• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Hamlet: Act Two, scene two

Extracts from this document...


Hamlet: Act Two, scene two The second soliloquy is divided into three parts: * Hamlet's feelings of cowardice and worthlessness for not fulfilling his own promise after witnessing a scene from the Player that is filled with passion and emotions ( 560-587). * Hamlet then comes to realize that he must take action upon Claudius and with an explosion of anger, plans to do so (588-594). * Hamlet plans to test Claudius to see if he is really guilty by adding a scene like the murder of his father into the play (595-617). Section 1 1. In his soliloquy, Hamlet conveys a tone of worthlessness. He is feeling useless and inept, because the Player has performed a scene with such passion and emotion. Seeing this, Hamlet finds it "monstrous (562)" that he has not yet fulfilled his commitment of avenging his father's murder. The Player is engorged with emotions over a fictitious character, and Hamlet compares this to his own struggle to find the strength and courage to murder Claudius. This is seen in the lines " but in a fiction, in a dream of passion, could force his soul to his own conceit...visage wanned, tears in his eyes...(563-566)" and "And all for nothing! For Hecuba!(568-569)". Hamlet uses diction to compare himself with the Player, and portrays himself as a pitiful, weak, and miserable fool who "lacks gall(589)" ...read more.


This is shown in the line "...like a whore, unpack my heart with words(598)". He wallows in his own self-pity and criticizes himself further for not stepping up to his promise in the line "Tweaks me by the nose, gibes me the lie in the throat, as deep to the lungs?...I am pigeon-livered and lack gall...(586-589)". This implies that he is a liar for making such a promise to the ghost and not fulfilling it. Hamlet rambles incessantly with self pity and the feeling of worthlessness because he realizes that he has not fulfilled his promise to the ghost . This same rambling and feelings of futility is prevalent in Hamlet's first soliloquy where he goes on about how his world is shattered, but doesn't end up doing much about it. However, the same kind of self-depreciation is seen when he says "no more like my father then I to Hercules(154-155)". His father's own brother now sits on the throne and sleeps with his mother, and yet; Hamlet does nothing. This is seen in the line "but break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue(I.11.161)". Also, although Hamlet thinks of himself as a coward in his second soliloquy; he was extremely courageous when he decided to follow the ghost and speak to it, as he says "what should be the fear? ...read more.


Therefore, he has asked the players to perform an act like the murder of his father in front of Claudius, and observe his reactions to determine whether or not he is guilty. This is seen in the line "play something like the murder of my father...I'll observe his looks, if he but blench, I know my course (607-610)." 2. He has not yet committed the revenge because he does not know for sure whether the ghost is real or if it is a devil in disguise, so he postpones his actions of killing the king because he needs more evidence. This is seen in the line "the spirit that I have seen might be the devil, and the devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape(610-612)". I think that this reasoning is just an excuse for Hamlet's procrastination as during his encounter with the ghost; he seemed to be somewhat convinced that the ghost is his father as he starts to think about revenge. He acts in a hypocritical manner, taking no actions into his own hands other than the staging of this play in which he will accomplish nothing. While Hamlet could infer that Claudius is guilty through the play, it will not put Hamlet any closer to the fulfillment of his promise and so Hamlet will find himself at the same position as before. He will continue to whine in self-pity like a pathetic, rambling child because he has not taken direct action to fulfill his promise. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Hamlet essays

  1. Hamlet Act 3 scene 4

    crime, so all he hears is the voices of his head, telling him what he thinks is the right thing to do, for example to pray for forgiveness. However his heart would be telling him to give up the things that he killed for, which Claudius himself mentions, "since I

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Hamlet, his moods and motivations, through his soliloquies in Act ...

    "...But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue" In this line Shakespeare conveys the impression that Hamlet feels that he must suffer in silence. However the audience guess that this will not be the case so Hamlet's words are a little ironic.

  1. How Does Shakespeare Convey a Sense of Anomie in Hamlet Act 1, and to ...

    Also, I picked up some tension when reading the first scene, in the way the characters spoke in the lines: BERNARDO Who's there? FRANCISCO Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.

  2. With close reference to language examine how fitting a close Act 5 scene ii ...

    symbolic of the false fa�ade that enveloped the English court around the years 1600 and 1601 A.D. He is a foppish character, and given to excessive courtesies. Osric's character represents the corrupted State of Denmark as Hamlet says of him "he and many more of the same bevy that I know the drossy age dotes on".

  1. Hamlet: How does Shakespeare build up to the climax in the final scene?

    Also, this is the first murder. Hamlet has switched from a character only thinking about murder to a character capable of committing it. Many people often dream of killing people they don't like, (the phrase "I'll kill you" is often used in temper) but now that Hamlet is actually capable of committing the murder he has become much darker than the average man.

  2. Hamlet - In what way is Act 5 Scene 2 a fitting climax to ...

    Laertes had seemed ready to accept Hamlet's friendship but now insists that they fight each other; Hamlet accepts the challenge and the duel begins. After the first exchanges and parries the king offers the poisoned goblet to Hamlet, who puts it aside -"Give him the cup."/ "I'll play this bout first.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work