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Hamlet Act 1 Soliloquy commentary

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Good morning teachers and students, Today my speech is on a small excerpt from Hamlet from the second scene of the first act. Hamlet is a tragedy play by the famous playwright William Shakespeare. This play is set in the Kingdom of Denmark and revolves around two different countries; Norway and Denmark, where both kings are being replaced by their successors as they have recently passed away. In the first act, Hamlet and his men find out that there is a ghost that seems to be Hamlet's deceased father and seems to be telling the truth above his death rather than the version that was revealed to the public. This sets the scene for the excerpt that is in focus. It provides a background to the story that allows the tragedy to be built upon. Hamlet finds out that his father did not die of natural causes but instead is killed by Claudius. This adds to his rage, as he associates his father with all things good, while associating Claudius with all things evil. ...read more.


Hamlet replies, "A little more than kin, and less than kind". What Hamlet with that statement is that although the King is now "more than kin" because he is kin both as uncle and as father, he is less than "kind." "Kind" implying "kindly," "caring," as it does now, but it also means "kind" as in our "kind of person." In other words, Hamlet is saying that the King, though "more than kin," is not kind, and not related to him at all, maybe even--as we might say--not even from the same planet. Whether the King hears this insult or not, his next speech is insulting to Hamlet. "How is it that the clouds still hang on you?" he asks. It's obvious that Hamlet is still in mourning for his father, therefore the real meaning of the question was to tell the Hamlet to stop mourning for his father and accept that Claudius is the new king and that he should stop living in a bubble-like world isolated from real life. ...read more.


But the King also wants to make it clear that Hamlet is being a jerk, and his kindliness soon evolves into fairly transparent insults: Hamlet's grief is "obstinate," and "unmanly"; Hamlet is displaying "A heart unfortified, or mind impatient, / An understanding simple and unschool'd" (1.2.96-97). The King concludes by showing how much Hamlet has to be grateful for: He wants Hamlet--and "the world"--to know that Hamlet is "most immediate to our throne," which sounds like a promise that Hamlet will be the next king. Furthermore, he loves Hamlet like a son, and he wants him to stay at the castle, "Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye." So, rhetoric aside, even though Laertes was allowed to return to France, Hamlet is strongly urged although not ordered to stay in Denmark, and not return to the university at Wittenberg. The feeling of hate between Hamlet and the king seems to be mutual and hence This soliloquy shows the different changes of mood that Hamlet goes through when making his decision to kill the King Cladius before finally making up his mind. This soliloquy shows a wide range of emotions of different sides of hamlet. ...read more.

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