would avenge his father’s death, but he would do only that, murder. He would not be clearing his father’s good name nor would he being committing murder for anything more than himself.

Had he truly had devotion toward his father, he’d believe his father’s ghost, no matter what it may be. Hamlet says that “The spirit that [he] have seen//May be a [dev’l], and the [dev’l] hath power//T’ assume a pleasing shape, yea, and perhaps,//Out of my weakness and my melancholy,” (578-580) possibly to justify any doubts he may have of Claudius killing his father. Hamlet claims that the devil “Abuses [him] to damn [him]” (583). However, why would the devil ever seek to do so unless Hamlet isn’t already mad? One can argue that this weakness and melancholy he refers to would be the same flaws that would cause him to succumb to madness. If this is so, then Hamlet is no so much worrying about the devil but his loss of sanity.

Mark D5 said...

Mark
Hamlet finally gets his chance to be alone and organize his thoughts in Act 2.2. It amazes him how emotional the player was when telling the story of Priam. “Is it not montrous that this player here, But in fiction, in a dream of passion, could force his soul so to his own conceit. “ (531-533). I believe that Hamlet is truly going insane because he wouldn’t be so astounded by the acting of the player. He would have already understood how someone could get to emotional about the tale they are telling because would have already done it. If he wasn’t truly crazy then acting would be his speciality because of the fact that everyone around thinks he is losing his mirth. “ Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect…all for nothing, for Hecuba!” (535-538). This gets his brain turning and he makes the connection between the player breaking out in tears for absolutely nothing. “ What would he do had he had the motive and the cue for passion that I have? He would have drown the stage with tears, and cleave the general ear with horrid speech.” His plan is to have the players perform a play with the passion that Hamlet to “make mad the guilty” (544) and appaul the innocent. Hopefully his idea will drive King Claudius mad with guilty until he confesses his wicked deeds.
Unfortunately Hamlet cannot uncover the truth about King Claudius by himself. He is like “John-a-dreams” a sleepy, unheartened, rascal and he wouldn’t dare say anything to the king. A king who “Upon whose property and most dear life a damn’d defeat was made” ( 549-550). Hamlet is saying that Claudius became king by deconstructing and ending another brilliant king’s life. He suddenly becomes very protective. He becomes paranoid about people thinking him of a coward. Claudius just stepped all over his father and him and destroyed his manliness. In the soliloquy he describes his masculinity by symbolizing it as his own beard. “ Who calls me villian, breaks my pate across, plucks off my beard and blows it in my face” (552-553). He feels like his manhood is being pulled out of him and thrown back in his face. Hamlet is not in control, his uncle-father is. But that is about to change with the idea that Hamlet is hatching.
Hamlet feels like a a pigeon facing all of the oppression of a sky filled with kites. Shakespeare creates the feeling of an angry pigeon not being able to excpet the sea of kites in the air. Denmark is that kite filled sky and Hamlet is the pigeon. Hamlet gets enraged with anger. He goes on a tangent of screaming out his feeling for the new King. “ Bloody, bawdy villian! Remorseless, treacherous, kindless villian!”. Hamlet finds it interesting that he has been tempted by heaven and hell to get revenge for his fathers death and with the revenge comes the constant insanity slowly eating his brains. The play will be the end of his revenge.The world will finally once and for all know the truth about King Hamlet’s death. “For murther, thought it have no tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ.” (573-574). He is saying that murder doesn’t revel itself but will be screaming with the sound of an organ on the night of the play. It has to be, Hamlet will not take his eyes off King Claudius during the play to observe his guilt. Also, he needs to be careful because the spirit of his father might not have been his father. “ the devil hath power t’ assume pleasing shape” and it might have assumed pleasing shape into tricking Hamlet into the wrong direction about his father’s death. But during the night of the play the truth will be unveiled and Hamlet will know for sure.

nina said...

In Act 2, Scene 2, Hamlet uses many examples of personification. He not only uses it when speaking about Fortune but he also personifies his soul and the idea of soul being a spiritual existence.


Hamlet starts his soliloquy by saying, “Could force his soul so to his own conceit,” (line 533). In this quote he says, he is personifying his soul because he is saying that his soul is able to be force to have an imaginary conception. While reading this passage I thought that there might have been a little of an allusion to Romeo and Juliet. The reason why I found this to be an allusion is because when Romeo went to the grand ball there was a line said and there was a pun on the word soul. The pun was either the idea of a spiritual soul or the soles on shoes or feet. In this passage there are two routes that can be taken, the idea of Hamlet personifying his soul and the other by Hamlet speaking about the path that he is walking on. When Hamlet personifies his soul it seems that his soul is force to feel this passion towards Ophelia and not only that but it is force to show her the way he feels about her. Taking the other route of soul being a pun for sole of feet, it could show that Hamlet was saying that his path of love is being force to show Ophelia his true self. Not only is his path the path of love but it is also the path of the idea of being in love and how being in love may take different road that may have never been there before.


As the soliloquy goes on, Hamlet being to talk about spirit and the devil. Hamlet say’s, “I know my course. The spirit that I have seem May be a [dev’l], and the [dev’l] hath power.” (line 578-79). Hamlet saying that he knows his own course is some what showing that he has this higher power in him thinking that he knows his course. Going on with the idea of soul being this spiritual existence, when Hamlet says, “The spirit I have seen” (line 578) it is talking about his father and it seems as if his father is the one that is actually making Hamlet look more carefully at the things around him. The passage goes on to talk about the devil and this contrast between the spirit and the devil is somewhat like the difference between King Hamlet and Claudius. As in Claudius is the darkness and King Hamlet is the light, and the battle between these in Hamlet’s mind. Saying that the devil has power is somewhat saying that Claudius has the power now and that he has the power he is making everything that was light seem dark. Something that has been turned dark is Hamlet’s life, he is someone who is in love but it seems that the way he looks at things are just in a very dark perspective and this has happened just because of the power of Claudius.


Not only is Hamlet using personification to help show the meaning of his life and his love for Ophelia, but he uses it as a key into the things never imaginable. The idea of soul being a spiritual existence is a big fact of Hamlet’s life

Kevin Tr . 5. said...
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Kevin Tr . 5. said...
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Kevin Tr . 5. said...

In Act 2 scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, young Hamlet babbles on about his very thoughts on life and any reason he has yet to live. He seems to have forgotten or has given up on the beauties and the pleasures life and Ophelia has given him. Hamlet denies these gifts of life, saying “Man delights not me – nor women neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.” (II ii line 303) Though love is an abstract and an eternal happiness waiting to be gained, Hamlet may think of love as the instrument to his insanity. Even if Ophelia’s love leads to the sacred vows of happiness, through Polonius’ influences have driven Hamlet’s mind up a wall for Ophelia’s love.

Hamlet feels depressed and dissolute. He cannot love Ophelia because of the shackles that bind her away from Hamlet, shackles with the name of Polonius. His rightful place on the thrown is taken by his notorious uncle, Claudius. His comrades, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are both seen traitorous in Hamlet’s eyes they have been send by the Kind and Queen personally to spy on young Hamlet as if he were a criminal in his own country and kingdom. His disposition is that of a noble prince but he does not feel so. Denmark and the whole earth is his prison. “the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory”(II ii line 293). A promontory is a high piece of land that juts out towards the see father than the coast. The promontory symbolizes a prison with the resemblance that movement is confined to a certain amount of space. Though a promontory is a piece of land that juts high and towards the sea, this can image the resemblance between Hamlet and his love to Ophelia once again. Hamlet wants to have Ophelia love him back without the shackles of her father. Her father restrains her actions and in turn restrains the happiness of Hamlet. Sarah C.’s blog of class 6 commented on “, this event adds on to build up a wall inside of him. I think Hamlet is starting to think that he cannot really trust anyone anymore.” I find this very interesting and I’d like to add to the idea of Hamlet’s own imprisonment within his own body, and mindset of Hamlet’s on not trusting anybody. Claudius is his uncle that has killed his dad and married his mother, who in turn helped kill King Hamlet. Ophelia doesn’t return Hamlet’s love because of the orders from Polonius. Both of his comrades Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have betrayed their friendship by spying on Hamlet for the King and Queen. Hamlet has no reason whatsoever to trust a living soul within the kingdom of Denmark, and to stretch it further, earth.

Hamlet does not have reason to trust those of his life. Can readers really have a right to call him insane to do so when all the characters has given Hamlet lies a life of sorrow. Polonius also is confused at whether Hamlet is sane or not by saying “though this be madness, yet there is method in it” (II ii line 203) Hamlet is a very sane man in a very unreasonable world with very untrustworthy acquaintances.

Derek D5 said...

Hamlet’s second soliloquy is nearly twice s long as the first, which is understandable considering that Shakespeare intent in this piece was to show the reader the confusion that Hamlet exhibits, but at the same to the clear intent Hamlet holds in his mind.

In lines 537 and 538 Hamlet references Hecuba, this is an allusion towards the character in Greek mythology. Hecuba was the wife of Priam, king of Troy. In the tale of the Trojan war, Hecuba is enslaved by the victorious Greeks when the city fell. Hamlet wonders why the player was so sorrowful for Hecuba, as exhibited in line 539. Hemlat then goes on to wonder how the actor would act if he faced Hamlet’s situation. The prince then comes to the conclusion that the young actor would “drown the stage with tears, and cleave the general ear with horrid speech, make mad the guilty and appall the free, confound the ignorant and amaze indeed the very faculties of eyes and ears.” (541-546). There are multiple points in that one excerpt that can be expanded upon. The mention of an ear could be a connection to what happened to Hamlet’s father. But more then anything Hamlet is imagining how the actor would literally play the role of Hamlet. He goes on to say, “Yet I, a dull and muddy–mettled rascal, peak like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, and can say nothing.” Hamlet is observing the contrast between the player and himself. The player openly shows emotion and how he feels, while the prince himself is in a numb state of existence and feels nothing; which causes the reader to wonder if Hamlet is truly insane or merely acting the part of a mad man to spring a trap on his treacherous uncle.

Towards of the end of his soliloquy Hamlet reveals the plan he has in the works. He states that, “I’ll have these players play something like the murther of my father before mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks, I’ll tent him to the quick. If’a do blench, I know my course.” Even now Hamlet is still not sure if his uncle killed his father or not. So he hatches a plot to reveal to his uncle that someone knows about the murder and literally examine him by, “observing his looks” and the Hamlet promises to himself that he will probe his uncle during the show and determine his guilt.

This idea of Hamlet’s, to employ actors to scare his uncle can be viewed as either the plot of a madman or the ideas of a genius, only time will tell if Hamlet is one, the other, or even both at the same time.