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Write a Critical Analysis on Hamlet Act 3 Scene 4

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Introduction

Act 3 scene 4 - also known as the 'closet' scene - is a pivotal moment within play. It depicts Hamlet's confrontation with his mother, Gertrude, over his recent decisions and behaviour, and dwells over the relationship between the two. The scene begins with Polonius telling the Queen to be "straight" and direct with Hamlet about his ways and that he - Polonius - will be hiding in silence; which is ironic, as it is his inability to stay silent which leads to his death. Quite strange within this brief introduction into the scene is that Polonius finds it fit that he should have to tell the Queen what to say and do when talking to her own son - and it is these sorts of foolish interjections, into business which do not concern people of his nature, which render his death inevitable. Following Hamlet's entrance into the scene, Gertrude tries fruitlessly to exemplify her authority. She first tells Hamlet that he has "thy father much offended" which he immediately counters by saying that she has the Old Hamlet "much offended". The sudden change of subject to the dead - the Old King Hamlet - sets the scene for the later comparison which apparently hurts Gertrude at the heart. ...read more.

Middle

Hamlet uses imagery to explain to Gertrude that things are no longer in the order that they should be "frost itself as actively doth burn" nature has lost its natural order. When Hamlet has finished telling Gertrude this, she tells him that she doesn't want him to speak anymore, this is because she feels guilty she tells him that as she looks in on her soul she sees black spots that now cannot be removed, here we see a change in Gertrude, she seems to have realised what she has done and why Hamlet is upset. Hamlet asks her how she could live in such a greasy and foul bed that is full of sin, and he tells her once again that Claudius is not worth even half of what her old husband was worth. After Hamlet has finished speaking he spots the ghost of his father again. His persistence in humiliating and informing Gertrude of her flaw may not only stem from his anger, but also from his love for his mother - showing his moral and humane side which contradicts his assumed madness. Shortly after, the ghost of King Hamlet appears. He begins to talk to it; Gertrude who doesn't see the ghost believes that he is totally mad. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hamlet has a plan to do with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, that instead of them trapping him, he will trap them. The scene finishes off by Hamlet telling Gertrude that he could never trust Polonius before, but now that he is dead he can. He says goodnight to Gertrude and then leaves tugging Polonius' body behind him. In this scene we can see Hamlets relationship with women and his mother in particular, even thought he talks to her he is still very suspicious of her and this gives him a bad impression of women in general, he feels as though he cannot trust them. Hamlet's behaviour and character is sending the reader a very confusing signal. The fact that he shows no remorse over the killing of Polonius illustrates his detachment with reality, but at the same time, he loves his mother enough to warn her not to fall deeper in sin. The fact that Gertrude could not see the ghost but he could suggests that it was merely an apparition which contributes to the idea of his insanity. Whether sane or insane, it is without doubt that Hamlet still remains a powerful character, and with his hands already stained with blood, it is assured that he will shed more. ?? ?? ?? ?? Write a Critical Analysis on Hamlet Act 3 Scene 4 2007 1 ...read more.

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