Hamlet Analysis

Hawk-eyed vigilance is required to see the hidden meaning in many of Shakespeare’s works. Quite often, we are not exactly up to the task.  His writing itself, besides portraying a thrilling tale, is filled with puzzles and brain teasers meant to enthrall the mind. The plethora of symbolism captures the mindset of each and every character. An exceptional example of this, is the costume changes that occur in Hamlet. Hamlet, the main character, sinks into a deep ocean of grief and depression. He grieves for his father’s death, and on top of that he takes on the grief that his mother could never show decently. All of the anguish that he experiences overtime is shown with his attire.

'”Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly” (1.2.4)
Hamlet indicates that his clothes are “denoting” his spoiled feelings. Hamlet explains how “suits of solemn black” cannot  express the intensity of the suffering that lives within him. As grief is portrayed through the color black, Hamlet’s attire suggests that he has been upset for quite a while.  As he continues to grieve, Hamlet’s mother on the other hand hastily re-marries and seemingly forgets her grief in a short amount of time. Because his Mother, Gertrude, decides to close her black attire and move on, so must her surroundings. Everyone in the kingdom condones her decision and acts cheerful about her new marriage. Their attires show acceptance, but Hamlet's does not. Just as he is the only person wearing black, he is also the only one grieving in a gleeful, jaunty, court.

Moreover, as his mother is preoccupied with her new husband, and the happiness that comes with the marriage, one woman gives Hamlet more care than his mother has shown throughout the story. This woman happens to be in the happy crowd, and she is upset to see Hamlet’s evident heartache. As she expresses her distress, she is shown to be the only woman to genuinely care about Hamlet:

My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;
Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
And with a look so piteous in purport
As if he had been loosed out of hell
To speak of horrors,--he comes before me.” (2.1.1)
This woman, Ophelia, is convinced that Hamlet has gone mad. Her conclusion is supported by his attire. The state of someone’s clothes often reflect a person’s mental well-being, and Ophelia notices that Hamlet is not wearing his usual black cloak when she says, "pale as his shirt." Furthermore, his facial expression appears to look as tortured and drained as a dead man’s. Ophelia has come to a conclusion that Hamlet altogether looks as eerie like a ghost.  Moreover, Hamlet appears to have lost his faith in human nature altogether.        

Hamlet firmly believes that all of his troubles are caused by his mother, "Frailty, thy name is woman!" (1.2.6), and as a result, he insults the humanity of women as an "unweeded garden” that is "rank and gross in nature" (1.2.6). Hamlet continues to refer to women with a noticeable stigma, explaining how the nature of  women repels him. He sees his mother as as a female representing all other women in the world. That is why he classifies a woman's nature with such disgust. As the main woman in his life has deceived Hamlet, he has come to the conclusion that women are evil and useless. Meanwhile, Ophelia, who cares for him, is too late to repair the trust in the gender, so ruined by his mother.    

Ultimately, Hamlet is one out of many complex art pieces that Shakespeare has written. Shakespeare ever so cleverly displays the hidden meanings in his characters through little details; As Shakespeare tells the story of Hamlet’s life, he indicates the mental state and emotions that Hamlet experiences through attire. The Brilliance that Shakespeare uses within subtle attributes are a lot of the time overlooked. Nevertheless in all cases, they are greatly important to the value of the greater meanings behind what he displayed.
Hamlet annotations

Ananda Knight (Hamlet Close reading) Act 1 scene 5

Hamlet Analysis Act 1 Scene 5

Ananda Knight

I am thy father's spirit,

Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,

And for the day confined to fast in fires,

Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature

Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid

To tell the secrets of my prison-house,

I could a tale unfold whose lightest word

Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,

Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,

Hamlet is written in old english and has its ways of presenting words and lines in which people today may have a hard time understanding. Even though the text may be a little hard to read the way in which Shakespeare is written makes it both interesting, and a learning experience. 

The Hamlet scene that I found really interesting was Act 1 Scene 5. In this scene/ act Hamlet is introduced to the ghost of his father. His father’s ghost comes to him one night. When he first opens up to Hamlet he tells him how he has sinned and his should has yet to enter the gates of heaven because of his many untold sins. Even though the ghost of Hamlets father comes to him and presents himself and tells him that he cant go to heaven until he is punished for his sins he still refuses to tell his son what the sins are exactly for his is forbid to tell them. 

When reading this at first I expected Hamlet and his fathers first words to be different. I thought that Hamlet and his father may have exchanged words like I miss you, how are you ect. 

I also expected Hamlet to seem a little scared or hesitant as to how his father is appearing to him and why he can see a ghost. One question I had was did Hamlet notice that the ghost was his father even before he came out and said I am thy fathers spirit. Another question I had was what were all of the sins that the ghost had been talking about.

When I think of a king I think of a good person someone who people come to for help, guidance, and leadership. As I read this scene I wonder what kind of sins could a king have against him keeping him from his entrance into heaven. This scene is powerful because not only does it show a relationship between Hamlet and his father but It leaves readers wondering and mind boggled. Readers will be left wondering because the ghost constantly reminds the readers about how his are to horrible to be told and that he is forbid to tell them. But why? What are they? what did he do? Why can he talk to his own son about it? These are all questions that went through my mind while reading the scene. This scene includes an excerpt that makes me to continue to read the book and hope that soon my questions are answered.

This scene has a good way of telling us about the ghost’s past. was Hamlets father really a bad person or a criminal. Is there a reason why the author held back the sins in which he committed and why did he describe them as being so traitorous. I feel like this scene covered a lot with a few lines.


Hamlet Prezi

Hamlet Close Reading

Hamlet Ghost Analysis

Hamlet, or The Tragedy of Hamlet: Prince of Denmark is a play written by William Shakespeare back in the later-1500s.  Out of all of the plays and acts that were written and directed by William Shakespeare, Hamlet has been one of Shakespeare’s best and most highly acclaimed play he ever created. Also, other than it being his most highly acclaimed play, it’s also his lengthiest player ever written. Hamlet came in with a total word count of 29,551, covering an extensively long amount of 4,402 lines. Further on, we will go into and present the scene that is to be analyzed.

The following scene takes place in Act 1, Scene 5 on lines 14 through 29, the position being played is the Ghost of Hamlet’s father, Claudius:

I am thy father’s spirit,
Doomed for a certain term to walk the night
And for the day confined to fast in fires
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away but that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would hallow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make the two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres
thy knotted and combinéd locks to part
And each particular hair to stand an end,
Like quills upon the fearful porpentine.
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O list!
If though didst ever thy dear father love–

Starting off from the beginning of this scene, this is when the ghost comes out to Hamlet, proposing the fact that he is the ghost of Hamlet’s father, who was killed by Claudius. Pause, let’s take a few steps... well, a few scene-steps back. Back in Act 1 Scene 1, in the beginning of Hamlet, the two watchmen Bernardo and Marcellus are watching over the castle as they begin to realize that a strange apparition was appearing in the darkness. They almost immediately thought that the ghost was the ghost of dead King Hamlet. After noticing that shakespeare inputted those various appearance of the ghost into the play, a few questions came rolling through my head. First a foremost, I pondered why Shakespeare thought it was necessary to make the ghost come into play a few times before even encountering itself to Hamlet. Personally, I thought this was Shakespeare’s monotonic and indirect way of hinting to the readers that the ghost was certainly Hamlet’s father. Using this method of writing, Shakespeare was able to successfully capture the readers attention, throw the reader off, while also hinting towards the reader what could possibly happen, such as Hamlet eventually coming around to confront the ghost.

Continuing onto this line from the soliloquy:

“Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature

Are burnt and purged away...”

These lines are somewhat towards the beginning of the soliloquy. At this point, Hamlet’s father’s ghost is explaining that he wants everything that caused his dead to be gone from the face of the earth. William Shakespeare added this part because it’s there to explain the father’s infuriation from being dead and no longer having the ability to roam the Earth a free human being.

Dead King Hamlet goes on to say...

“I could a tale unfold whose lightest word

Would hallow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,

Make the two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres...–”

From here, the ghost is explaining that there are things on the dead side of the world that are not meant to be seen. From here, Hamlet is very curious to hear what is father has to say about being dead, but the ghost begins to explain that if he did begin to extrapolate the truth, Hamlet may not be able to bare listening to the rest, considering how frightening and inhumane it is.

All of that could also be connected with...
“–...Thy knotted and combinéd locks to part

And each particular hair to stand an end,

Like quills upon the fearful porpentine.”

These lines are just a continuation from what the ghost was just explaining, how the dead world is too exhilarating to listen to.

In conclusion, this main quote from Act 1, Scene 5 mainly summarizes the debut of Hamlet and his fathers reconnection as Shakespeare includes various types of tone and “secret messages” that depict the possibilities of different reasons why the ghosts various appearances occurred early on in the play.

Hamlet Close Reading

There are many ways this could be analyzed. In the beginning It is being stated as if he is waiting on a decision. There is a lot to be waiting for by allowing time to go past means that time is being wasted. The more he focuses on what the Objective which means that he is able to conquer more than he would have. He knows for a fact that he is not going crazy he is being sure that all is for the right and the more he does wrong the longer it will take for such a job to be done. He believes that he may not being making sense in his own mind. In order to test that theory he must talk to him self which may seem worst but it seems that by doing it that way he gets what he has to say out and un noticed so it won’t draw to much attention to himself. That is the last thing he wants to do at the moment

Further on in the scene he explains that it is reserved for a quantity of choice, this means that it is up to him either he will follow through with the plan and succeed or he will not. When that much pressure is put on someone it makes them feel a totally different way so that they will ensure that all the fear is shook out of them. Attempting not to have time so that he can continue his long talk to his self before the big finally. The reason why I am calling it a finally is because there are more to the situation then we may think. In order for it to be a finally it means that this could actually be the end, so when you count your footsteps and wait for the perfect you know that the chance of you actually messing up are little to none.

He mentions that the devil is what may be holding him back or what could possibly be interfering with all he has to do. He does not want to believe what has been done to his father but time has quickly caught up and he know the time is near that there must not be anymore things that stand in his way but it seems that he is going numb from all this dram he says “Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight”. To me he is stating that he has no sense of direction he has no where to go with this all he knows is what he has to do to avenge. As we all still know he has to wait for the perfect time.

He is now trying to make sure that he toughens and realize that this is reality everything that he does from now on matters, and counts. There will be no sadness only justice to prove something. He still cannot believe what he has seen but he know after the lies and the wrongfulness that this may be the only wait out the situation that he is in. No one want to be stuck with a conscious in your head nagging you to do something definitely not if a ghost told you. When someone asks why you did what do you say do you say a ghost did it or do you hold it to your own state of mind and say you had a feeling. You were sure 100% by a feeling that he has killed your father and if thou may be wrong it may not end well. Who know if this is true but of course there is only one way to find out.

Hamlet Presentation

Deep reading of "Hamlet By: William Shakespeare"

The best playwright in history is William Shakespeare. Shakespeare stories always seem to include death, life, sadness, madness, etc. making all the emotion shine out through his books. It’s hard to understand the real meaning behind what William Shakespeare writes. Not only do the words make it hard to understand but the emotion in every scene that help make people think of why someone would act a certain way. Since Shakespeare put so much emotion and feeling into his books, his words hide the deep meanings that are actually behind them. One play that represents this is one of Shakespeare's most famous play, Hamlet. This play is know to be one of his best play, but also know to be the one with the worst/best conflicts out of all of his writings.

A scene that had a great impact in the story is when hamlet is talking to himself about a player that had come to his house. Hamlet wasn’t getting why this player was crying like when he had said, “What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, That he should weep for her?” (I.ii). Hamlet questioned the reason that the player had for cried because the player had never met the woman. Just like the woman had never met the player. He was think deeply into the fact that this man cried. He was thinking about his own self at that time to. Thinking about the unjust that had happen to his beloved father. The unjust that only he knows of and that he can’t let go of. So much pain that curses his existence.

“What would he do, Had he the motive and the cue for passion That I have?”(I.ii).The player weeped for Hecuba so then the player would definitely cry for the lost of a great king, also known as Hamlet’s father. “He would drown the stage with tears And cleave the general ear with horrid speech, Make mad the guilty and appal the free, Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed The very faculties of eyes and ears.”(lines 587-591). Hamlet is thinking of a plan that involves the players. By doing this he plans to lure out the suspected criminal that killed his father.

He wasn't sure on whether or not to trust the ghost so he set up the play to see the reactions of claudius. He wanted to make sure that his uncle was actually guilty of killing King Hamlet. He felt that he was the worst person in the world. Hamlet blames himself for the death of his father. Since Hamlet's father is gone he feel like he can relate to the play that he asked the player to perform for him. “Yet I, A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, 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. Am I a coward? Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across? Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat, As deep as to the lungs? who does me this?”(I.ii) Hamlet has a lot of questions that he would like to get answers to that’s why he is planning this play out.

​Prezi Presentation 

Hamlet Close Reading

Act 2, Scene 2, Lines # 606 - 615
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
O, vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a-cursing, like a very drab,
A scullion! Fie upon't! foh!

If there is one thing that William Shakespeare does well within plays like Hamlet, it is to give the character a beautiful, dramatic monologue. It is way for readers to understand the character. However, due to our “ascended” language, readers and listeners today would not be able to understand scenes of a character who is alone in scene and speaks out his internal thoughts. The character would be considered to be crazy, expressing such drama and language. With good analyzation of the wording, a reader can understand the scene... as long as the reader dedicates his or her time to analyze the words.

I’m taking Act 2, Scene 2, and lines # 606 - 615 from Hamlet. This is a scene where Hamlet is in his room. He blurts out his feelings of his uncle who is now the King, and who is to be one and only suspect who killed the previous king, his father. To read the book for the first time (or see the movie for the first time), I had no idea what they were saying with the fancy English back in their day. Given time, lines can mean the simplest of things.

Lines such as “I should have fatted all the region kites; With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain! O, vengeance!” (Lines # 606 - 609) To clarify what kites are, it is not the toy. Kites are birds that eat insects and small mammals.  To clarify another thing, offal is the internal organs of animal being eaten. There is the connection between kites and offals. Hamlet imagines the pain he wants to give his uncle. He describes his uncle as a villain plus a few other things, and given the situation, he’s right. His uncle committed regicide. This is treachery. His uncle immediately married his mother after the king’s death. This lecherous. The way he pulled off the crime by pouring poison in his ear, and leaving him. This is remorseless and kindless. It is amazing how one word in a line can mean so much. I don’t blame Hamlet for seeking vengeance. I would have the same feeling. No one gets away with regicide, not even if the victim is family.

This is probably a set of lines that could be understandable, but may still have confusion. “Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave, That I, the son of a dear father murder'd, Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,” (Lines # 610 - 612) Hamlet notices himself acting wildly about this, and he is embarrassed (even though no one is around him). Yet, he recognizes he is better than this. He is after all the son of the previous king, he is a prince (or lord). He should be less unstable about this, but he can’t because the one person he looked up to is dead, his mother married the traitorous uncle, so he can’t really look up to her now. He is a lone wolf. Even so, he feels his pride rise once he realize he is destined to avenge his father death, and if no one can help, he must do it himself. That’s what makes it difficult for him. Once again, words that mean so much more than they let on.

These lines required more time for analysis. “Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words, And fall a-cursing, like a very drab, A scullion! Fie upon't! foh!” (Lines # 613 - 615) Now, Hamlet self-pities himself by saying he shouting outbursts of his rage and that he isn’t doing anything that is benefiting him. To clarify, a scullion is a kitchen servant who doesn’t need skill to his or her job done. He’s saying he can’t do much with screaming and fooling around. He knows something must be done, what he was doing a few moments ago isn’t going to get him anywhere. It normally wouldn’t for anyone in that matter.

There we have it. One section of a scene analyzed and explained. If readers/writers are given the time, they can understand Shakespeare. More specifically, the monologues the character such as Hamlet express. It's what makes the monologues unique. Their ability to tell more than what we see.


Taylor Veasley's Hamlet Annotation

Hamlet Annotation

Taylor Veasley

Water Stream

March 1, 2013

William Shakespeare was a man of complex thoughts and language, this makes his work a challenge to dissect and to analyze. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is recognized as an especially difficult piece of writing in literature because of the extensive vocabulary and the difficult story plots. The main character of Hamlet is a young man who loses his father and the story focuses on him avenging his father’s death. In this paper an excerpt from Hamlet will be dissected and analyzed. The excerpt that is going to be used was taken from Act 1 Scene 5, and was spoken by the Ghost of the King and spans from Line 9 to Line 24.

“I am thy father’s spirit.”(Act 1, Scene 5 Line 9)The very first line of this speech sets the entire piece up, it is a simple statement yet it is very powerful. Before this encounter the ghost never verified that he was the spirit of Hamlet’s father. So when he followed the first line with saying that he is walks on the earth at night and is confined to hell during the day. “Doomed for a certain term to walk the night And for the day confined to fast in fires,” (Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 10&11). I found it interesting and unexpected that the spirit was in hell considering how he was portrayed in the book leading up to this. Throughout the book whenever the King was mentioned he was spoken about as an honest and kind man so the sins that he speaks of were surprising. I also find it odd that after mentioning these sins Shakespeare never actually specifies what the sins were.

The ghost then goes on to say that he is sentenced to hell until his sins that he committed while he was alive have gone away, but that he is forbidden to tell why he is sentenced. “Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid To tell the secrets of my prison house,” (Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 12-14) Again, I feel as though Shakespeare not bringing up the reasons for the King to be in Hell was an odd but seemingly intentional aspect. I believe that the reasons were left out because of the image that has been painted for us of the King. We see the King as a wonderful man and ruler and if Shakespeare were to change that perception of this character it could conflict with prerequisite ideas about this character.
The way Shakespeare has the ghost describe what will happen to humans if they hear of the horrible tales of the underworld is captivating. Shakespeare uses very descriptive similes when the ghost is describing what will happen to Hamlet if he tells him of the forbidden sins that explain why he is sentenced to hell. “Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, Thy knotted and combinèd locks to part. And each particular hair to stand on end, Like quills upon the fearful porpentine.” ( Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 18-21) He compares Hamlet’s hair to that of a porcupine’s quills and his eyes to stars, both comparisons paint clear pictures of the reaction. After all of the description of all of the horrid side effects to what the spirit is about to tell him, the spirit says that if he loves his father then he will listen. “List, list, O, list! If thou didst ever thy dear father love—” ( Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 23-24) I saw this line as a sort of foreshadowing for what he was about to tell Hamlet. When the spirit said if you ever love your father it made me think that he was going to tell him of how he died. Following the speech that is being analyzed is another speech where the spirit tells of how he died.

Shakespeare’s language throughout this text is exciting. He plays with his words and plays with contrasts and comparisons of objects to body parts. All sixteen lines feature an important aspect of this speech. Because the speech is an opening to another piece of writing Shakespeare does a superb job on setting up the stage for the next piece to come along.
Hamlet Annotation PDF

Close Reading

Kaitlin Krook
Ms. Rami
English III
28 February

“Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death

The memory be green, and that it us befitted

To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom

To be contracted in one brow of woe,

Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature

That we with wisest sorrow think on him

Together with remembrance of ourselves.

Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,

Th' imperial jointress to this warlike state,

Have we—as ’twere with a defeated joy,

With an auspicious and a dropping eye,

With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,

In equal scale weighing delight and dole—

Taken to wife. Nor have we herein barred

Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone

With this affair along. For all, our thanks.”

(Shakespeare I.ii.1-16)


There is no doubt that Shakespeare’s plays could be compared to soap operas today; poisonings, suicides, murders, affairs, faked deaths, and of course, romance. Shakespeare’s plays simply have a Elizabethan Era twist. An example of this is the King’s speech, which introduces King Claudius to the play. After reading the play, the audience knows that the King poisoned his brother, took his throne, and married his wife approximately one month after he died. In the King’s speech, he exemplifies the arrogance and  narcissism even further so than his previous actions. By analyzing his words, we can look into how Shakespeare meant to draw out his character, and the King’s motives.

The King’s speech starts out with the lines, “Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death/The memory be green” (I.ii.1-2). The readers can already assume that Claudius is being snide is the way he speaks because they know that he actually killed his brother; why would he mourn a loss that he caused himself? Furthermore, from the metaphor “green” meaning fresh, it is obvious that Shakespeare is emphasizing that the death happened merely a month ago. The next lines read “and that it us befitted/To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom/To be contracted in one brow of woe,” tell the audience that Claudius truly wants the kingdom to believe his scheme. By using the metaphor “contracted on one brow of woe” Shakespeare shows the sarcasm in Claudius’ speech. Altogether, this passage portrays the malice of Claudius’ actions.

The lines that follow are, ”Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature/That we with wisest sorrow think on him/Together with remembrance of ourselves”(5-7). The meaning of this is that while it is natural to grieve, those who are wise will start thinking about themselves and stop mourning because that time is over.  The words “wisest sorrow” almost makes it sound like Claudius is guilting the kingdom into not feeling grief. The whole passage shows the ignorance of the King Claudius and his desire to move forward, and for the kingdom to forget that the death of King Hamlet ever happened, which is very suspicious of King Claudius.

Next, King Claudius declares, “Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,/Th' imperial jointress to this warlike state,/Have we-...-/Taken to wife” (8-10) . These lines restate that the King married his brother’s widowed wife, or  “sometimes sister.” After this, the king says “as ’twere with a defeated joy,/With an auspicious and a dropping eye,/With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,/In equal scale weighing delight and dole,” which basically means that the king was both joyous and upset about his brother’s death and his own marriage (11-13). We can surmise that the King was being insincere in saying this. If he was upset about his brother’s death, why would he be happy to marry his brother’s wife?  His words are quite contradictory which is why we cannot take them seriously.

The King’s departing words read, “Nor have we herein barred/Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone/With this affair along. For all, our thanks” (14-16).  As if the rest of his speech was not biting enough, this just tops it off. The King was obviously not asking the kingdom of their opinions all along, and it would be impossible to know if the entirety of Denmark agreed with his decisions. Ending with the word “thanks” shows how pompous and omnipotent Shakespeare wanted to write Claudius to see himself as, because he would not actually thank the kingdom for allowing him to marry his dead brother’s widow.

In Hamlet,  the playwright William Shakespeare illustrates another soap opera-like installment to his collection. King Claudius’s speech exemplifies the drama of the play. The King’s character and motives are clearer by looking closer at the text. In finality, through analyzing the speech it is clear how sarcastic, conceited, and narcissistic the King was because of the symbolism and meaning behind his words

Close Reading

Hamlet: Close Reading - Henry Edition


Henry Poeng

William Shakespeare, master of his craft, often has many hidden meanings in his plays. This is exhibited in one of his more famous works, Hamlet. To portray these meanings, he uses tones and various other literary devices to get the messages across.  A remarkable example is Hamlet’s little ‘State of the Union Address’ just before his encounter with the ghost. Hamlet expounds on the state of Denmark, and his portrayal screams with emotion. The anger hidden within starts to trickle out, building ever so slowly. 

“As in their birth (wherein they are not guilty since nature cannot choose his origin),(1.4 / 28-29). A fitting ending to a monologue that touches on everything that Hamlet stands for. He realizes that people, himself in particular, are born with things they can’t control. This can be a disease, a quirk or a position of power. At this point in the monologue, Hamlet isn’t too happy. “As in their birth”- is a reference to a social stature. This includes being poor, rich, part of the royal family or some other class. In this case, Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark and part of the royal family. The royal family is the face of Denmark. Each action they do or do not do affects their reputation. “Wherein they are not guilty since nature cannot choose his own origin”- otherwise read as not their fault, compares Hamlet’s position to those of his peers. He doesn’t want to be in this position nor does he have the choice. Life is like a gamble in this regard.

“And to the manner born, it is a custom.” (1.4 / 17). As the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet has to act as befits a prince. “it is a custom” or commonly practiced, meaning he must partake in these actions regardless of personal interest. It can be deduced that Hamlet is a troubled man with a lot on his plate. To make matters worse, he has to deal with King Claudius and his tomfoolery. Prior to this monologue beginning, it was stated that King Claudius was heavily drinking. To drink and have fun is a privilege that only a country in a position of power can have simply because they can afford it. This isn’t the case with Denmark. “They clepe us drunkards and with swinish phrase soil our addition.” (1.4 / 21).” They clepe us drunkards” quite literally means, they call us drunks. “With swinish phrase soil our addition.” - Hamlet then proceeds to call those other countries cowards and pigs. The actions of the King are not held in high regard with Hamlet, although he can do nothing about it, furthering his anger. 

“And indeed it takes our achievements, though performed at height.” (1.4 / 22-25). - These acts are putting shame to all our accomplishments, even though we worked so hard to acquire them, it continues to lessen our reputation. “And indeed it takes our achievements” - this is in reference to King Claudius’ acts of carelessness. “Though performed at height” -  a hint at the past, this bit of line shows the struggle and the pain that it took for the royal family to get to where it is. It’s quite possible that they were of a lower social stature and climbed the ladder of hierarchy. Maybe they made rose Denmark to glory. The possibilities are endless, however, Denmark was better when King Hamlet was on the throne. 

Family and Honor are one of the many key themes in William Shakespeare’s  Hamlet. Emotional turmoil follows each theme and comes crashing down on Hamlet all at once. These emotions, when discovered takes the themes to another level of entertainment. Emotions weave hidden meanings in and out of the lines creating a more dynamic play. When used correctly, emotions can pluck strings in the reader’s/viewer’s heart, causing for a better experience. William Shakespeare, ace of language, is a true puppeteer of emotions. 

Close Reading

As Laertes is preparing to return to school in Paris Polonius offers some wise counsel to his son. These words of advice that is offered are a very significant part of the play. The language of the speech and the way it is delivered has great impact on the perspective you receive when its read. Before I read the speech i looked over the things before it and predicted some of the things that could happen after it. This helped me with analyzing the deeper meaning behind the words and not just viewing it as plain text.

I had two different approaches when reading this particle piece. The first time i read it i played the role of Laertes with receiving the speech. The second time i read it i took the role of Polonius with delivering it. Each time i practiced this the words would have different meanings. Just like Shakespeare takes on different roles as the Shakespeare the poet and the dramatist. I took on two roles as the father and the son. As a father i was giving my son instruction on how to conduct himself in the world, to give a good representation of his name and the name of the family. As a son i was receiving these words and tucking them into my memory for future reference. 

There; my blessing with thee!” With genuity and authority this invitation and command is given. The father is allowing his son to go and venture out and take the blessing with him with in his journey. Everything that precedes from this point has much more meaning.Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act.Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.” The language of the words encourages you to think beyond what you see. You would interpret to give no words to your thoughts but it means much more. Giving your thoughts no tongue, to think before you speak or perform an action. This is a life lesson that could be carried on. Choosing who you associate with too is important and is also emphasized by polonius. The advice that he gives his son is sincere and everything that he says he has the best intentions with.

As polonius continues with his speech he addresses common matters that will appear. I think he make these connections with his experiences that he probably had in his life. Some of the advice given looks familiar because it is heard often. “Beware Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;” We have all been warned to avoid fights and disagreements but if we have to, make them to the best account. Listen more than we talk, and to observe more than we react. 

From this speech i got that your character is something that should be valued in all your endeavors no matter what you do. Value your name, your family, and consider the blessings of someone wiser who has more experience. Examine yourself and make sure all your intentions are good and beware of those who might be against you. Receive a blessing and live the best possible life, all of this relates completely to the advice Polonius gave his son before he embarked on his journey.

Final Hamlet slideshow

Hamlet: Close Reading

Hamlet- CLose Reading PDF

            Act 2, Scene 2: Lines 623-635

For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak

With most miraculous organ. I’ll have these players

Play something like the murder of my father

Before mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks.                           625

I’ll tent him to the quick. If he do blench,

I know my course. The spirit that I have seen

May be the devil, and the devil hath power

T' assume a pleasing shape. Yea, and perhaps

Out of my weakness and my melancholy,                           630

As he is very potent with such spirits,

Abuses me to damn me. I’ll have grounds

More relative than this. The play’s the thing

Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.

Shakespeare, I realized often likes to use exaggeration and he restates his thoughts for the play mainly throughout Hamlet’s soliloquies. This is a sophisticated and difficult strategy because Hamlet’s character throughout the play is not constant. His emotions and inner feelings for other characters change from scene to scene, however this is Shakespeare’s area of expertise and as always he succeeds in making the puzzle pieces fit together with skill and deftness. 

The theme behind Shakespeare's play’s are always a topic of discussion and question. After reading the first few Acts in Hamlet it can be strongly stated that the theme behind Hamlet is language and what the human eye should believe. Who should Hamlet trust? Can he trust anyone? Will he be betrayed by those who are the closest to him? Throughout Act 2, scene 2 these questions come up in Hamlet’s path multiple times. Hamlet feels extremely joyous after reuniting with his two best friends from childhood, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz. He feels he can finally enjoy the presence of others and that it will be refreshing to see some new faces. However he starts to doubt his wishes when it comes to his realization that his friends are spying on him, as it is their duty to the new king. Nonetheless, the young prince of Elsinore believes he can use his friends by taking advantage of their presence when Guildenstern and Rosencrantz suggest Hamlet see a play performed by come players they met on the way to Elsinore, Denmark. 

Hamlet still distraught over his fathers death, desperately wants to find the culprit behind his murder. Hamlet believing that his uncle Claudius, is the murderer wants to verify his suspicions. “For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak” (622). Because murder is an action that can not speak for itself, it can never be vocally expressed and Hamlet knows that Claudius will never admit through words that he killed the king,  therefore murder can only be seen. Either the action being committed itself or the admitting of the crime. At this part in the story Hamlet wants to find a way to test his uncle and see the face of the murderer. He believes that his suspicions will confirm the moment the crime speaks through his face expressions. 

Hamlet then formulates a plan to reveal his uncle’s crime. Shakespeare does a very exceptional job as he stirs up a really creative nature into Hamlet’s character in this scene of the play. Hamlet wants to lure his uncle into a trap without giving away his suspicions so he organizes the play. “With most miraculous organ. I’ll have these players / Play something like the murder of my father / Before mine uncle.” (623-625). Again the language theme rises again as Shakespeare orchestrates a play with in a play. He fiddles with the idea that something very unexpected can happen very soon, thus building up the suspense as the audience craves for more knowledge.  

Hamlet knows that Claudius can not gain any information about the specifics behind the play. Because as a king of Denmark a minor play is very insignificant and is not of importance. At the end of Act 2, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz report back to Claudius, and they mention how their will be an extraordinary play being performed later by some players that were roaming around Denmark. Claudius is completely oblivious to the fact that Hamlet has an entire scheme in place behind this play. He thinks that the play is simply entertainment and it will get Hamlet’s mind off of other things such as his fathers death.

The following lines of Hamlet’s soliloquy is “I’ll observe his looks; / I’ll tent him to the quick. If he do blench, / I know my course.” (625-627). Shakespeare continues to make sure the young prince proves himself to be more brilliant as the scene progresses. Hamlet knows that the contents of the play will come as a big shock to the new King. So as stated in the line “I’ll tent him to the quick.” (626) Tent, means to investigate by drawing one into a trap. This is exactly what Hamlet believes his plan will do. Claudius does not expect the play to be about the King’s foul death. Claudius also is not aware of the fact that Hamlet will be keeping an eye on him during the performance, therefore he will not be able to compose his face of any emotions. So Hamlet decides to observe his uncle’s face throughout the performance. If Claudius flinches or make a sudden movement during the killing of the king then Hamlet will know if his plan was a success and if his suspicions about Clausius were accurate. Thus creating a new path for Hamlet to follow. 

Later in the soliloquy Shakespeare meddles with his use of words and allows the readers and audience to come up with their own predictions on what will happen and where Hamlet’s thoughts are leading to. “The spirit that I have seen / May be the devil, and the devil hath power / T' assume a pleasing shape.” (627-629). After looking at the kings face Hamlets will know if his uncle was the murderer or actually innocent for the death of the king. If he is innocent it will mean that the ghost of the king was actually the devil. Hamlet strongly states that The devil knows how to trick people by turning into someone that one loves and misses dearly just like Hamlet does his father. “Yea, and perhaps / Out of my weakness and my melancholy, / As he is very potent with such spirits, / Abuses me to damn me.” (629-632). At this point it comes to the attention of the readers and the audience that Hamlet may be going mad. He starts to doubt he ever saw the ghost of his father and that he mistook the devil for his father. Hamlet however admits that he is weak and depressed and it was his state of instability that lead the devil to take advantage of him. 

Hamlet ends his speech with the words “I’ll have grounds / More relative than this. The play’s the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” (632-634). The tone of the young prince suggests that play will give him more to work off of. He will have more proof and knowledge on whether to trust Claudius or not. At this point in his life all he cares about is the play. He feels it is crucial that he know more about Claudius’s thoughts.

Throughout this entire speech Shakespeare toys with language as he brings in a new setting to the story. The questions about trust and doubt come up as Hamlet devises his magnificent plan. Shakespeare switches gears to the prince confirming his suspicions instead of going along with fully trusting his ghost father’s words that Claudius killed the King. 

Hamlet: Close Reading!

Hamlet Keynote Monologue Annotate
This great line from Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, will forever influence society; To be or not to be? – that is the question,[Scene 3.1, Line 57] began the most famous Hamlet monologue. 

I believe Lord Hamlet, here, is contemplating the value of life and weighing its positives and negatives. To be; live, not to be; die. He processes the option of suicide, which is quite such an extreme option in his circumstances of turmoil. At this point in the play, Hamlet is emotionally spent and he seems a dagger to the heart may be the right answer. The status of this monologue correlates with the beginning of the play. Both start with an intriguing question. In the beginning, Banardo asks, Who's there? This question gives suspense and grabs the audience to wonder what's happening next.

He goes on to say, Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, / And, by opposing, end them? [Scene 3.1, Line 58-61]

Interestingly enough, Hamlet still has a logical mindset about suicide. He talks about whether it is better to go through life and have bad fortune and try to form a smile during the hard times or don't tarry in life's conflict, when there's an easy way out; suicide. Unlike Hamlet, Greek mythology figure Ajax killed himself over the general consensus that he wasn't worthy enough to get prized amor against Odysseus. Ajax couldn't handle bad fortune against him and he decided to take the easy way out. But, Hamlet is thinking, Why suffer if we are born into bad luck, we can void this by death. Ironically, it seems that Hamlet hints toward Catholicism or Christianity. His belief in soul's returning as ghosts and murderers destined for Hell shows his insinuated religion. If he were to practice any type of Christianity, suicide is something out of his beliefs. Why would he think of such a catastrophic end.

Hamlet continues, To die, to sleep / – No more. [Scene 3.1, Line 60-61]

His thinks all death is is sleep – terminal sleep. It is interesting to see although his has a Christian-esk moral compass, Heaven or Hell does not seem to be his afterlife; dreaming does. It is as if Heaven or Hell does not play into his circumstances. 

Hamlet then said,—and by a sleep to say we end / The heartache and the thousand natural shocks. [Scene 3.1, Line 62-63]

After he's proclaimed that dying is a state of limbo, he says limbo is a closure of the misfortune that happens in life. And, assuming that he vaguely practices Christian beliefs Heaven is not limbo. It does not exist. But, in a state of absence, it seems that that is Hamlet's way of release and he talks about it as if it may be chance at happiness.

After he said,That flesh is heir to – 'tis a consummation / Devoutly to be wished! [Scene 3.1, Line 64-65]

He talks about limbo as if that's where he ultimately wants to be – and soon. And, suicide would get him there on his own time. In lines 60-65, he elaborates on how living is basically worthless because of the bad things that happen. He thinks, instead of dealing with life, and it's trials and tribulation, he'd rather die. 

Hamlet went on; To die, to sleep. / To sleep, perchance to dream. [Scene 3.1, Line 66]

He says that since dying is sleeping, one can also have dreams. It's as if this terminal sleep brings dreams that would become the dead person's new reality. 

He then recoils his argument; ay, there's the rub, / For in that sleep of death what dreams may come / When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, / Must give us pause. [Scene 3.1, Line 66-69]

Even though death means sleep, and sleeping yields dreams, Hamlet said that there's always a catch, those dreams may not peachy or the ideal. There's no guarantee that dreams will be good and there's always the possibility of them being horrific. So, one needs to be conscience of that in the attempt of suicide, in Hamlet's terms.

The question; is suicide the answer? In this excerpt of Hamlet's monologue, and in this context, he talks about the possibility, the positive and the negatives in his mind. Based on one's interruption, it's up to the reader or audience to decide, but as the monologue progresses, Hamlet contradicts himself.  

Hamlet: Close Reading

For anyone who has read Shakespeare, they know that love always has a conflict to go along with it. In the play Hamlet, the relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet is still questioned and complicated. Out of the entire play, there are scenes that show different feelings they have towards each other, along with fights and other characters opinions. In certain sections of the book, there are certain scene that have a deeper meaning to them. 

     In Act two, Scene one, Polonius tells Reynaldo that he has to go spy on Laertes because he has heard there has been some trouble. After, Ophelia comes rushing to her Father, Polonius, telling him that she has been frightened due to Hamlet’s actions that he presented to her while she was sewing. Ophelia’s talk with her father is significant for several reasons. One, It reveals Hamlet’s emotions and reactions for the first time since he has had his interactions with the ghost. It allows you to see how someone else sees him instead of him talking to himself. Secondly, it shows that Ophelia has obeyed her father by staying away from him just as she was told. 

    When Ophelia first enters to talk to her father she explains what happened while she was in her room. Her tone starts out as being frightened, but then starts to be almost happy that Hamlet came to see her, as well as curious as to how her father is going to react. “He falls to such perusal of my face, As he would draw it. Long stayed he so.” To me, Ophelia is saying he stared and focused on her face for such a long time that he could paint it like a picture. Hamlet was at loss for words and his actions are very confusing. If Hamlet had said what was actually wrong, it may have caused even more trouble for everyone.

     Polonius then says, “What said he?” Although, Hamlet never actually spoke to her. The whole time he was in there, his emotions were powerful enough that no words had to be spoken. Hamlet was also so full of emotion that he wasn’t able to get it out, and didn’t want to reveal his insanity. 

     “At last, a little shaking of mine arm, And thrice his head thus waving up and down.” Ophelia’s tone is scared, but also flattered that Hamlet is coming back to see her, and after Hamlet left, she was more confused because it was so unexpected. In these lines, Ophelia could also be mad at Hamlet because him coming to see her, this action can make it even harder to obey her father’s rules. Ophelia may start to form into Hamlet’s plan to feign insanity. She may be worried about him because he’s “missing” her and it’ll make him worse since she had to reject him.

    Overall, Hamlet has been having trouble treating Ophelia well because he almost sees all women as not good due to his mother marrying his uncle. Hamlet also has a hard time of seeing true love as a good thing, but Ophelia believes that he still loves her deeply.

Close Reading

Hamlet Close Reading

Shakespeare is known for his ability to create characters that resonate with every reader. Hamlet is one of his most famous creations, particularly well known for his “To be, or not to be” monologue. The fame of this piece arises from its resonance as a separate work, taking the monologue out of context does not in any way subtract from it’s meaning. The reason for this is that in the passage, Hamlet addresses a subject that almost everyone throughout human history has had to wonder about at one point in his or her life. Themes in this passage include life after death, the meaning of existence on earth, and whether or not your actions during life matter in the long run. The genius of this passage is that it doesn’t lay these themes out in front of the reader, but guides them down a path of thought that eventually leads to these subjects. What starts as an analysis of Hamlet’s life suddenly becomes much deeper contemplation about the reader’s own existence.

Taken with the rest of the play, Hamlet begins to think these thoughts after a visitation by his father’s ghost. It is revealed to him that his uncle murdered his father, and that his father expects him to take revenge. In the moment, Hamlet agrees but as time goes on he grasps the magnitude of the task. What he needs to do is treason, and he needs to do it alone. As time goes on his responsibility weighs on him. He delays his task for as longs as possible, and becomes secluded and short tempered with other characters at court.

            “To be, or not to be: that is the question” A fitting start to the monologue, as it sets the scene with a summary of what is to come. It comes from a dark place, where Hamlet contemplates suicide. “The question” –whether or not he will end his life there or live on to commit murder– has him torn between his duty to the memory of his father and his own fear of being caught, his hesitance to act. “Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles.” Will his struggle be worth it, how will his actions be remembered? He wonders if he will look back with satisfaction in the end. He wants to know if his perseverance will be worth the trouble. At the same time he wonders if the better thing to do is nothing at all. ‘‘Tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” in the end would he be more at piece if he suffered through the rest of his life, or if he fought –possibly died– avenging his father. He continues in the same vein, “And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; no more; and by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to” What would happen should he choose to carry out his father’s revenge? Should he die, what would happen? He finds a bright side in the thought of death, because at the very least he would hope that his troubles would end. In saying, “Sleep” he implies that it will bring him a peaceful death. Settling the souls of himself and his father. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; to sleep: perchance to dream.” He hopes that upon entrance to the after life he will dream a better dream. Shakespeare has Hamlet end this portion of the monologue with a profound thought, “Ay, there's the rub; for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil.” The problem, he says, is that we don’t know what comes after death. This is the train of thought at the root of his hesitation to kill his uncle. He believes that any of the choices he makes going forward could easily result in his death. He doesn’t know what will come, and that ignorance turns into a fear of the unknown. Hamlet reflects in a very real way how any person might react in his situation.

Hamlet Passage Analysis

Hamlet Close Reading By:Byshera Moore-Williams

Untitled 2

Shakespeare is often credited for the poetic nature of his writing. However, there are many times when he is very straightforward. Even with his sometimes blunt lines, there is always something new that you can draw from these otherwise transparent lines. Act two, scene one, lines 99-112 are a prime example of this. At the start of the scene Ophelia is discussing Hamlet’s mental state with her father.

“He took me by the wrist and held me hard.” (II.i.99) This line seems to mean the same thing when analyzed; that Hamlet grabbed Ophelia’s arm and held onto her extremely hard. Throughout these lines, Shakespeare's language seems to be focusing on the different body parts starting with the wrist. It is not until the next line, “Then goes he to the  length of all his arm,” (II.i.100), the hidden focus of movement  is being put on the bodies of both Hamlet and Ophelia. Going from the arms slowly bringing you closer to a key point that is not yet know to us. Or, perhaps Shakespeare may be doing this just to give a very still part of the play some movement.

We can see the idea of small moments moving the plot along “And, With his other hand thus o’er his brow,” (II.i.101.) Another redundant line meaning then he took his other hand and placed it over his brow. This move brings everything to Hamlet’s face allowing more emotion to be more prevalent. Emotions that are felt by Ophelia’s but seen through the eyes of Hamlet “He falls to such perusal of my face, As he would draw it. Long stayed he so.” (II.i.102-103.) The close study that Hamlet does of Ophelia’s face shows the emotions that Hamlet feels, which he shows with his attentiveness to her appearance.

Hamlet’s extreme emotional distress overcomes him in the coming lines. “As last, a little shaking of mine arm, And thrice his head thus waving up and down, ” (II.i.104-105.) Going back to the first body part that Shakespeare speaks of you can see that it makes a circle. Continuing subtly but important just like the emotions of the two young lovers. “He raised sigh so piteous and profound” (II.i.106.) The fact that profound was used to this was interesting to me.The work is used mostly to explain the vast depth of the ocean or of the mind. This shows how deeply Ophelia knows Hamlet that she would use a word so strong to describe a sigh and with how it seemed to physically unnerve him. “As it did seem to shatter all his bulk, And end his being. That done he lets me go,” (II.i.107-108.) The use of the work shatter and bulk with in the same line stands out. Bulk being such a strong work and shatter is something that happens only to fragile things. Showing Hamlets truly fragile emotional state through his manly facade.

Once emotions settle and Hamlet starts to move away, you can still feel the stillness in both Hamlet and Ophelia “And, with his head over his shoulder turned, he seemed to find his way without his eyes, For out o’ doors he want without their help, And to the last bended their light on me” (II.i.109-1012.) Hamlet’s eyes never lose focus on Ophelia. The calm after the emotional storm, a language only true lovers understand.
To conclude these looks into the eyes and mind of Shakespeare, remember this. Movement is not just something that a person does with their body but what a writer does with his words moving you to different points of views and places. Shakespeare had a great deal of knowledge about emotion and how people express them . Knowing that someone is not going to show the pain that they might be feeling in the same way with different people. This scene seemed transparent until we found rose colored stain glass look at it through a lovers lense.

Hamlet Close Analysis

Hamlet Close Analysis

Merrik Saunders

One of the things that makes good writhing is the use of every line in the story. In Shakespeare’s plays he shows that even the smallest part is important to the play and viewer. The example that shows this is Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This scene is right before Hamlet goes to see the ghost. Horatio, one of the guards with Hamlet, is trying to talk him out of going with the ghost. Horatio isn’t close to one of the important characters of this story but what he has to say in this moment is very important.

In this scene Horatio is trying to get Hamlet to stay and not go with the ghost. “What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord, Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff, That beetles o'er his base into the sea,”(lines 77-79). This is the start of Horatio showing his concern towards Hamlet and how the ghost might hurt Hamlet. Horatio is saying that the ghost might drown him or send him off the cliffs. These are generic things that might happen in tragedies and dramas. These lines are used as a masking for the lines that are coming up next. Horatio isn’t a main character and him saying these lines first will make the viewer feel like he is only worried for Hamlet. The lines after these are the lines that are the most important.

Horatio’s small speech is a foreshadow for the whole play. In the next lines he continues to name things that could happen to Hamlet but what Horatio says applies to the rest of the play. “And there assume some other horrible form, Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason, And draw you into madness? Think of it.”(lines 80-82). This section of Horatio’s small speech is saying that the ghost will take Hamlet’s mind and Hamlet will go insane. This is what the rest of the play is about. Hamlet is trying to find out if the ghost is real and if he is going insane. This small part at the beginning of the play has mapped out the entire play. Everyone around Hamlet thinks that he is insane and his actions are irrational. This is what Horatio warned, that Hamlet could go insane from seeing his dead father or just experiencing a paranormal incident. Also Hamlet is carrying the pain and grief of his recent fathers death, mom marrying his uncle with great hast, and Polonius trying to get him away from Ophelia. Seeing his fathers ghost could be the thing that pushed him over the edge. From the beginning of this play Horatio has given an overview of what was to come.

The last part of Horatio’s speech is saying how fear can be stricken into the best and strongest of us. “The very place puts toys of desperation, Without more motive, into every brain That looks so many fathoms to the sea, And hears it roar beneath.” This whole section is saying that even the strongest of people can look over a cliff into the sea and they will be filled with despair. The despair would come from talking with the ghost. Into the play Hamlet starts to question himself and questions if what he is doing is wright. When it comes down to it Hamlet goes through with his plan to kill his uncle but in the process he is filled with fear of himself.

This small section shows that every line and character is important to the story. From the very beginning there was this foreshadowing from Horatio. Horatio tried to stop Hamlet from seeing the ghost. Maybe Horatio was right and Hamlet would have been better off not seeing the ghost. The rest of the play tells that.

Hamlet-Close Reading

Hamlet Analysis

         One of the most important scenes in Hamlet is his monologue in Act three scene one. Until his monologue the play moves at a very fast pace and in this scene the actors and audience are allowed to slow down and find out where Hamlets mind frame is. He begins with “To be or not to be-that is the question” this could represent many things. He could be considering becoming a murderer, by seeking revenge on his uncle or if he should commit suicide. “Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them” .Hamlet is wondering whether he should live with his troubles or go against fate and destroy his troubles along with his enemies.  His troubles are obviously from his uncle who has stolen the throne and wife from hamlets father. The thought of killing a king on a presumption could ruin all of demark. They are currently in a war and they do need a leader, which is a position Hamlet is not ready to fulfill. “To die, to sleep-- No more--and by a sleep to say we end The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to.” Hamlet is saying that death is like sleeping, you feel nothing. Emotions are controlling hamlet currently so to feel nothing must seem pleasurable.


         “'Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep--

To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub For in that sleep of death what dreams may come. Hamlet wants the end to come whether it is his uncle’s death or his. What he is saying is how bad could death be when it is a dream. I feel that hamlet who has uses the word sleep five times in the last seven lines, is trying to convince himself that death is harmless and that murder and suicide are both fine. “When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause.” He is back to fighting with himself on suicide. Thinking back to when he said “Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” what he may be trying to say is that life will end eventually and he needs to live his life and fight against the slings and arrows. “There's the respect that makes calamity of so long life. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time” hamlet respects the thought of living a long life and dealing with the pain.


         What I got from this monologue is that Hamlet is going threw a lot of emotions and pain. He goes deep into what death is, what he shouldn’t do as well what he might do in these 15 lines.  I think that hamlet has actually gone insane due to all of the stress put on him. He is saying that death and the act of killing are fine.

close reading

Hamlet Analysis Kenny Le


Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 605-616

To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave’s offal. Bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
O vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murdered,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words
And fall a-cursing like a very drab,
A scullion! Fie upon ’t, foh!

In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, soliloquies are an important factor in determining the thoughts of the characters. Scenes and events happen, but the character’s soliloquies are what bring out the true, deeper meaning of an event. Characters are often judged by their actions in scenes, but there is deeper meaning on their minds. An example of this is when Hamlet is going crazy and screaming to himself on what is the right thing to do. Hamlet had just got done speaking to the actors about a performance and his plan, but his mind is not in the right place for the plan of trying to get revenge on his uncle. Hamlet is going insane, and he questions himself.

“Bloody, bawdy villain! / Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!” (Line 606-607). The description Hamlet says about his uncle is out of frustration, and might include a personal description of what Hamlet’s relationship with his uncle was like. Hamlet doesn’t know for sure that his uncle killed his father. The only reason why he assumed his uncle was guilty was because of the ghost of his father. Hamlet starts his accusing once the ghost came to him. Hamlet was quick to assume what the ghost said was true, because Hamlet and his uncle probably did not have a good relationship before the king died. “O vengeance!” (Line 608). The ghost of the king placed revenge into Hamlet’s mindset. The mindset of revenge is driving Hamlet crazy. Hamlet fears if revenge is the right or wrong thing to do, because of the uncertainty of the consequences.

“Why, what an ass am I! This is the most brave, / That I, the son of a dear father murdered, / Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell” (Line 609-612) Hamlet is prompted to revenge by his father’s ghost from heaven or hell. Hamlet wants to avenge his father, but he is afraid. Being brave doesn't mean that Hamlet is not afraid. Being brave is when a person is doing something right, but is afraid. The only reason Hamlet wants revenge is because of the ghost, but Hamlet is not sure if the ghost was from heaven or hell. When Hamlet says heaven, it’s his father’s ghost telling him that his uncle killed his father. The “hell” revenge is Hamlet’s mindset of the hatred of his uncle. Hell is the hate that Hamlet has towards his uncle for marrying his mother. His revenge prompted by hell is just Hamlet wanting to murder his uncle, because he took his mother and the kingdom without finding out if his uncle is guilty.

“Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words / And fall a-cursing like a very drab, / A scullion! Fie upon’t, foh!” (Line 613-616). Hamlet feels like he is dehumanized and disrespected the way that a whore would be treated. Hamlet unpacks his heart with words rather than actions. He is lifeless in his heart with only bad words that spark his life. Hamlet feels useless.

Hamlet’s soliloquies reveal the emotions and insights of what is going on in his life. He speaks his mind, but the words Hamlet speaks are what reveals the true thoughts and meaning of Hamlet.

Lemme Upgrade Ya (Hamlet)

Act II. ii.​         

         Why, then, ‘tis none to you, for there is
Nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it
So. To me, it is a prison.

Shakespeare is often forgotten or neglected by many people in today’s world. Though Shakespeare is dead, his words are still alive. A lot of people use Shakespeare’s most famous lines without even knowing it. Most people don’t even recognize that the quotes they may be using are Shakespeare’s. Not only does Shakespeare’s words teach people things about life, but they also have a deeper meaning to them.

       In one of Shakespeare’s books, Hamlet, he himself is speaking with friends about Denmark and states, “Why, then, ‘tis none to you, for there is”. (II.ii.) While still being upset about his father’s death and having an intuition on who killed him, Hamlet is having a hard time trying to come to terms with the true Denmark. When Hamlet says, “’tis none to you” He means that to his friends, Denmark is the same wonderful place they grew up in. In a way, Hamlet thinks he’s the only one who can see Denmark for what it is since his dad is gone.

Hamlet feels like everyone is in some type of delusional state of mind where they can’t see what he’s seeing. Hamlet’s father death took such a toll on him that he has to go crazy in order to stay sane. He has to keep on living without having to go through all of the pain he’s experiencing being in Denmark with his mother being remarried to his uncle. By doing so, Hamlet can drive himself to the point where he has to be the one to clean up Denmark because it’s not the same place it once was. It’s “dirty” and he feels as though it’s his duty to keep it clean, the way it was without all the unjustified acts.

Hamlet feels as though he’s supposed to take care of all the wrong that’s being done in Denmark because his father is dead. Denmark is Hamlet’s home and he doesn’t want anyone messing it up. It’s almost like policemen needing to clean the streets of criminals because they are messing up the good that once used to live there. “Nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it” (II.ii.). For criminals, they don’t think what they’re doing is wrong, they think it’s right in their mind sets just as much as we think what they are doing is wrong in our mind sets. These two quotes compliment each other so well that it helps people realize that we all have our different reasons on why we think our opinions are right.

In Hamlet, he states the line, “Nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it” because he realizes that arguing with his friends on whether Denmark is good or bad would get him nowhere. For Hamlet, Denmark was hell and for his friends, they thought Denmark was fine as it always has been. Even today people judge things based on if it’s good or bad. It’s what makes people for who they are. In reality, nothing is really bad nor is it good. Being able to tell the two apart is something, as humans the hardest thing to agree on, so it’s good to have opinion even if they’re not the best ones. Humans will never do anything good or bad because as long as they don’t think what they’re doing is good or bad, it won’t ever truly be.

“So. To me, it is a prison.“ (II.ii) The fact that Hamlet has no one to rely on anymore makes Denmark hell for him. Since his friends don’t see what’s wrong and since Hamlet thinks they’re delusional, Denmark is a prison to him. When Hamlet’s father was still alive he felt as though he was open and that Denmark was a place where he could be free. In a way his dad was his own personal sanctuary and with him gone, his sanctuary would be gone too.

This made Hamlet’s world slowly crash. The thought of him always having someone to go to was gone and so was reason. Having someone so close to you for so long just to leave you alone changes a person. Some people can handle the lost, while others can’t seem to shake it.



Nothing is either good or Bad


Shakespeare is known for his confusing language but also for his lines that deliver a powerful performance. He uses a different style of writing that adds a bit more drama to the play.

“O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?”(Act 1 Scene 5 Line 99) In this single line I like that shakespeare is making Hamlet question the heavens. He makes it so that its a bit more dramatic because he questions the heavens on what to do. It also seems like he is asking what else are the heavens going to throw his way. He’s overwhelmed by the revelation at the moment so he wants guidance on what he should do. In

Act 1 Scene 5 Line 104

he says “In this distracted globe.” he might be referring to the world around him. He could be referring to He could also be talking about the thoughts in his mind. Because of all of the recent events he is starting to lose his mind. His mind could be making him think about things more dramatically. It could be causing him to go crazy. I feel like when hamlet says “And shall I couple hell?” he’s asking whether he should ask hell on what to do too. Because he is so confused he’s not sure who he should ask.


Act 1 Scene 5 Line 103

Hamlet says “Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat.” To me hamlet is trying to say that this is all too much for him at the moment because the ghost just appeared before him. He doesn’t really know what to make of it and that’s why I think he questioning “What else?”. I think that with all of the sudden turn of events hamlet is asking a rhetorical question of is there anything else that the heavens want to throw at him.


Act 1 Scene 5 Line 106

, Hamlet says “from the table of my memory I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records.” In that line I feel like he wants to start new. He doesn’t want the bad memories to stay, he wants to forget them and make new memories that are filled with good times. When he says that he is going wipe away all trivial fond records, he could mean that he’s going to make everyone forget about the bad things he did. It could also mean that he is getting rid of all the random bad thoughts that he remembers or gets. He wants to get rid of all the bad thoughts that were from the past and just start new. If he can’t forget it he will try to make it so that those particular thoughts don’t concern him.

I think that these lines are very important because it reveals to us Hamlet’s state of mind. If it were not for these lines we might not be able to know where hamlet is really going mad or not. He seems to be trying to fake his madness to everyone else but it seems like to me he is actually going insane. He might not be instantly insane but it seems his mental state is slowly drifting away.


Act 1 Scene 5 Line 112

, Hamlet says “O most pernicious woman!” it seems that he is upset with his mother. To provide background this is almost right after the ghost has just told him to leave his mother alone and let the heavens decide for her. In this line it seems like he wants to take things into his own hands, he wants to obey the ghost of his dead father but he also wants to punish his mother for doing something so sinful. During most of this speech hamlet is thinking about self reflection and what kind of things he was thinking about. He wants to try to start over and forget about the past.
Hamlet Analysis.key

Hamlet Analysis

My section of Hamlet comes from Act 3, scene 1. The King and Polonius are spying on Hamlet, and Hamlet delivers a soliloquy when he thinks that nobody is listening. The monologues and soliloquies that Shakespeare uses in his plays, like Hamlet, are used to show the innermost thoughts of characters, and show the audience their motives, wants, and fears. At this point in the play, Hamlet is distraught because his Mother married his Uncle in less than a month after his Father’s death; the ghost of his Father told Hamlet that he was murdered by his Uncle, and his relationship with Ophelia has fallen apart. The section of lines I have chosen are among some of the most famous written by Shakespeare, including his famous “To be, or not to be” line.

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:” By “be”, he means to be alive, so when he says “To be, or not to be” he is wondering whether it would be better for him to be alive or dead. “Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, / And by opposing end them?” In these lines he asks whether it would be better to deal with life for the occasional good things in it, or end his life and no longer have to deal with his “sea of troubles.” “The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” are the occasional good things in his life, but on the other hand he has a “sea of troubles,” meaning he has many frequent problems in his life, such as the ghost telling him his Uncle murdered his Father, and his Mother’s marriage to his uncle. “To die: to sleep;” Hamlet frequently refers to death as “sleep”, as if dying would be a rest from his life. “No more; and by a sleep to say we end / The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks / That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation / Devoutly to be wish'd.” He says that “sleep”, or death, would be an end to his heart-ache (with Ophelia), and “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to”, which is the many bad things that go along with Hamlet’s life that he has become accustomed to. When he says “‘tis a consummation devoutly to be wish’d” he is saying that death would be an end to things that he strongly desires. “To die, to sleep; / To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;” He is wondering what it would be like to die, and thinks that it would be like a long “dream”, which goes along with him frequently calling death “sleep.” “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come / When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, / Must give us pause: there's the respect / That makes calamity of so long life;” He is wondering what dreams he would have in death, which is him wondering if he would go to Heaven or Hell. “Mortal coil” refers to his life, and the way he calls it a coil suggests that life is restricting or constricting him, and causing him to suffer. He says that the dreams that may come give him pause, which is the reason that he and other people choose to stay in life, despite all the suffering they may be experiencing.

In this speech, Hamlet is thinking about committing suicide. He thinks that death would be a rest from the problems in his life, like the ghost of his father telling Hamlet to avenge his death and kill Hamlet’s Uncle, his Mother marrying his Uncle within a month of his Father’s death, and his relationship with Ophelia. The reason he is hesitant to commit suicide is because he is worried about “what dreams may come”, which in the context of these lines refers to the afterlife. He isn’t sure whether or not he will go to Heaven or Hell, and is afraid of dieing despite all the relief he think it will bring.
Hamlet analysis

Hamlet Close Reading - Katherine Hunt

Annotations for Hamlet_Hunt

Shakespeare has been recognized for his language with its artistic and poetic abilities. Often, because his words are known to be filled with ambiguity. How one must perceive Shakespeare’s plays are up to interpretation, allowing different methods of perspective, which is the root of a strong text.

In fact, without certain lines from his famous books, the power of Shakespeare's writings would mean absolutely nothing. Take his famously known book Hamlet for example. One aspect that drives him mad throughout this book no one understands, but Hamlet himself. These are the words of the Ghost, stated in Act 1. Sc. 5, lines 49-59.

Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts
O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
So to seduce!—won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen.
O Hamlet, what a falling off was there!
From me, whose love was of that dignity
That it went hand in hand even with the vow
I made to her in marriage, and to decline
Upon a wretch  whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine.- Ghost

At this point in the play the apparition of Hamlet’s father visits Hamlet to inform him of the wicked  ways of his brother, otherwise known as Hamlet’s uncle, the new King. In the line “Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,” this refers to the sexual relations between Hamlet’s uncle and the Queen after the death and possibly before the death of Hamlet’s father. Part of the new King’s “witchcraft” was giving him the gift of power. Witchcraft means that one sustains great control in considerance to enchantment, which happened to be the power to seduce the Queen. Hamlet’s father never expected his wife to do this to him as he states,“ The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen O Hamlet, what a falling off was there!” This shocked Hamlet’s father to know that his wife didn’t take his vows seriously. Death did in fact do them part due to the shameful lust of the new King and Queen. However, no one knows that this is what drives Hamlet to the edge.

Hamlet even questions his life throughout his soliloquy “To Be or Not To Be”, in Act 3, Sc. 1, due to the general disappointment that human nature has caused upon him with his father’s death and other widespread aspects. “Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles...” The apparition coming forth to Hamlet caused him to have major self conflicts because he didn’t know how to deal with this situation. He goes from not trusting the ghost in the play stated in the lines “Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd, Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,”(Act 1, Sc. 4, lines 40 & 41), where he believes the ghost is a demon to swearing to the ghost that he will remember his existence when saying ”It is 'Adieu, adieu! remember me.' I have sworn 't.” (Act 1, Sc. 5) If Hamlet would have never met the ghost, these issues that he knows wouldn’t exist.

Without the lines that the ghost said this book would have no meaning, because it is that of the ghost that led to the transformation and growth of Hamlet’s character. Hamlet would not know that his father was murdered, or about his father’s view on his corrupt marriage because whether the apparition was a figment of his imagination or not, meeting this spirit wildly affected his view on his lifestyle.