Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hamlet Soliloquy 1.2: Analysis and Evaluation



Re-read Hamlet’s first soliloquy and answer the questions that follow.

SOLILOQUY
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt (1.2.131-61).

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, (135)
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely
. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two: (140)
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him, (145)
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month --
Let me not think on't -- Frailty, thy name is woman! --
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body, (150)
Like Niobe, all tears: -- why she, even she --
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month: (155)
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good: (160)
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

NOTES
too too ] The duplication of "too" intensifies Hamlet's feelings of regret. Repetition of this kind was a popular literary device in the Renaissance.
solid ] Many scholars ask whether Shakespeare intended "solid" to be actually "sallied", a form of the word "sullied". The second quarto of Hamlet contains "sallied", but the First Folio prints it as "solid". Modern editors have been quite divided on the issue. Editors of The Arden Shakespeare have chosen to use "sullied", while editors of The New Cambridge Shakespeare have decided upon "solid". The reasoning for the use of "solid" is fairly evident, as it logically corresponds to "would melt" (131). However, there are good arguments to support the claim that Shakespeare did mean "sullied". With "sullied" we have the "suggestion of contamination" (Jenkins 437), which is apparent throughout the soliloquy. Some critics stress "sullied" as the "contrast to 'self-slaughter' the resolving of the baser element into the higher, whereby Hamlet might return from melancholy to normal health, or, if to become dew is to die, then from 'misery' to 'felicity'. But there is surely no thought here of being restored to health or happiness, only of being free of the 'flesh' whether through its own deliquescence or through suicide." (Jenkns 187).
canon ] divine law; the Church regards "suicide" or "self-slaughter" forbidden by the Sixth Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill".
flat ] Spiritless.
unweeded garden ] A well-tended garden was symbolic of harmony and normalcy.
in nature/Possess it merely ] Although Hamlet accepts weeds as a natural part of the garden (and more generally a natural part of life), he feels that the weeds have grown out of control and now possess nature entirely (merely = entirely).
Hyperion ] {hy-peer'-ee-uhn} One of the Titans and the father of Helios, the sun-god.
Satyr ] {say'-tur} A grotesque creature, half-man and half-goat, symbolic of sexual promiscuity. Hamlet's reference to his dead father as Hyperion and to his uncle Claudius as a satyr illustrates Hamlet's contempt for Claudius. His father is godlike while his uncle is bestial.
beteem ] Permit. In anguish, Hamlet remembers the way his father would treat Gertrude with such gentleness and care. His father would not permit the wind to "visit her face too roughly".
ere ] Before.
Niobe ] {ny'-oh-bee} Symbolic of a mother's grief. Niobe, Queen of Thebes, boasted that her fourteen children were more lovely than Diana and Apollo, the children of Latona (Leto). Because of her arrogance, Niobe's children were slain by Latona's children, and Zeus turned Niobe to stone - yet still her tears flowed from the rock.
a beast, that wants discourse of reason ] Hamlet believes that even a creature incapable of speech would have mourned longer than Gertrude mourned for Hamlet's father (here wants=lacks). "The faculty of reason was traditionally recognized as the crucial difference between man and the beasts. This lends further significance to the Hyperion-Satyr comparison above. It was through his reason that man could perceive the relation of cause and effect and thus connect past with future, whereas the beast, precisely because it lacks reason, must live largely in the present moment. Hence the axiom that its mourning would be brief." (Jenkins 438).
Hercules ] {hur'-kyoo-leez} A Greek hero renowned for his super-human tasks. Having a father so strong and noble intensifies Hamlet’s feelings of inadequacy.
unrighteous tears ] See commentary below.
flushing ] Flushing refers to the redness in Gertrude's eyes from crying. She did not wait until the redness disappeared from her eyes before she married Claudius.
galled eyes ] Irritated and inflamed eyes.
dexterity ] One could take "dexterity" in this context to mean either speed or nimbleness.
incestuous ] Even though Claudius and Gertrude are related only through marriage, the union between a woman and her husband's brother, even if the brother was deceased, was considered incest (see Leviticus 16:20), and was explicitly forbidden by the Catholic and Anglican religions.
But break, my heart ] Hamlet's heart is heavy because he must keep his anguish to himself. "The heart was thought to be kept in place by ligaments or tendons (the heart-strings) which might snap under the pressure of great emotion" (Edwards 91).

RESPONDING TO SHAKESPEARE’S/HAMLET’S RHETORIC
1.        Word choice in context. If you were hired as the editor of a new edition of Hamlet would you choose “solid” or “sullied”? Write a focused paragraph defending your answer.
2.        Analyzing Imagery. Write a paragraph answering the following questions. How does the imagery in the soliloquy convey Hamlet’s attitude toward the world? Don’t just answer the questions create a cohesive paragraph (or paragraphs).
3.        Analysis and Evaluation. Write a paragraph (or paragraphs) answering the following questions. What is Hamlet’s attitude toward his own life? Why does he feel this way? Cite and explain textual evidence to support your answers. Also, given his circumstances is his attitude justified? Why or why not? If not what do you think his attitude should be? Dig below the surface. Have empathy. Put yourself in his shoes. Don’t just answer the questions address them in a cohesive paragraph (or paragraphs).
4.        Analysis and Evaluation. How does Hamlet feel about his mother? Why? In your paragraph, cite and explain at least two quotations from the speech to support your answer. Also, given what you know from the play is his attitude justified? Why or why not? If not what do you think his attitude should be? Dig below the surface. Have empathy. Put yourself in his shoes. Don’t just answer the questions address them in a cohesive paragraph (or paragraphs).
5.        Analysis and Evaluation. In a paragraph write about Hamlet’s attitudes towards his father and Claudius. In the paragraph you should explain the two contrasts Hamlet uses to show that his father (King Hamlet) is superior to King Claudius. (The notes will help you with these contrasts. Hint: Allusions help to reveal Hamlet’s attitude.) Also, given what you know from the play is his attitude justified? Why or why not? If not what do you think his attitude should be? Dig below the surface. Have empathy. Put yourself in his shoes. Don’t just answer the questions address them in a cohesive paragraph (or paragraphs).

Respond in the comment box. Use your first name and last initial. Number your answers appropriately. You may need to break your response into two or more comment posts.

49 comments:

  1. K. Foster
    SOLILOQUY 1.2

    1. If I were to choose between using “solid” or “sullied”, I would choose to use the word “solid” in this soliloquy. It makes the most sense in the context. The flesh, being too solid rather than too sullied, will not easily turn to liquid and annihilate itself in a vaporous dew. Again, this is a very straightforward, self-evident reading, and the imposition of “sullied” merely introduces further unnecessary complications into the interpretation of the line. “Solid” must be the primary signifier, as it's the only logical choice to initiate the figure that undergirds the lines: flesh likened to water in its various states.

    2. Imagery is used as an important device in Hamlet’s first soliloquy. Hamlet uses the image of an ‘unweeded garden’ to describe his perceptions of contemporary Denmark. This shows how bleak everything seems to him and how he feels it is evil that is currently triumphing over goodness and justice. This also gives insight into his hatred of Claudius which spurs his disgust at his mother’s remarriage. Hamlet describes the garden (Denmark) as overgrown with things ‘rank and gross in nature’ which can be understood.
    The imagery of decay is used to help comprehend the depression Hamlet feels in his first soliloquy about suicide. "O that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew," Hamlet is basically communicating that he wishes not to exist in this world anymore. He wants to die and be a part of the ground.
    In Hamlet's soliloquy, with reference to suicide, imagery shows us his dark feelings. In Hamlet we truly see what a great deal of depth imagery provides us with

    3. Hamlet is very depressed in the life he is currently living. His father passes away and within a month his mother is married to the former king’s brother. His attitude is justified because he is a young man and is feeling betrayed by both his mother and his uncle. Any young man would react in such a manner towards this marriage. Hamlet disagrees with the marriage and that Claudius is taking the role as his father, too soon after his actual father has passed. I think that his attitude is typical of any man in his circumstances. If that had happened to me; I would probably handle it even worse than Hamlet does. Even though you can tell that Hamlet is mad at his mother, I would have been angrier at my uncle for not having any sympathy for me or my mother.

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  2. K. Foster
    4. Hamlet does not understand how he is still grieving over his father’s death, and his mother has already moved on. “O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
    Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle” Hamlet is saying that any normal widow would mourn the death of their husband, not marry their brother in law within a month. “It is not nor it cannot come to good: (160) But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.” Here, Hamlet is saying how even though it kills him to see his mother with his uncle, there is nothing he can do about it right now. Hamlet was written in the peak of the Church of England. Everyone was super conservative and followed the rules precisely. A woman marrying her late husband’s brother would have been considered incest. Shakespeare put this action into the play because he knew that it would strike the audience. They would know that it was a sin and it would make them dislike Claudius and Gertrude even more. This is justified considering the events that have recently happened.

    5. Before Hamlet’s father was killed, I would think that his family was living a normal life. Hamlet loved his father and probably had nothing against his uncle. After his father was killed, Hamlet was clearly confused of why this happened, but he became for confused when he saw his father’s spirit/ghost that told Hamlet that Claudius murdered him. At this point Hamlet is obviously watching his uncle more closely, and now he doesn’t really want anything to do with his uncle especially because he married Hamlet’s mother soon after the death of his father. He really hates his uncle for marrying his mother after his brother’s death he compares him to Satyr which stands for promiscuity. But on the other hand he loves his father very much and is very upset about his death and compares him to Hercules the Great greek warrior. He compares his uncle as a beat and his father as a God.
    The quote, "So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr," compares his father to Hyperion who is a titan and compares Claudius to a satyr. Hamlet thinks that Claudius will never be as great as his father was.

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  3. 1. If I were hired to edit Hamlet, I would choose to use the word “sullied” in Hamlet’s first soliloquy. When Hamlet talks about his flesh being sullied, he’s saying that it’s tainted. Hamlet is clearly suffering from his father’s death, and he feels as though he’s been contaminated with grief. If he were to say that his flesh was solid, that would only correspond with his reasoning that it can’t melt. Although this makes sense, it’s a very literal interpretation, and it only connects with that one line. If his flesh were sullied, this description would carry throughout the rest of the soliloquy.

    2. The imagery in the soliloquy conveys Hamlet’s hopeless outlook on life. He wishes that his flesh would melt so that he wouldn’t have to face the world. He also describes life as a garden in which the roots have grown out-of-control. This shows the chaos and confusion that he must be feeling, seeing as how he lost his father, his mother remarried, and the country’s about to go to war. The only things left in the garden of life are things that are “rank and gross in nature.” These images help the reader understand what a dark place Hamlet’s in.

    3. Hamlet’s attitude toward his own life is very hopeless and bleak. He wishes that his flesh would melt, or that God hadn’t forbidden self-slaughter. All of the uses of the world are “weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable.” He feels this way because everything in his life changed within two months. Hamlet’s father, whom he revered, died unexpectedly. His uncle then took the throne of Denmark and married Hamlet’s mother. Now, the country is preparing to go to war with Fortinbras of Norway. All of this is much too overwhelming for Hamlet. I think that Hamlet has a right to mourn the loss of his father, and a right to be angry with his mother and uncle, and it’s only natural that he feel overwhelmed, but he shouldn’t want to take his own life. There are other options. He could explain his feelings to his mother, or he could escape to Wittenberg despite her wishes, but killing himself is a bit much.

    4. Hamlet is very angry with his mother and feels as though she’s betraying his father. He doesn’t like how quickly she remarried, saying that “a beast, that wants discourse of reason, would have mourn’d longer,” and that the marriage took place “ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes.” Hamlet refers to her relationship with Claudius as “incestuous” and that it “is not nor it cannot come to good.” I think that his attitude is justified. His father was nothing but kind to her, and not even a month after he died she got remarried to his brother. Who wouldn’t be angry in that situation?

    5. Hamlet misses his father dearly, and can’t help but focus on how superior he was to his brother, Claudius. He says his father was an excellent king, and that if his father were Hyperion, Claudius would be a satyr. Hyperion was a powerful Greek titan and father of the sun god. A satyr was a beast that was half man and half goat. Hamlet later says, “My father’s brother, [is] no more like my father than I to Hercules.” These comparisons show how Hamlet views Claudius with disdain compared to the way he views his kind and noble father. Hamlet’s attitude is justified because Claudius hasn’t been too nice to him thus far. He married Hamlet’s mother a month after the king’s death, told Hamlet that he couldn’t return to school in Wittenberg, then told him to stop grieving over his father’s death and instead think of Uncle Claudius as a father. Hamlet has a right to be angry with this.

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  5. Katie M.
    1)If I was hired as the editor of a new edition of Hamlet I would choose the word “solid”. Other editions used the word sullied and that to me made no sense. The use of the word sullied in the sentence, “O that this too too sullied flesh would melt,” just draws the “meaning” of the statement into a place where it shouldn't be. With the word solid, the reading is quick, and to the point. The use of “solid” makes more sense to me, and in conclusion it is a better fit than, “sullied”.

    2)The imagery in the soliloquy conveys Hamlet’s attitude toward the world by creating a form of Denmark that everyone else would understand. Towards the beginning Hamlet writes, “’tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature.” He compares the looks of Denmark to an unweeded garden, which creates and ugly image to most minds. The image is also in his mind, which is basically saying he believes Denmark is an ugly place now. The fact of the remarriage, the death of his father, and his hatred towards his uncle, just comes through in this formation of imagery.

    3)Hamlet’s attitude towards his life is sort of depressive. Hamlet’s father died, and then his mother remarried within a month. The worst part about the remarriage was it was too his uncle, his father’s own brother. The fact that his mother remarried so quickly and to a family member, it seemed like he did not even care one bit, which draws in the consumption his mother didn't care about the death of her own husband. Given these circumstances, his attitude is justified. The amount of agonizing situations he is dealt with within a month or two could drive a person insane. If I was in his shoes I would not even talk to anyone, and just run away. The amount of careless actions would drive me up a wall.

    4)Hamlet acts towards his mother, as if he is more disappointed than mad. He is still morning over his father’s death, and then on the other hand his mother seems like it didn’t even touch her. “Would have mourn’d longer—married with my uncle, my father’s brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules: within a month.” His mother married her brother in law, within a month of her own husband’s death. This angered Hamlets greatly, because of the fact she moved on so quickly, while he is still sitting there crying. “It is not nor it cannot come to good: But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.” His new “father” and mother keep telling him to get over the death of his father, and just move one. At this moment he cannot bare to think of such a thing, of such an action. Given what I know from the play, I believe his attitude is justified. All the emotions running through his head must be tough, and I know from experience; when a lot of upsetting things happen at once it sort of goes over your head and drowns you with thoughts you have never even experienced before. The sadness he expresses gives me empathy towards him, and wants to let him know t will be okay one way or another.

    5)From reading this play so far, I can already tell Hamlet is full of respect for his father, and loves him dearly. Even before his death, it seems as if he had an okay relationship with all the members in his family, even including his uncle, Claudius. When the ghost of his father revealed to him Claudius was the cause of his death, it made it clear that the only way Claudius would ever become King is if he would kill his own brother. Being compared to a seemed to be an ideal king, must of made him feel lower, so he had to turn to murder to gain the power. “My father’s brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules.” In that statement Hamlet compares his father to Hercules. As we all know Hercules is a God and is stronger than most, which brings in the position of Claudius and Hamlet himself. They seem to be in the same position under these two “gods”. This concludes King Hamlet is more superior compared to King Claudius.

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  6. Anna G.

    1) If I was hired as the editor of a new edition of Hamlet I would choose the word “sullied”. It has a deeper meaning than just “solid”. Sullied means to be dishonorable or tainted. The description fits in with one of the many themes in Shakespeare’s plot line for this particular play. The first definition of the word “solid” that I would think of would be something that is not permeable or flimsy. I would have to analyze further to get an exact meaning for that line in the play. “Sullied” has a quicker reorganization.

    2) Imagery is extremely important, especially is Shakespeare’s writing because they are to be performed and read. In this soliloquy Hamlet characterizes his emotions and the events he goes through to make valid points. For example, he describes the marriage of his mother and uncle, as an unweeded garden. He also uses detailed metaphors weaved in to construct an image.

    3) Hamlet feels depressed and disgusted in this part of his life. The word choices he uses are particular to the way he expresses certain emotions. It seems as though he feels sorry for himself. His father died and his mother quickly remarried his uncle; disgust over came him. Depression and confusion are showed through excitement (exclamation points). This could be interpreted into either anger or happiness in modern writing, but in Shakespeare and this individual soliloquy it emphasizes sadness. His attitude is justified because, like any young adult, losing a parent and watching your mother not seem to care much is difficult and overwhelming. Hamlet may feel as though his mother was not compassionate and dismissed his feelings along with any logic.

    4) Revulsion is the attitude coming from Hamlet to his mother.
    “—why she, even she—
    O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason.
    Would have mourn’d longer—married with my uncle,
    My father’s brother, but no more like my father
    Than I to Hercules:…”
    He is basically calling her a beast and is insulting her along with his uncle and new father. “She married. O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” Hamlet is stating that it is almost like his mother and uncle are committing incest and is horrified with the idea. In my opinion Hamlet has every right to be absolutely disgusted with his mother and have a disdained attitude toward her.

    5) King Hamlet and King Claudius are very different in Hamlet’s eyes. Hamlet honored his father and respected him. He mourns him and is in an in-between state of sadness and anger. He has enough compassion to suffice for him and his mother. His uncle seems uncaring and deceiving. The word suspicion fits his personality because he is shown to be the “evil uncle”. Hamlet’s father was strong like that of Hercules’, unlike Claudius who is insecure.

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  7. 1. If I were hired as the editor of Hamlet, I would choose the word “sullied” rather than “solid.” “Sullied” portrays a broader illustration of Hamlet’s flesh melting. It refers to “contamination” rather than simply corresponding to “would melt.” Thus, Hamlet is describing his flesh as dirty when “sullied” replaces “solid.” “Sullied,” adds a deeper interpretation rather than “solid” to the soliloquy when defining Hamlet’s emotions of despair and sorrow.

    2. Imagery is found within every line. Right from the beginning, Hamlet considers his life very meaningless and wishes his flesh to melt. He depicts his life as a garden full of weeds or troubles. The weeds are the ongoing issues. After the death of his father, everything is going downhill, especially now that his mother remarried. Hamlet indicates the remarriage and the upcoming war as growing weeds in his garden because everything is happening all at once. He practically blames them for these unnecessary dilemmas. For the most part, the introductory lines can be referred as the basis of his furious attitude that guides the reader into his deeper emotions.

    3. Hamlet views his life useless and hopes to vanish away. At one point he considers suicide, though he cannot do that either, since God deems it a sin. He finds himself in a frustrating state and doesn’t know what to do. His entire life changed less than two months. Meanwhile, Gertrude and his uncle are both so happy disregarding the death of his father, whereas for Hamlet, he is miserable. Everything happened so fast for Hamlet and it creates all sorts of mixed feelings. In line 145 Hamlet expresses, “Must I remember?” line after line Hamlet finds himself in circles and his thoughts begin to overpower his mind.

    Evidently given these circumstances, his attitude is entirely justified; I would not be able to withstand all these arising issues. Hamlet has troubles with his mother, uncle, and Denmark, which are fairly enough for a single person. In the last line he expresses, “But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue,” that is to say he will conceal his true feelings to avoid any confrontation.

    4. Hamlet is not able to look at his mother, though he has full respect for her. However, he feels disgusted at the thought that she married so fast to his uncle. From his perception he remembers the way his mother loved his father more by the day. In line 145 he states, “why, she would hang on him, as if increase of appetite had grown,” meaning that she never isolated herself from his father. He continues on, “a beast, that wants discourse of reason, would have mourn’d longer.” Hamlet compares his mother’s lack of mourn to an animal. He believes that an animal would of mourned longer for their mate longer than she did. He is in complete disappointment and does not understand the reasoning why she married so quickly. Though again he expresses in line 148, “Frailty thy name is a woman!” he practically is saying that because she is a woman she was too weak and fell into Claudius’s seduction.

    Personally, his attitude is justified because he has complete reasoning for feeling disgust for his mother. Considering the facts, she loved Hamlet’s father very much before his death, yet right after the funeral Claudius seduced her. I find that very unlikely and senseless. If she really did love Hamlet’s father, she would not have quickly married. As Hamlet stated, “It is not nor it cannot come to good.”



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  8. 5. Hamlet views Claudius as nothing compared to his judicious father. He expresses “So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr.” Hamlet describes his father as a sun-god and Claudius as a grotesque creature in other words as deity is to fiend. This creates a vivid image that his father was much more superior than Claudius. As for his mother, his father loved her dearly. Hamlet specifies in line 143, “That he might not beteem the winds of heaven visit her face too roughly,” which describes how gently Hamlet’s father treated Gertrude. He even kept the wind from blowing from her face. This further justifies his attitude towards his mother because his father took great care of her, yet she disrespected his memory by marrying his own brother. Furthermore, Hamlet does not believe that their marriage will come to any good.

    I believe his attitude is justified. I personally do not like Claudius; he came so suddenly and already hopes for Hamlet to call him “father.” I would not have felt so delighted. If I were Hamlet, I would feel very suspicious of Claudius and probably wonder if he had any intentions with Gertrude before the death of King Hamlet. He cannot just intervene in Hamlet’s life and call him son, especially after he married Hamlet’s mother. I would still be in complete shock of the marriage and would be very concerned for his position as king.

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  9. 1. If I was hired as the editor of a new edition of Hamlet I would choose to put in the word “solid” rather than “sullied”. When looking at the part of the soliloquy that follows the word, “solid” seems to flow in better. Also it would make the following line make more sense. In the line following the word it says “Thaw and resolve itself” but in order for something to thaw it must first be solid. Although “sullied” would also made sense, it would add an unnecessary complexity that is not needed to properly understand the soliloquy.

    2. The imagery in the soliloquy conveys Hamlet’s attitude toward the world in many ways. At one point he states “’tis an unweeded garden” which makes the reader think about chaos and disarray. He believes that many things are going wrong in the world and are not as normal and in harmony as they should be. Also Hamlet says “That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!” Hamlet loved his father and believed that he was a great and kind man, especially to his mother. He describes winds that seem as though they would be gentle coming from heaven, but his father would not let even those winds touch his mothers face. He was very protective of her which Hamlet saw as a good thing in this world. Lastly Hamlet says “Had left the flushing in her galled eyes.” In this quote from the soliloquy he is describing his mother’s eyes which were red from crying over the loss of her husband. At this point he is describing how her eyes were still red and irritated at her wedding because of how soon she remarried after King Hamlet’s death.

    3. Hamlet’s attitude toward his own life is that he is not good enough. He doesn’t believe that he can fit the shoes that were given to him. He states “but no more like my father than I to Hercules.” He feels inadequate to his father’s superiority. His father was a strong and noble leader and Hamlet feels that he cannot live up to him. Hamlet doubts his abilities and pits himself down. For the circumstances that he is in I can see where Hamlet’s feelings are coming from. He is going through a lot with the death of his father and his uncle trying to take the Kings place by marrying his mother and becoming king. If I were Hamlet I would probably feel the same way because there is a lot riding on him. He will become king one day and that is a lot of pressure. He just needs to believe in his abilities more and he will succeed because he cares whether or not he is worthy.

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  10. 4. While reading this soliloquy I felt like Hamlet had mixed feelings about his mother. At times he referred to her as seeming fragile and loving such as in the quote “she would hang on him”. This quote has a feeling that King Hamlet and Gertrude were very close and loving towards each other. At the same time Hamlet seems to resent his mother for how quickly she remarried and seemed to forget about their loss. Hamlet states “a beast, that wants discourse of reason would have mourn’d longer”, he resents that his mother seemed to get over the death over her husband so fast. He believes it makes her seem like a beast. I personally believe that his feelings are justified and if I was in his position I would probably feel the same way. It must be extremely difficult to watch your mother remarry only a month after the death of your father, and not only remarry but to your uncle.

    5. Hamlet’s attitude toward his father widely differs from his attitude toward his uncle, Claudius. Hamlet looks up to his father and thought he was a great ruler. He worries a lot about how he will ever fill his father’s shoes. He states that his father was “So excellent a king” and “Hyperion to a satyr” the satyr being his uncle Claudius. King Hamlet was a great ruler in Hamlet’s eyes, and his uncle is nothing more than a bestial creature. It is hard to tell from just this soliloquy why exactly Hamlet detests Claudius other than the fact that he married his mother, his brother’s wife, only a mere month after his brother’s death. But you can clearly tell that he does not like his uncle or look up to him the way he looked up to his father. Hamlet’s feelings toward his father and uncle seemed to be justified as far as we can tell from this short selection from the text. He looked up to his father because he was a great ruler and his father. He despises his uncle because he is replacing his father who he has yet to even finish mourning the loss of. Hamlet is just feeling the same emotions toward them that most people in his position would feel as well.

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  11. 1. The word choice in the context of “solid” versus “sullied”, in Hamlet, are very debatable. Personally, I would think that the word “sullied” has more to offer and is more beneficial to this particular soliloquy. The term sullied supports Hamlet’s reasoning that his flesh is contaminated, which could have a double meaning as in his soul or spirit is contaminated with an internal turmoil that he desires to be rid of. In order to be free of this “contamination” he suggests suicide in this soliloquy. I do not agree with the reasoning that Hamlet’s “solid” flesh corresponds to “would melt” on line 131. If Hamlet meant that he wanted to kill himself in order to end his suffering, the use of his contaminated flesh would further stress the fact that he was in misery; to be rid of his sullied flesh would be to end his suffering, but to be rid of his solid flesh would not suggest as much that he was suffering.
    2. Assuming that Hamlet’s attitude toward the world is “stale, flat, and unprofitable” (line 135), he uses plants, weeds and nature to represent this attitude. In line 137, he says “’tis an unweeded garden, that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature possess it merely.” This illustrates a degrading image of the new kingdom under Claudius; that it is filled with weeds which can be associated with deceit and lies in most works of literature. A weed is not something anyone would want in their garden, they want flowers; weeds are “stale, flat and unprofitable” and flowers are opposite. A weed is inimical and unfavorable compared to a flower. Therefore, with the image of weeds in this world, the reader can see Hamlet’s distasteful attitude of it. This use of imagery shows how the world with the new rule of Claudius is filled with lies and trickery.
    3. Hamlet’s attitude toward his own life is depressed and he feels as though it is meaningless since his purpose is already set in stone for him (to rule his father’s kingdom and to protect his people). He might feel depressed because the control panel to his life is inaccessible since everyone else is making the decisions for him (ex. Not being allowed to go to school). He feels powerless since he could not stop his mother from marrying or his father from dying and now he cannot change the repercussions of that. On line 161 he says the marriage cannot come to good but that he cannot say anything about it, therefore he feels powerless and that his life is meaningless.
    Also, in the beginning of the soliloquy, Hamlet suggests that he wants to die. If he does want to die, he must be feeling very depressed because he can’t seem to get away from the terrible things happening to him and his family. The only source of control he has of this turmoil and the only way (in his eyes) to stop it is to end his life. I believe his feelings to be justified because his suffering came on so quickly he hasn’t had enough time to cope with these disasters, therefore he is overwhelmed as waves of powerlessness wash over him. He must be afraid since the “unweeded garden grows to seed” might mean that the bad things happening to him are only getting worse and more frequent. His fears, depression and powerlessness sculpt a suicidal attitude...

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  12. 4. I feel as though Hamlet’s attitude toward his mother is influenced from the attitude his father had of his wife. Since Hamlet idealized his father so much in this soliloquy, I think he absorbs the opinion his father had of his mother when in line 142 he says “so loving to my mother that he might not beteem the winds of heaven visit her face too roughly”. That seems to be the only time he regards his mother in a positive light. Though, I believe Hamlet’s more acute opinion of his mother is that she is a “user”. As he states in line 145 “Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him, as if increase of appetite had grown by what is fed on”. Hamlet does not want to remember the way his mother sucked up the affection his father gave her and then let it go to suck up the affection of his brother so soon. Another example of this abuse his mother inflicts on the men she uses is on line 159 where he says “with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” He is definitely not fond of his mother, since “incestuous” is an insult. Hamlet feels that his mother is a con artist, especially when in line 156 she cried “unrighteous tears”. I believe most of Hamlet’s opinions toward his mother to be justified apart from one. When he shows more respect for his mother than Claudius it might be out of spite or because she is the only parent he has left and therefore he might feel as though he’s obligated to like her even though all of her actions prove that she is “unrighteous”.
    5. The two contrasts Hamlet uses to show that his father is superior to King Claudius are found on lines 141 and 155, respectively, “So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother” and “My father’s brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules”. Hamlet compares his father to a god twice by saying that he is like Hyperion and Claudius is “bestial” like a satyr. Then, Hamlet proceeds to described himself as inferior to his idealized god-like father who is referenced as Hercules in the latter quote. Hamlet, judging by the way he idealizes his father, has a very respectful attitude toward him. As for Claudius, when Hamlet harshly refers to him as a promiscuous satyr, it shows his hatred and utter disrespect for Claudius. The comparison between King Hamlet and Claudius is distinguished through genuine good and evil. King Hamlet was like a god as a king and loved his wife well, where as Claudius being a gross creature of sexual promiscuity does not love his wife, and is therefore an inferior king to King Hamlet.
    I think Hamlet’s attitude toward his father might be a little bit too nice and idealistic. I think that because Hamlet is so unhappy with the people in his world, the only comfort he has is knowing that his father was a good man, therefore he might exaggerate when he talks about how wonderful his father was. Hamlet’s attitude toward Claudius is accurate since Claudius’s impulsive actions prove he is a selfish man who can never match up to the king or father that lived before him.

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  13. 1. I think sullied would be the better word choice because defiled or contaminated seems to fit better into the section than solid would. Solid does fit with just that line as an antonym to melt, but if you go by what has happened throughout the book sullied makes more sense. The kingdom has been tainted, by the death of the king and the remarriage of his wife. Hamlet feels that he too has been tainted not only his kingdom, he was meant to rule the kingdom so if something is wrong with them it is wrong with him as well.

    2. Shakespeare uses Greek mythology as imagery in Hamlet’s soliloquy. Shakespeare compares the new King to the old King like a satyr to Hyperian, a Titan. Satyrs are half goat and a symbol of promiscuity while Hyperian is a strong Titan who is the father to a god. He uses the image of Niobe who's crying never ceased because of the death of her children as a view of exactly what his mother did not do. Hamlet said, “...a beast, that wants discourse of reason...” which gives the image of a random animal crying and then Gertrude just ignoring the fact that her husband died. Shakespeare compares Hamlet’s uncle to his father, and says that is like comparing Hamlet to Hercules. This gives the image of Disney’s Hercules (not what he intended I’m sure but thats what I see) or any Hercules who is big and strong and then you picture Hamlet as the opposite, which gives a strong sense of what of what Hamlet’s uncle is. Shakespeare uses Greek mythology to make the reader (even if it wasn’t intended to be read) picture the characters in this soliloquy.

    3. Shakespeare attitude on life is very low and he seems like everything is going against him.”But break, my heart...” Hamlet’s heart is heavy because of all of the things that have happened to him. He feels this way because his father has just died and now his mother has remarried in what he thinks in “incestuous” because she married his father’s brother. He is confused as to why his mother would dishonor his father’s name in such a way as to get married so soon after his death to his own brother. His attitude is definitely justified, if I were him I probably wouldn’t still be that nice to my mother and wouldn’t listen to anything my mother or my uncle said. He knows he has to listen for his kingdom, so he does what is right, which is honorable.

    4. Hamlet still loves his mother, but he feels that what she has done is wrong. He feel like his mother got over his father’s death way to fast and barely mourned. He is quite disgusted with what she has done and calls “incestuous” and calls her wicked. It is not in Hamlet’s soliloquy, but Hamlet obeys his mother when she tells him not to go back to school, but not his when his uncle says it, which means he still cares about her.

    5. Hamlet’s attitude towards his father and Claudius is shown very strongly. He compares his uncle to his father like a satyr to Hyperion or like himself to Hercules. His father is shown in a better light both times. His father is portrayed as a strong and godly like person while Claudius is shown as part animal who cannot measure up to his father’s strength. His attitude is completely justified, Claudius was too weak to challenge Hamlet’s father so he poisoned him while he was sleeping. Also Hamlet feels the natural instinct to choose his father over anyone, because his father is the one who took care of him not Claudius.
    -HannahEllis

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  14. 1. In regards to word choice, I would definitely choose sullied over solid. For one, I am very particular about the sensory qualities of words. The word solid is rather plain. Had you never known the definition of the word and were only told to pronounce it, I don't think that it would procure any emotion or feeling from the speaker. However, when one reads “sullied” there is a much more powerful affect. The word sounds rather gross and squeamish. It creates a certain state of discomfort, which the character of Hamlet is certainly feeling at this moment. Also, the definition of sullied and solid are quite different. Solid is a certain concrete hardness, while sullied means to be stained or defiled. I prefer the word sullied not only because I think that it fits in with the plain text more clearly, but I think it can also be interpreted to hold a certain metaphorical value, as if Hamlet is saying he has been stained/ negatively affected by recent events.

    2. Shakespeare uses an abundant amount of metaphors to make his writing vivid in the readers mind. He uses words such as “Thaw and resolve itself into a dew” to describe how he feels and what he desires to do. We have all had that feeling of wishing we could disappear, but Shakespeare’s words give the image new life. He also calls the world “stale” and “flat.” Bu using imagery rather than an intangible description, the words become more saturated for the reader. Hamlet uses the metaphor of an unweeded garden to describe the vile state of things. It is easy to picture this image in one's head. The imagery used by Shakespeare throughout this soliloquy contributes to the speech's effectiveness and makes it easier for the reader to connect with it.

    3. During his speech, Hamlet has a great hatred for his life. It is a sort of sorrowful and bitter hatred though. His feelings are layered and more subtle than blunt anger. His words “O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt,/ that, and resolve itself into a dew,/ or that the Everlasting had not fixed/ his canon 'gainst self slaughter!” reflect his desire to die or end his life in some fashion. When he speaks of his flesh melting, he is wishing that he would simply cease to exist on this earth. However, he realizes that this feat may not be possible, after which he laments the fact that suicide is considered a moral misdeed by God, for he desires to take his life. At the same time, though, there is an undeniable sense of anger as well. He says his mother remarries with “most wicked speed,” and that the new partnership “incestuous.” this anger may also stem from his inability to retreat from his problems. His emotions conflict with what people tell him to feel, throwing Hamlet into even more turmoil.
    Hamlet's rather hopeless views, while perhaps not rational or correct, shouldn't be critiqued too heavily, either. He has just lost his father, who was obviously a beloved figure in his life, and his mother barely waited a month to remarry to her deceased husband's brother. It is normal for a him to feel sorrow, but his desire to take his own life is a bit extreme. Killing himself would only create problems, not solve any. His anger is also understandable. At a time when his mother should have been there to comfort her son, she rushed into a relationship that would change Hamlet's already drastically altered life even more. But rather than turning these feelings into a desire for self destruction, Hamlet should put his passion to work. There is something amiss, and Hamlet senses it. If he focus on uncovering hidden details that might supply a few answers to ground his presently unstable world.

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  15. 4. Hamlet is undeniably angry with his mother for her hasty remarriage. He calls her new relationship “incestuous.” He views her a disloyal to his father, “She would hang on him as if increase of appetite had grown by what it fed on. And yet, within a month...those shoes were old with which she followed my poor father's body.” The queen appears quick to recover from her loss. Hamlet says: “O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer!” Going by what information the play has given the readers thus far, Hamlet's anger towards his mother if understandable. I know that, if I were in Hamlet's shoes, I would be furious. Not only is the speedy remarriage an insult to the father, but it also cuts short the necessary mourning period needed by many to recover. The matrimony also casts a rather bad light on the mother. It makes her look bad, as if she cared very little for her husband, and perhaps had already cared a certain amount for the brother. All in all, I think that Hamlet's attitude towards his mother is completely justified, given his reasoning in the text and the information the reader has been given.

    5. In this Soliloquy Hamlet is a whir of emotion. There are so many things going on in his life, and his attitude towards each aspect of the conflict is different. Overall, there is a certain sense of hopelessness. Hamlet cries out to God multiple times in his speech, making him seem desperate and as if he did not know what to do or where to turn. In relation to his mother, he feels anger and betrayal. She is someone who he should be able to trust, but her actions make Hamlet's world even more unstable than it already is. He is mad at her for dishonoring his father and for forsaking him. At the same time, Hamlet is feeling a great deal of remorse over his father's death. His father was a person he had cared for dearly, and the king's demise is a tragedy for Hamlet. Last, but certainly not least, in the subject of Claudius, his father's brother, Hamlet's uncle and new father, husband to Hamlet's mother, and present King. The amount of abnormal and intercrossing relations with this man and Hamlet is enough to make one sick, and certainly contributes to Hamlets's disdain of the man. Hamlet feels great animosity toward his uncle. It is natural for a child to refuse the replacement of a parent when a father or mother dies. However, Hamlet's unusual circumstance only ads to Hamlet's dislike of his uncle. He despise's the fact that Claudius considers Hamlet his son, and also detests Claudius's attempts to replace King Hamlet on the throne. Hamlet considers his father a far better man that Claudius, saying of Claudius that he was, “No more like my father than I to Hercules,” and also, of his father, “So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr.” Hamlet compares the two men, stating that his father was to Claudius like the sun god is to a satyr.
    I think most of Hamlet's emotions are fully justified. It is natural to feel angry and betrayed and sad in such a situation. I feel that it would be abnormal for him not to feel such emotions. However, I do feel that, while not entirely uncalled for, Hamlet's feeling of hopelessness is rather detrimental to his character. It never serves one any good to allow oneself to get lost in pity and sorrow. Times are hard for Hamlet, and he needs to keep his head on straight if he wants to make it through.

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  16. 1.) From my perspective, as an editor I would choose the word ‘solid.’ As we know, parts of Hamlet differ in all the different edited versions of the play. For instance, as the notes state, the First Folio uses the word ‘solid,’ but the second quarto uses the word ‘sallied.’ The First Folio is the version that is closest to what we think Shakespeare intended. Choosing the word ‘solid’ over ‘sullied’ is quite an appropriate choice then. This word is also more common today. If I were to read the word ‘sullied’ I wouldn’t have an idea what it meant unless I looked at a note or definition. I understand the word ‘solid’ and would be able to make more sense of Hamlet’s first soliloquy. The first line of this particular soliloquy has the word ‘melt’ in it. Shakespeare writes of “solid flesh” melting. Those two words ‘solid’ and ‘melt’ make sense together. Further on in the second line, it mentions dew, and how the “solid flesh” would end up being dew, a liquid state. A solid to a liquid; makes sense.
    2.) The use of imagery in Hamlet’s first soliloquy illustrates a picture about his attitude of the world, which is that the world is a flawed place to live in. In lines 137-139 Hamlet says, “...'tis an unweeded garden/That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature/Possess it merely.” When I picture an “unweeded garden,” I envision something that is so out of control. According to the notes, a well kept garden is harmonious, and by mentioning an unweeded garden, I get the picture that he is saying that the world (as a garden) is not harmonious right now. Though then he says it “grows to seed,” suggesting that although the world can be crazy at times, it all eventually works out and he has to accept the weeds that are in his life. Later on in the soliloquy, lines 156-158, Hamlet uses distinct imagery yet again when saying, “...Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears/Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,/She married.” The picture formed from this set of words is that Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, is still mourning over her husband's death. Shakespeare does a great job in describing her emotion through the way her eyes appear; red and irritated.
    3.) It seems as if Hamlet's attitude towards his own life is rather dramatic and he is somewhat depressed by his situation. Although, he has good reason to be dramatic and depressed for his father just died and his mother married his uncle. Lines 134-136 demonstrate Hamlet being semi-dramatic, “O God! God!/How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable,/Seem to me all the uses of this world!” To me he is saying that everything in the world will do him no good, it's all useless. His mourning is making him have a dark view on everything in his life. As I mentioned previously, it is okay for him to be feeling this way because by looking at it from his perspective, his father just died, now that is a reason to be upset. He's upset, his mother is upset, or at least he thought. Now his mother has gone and married his uncle! That is slightly messed up. If I were Hamlet and I could figure out a way to stop them from ever getting married, I would. Though I don't think he had any say in the matter, and that's what bothers him most. He can't share what he is truly thinking with his mother or uncle-dad. It's all bottled up inside, and his dramatic personality is amplified with depression in this soliloquy.

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  17. 4.) Hamlet makes it obvious that he loves his mother, but doesn't like the situation she put herself and him in. From lines 141-144 Hamlet talks about how lovingly his father would treat his mother, and the difference between his father and his uncle, “So excellent a king; that was, to this/Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother/That he might not beteem the winds of heaven/Visit her face too roughly.” By illustrating the way his father treats his mother, it shows that he cares for her as well, or else he wouldn't say those things. He also states how his father was a “Hyperion,” like a sun-god, and his uncle “satyr”, a gross creature. He's mad at his mother for marrying that “satyr” of a man, because, “It is not nor it cannot come to good:/But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.” (160-161) He thinks it won't end well, but he cares too much for his mother to say anything for it will break his heart to see her sad, but it also breaks his heart because he can't change anything.
    5.) Too state it simply, Hamlet's view on his father, King Hamlet, versus his uncle, Claudius, is that King Hamlet is highly superior to Claudius. This is given for two reasons. One being, King Hamlet is his father by blood, the one that raised him. He is obviously going to like him more. Two, shedding some light on this dim situation, he is upset that his father died and his mother so quickly married his uncle, so he puts his rage into hating his uncle. Therefore, Hamlet is quick to say his father is far better than his uncle. He shows this by contrasting the two. Mentioned previously, he compares his father as a Hyperion, or a sun god, to his uncle as a satyr, a unruly, nasty creature. Secondly he says in lines 154-155, “My father's brother, but no more like my father/Than I to Hercules...” Which I believe translates to Hamlet making a point that it would be ridiculous to say his uncle is better than his father because it's like saying he, Hamlet, is better than Hercules, the incredibly strong Greek hero. To him, those two things could never be compared, therefore his father and uncle shouldn't be either. The competition between the two isn't fair, because King Hamlet prevails. This attitude is completely justified, because it's his dead father he is defending. Unless Hamlet hated his father to no end, King Hamlet is superior to Claudius.

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  18. Zach S.
    Soliloquy 1.2
    1. The word sullied is far superior to the solid in this case. It continues the Shakespearean language and reflects better on the rest of the soliloquy. As pointed out by scholars, sullied denotes tainting or disease, something that is at the core of Hamlet’s speech. Solid is something firm, healthy and far from the images that the speaker wishes to portray in the minds of their listeners, solid flesh would never “melt Thaw and resolve itself into a dew” (131-132). Sullied flesh that is ridden with disease and foreign pestilence, however, would provide a rotten dew fit for a corrupt king of Denmark- one who is as rotten as the state he rules.
    2. Hamlet gives deep description into the hatred of the world around him. He deeply details the pains of his father, banished to Hell because “His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!” He views the world as dreary and dark, a horrible place with little interest to him, “Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,” with an ugly look and little care.
    3. Hamlet harbors a large amount of rage and hatred against the world that took his father and put his mother with his uncle. Hamlet cries to find what this world truly has to offer him, a lonely and angry boy who has yet to claim manhood or joy, “O God! God! How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world!”, a desperate plea against the life he lives. Loathing for his uncle, the man who filled the position, but not the shoes, of his father his father was “Hyperion to a satyr” of an uncle, the great and the weak. He despises the fact that his mother married his uncle, much less the speed in which she did. Angry at this he spouts “She married. O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity so incestuous sheets!” An angry Hamlet lashes out in hatred of his own life.
    4. Hamlet despises his mother for not only marrying his uncle but doing so extremely quickly. He feels as though she betrayed his father. Not only that but he, like many people of the time, views this remarriage as incestuous and wrong. Hamlet’s mother seems to be one of the many outlets in which the Prince of Denmark releases his rage.
    5. Hamlet holds the Royal Dane on a mighty pedestal yet is comfortable letting Claudius rot, yet his life seems to have reversed this on him. King Hamlet was the Hyperion in his life and Claudius a mere satyr. He is, the self-proclaimed, son of Hercules in a world where the snake that sits upon the throne is the equal to the dearly departed. If Hamlet despises his mother, the fibers of his being that don’t go to her are dedicated solely to hating Claudius.

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  19. Diana D.

    1. If I were to choose which word would be used in a new edition of Hamlet I would choose “solid.” The word “solid” fits into the imagery of “melting into dew” used in the next line. While the word “sullied” does hint towards something contaminating Hamlet, it does not fit with the imagery. Also the use of the phrase “sullied flesh” would hint that something was physically wrong with Hamlet and that this flaw was what Hamlet wanted to rid himself of. As this is not the case, the use of the word “solid” would be best to use in this situation.

    2. The image of the “unweeded garden” was used to show that Hamlet believed that Denmark’s normalcy had ended with his father’s life. His acceptance of the existence of “things rank and gross in nature” reflects his acceptance that Denmark was flawed. With Claudius in power, Hamlet now believes that Denmark had become completely overrun, the weeds growing with free reign. This imagery was used to show the grotesque place what Hamlet’s home had become.

    3. As the soliloquy reveals, Hamlet is suffering through a bout of depression, utter hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts. These feelings are best illustrated by the fact he wants to his flesh to “turn into a dew”, the fact he wishes that there was not a taboo against “self-slaughter”, and how meaningless he believes the “uses of this world” are. While suicide does seem over the top, I believe that his feelings are easily justified. I would be fairly distraught if my uncle married my widowed mother, let alone him marry her not even two months after my father’s death. Given how much his life sucks at the moment, he has every right to angst to his heart’s content.

    4. To put it simply, Hamlet respects his mother but is clearly upset with her because of her swift decision to marry her brother-in-law. We know Hamlet still respects Gertrude, or at least respects his mother more than Claudius, because he addressed her when agreeing not to return to school. This anger towards Gertrude is best seen through the phrase “a beast, that wants discourse of reason, would have mourn’d longer”. This anger at his mother’s lack of mourning King Hamlet was intensified because of her “dexterity to incestuous sheets” despite the fact he remembered how she would fawn over King Hamlet and how the late king cared for her. Crying out “Frailty, thy names is women!” was Hamlet’s way of trying to convince himself that Gertrude was simply vulnerable to Claudius’s charm. Hamlet’s distaste towards his mother’s actions is completely justified.

    5. In Hamlet’s mind his late father and Claudius are two completely distinct and separate entities; there is nothing in common between the two. The main technique Shakespeare utilized for this were allusions to ancient mythology. Hamlet showed his belief of his father’s superiority by comparing King Hamlet to Claudius as “Hyperion to a satyr”. This comparison of a Titan to a grotesque beast that represents sexual promiscuity really portrayed Hamlet’s view towards the two men; a sun god and perverted goat-man. The other allusion used was that Claudius was not more like King Hamlet than Hamlet to Hercules, furthering the idea that the late king was a godlike figure to his son. Hamlet’s attitude about the two men is justifiable, especially considering Claudius had just finished ridiculing Hamlet for still mourning and married his recently widowed mother.

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  20. 1. If I were hired as an editor of a new edition of Hamlet, the word I would use is sullied. Both words used in context put across a strong meaning, but sullied is defiantly a better choice. Seeing that Sullied means that something is contaminated, and ruined; it makes more sense to use this word, maybe it is not logical, but it portrays a greater view of Hamlet’s attitude. It does so by showing that his life is in a “contaminated” and that hamlet feels his life is contaminated by all the sorrow he is feeling and anger he has. Solid just refers to something that can melt, and it obvious to the reader, or audience, and is just too logical for something of the standards of Shakespeare. (Why should we be able to understand Shakespeare without having to read it over more than once? We shouldn’t, and using the word Solid does not meet these standards.)
    2. All throughout Hamlet’s first soliloquy Hamlet creates images, conveying the attitude Hamlet has towards his life. The first line of this soliloquy create an image; “O, that this too too solid (sullied) flesh would melt”. This image shows Hamlet is unhappy right now, and does not want to be exposed to the world, having this angry attitude that he does. Another image Hamlet is successful at creating is “With such dexterity to incestuous sheets”. This image is of sheets being contaminated with incest and dexterity, and it shows his resentment towards his mother and uncle for the fact they’ve married, being prior related, and how fast they did it. Hamlet in a way is saying the sheets have been defiled because it is sick that Hamlet’s mother would marry a relative, even if it was only through marriage, and that it happened so fast, meaning the dexterity of it also defiles the sheets. Hamlet also states “Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother”. This image Hamlet creates is comparing his late father to his dad-uncle. Hamlet refers to his father as a sun god, and to his dad-uncle as a promiscuous, un-respected creature. This creates the image, although it is obvious, that Hamlet thinks his father is better than his dad-uncle, Claudius.
    3. Hamlet has a bitter attitude toward his own life. He is angry, upset, and frustrated, and this all adds up to his attitude being that of a bitter person’s. “How weary, stale,. flat, and unprofitable, seem to me all the uses of the world” is an exact example of Hamlet’s bitter attitude toward his own life. All of the adjectives he describes the world as being; weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable, are actually describing his life. It is not a happy time for him right now, he is not profiting from it, because he is not King, and his uncle is King. It is spiritless, or flat because of the fact he is left without his true father, who he seemed to admire so. It is weary and stale because he is unsure of how his mother could marry his uncle so quickly after his father’s death, and stale because he did not want this to happen, but now he just has to live with it and put up with it, without having accepted it yet. Also when Hamlet says “But break my heart, I must hold my tongue”, in the last line of his soliloquy is shows his bitter attitude being conveyed. His heart is breaking, with all the sorrow he is feeling from his father’s death, and from all of the anger he has toward his uncle, to so quickly take his father’s spot; not just as king but as his mother’s husband. And also the resentment he feels towards his mother for re-marrying so fast, and to somebody so unlike Hamlet’s own father. Hamlet’s attitude is very well justified. He is not being a baby, or acting unmanly about this situation like his uncle is saying he is. So much important aspects of his life changed so fast, and created a whirlwind of emotions. Anybody would act as hamlet is acting, who would have to go through what he is going though.

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  21. 4. Hamlet is angry and resentful towards his mother. Hamlet feels this way towards his mother because of the fact she re-married so quickly, and to his uncle who is nothing like his father. When Hamlet says “O, God! A beast, that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer” he is saying even an inhumane creature would have mourned the death of it’s husband longer than his mother did. The fact that Hamlet compares his mother to a beast, an is complaining about the quick time in which she mourned his Father’s death shoes he is angry towards his mother and resents her. Another hint of the resentment and anger Hamlet feels towards his mother is shown when Hamlet says “Let me not think on’t - - frailty, thy name is woman” Hamlet is saying he does not want to think of the fact that his mother did something so unrespectable as woman, and that she should not even be considered a woman. Hamlet in some rights is justified to feel this way, but he should not be so angry, he should understand his mother is woman who has needs, and that women enjoy feeling loved and cared for.
    5. Hamlet is unhappy with his uncle right now; for one marrying his mother so quickly after his father’s death and also for taking the crown from him. Coming back to when hamlet says “So excellent a king; that was to this, Hyperion to a satyr” He is saying King Hamlet is superior to Claudius and this is apparent because Hamlet refers to his father as a sun god and a great king, and to Claudius as a freak of nature. The other comparison Hamlet makes is when he says “My father’s brother, but not more like my father than I to Hercules” Hamlet is basically saying his father and uncle are complete opposites, and that they don’t even stand on the same pedestal. Hamlet is saying his father was a great leader and superior to Claudius. Hamlet should feel this way, it is only natural to dislike the person who is ruining the reputation of Denmark one’s father had created. Claudius has turned Hamlet’s world upside down, and then told him to be a man and not be upset about how awful his life is. Hamlet has every right to be

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  22. Joshua D.

    1. I would have chosen “solid” over “sullied”, the word makes more sense and it is a better match to the “melt” in the next line. The word solid changes the statement to a plea to god for death over his sadness, which fits with his anger at others and not himself. “Sullied” makes statement one of self-hate which he does not show through the rest of the soliloquy. Hamlet blames his uncle and his mother for his anger and not himself so, “solid” makes more sense than “sullied”.

    2.Hamlet uses imagery in this soliloquy to convey his attitude of contempt for the world. He compares the world to an “unweeded garden” he paints the picture of a world that has the potential for beauty but, is corrupted by weeds and has become a ruinous place. Hamlet also uses imagery when he is using a metaphor comparing his father to his uncle and by extension the world ruled by his father and the one ruled by his uncle (the king is the kingdom). Hamlet calls his father the sun god (pure light) and his uncle to a satyr (a mischievous beast) hamlet is also comparing the world he once lived in (Sun) to the one he currently lives in (beast). The portrayal of his world as a sexually promiscuous beast shows how much hamlets hates his world it is everything that was never wrong with his old one. Accumulatively these images portray hamlets contempt for his world.

    3. In Hamlet the main character hamlet despises his own life and wants nothing more than to end his own life. The reason he feels this way is because his whole life is coming apart at the seams, his beloved father who hamlet worshiped has recently passed away. And his mother quickly remarried so; hamlet did not succeed to the throne. And the person his mother married was his uncle who is, in hamlets mind, the exact opposite of his great and noble father. All of these things are a ponderous load to bear in only a two month span.
    Hamlets experiences do not justify his disregard for his own life. His father has died but, hamlet still has a pretty good life he is rich, powerful, and he has great claim to the throne of Denmark. I believe that hamlet should think his life is very important, because living is the only way for hamlet to get complete revenge on his uncle and mother for not properly mourning his father. If hamlet lives and completes his studies he could easily overthrow his uncle and become king. He could lock his mother away and take all his uncles power, the ultimate revenge.

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  23. 4. Hamlet is furious with his mother; he feels that she has dishonored his father’s memory by remarrying so quickly after he died. Gertrude, hamlets mother, married Claudius, hamlets uncle, less than two months after his father’s death, as hamlet puts it “A little month, ere those shoes were old with which she followed my poor father’s body.” Hamlet is bitter because his mother seems to not care that his father is dead, her shoes were not even a month old before she moved on. In the soliloquy hamlet goes on to say that he believes the union between his mother and uncle is evil “O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not nor it cannot come to good” In this quotation hamlets shows that he believes under no circumstance can the marriage of his mother to his uncle be good and he blames his mother for it, never in the soliloquy does he blame Claudius for the marriage. I think hamlet is justified in his view towards his mother. The reasoning behind marring Claudius is that hamlet is not ready to take the throne, but young Fortinbras is the same age as Hamlet and he is invading Denmark. If someone Hamlets age can invade Denmark isn’t hamlet old enough to rule Denmark? If the need for a king is removed then hamlets mother had no need to marry and really was doing it to spite hamlet and his father.

    5. King hamlet and his brother Claudius are portrayed very differently in the soliloquy. He compares them twice in the soliloquy each time showing the great disparity in his view of their quality. Hamlet first compares his father (king Hamlet) to “Hyperion” the Greek titan of the son father of Helios (the sun) and Claudius to a “satyr” (promiscuous monster). In hamlets eyes his father is a god and the creator of all things good, while his uncle is a monster that represents all the things that are wrong with Denmark (drunkenness, incest, etc.). Hamlet also compares his father and brother to himself and Hercules saying “My father’s brother, but no more like my father Than I to Hercules” hamlet is considered an effeminate man, so he is not at all like Hercules (the original manly man). Therefore he is saying that his uncle is nothing like his father who he has already stated is a great man, so by logically he is saying Claudius is a bad man. Based on the following scenes (4, 5) Hamlet is completely justified in believing his father was a better man because it’s revealed that Claudius had king Hamlet poised to death in order to steal his throne.

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  24. 1. Many of Shakespeare’s work is hard to understand and not because it is just from a different era, but because it is a published piece by someone that is not Shakespeare himself. This results in change of words and so we can never really know what Shakespeare meant to say because his work is full of metaphors and therefore it is hard to decipher whether what is written as a metaphor and so meant to be written or if it is an error in spelling. In the first soliloquy, there is an argument of whether Shakespeare meant to say “solid” or “sullied”. If I was an editor of this piece, I would think that Shakespeare meant to write “sullied instead of “solid”. Sullied, by definition means to damage the purity or integrity of while solid can mean a state of matter; has 3 dimensions. I would choose “sullied” because it fits with the rest of the soliloquy. As you continue to read, you realize that he is talking about the marriage between his mother and his uncle. Hamlet talks of the union of Gertrude and Claudius in disgust. The marriage lucks integrity (adherence to moral and ethical principles) and therefore is sullied.
    2. Hamlet is feeling regretful toward the fact that suicide was made a sin. “…weary, stale, flat and unprofitable”, hamlet sees the world as a painful place to be and he would rather kill himself than endure the pain, but he cannot do so, because suicide is a sin. “‘tis an unweeded garden”, is how hamlet further expresses how he sees the world. A weeded garden was a symbol of harmony and normalcy. What his mother and uncle are doing is not normal therefore unweeded. Though he expresses acceptance toward certain happenings as part of life, he believes that some are too intense and out of control; in this case the marriage between Gertrude and Claudius which is incest and not natural nor a normal part of life.
    3. Hamlet is depressed by the direction of his life. He feels this way because he is forced to go through things that he doesn’t want to experience. For instance, he wants to go back to his school that he had been attending before the passing of his father, but his uncle and mother do not support this and he has to follow because they advise him to do so in front of an audience, he couldn’t say no. In addition, the marriage of his mother to his uncle, and the pace at which it happened. Claudius marries Gertrude a month or so after the death of King Hamlet. And it is because of this that Hamlet thinks that his father’s funeral was rather his mother’s wedding because it happened so fast. Also, the fact that his uncle father and his mother act as though there is nothing wrong and act like King Hamlet was never there, really devastates Hamlet, and depresses him even more, which I think justifies Hamlet’s feelings. For any young person, loosing someone who was important is hard and worse, seeming that you are the only one who cares.

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  25. 4. Hamlet is disgusted by his mother and her actions, as he describes the marriage as incest. He thinks that she moved on too fast; saying that the shoes she wore to his father’s funeral were not worn out before she moved on to Claudius. Hamlet doesn’t think there was enough mourning by his mother which angers him. He goes further to say that the marriage cannot bring any good, to the land of Denmark; doesn’t think it was a positive move on his mother’s part.
    I think Hamlet has the right to feel hate and anger towards his mother because I would too. The feelings are justified because the marriage was in no way respectful to people involved in the loss or the person lost. To make matters worse, Gertrude married a person related in blood to the deceased. First which is bizarre and not normal; how is hamlet supposed to address Claudius? Both ‘father’ and ‘uncle’ are now awkward. I would be angry at my mother, not for just putting me through this situation but for also making me live through it and be okay with it.
    5. Hamlet does not like his uncle. He is rather sarcastic towards him. When Claudius asks him why he is sad, he replies by saying that he should be more sad than he actually is. He does not have respect towards him, but why should he? Claudius has no respect toward the deceased King Hamlet.
    Hamlet also doesn’t see Claudius as powerful as he saw his father. He compares his father to the sun god, suggesting that he was an excellent ruler, while Claudius is not; he is rather beastly, a satyr. In addition, the allusion, “a beast that wants discourse of reason”, shows that his further was more reasonable than Claudius, because traditionally the thoughtful character of man has been the difference between man and beasts. Beast lack reason, so they rely largely on the present moment. I believe that Hamlet is justified, to view Claudius the way he does. Like most sons Hamlet looked up to his father, for that reason, his father will always be the EPITOME of a great leader.

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  26. 1.) If I were to be hired as an editor of a new edition of Hamlet I would choose the word sullied. In the context it would make more sense if the world sullied was used because in the two lines it states “Thaw and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d” after reading this passage several times it seems to make more sense that sullied be used. The word sullied means soiled or tainted, it makes a suggestion that his flesh is in a poison or potentially harmful to the environment and/or himself. If the word solid were used in the first line of the soliloquy then a contradiction starts off the soliloquy and that contradiction has no purpose, and thus should not be used here.
    2.) The imagery used in the soliloquy conveys Hamlet’s complete distrust for the world, with every new idea comes a new comparison, in extreme detail of his feelings toward the world and all that has happened and is still happening all around him. For example “His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God! How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,” in these two lines Hamlet explains that he feels as though, if it were not condemned by the church, that he would kill himself because the world in so old and has nothing left to give him, it is useless to him. The imagery just elaborates on these ideas that Hamlet has, extenuating his clever use for words and distrust for the world.
    3.) Hamlet's attitude towards his own life is that he is defeated and feels as though his life is worthless. This can be proved in several different places; it is most prominent in the lines "His own canon 'gainst self- slaughter! O god! O god! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable." In this quote Hamlet directly says "self-slaughter" meaning he wishes to kill himself. In the very next line he explains that his life is boring and that nothing good has come of it, or will ever come of it. These statements lead the audience to believe that Hamlet is depressed and with everything that has happened in the recent past he is debating suicide. His father who he refers to as a god has recently died, and his mother remarried to his Uncle. Through all of this drama Hamlet's feelings have not been considered, Hamlet feels alone which is the cause of his depression.
    Hamlet's depression can be justified throughout his soliloquy and the play. His attitude of low self-worth is exactly what I would be like if I were in his situation. Left unappreciated and having on one ask for my opinions on life changing matters, I would be depressed too. This would bet attitude because if no one cares enough to consult me, the I obviously don't matter enough. So why not just disappear altogether? Given Hamlet's situation his low self-worth and depression can be justified.

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  27. 4.) Hamlet feels betrayed by his mother and talks of her with complete disgust. He feels this way because his mother barely mourned for the death of his father before quickly getting remarried to his uncle of all people. This betrayal comes across in the second half of the soliloquy for example when he says "a little month, or ere those shoes were old which she follow'd my poor father's body," these two lines are very explicit in telling the audience that Hamlet's mother did not mourn her husband’s death for more than a month before getting remarried. All the while Hamlet portrays his distaste for her in her "frailty" (as later stated) she is so week that she needs a man. Put in Hamlet's shoes I would feel the same, betrayed and full of questions. Why would she do this? Was she cheating on my father? As a result it would come across as anger and distrust for her. I would hate her too.

    5.) Hamlet idealizes his father, while he is less than pleased with Claudius. There are two comparisons in the text that show his father's superiority, the first of which being "Hyperion to a Satyr." this comparison is showing that Hamlet's father is a god and a saint while Claudius is the devil, a worshiper of Satan, he is nothing in comparison. The second comparison is "My father's brother, but no more like my father Than I to Hercules" This comparison is more indirect it doesn't compare the two brothers to each other but Hamlet to Hercules a great god. These comparisons back up the attitude that Hamlet has for the pair, and justifies them. Given that Hamlet's mother remarried Claudius not more than a month after the death of her first husband, and that Claudius has done nothing good for the country, Hamlet has the right to feel this way. Claudius will never be the same or anywhere near the level of greatness the Hamlet's father upheld.

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  28. 1. If I were an editor for a certain rendition of Hamlet, I would choose “sullied” as opposed to “solid”. “Sullied”, in this context, has a deeper meaning than “something solid that is melting”. Knowing Shakespeare and his use of precise words, “sullied” is the better option, as it implied that Hamlet is melancholy. According to the notes, he seems to be contemplating suicide; that he can only be freed from this “sullied flesh” through it.
    2. The unweeded garden is an important piece of imagery because Hamlet references the world as one unweeded garden. In a state of chaotic distress. The weeds overtake the garden as corruption overtakes not only Denmark but the world as well.
    The other image that is used is his mother’s eyes. How the red from her tears over her husband’s death has yet to fade when she married her new husband. This shows that the time between the funeral and the wedding was short. Hamlet says straight out “and yet within a month…”, but then drives the point home that it was a ridiculously short period of time by saying that her eyes were still red from crying over King Hamlet’s death.
    3. Hamlet has a lot to bear; the death of his father and sudden remarriage of hismother, along with the war and losing the crown to which he was entitled. Not only that, but his mother married his father’s brother, and he finds that wrong on so many levels. His heart is heavy and he’s mad. He has so many emotions swirling around that he doesn’t even want to think about it; “And yet, within a month—Let me not think on’t.” Hamlet cuts off his own thoughts often and finds it difficult to complete a thought. He doesn’t want to think about his situation, but he has to sort out his thoughts and feelings. His feelings are justified because no one seems to care about the death of his father. In fact, they tell him to get over it and that it is unmanly to grieve for so long. He’s hurt that no one is mourning for the loss of an awesome and revered King. Why wouldn’t he be upset? Adding of that on top of him, and then just to kick him while he’s down. I’m actually surprised he’s not reacting or lashing out more.
    4. Hamlet is so, so angry with his mom, and it hurts him that he has to hold his tongue with her. It hurts him that he can’t speak his mind because she is the queen and he the prince and they’re always around people. He finds it wrong that she has married the brother of his father, making Claudius both father and uncle to Hamlet. She seems to have no resolve, that she is frail. He comes to the conclusion that “frailty- thy name is woman!” Women have no morals. This is blowing things out of proportion, in my opinion, but he has nothing to disprove it necessarily. What his mom did makes him come to a broad conclusion about all women. The reason he’s so upset with her is because of how quickly she remarried, and the short grieving period she had for her former husband, who treated her with kindness and respect; “That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly.” He cared about her so much, and she doesn’t seem to care at all when he dies. This is proven to Hamlet by how long it took her to get over it and move onto Claudius.
    5. Hamlet compares his father and uncle to Hyperion and satyr, a sun god and a beast. He’s saying that there is no way that Claudius is even half the man King Hamlet was because he’s so incestuous and driven by a hunger for sex and power.

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  29. 1. Solid would be my word of choice due to the verbal nuance it shares with melted. Since people would be seeing and hearing this play usually and not reading it like our class does, solid verbalizes the melting part of the play. Sullied, while a more interesting word choice, is a strange way to portray the falling away of flesh. Since sullied would probably be understood as contamination many people would find it more visually appealing, modern audiences might see it more as dirtied than contaminated. Contaminated, and thus sullied, appeals more to the germ covered than melting away whereas dirtied seems much more messy and mud covered. Solid shows something firm dissolving away.

    2. Hamlet sees both the good and bad in the world. He describes it like an untamed and wild garden. While there are many growing things that are beautiful, the weeds that inhabit it overshadow the no longer bountiful flowers and foods that once flourished there. This drastic change of view comes from the sudden death of his father. With this death comes what Hamlet sees as the incest of his mother and fathers brother. He not only compares his uncle to a satyr, a vile, sexually promiscuous mythical creature but also contrasts him to his father. He notes that his Uncle is no more like his father then he himself is like Hercules, the demigod son of Zeus who was granted the envied status of a god of Olympus after his heroic deeds. While Hercules only performed these deeds due to slaughtering his wife and children, I doubt that was the purpose of Hamlets metaphor. Claudius, his uncle, represents Hamlets view on the world. Someone who is shallow, incestuous, and a drunkard perfectly portrays Hamlets spiteful tone of the world that surrounds him.

    3. Hamlet has a complete disregard for his own life. He explicitly states that he would kill himself except for the fact that God’s divine law that one should not commit suicide. Mourning this fact he cries out saying, “Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d His canon ‘gainst Self- Slaughter! How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, seem to me all the uses of the world!” (1.2.134-137). He compares the world he lives in to an overgrown garden; once beautiful but now strangled by the weeds bad influence.

    Hamlets attitude towards his valuable life is highly irresponsible and immature. While I can understand the depression that has crept into his life after the death of his father, wishing your own death, especially as the heir to a kingdom is ridiculous. Obviously Hamlet has not matured. He is still in school, as you can see from him asking the King and his mother if he can return to school, leaving his age unknown though. Nevertheless, he is in an important degree of state, if he were to pass away, the heir to Denmark might remain unknown leaving the state in more havoc then it was even before.
    Liz Murphy

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  30. 4. Gertrude, Hamlets mother, is a hard person to like when portrayed from Hamlets point of view. He is obviously upset with her due to her quick marriage to his Uncle. He even says that she stooped so low as to, “She married. O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” (1.2.158-159) essentially stating that she did not wait nearly long enough to remarry, especially to her dead husbands brother. Even though there was no blood relationship between Claudius and Gertrude, it was still considered incestuous because of the time period and thought process. Hamlet obviously agrees with this thread of thought and persecutes his mother, at least in his soliloquies for it. He saw how his own father loved her telling of how, “That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!” (1.2.143-144). If given the power, the king wouldn’t have allowed even the elements to assail her face too harshly. Hamlet saw the power of the Kings love and noted it. It was prominent enough to him that he viewed her remarriage as a betrayal of this love.

    5. Claudius is a vile, promiscuous, incestuous and lustful person in Hamlets mind. Former King Hamlet is noble, strong, loving and comparative to gods. In Greek mythology, a satyr is half- man and half-goat, an easily despised creature while Hyperion is a titan. Powerful and father to the sun god. Hamlet easily draws a defined line between his father and uncle using these mythological beings as his metaphor. His uncle being the bestial and sexually promiscuous man-beast while his father is a competent ruler, powerful and supportive. With these metaphors in mind, Hamlet details the many differences in his father and uncle, including himself in the mix. He goes as far as to say that Claudius is as different as King Hamlet as Prince Hamlet is to Hercules. Apparently using Greek Mythology as a theme in this soliloquy, Hamlet contrasts himself to a demigod that was finally made a god as a reward from his father, Zeus after his many heroic deeds. Using these apparent differences between himself, a lowly mortal, to Hercules, an incredibly strong demigod, Hamlet strengthens his contrast between Claudius and former King Hamlet by referring to King Hamlet as Hercules and Claudius as himself. Hamlet obviously would not enjoy being compared to Claudius but in proportion of the power of Hercules and his father in Hamlets mind, it’s quite equal.

    Even though Hamlet may truly feel this way, it doesn’t mean he’s justified in these feelings. There are many unknown variables to his metaphors. Is former King Hamlet as wonderful and God-like as Hamlet says? Is Claudius as horrible as he is portrayed by Hamlet? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then Hamlet is quite justified in his rage. But if more layers and variables are added in to complicate the play then it will be much harder to determine the innocence or damnation of Claudius.
    Liz Murphy

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  31. Kacie Q.

    1. I think that the line “O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt,” reads better when “sullied” is replaced with “solid.” When I look at it, it seems to me that “solid” makes more sense in context, because of the fact that the flesh was going to melt. So the flesh was going from a solid form to a liquid form, and that made much more sense to me within the sentence. While “sullied” does make sense within the whole of the soliloquy, I don't think it makes much sense within that line. The fact that the flesh is “stained” or “defiled,” doesn't have much to do with the fact that it would melt. To me, the passage made much more sense the way it was written in the Folio.
    2. From the first two lines, Hamlet relays his thoughts and emotions to readers. He states that his flesh is melting, then thawing, and then “resolve(s) itself into a dew.” This image gives readers a feeling of discomfort, and immediately lets us know that something is definitely off, both with Hamlet, and with his surroundings. The hints that this imagery gives us proves themselves to be true when Hamlet speaks of his wish to commit suicide. This line comes a shock to readers. It makes us wonder about Hamlet's current mental state, but also about the state of Denmark and what made him consider suicide in the first place. Hamlet's comment of an unweeded garden also gives readers a clue about the state of Denmark. When I think of an unweeded garden, I think of chaos and disorder, and it seems to me that, with the old king dead, and the new king, his brother, so quickly taking his place on the throne, that this is also the case with Denmark. He also uses the comparison of Hyperion, a sun god, to a satyr, a goat-like creature. In this comparison, the late King Hamlet is described as the god, and his brother Claudius the satyr. The fact that Hamlet uses this comparison immediately makes us wary and distrustful of Claudius. While Claudius had a lengthy soliloquy of his own earlier on in the scene, it didn't immediately establish trust with the reader. He made himself seem manipulative in that passage, and Hamlet's negative comparison of him makes readers all the more cautious of Claudius. During the soliloquy, Hamlet makes it clear that he's feels very bitter towards the rest of the world, especially his family, who see his mourning as “unmanly.” I feel that his bitterness isn't completely justified, though. It doesn't seem as if everyone wants him to suppress his feelings, mostly just Claudius. From the first act, it seems that many others are mourning the late King's death as well. Claudius, though, makes it seem that Hamlet is the only one mourning, and that he shouldn't be doing so. The fact that his uncle doesn't allow him to express himself properly strengthens these feelings even more, and the result is the poignant soliloquy

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    1. 3. Hamlet seems as if he hates his own life. He seems to feel that the world is against him, and he, too, seems to be against himself. He even states his wishes that suicide wasn't a sin. Also, he seems to have a terrible self-esteem. The fact that in one of his comparisons, where he compares he himself and Claudius to Hercules and King Henry, he pairs himself with his uncle who he clearly dislikes speaks wonders for his self-hatred. During this passage, he seems to dislike just about everyone in his life, especially his family, who people would assume he would become closer to during this time. The fact that the family isn't mourning together and instead seem to be dealing with their grief in completely different manners seems to be breaking the family apart even more. It seems as if the only thing that Hamlet had anything positive to say about was his father. The fact that the only good thing is now gone also shows how negatively Hamlet feels towards his life. I think that a lot of these feelings are due to pent up emotion. I can sympathize with Hamlet, because it's clear that he isn't being allowed to express his sadness at all. He's put down whenever he does. These negative feelings caused by the death of his father seem to weave their way into his negative feelings about his life in general.

      4. During the soliloquy, it seems clear that Hamlet is disgusted by his mother. The fact that she isn't mourning her husband's death like Hamlet is makes him feel that she didn't care at all. She remarried her husbands brother within the month of the King's passing, and this marriage seems to have strengthened Hamlet's dislike of both of them. He seems to have little faith in his mother, making her out to be a very weak character. Hamlet states that she used to “hang” on her father, in yet within a month of the death, she remarried, to his brother no less. He describes not only her, but the entire female gender as “frail.” While I can certainly see where Hamlet is coming from, I also think it's slightly hypocritical of him. He seems upset that his uncle isn't allowing him to mourn in his own way, in yet he judges his mother when she seems to have a different way of mourning. I also think that he should put into consideration the situation that she, as a queen, is in. I can see where both of the characters are coming from in the situation, and I don't think that one of them is completely correct, nor completely wrong.

      5. During this passage, Hamlet often compares his dead father to his father's brother, Claudius. He uses two comparisons in order to convey his feelings. The first is a comparison of “Hyperion,” a sun god, to a satyr, a goat-like creature. In this situation, King Hamlet represents the god, and his brother the goat. The next thing he compares the two men to is himself, Hamlet, to Hercules. Strangely enough, considering his clear dislike of his Uncle, Hamlet represents Claudius and Hercules represents King Hamlet. These feelings do seem justified. From the beginning, when the guards collectively mourn the late King Hamlet's death, it is clear that he was a good, well-loved King. Also, during Claudius's speech, he appeared very shifty and slimy, and I definitely didn't trust him. His ability to subtly manipulate his people made me instantly wary of him. While I am distrustful of Claudius, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he was definitely terrible. Hamlet certainly does seem biased, due to the fact that Claudius is basically his dad's replacement. He also seems to be exalting the dead, kind of like that saying “don't speak ill of the dead.” Instead, Hamlet is showering the dead with compliments, and then putting down the living man in his father's place. 

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  33. Cara O.
    1. If I was hired as the editor of a new edition of Hamlet¸ I would choose the word “solid” over “sullied” to be used in Hamlet’s first soliloquy found in Act 1 Scene 2. “Solid” is used to describe figures that have three dimensions and whose interiors are filled. “Sullied” is to be soiled or tarnished. Hamlet says, “Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter!” Hamlet is so distraught, he wishes he could commit suicide, but cannot because he feels it is forbidden. Hamlet wants nothing more than to cease existing, and expresses this by saying that he wishes he would melt away into vapor. This seems to be more physical, therefore “solid” would be a more appropriate word to describe Hamlet’s wishes to disappear. “Solid” also corresponds to the verb “melt.” Scientifically, this makes sense. In a way, Hamlet is sullied, but the word “solid” makes more sense within the context.
    2. Hamlet uses nature to convey his attitude towards the world around him. “Fie on’t! ah fie! ‘tis an unweeded garden, that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature possess it merely,” is used to describe the world in a state of chaos. A well kept garden is a sign of normalcy, and Hamlet views his world to be in disarray, and therefore overtaken by weeds. He is aware that bad things happen in life, but he feels as if the world is out of control, and everything is revolving around the “weeds.”
    3. Hamlet does not care about his life and would throw it away if given the chance. In the very beginning of the soliloquy, Hamlet is expressing his wishes to leave everything behind and commit suicide. Directly after that, he says, “How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, seem to me all the uses of this world!” Hamlet finds his life to be pointless and a waste of time. He is so overwhelmed by the sudden changes and the death in his family, and feels as if everything is wrong. In addition to that, no one is being sympathetic towards him. In fact, his mother and Claudius basically tell him to deal with it and be happy. Later in the story, we see more clearly that Hamlet is willing to throw away his life. When the ghost beckons him to follow in Act 1 Scene 4, his friends advise against it because they fear the ghost may try and kill Hamlet, but Hamlet is determined to go and is content with the fact that he may die. Hamlet has every right to feel angry, bewildered, and depressed. His father just died, and Hamlet admired him greatly. He compares him to the sun Titan, Helios, and describes how much his mother loved him. Hamlet is angry with his mother and his uncle for getting married so soon after his father’s death. He sees nothing good in the situation, and is extremely sad. If I were Hamlet, I’d probably be experiencing similar feelings towards the situation. That is a lot of trauma for one person to experience, and the fact that no one really cares what Hamlet thinks is frustrating. Sometimes it’s better to be done with the situation, and that’s how Hamlet feels.
    4. Out of all the characters Hamlet is angry with, his mother is the one he is the most furious at. He thinks it’s ridiculous that she recovered from her husband’s death so soon, and that she remarried almost immediately. He is disgusted by her actions, and states his emotions when he says, “By what it fed on: and yet, within a month – let me not think on’t – Frailt, thy name is woman!” Hamlet sees his mother as weak. “Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she married.” Hamlet thinks his mother flung herself into the marriage before she even moved on emotionally from King Hamlet’s death. Hamlet does feel a hint of sympathy though because as much as it kills him, he won’t say anything about it. He doesn’t wish to make matters worse for his mother by allowing his emotions to show.

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  34. Cara O. Continued!

    5. Hamlet sees his father and his uncle as two completely different people. He compares his father to the sun Titan, Helios, who is important and powerful. “So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr...” Claudius, being compared to a satyr, is weak and unimportant to Hamlet. Satyrs are simple creatures in Greek mythology that have no great purpose like Titans or gods. Hamlet utilizes an analogy to contrast his father and Claudius. “My father’s brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules…” Hamlet sees himself as no great hero like Hercules, and also sees Claudius as nothing in comparison to his father. To Hamlet, King Hamlet was a loving husband who was powerful and important, and Claudius is the complete opposite. Hamlet’s attitude towards his father is justified because Hamlet adored him and everything he did. I feel like Hamlet is holding a grudge towards Claudius because he is angry about the marriage. Claudius may not be such a bad ruler, but Hamlet cannot see past his fury to judge his uncle fairly.

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  35. James King

    1) If I was hired as an editor for a new edition of Hamlet, sullied would be, without a doubt my word of choice. My reasoning for this is that solid is such a boring word and can be interpreted as wholesome. But this flesh is far from wholesome, it is vile and defiled it has been sullied. Sullied captures the essence of the contamination and “contrast to self-slaughtered” elements.

    2) Imagery is definitely a key device in this soliloquy (along with all of Shakespeare works). The first clear example of imagery is when Hamlet describes his home Demark as an “unweeded garden, that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature”. What Hamlet is saying is that Denmark because of his Uncle and Mothers marriage bad fruit will be produced as they have corrupted Denmark. In other words he is saying that the marriage is going against nature. This example demonstrates the kind of devices Hamlet uses to make his opinions known.

    3) Hamlet has a very negative attitude towards his life but rightfully so. Hamlet feels alone, he has lost his father and not only was his mother unperturbed but she scolded him for mourning him while she herself married her brother in law. These circumstance more than qualified Hamlet for a little bit of woe is me time. A example in the soliloquy where Hamlet shows his depression is in the quotation “ How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, seems to me all the uses of this world!”. In the quotation negative attitude is obvious and how bleak he feels the world is.

    4) To start off it is still safe to say that Hamlet despite his mother marrying so quickly to her brother in law still loves and cares for her. But the main part of the soliloquy Hamlet wondering why would his mother who had loved his father so much so quickly remarry and to King Hamlets own brother. One quotation that shows Hamlets inability to relate to his mother is “Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him. As if increases of appetite had grown by what it fed on: and yet, within a month”. This quote shows Hamlets memories of how his mother and father loved each other so and how in death his mom could so quickly forget. An other quotation that reveals what Hamlet thinks of his mother is “Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, She married. O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!”. In this quotation Hamlet describes the tears for his father unrighteous as if it is wrong to cry for his father and morn his father. He also wonders how she could so readily agree to marry when it was so clearly wrong. Hamlets relationship with his mother remains respectful but questioning.


    5) King Hamlet is vastly superior to his brother Claudius. (Younger) Hamlet knows this and makes comparisons for the two brothers to demonstrate his father’s superiority. The first comparison that Hamlet makes is to compare Hyperion to a satyr in the quote “So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr” he is saying his father is an important powerhouse while his uncle is a lustful and drunken woodlander. King Hamlet is honorable King Claudius is lustful. The second comparison Hamlet makes is “My father's brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules”. In this quotation order is everything, he is saying that his Claudius is to young Hamlet as King Hamlet is to Hercules. This comparison is states that King Hamlet is hero and his brother pales in his comparison. It is in this way that they differ. Hamlet is right to feel this way as it is a simple truth that was clear even before this soliloquy, King Hamlet is greater than Claudius.

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  36. Jordan W.

    1. The line "O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt" sounds better and more fitting to the soliloquy as a whole when the word solid is replaced by sullied. In that particular sentence it makes sense, but in the entirety of the piece sullied just ties everything together in a more accurate and poetic way. Sullied refers to something as being stained or impure and from what I know of Shakespeare, he generally prefers his ideas to be more obscure, but exact. The word sullied would just add to the overall creepy sort of tone that Shakespeare is setting in Hamlet's soliloquy.

    2. The message that Hamlet is trying to get across to the reader is clear because of the specific choices of imagery and description that Shakespeare uses. Hamlet is trying to say that basically in the times he is in it is impossible to feel completely satisfied with oneself. He wishes that he could take his own life, but is unable to because it is against God's will. He says "His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
    How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world!" It is written by God in the bible that killing oneself is a sin which causes mixed emotions for Hamlet. He wants to just give up and die, but it is God's wish for him to continue and persevere. Hamlet when speaking of his father's death and how quickly his mother moved on uses a specific image of shoes that particularly resonates with the reader. "A little month, or ere those shoes were old " Hamlet is saying that his father's death and his mother moving on were younger than the month-old shoes on his feet. It's a slightly whimsical comment to make, especially at the time that it was made. I wanted to laugh when I read it, but reading deeper it was clear that Hamlet was in pain. It was a nice juxtaposition of funny verse the serious atmosphere that Shakespeare had built up so well in the previous sections.

    3. As I previously mentioned, Hamlet uses God's word to show the reader that his easy way out of his difficult life is unachievable. Hamlet wants to die, but it would be sinful of him to try and kill himself. He absolutely has every right to feel this way because his father very nearly just died and his mother has already married, his uncle no less. As Hamlet will also later find out that his father was killed by his uncle which just adds fuel to the hatred- fire that Hamlet has for his uncle. His uncle was terribly hard on him when he mentioned that he should stop acting like a baby and move on from his father's death I would have flipped out, so his reaction was completely acceptable. Having something like this happen to him could have caused suicidal thoughts, honestly depression (although it may not seem like it) would be completely normal for someone like him who has gone through all that he has.


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  37. 4. At this particular point in time, Hamlet merely feels sad for his mother and what she has done. He says "Let me not think on't -- Frailty, thy name is woman! --,"meaning that Hamlet believes his mother to be weak for having moved on so quickly, as if she was unable to be without someone else. He compares her to an animal when he says "O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
    Would have mourn'd longer," saying that even a wild animal would have been in a state of mourn longer than his mother was. Throughout the course of the play the reader is able to see that despite his poor opinions of her, he still respects his mother more than his uncle-father.

    5. When someone loses someone close like a father, they never remember the faults of that person, only the good and pureness when comparing them to someone that they shouldn't like. The same is true during Hamlet's soliloquy. He wishes to honor his father by reveling in all of his wonderful attributes while putting Claudius down about not being more like him. “My father’s brother, [is] no more like my father than I to Hercules.” Hamlet says this because he doesn't, will never, and could never think of his uncle as his father. They are two completely different people and in comparing them hamlet is able to see what he wants to; his father's superiority over Claudius, even in death.

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  38. O’ Seiken
    1. While ‘solid’ and ‘sallied’ are just two small words in a big play, there is no doubt Shakespeare spent many waking hours editing the soliloquies to get Hamlet to sound exactly right. In acknowledgement of his efforts we will determine now which is the rightful word to describe ‘flesh’ and discuss how it will affect the nuance of Hamlet’s mini speech.
    In any case, I would like to argue for the input of ‘sallied’ (though it would sound better as ‘sullied’) for its connotation of something being dirty or tainted. Solid would be stable, earthly, mortal. It would make much more sense for him to say ‘I wish this dirty flesh of mine would melt and evaporate to the heavens’ than ‘I wish my concrete flesh would thaw and boil below dew point…’ Even without all that, euphonically speaking, ‘sallied’ is preferable.
    2. Overall, it is depressing. He is mostly angry at the injustices of the world* and the state of which they are allowed to continue in.** He wants to escape it.***
    *The lines about ‘so loving to my mother’ is questioning the reason of humans (i.e-polygamy or licentious is only permitted in animal world) and asking how it was possible for the mother, who was treated so well by the king should behave this way.
    **Where it’s like ‘Tis an unweeded garden’ he is saying there is no fairness in the world, and those that want to be weeds-leeching the life out of noble grasses are free to do so with impunity.
    ***The last line ‘But break, my heart’ clearly shows how he feels of the whole love affair. Not to mention he makes to references to suicide in the beginning.
    3. Based on evidence from two sections of the soliloquy He wishes he could suicide. These would be ‘O, that this too too…’ and ‘Or that the Everlasting…’ After losing a father (at such a young age) and having to go through remarriage to an uncle, any normal person would feel this way. It makes you wonder how he would’ve dealt with it without the ghost’s advice. But it also makes him a hypocrite because he says you can’t suicide for Heaven’s decree but clearly he has sworn murder, which is pretty much the same. So if he’s going to go around murdering on the pretext of (a)vengeance, he should just take the easy way out and close the curtains of his life (for we don’t want another Romie-Julie situation). On a personal note, if the matter calls for it, you shouldn’t suicide if your lover’s alive.
    4. It is obvious he adored his dear mother by the way he focuses his resentment at her. It is she, not Cloudy, which his assailing is aimed at. See how when he says ‘So excellent a king…Than I to Hercules.’ He is rattling on about women and issues and frailty forever while Cloudy only gets ‘he was a bad satyr’ to his credit. At first glance this is not apparent and may seem like he hates his mother but believe me when I say this is characteristic of just such people. The more trust you put in someone, the harder it hits when you’re betrayed. He is on a roll at ‘Within a month…incestuous sheets!’ here he is flabbergasted at the incongruity of her behavior. He cannot believe what is happening. She’s crazy!
    5. King Cloud and his lascivious nature are peripheral when looking at his mother. To him, she is the source of all evil. But anyways, from the text we gather the late King was a sun god compared to him who was a satyr plowing the earth with its horns. Though I think he still would’ve been a satyr when compared to a peasant. Another bit about the King is that he and his brothers were opposites, which just reinforces the already stated thing about satyrs. This is all very well and reasonable because even a ‘beast, that wants discourse of reason’ would agree with him.

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  39. 1. I would use the word "sullied" instead of the word "solid" in line 131 of act 1 scene 2, Hamlets first soliloquy. I would do this because of how the word sullied brings the images of infection, contamination, and corruption. This makes you think of a festering wound, which is used a lot in Shakespeare. It also makes you think of it as an illusion to the new king. Solid however would make you think that Hamlet is actually injured.
    2. Hamlet thinks that the whole world is conspiring against him and takes everything that has just happened to him and thought that everyone was like this. An example is that he talked about how his mom ran to the first man she saw after his father died, so Hamlet thinks that all women are weak. Hamlet is throwing a small tantrum, it is completely called for, and understandable but it still makes him look childish.
    3. Hamlet doesn't really care about his own life and said he would commit suicide if God did not want that to happen. He was depressed because of his father's death, his mother marrying almost immediately after the kings death, that he is not king and that he can't even talk to Ophelia. All of these things have added up to put massive weight on Hamlet's shoulders and causing him a lot of stress and making him depressed.
    4. Hamlet is spiteful of his mother because of many reasons, but mainly that she married his father's brother within a month of the kings death. The mother was described by Hamlet as not mourning enough and rushing to Claudius as Hamlet was still on his death bed. He finds that she married Claudius because he was the brother of King Hamlet, but Claudius is so unlike his brother that it is as if Hamlet's mother ran off to anyone in the country after the king's death.
    5. To Hamlet the late king is so much more than his brother the new king. He uses Greek mythology to compare the two brothers. In line 141 to 142 he says "So excellent a king; that was, to this Hyperion to a satyr". He was saying that King Hamlet was so great that he is the sun god and that Claudius compared to him is just a goat. He uses Greek Mythology when he says that Claudius is so weak compared to King Hamlet. Hamlet uses himself and Hercules to put emphasis on the comparison. Using the Greek mythology shows that Hamlet is educated and that he is able to use it in context making him show an even greater knowledge.

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  40. Olivia P.
    Soliloquy

    1. Word Choice In Context- If I was hired as an editor of a new edition of Hamlet, I would choose to put sullied into the text, versus solid. When reviewing the notes one “solid” it came to my attention that, “some critics stress “sullied” as the “contrast to ‘self-slaughter’ the resolving of the baser element into the higher, whereby Hamlet might return from melancholy to normal health, or, if to become dew is to die, then from ‘misery’ to ‘felicity’. Being said, that if sullied were put into the text, it would give more effect to the way Hamlet’s feelings are interpreted, and that his emotional flesh would melt easily.

    2. Analysis and Evaluation- During the soliloquy in which Hamlet presents, he uses plenty of imagery to give his words meaning and description. When saying, “Oh, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, or that the Everlasting had not fixed his canon 'gainst self-slaughter!” Hamlet describing to his audience his distaste and his not wanting to live. His attitude toward the world is very negative, and not only does he wish to commit suicide, but he feels as if he is a “garden no one is taking care of, and that it’s growing wild,” 1.2.138 as if saying his life were at an uncontrollable point, but nobody seems to take notice nor care, and due to those feelings he takes it out on the world.

    3. Analysis and Evaluation- Hamlet’s attitude towards his own life is very dreary. His father is dead, his mother quickly remarried, his uncle is now his new father, and now he cannot be king. To Hamlet, life is no longer as ideal as it was two months before, when his father was alive and king, Claudius was still his uncle, and everything was smooth sailing. In the text, Hamlet quotes, “But two months dead—nay, not so much, not two. So excellent a king, that was to this hyperion to a satyr. So loving to my mother that he might not beteem the winds of heaven visit her face too roughly” expressing his grief for his father, and his hatred for his mother, for re-marrying so quickly after the man that was so devoted to her, had died. I completely agree with the way Hamlet is feeling, but to a point. Yes, if I was put into his shoes and such a perfect life was taken from me so quickly I don’t know how I would react, but pity myself, and that is what Hamlet’s doing. But, now that Hamlet’s father has contacted him, and given the news about Claudius, it is time for Hamlet to show the world what he is made of, suck it up and get revenge. Claudius is right, everyone suffers from a loss, and of course Hamlet has a different take on the situation, but not is his chance to really show everyone he’s stronger, and to take back what’s his.


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  41. 4. Analysis and Evaluation- Hamlet has a very opposed attitude toward his mother since she has remarried his uncle, and has almost a bit of disdain and hatred for her. In act 1.2.147 Hamlet quotes, “A little month, or ere those shoes were old with which she followed my poor father’s body, like Niobe, all tears. Why she, even she— O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer!—married with my uncle, my father’s brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules. Within a month, ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her gallèd eyes, she married.” Here, Hamlet shows his misery, when speaking about how fast his mother moved on, “before the tears dried off her cheeks.” He believes that for a man that loved a woman so much, and for her to also be just as in love, how could she move on so quickly? Another quote from the text, 1.2.157 “With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” revealing even more of his opposition to his mother’s decisions of re-marrying, and jumping into a bed of incest. Once again, I agree with Hamlet’s choice of attitude, because no one can truly deal with such tragedy at once. Of course, sooner or later Hamlet will have to change his attitude, because pitying himself isn’t going to solve anything, he must get revenge. He must change his attitude, and look on the positive side of things in order to get his life back on track.

    5. There is no doubt that Hamlet truly believes his father is an almighty, superior god, and that he looks down on Claudius, versus admiring him. Hamlet also plays with his words when speaking, that he doesn't see a comparison between the two, and that his father has it all. “Married with my uncle, my father’s brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules.” 1.2.151. Hamlet speaks as if Claudius to his father is himself to Hercules, and he is not. Therefore, he views Claudius as nothing admirational, and a murderer that took his father’s life from him. Another quote that justifies Hamlet’s attitude toward Claudius and his father, is act one, scene 2, line 141 he says “So excellent a king, that was to this hyperion to a satyr.” Hamlet refers to his father as a sun god, on numerous accounts, and here he is showing his admiration for his father, such a superior figure he was, and the impact he had on Hamlet’s life. I do believe is it acceptable and appropriate for the way Hamlet mourns his father, any son would do so, and I think it’s okay for him to have the opposing feelings he does. If anyone were in his shoes, they would act just the same.

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  42. 1. If I was the editor of Hamlet my decision on word choices in the soliloquy of act one, scene two would be to use “sullied” over “solid.” The line in which “solid” is used recites “O, that this too too solid flesh would melt” and truthfully the use of the word “solid does make more sense in the context of that line. This is so because by using “solid” states that his flesh is literally melting into a liquid, which is good imagery. But by using the word “sullied” it reflects the meaning of the entire soliloquy, because it shows Hamlet acknowledging himself as something that may be “contaminated” by the corruption of Denmark. This is the reasoning for Hamlets thoughts of suicide so by using “sullied” it really reflects the whole soliloquy.
    2. Shakespeare uses imagery in a very affected way in order to reveal Hamlet’s attitude towards the world in this soliloquy. It is relevant the Hamlet feels upset at the world; Hamlet believes that there is nothing worth living for left in this world. He wants to take his own life in order to escape from this world he believes is corrupt and unjust. Readers are made aware of this through the imagery Hamlet uses. Everything Hamlet describes in his life like his Claudius and his Mother’s mourning represent his feelings towards the world. He describes Claudius as a “Satyr” compared to the “god” his father was. By saying this Hamlet paints a picture of Claudius being a gruesome inferior creature and I believe Hamlet believes that the whole world seem a like barbaric best compared to his father. Hamlet also lowers his own mother to this level of bestial when he says “a beast that wants discourse of reason” describing a beast who would mourn longer that her. Shakespeare describes his father though (the only thing not in this world) as “Hyperion” a sun god in Greek mythology. Hamlets describe his world by describing the people in it as inhuman, lacking remorse, and beastly and the people not in it as godly, and righteous drawing a clear line that makes the world seem corrupt and lacking morals.
    3. It is clear that Hamlet feels that his life is now of unimportance and wishes to be rid himself of the corrupt world around him. Hamlet says in this soliloquy “His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!” showing that the thought of suicide has crossed his brain but his faith in god holds him back from any actual action (because suicide is considered a sin). He has wishes of suicide because of the death of his father and resulting following it being the remarriage of his mother in two months time. The fact that Hamlet is alone in his deep mourning and sorrows for his father death really upset him. When Hamlet says “fie on’t! ah fie! ‘tis an unweeded garden, That grows to seed; thins rank and gross in nature” the garden represents Denmark while the weeds represent corruption and since the death of his father he explains the “weeds” or corruption have grown out of control in Denmark. And this is the origin of Hamlet’s suicidal thoughts. I do believe that Hamlet’s attitude is justifiable given his circumstances. He has just lost his father and lacks any company in his mourning he actually encouraged by his mother and Claudius to move on and celebrate. Sometimes when you are alone in your grief you can feel like the world is against you, I believe this is true in the case of Hamlet justifying his attitude in my eyes.

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  43. 4. Hamlet is sickened by his my mother clear lack of empathy towards the death of her husband as well as the lack of sympathy for Hamlet and his own mourning phase. Also Hamlet views her marriage to Claudius in disgust, he says “By what is fed on: and yet, within a month let me not think on’t – Frailty, thy name is woman!” This shows that Hamlet views his mother as being morally weak because of her actions in dealing with his father’s death. Also going back to her lack of mourning her husbands death as described by Hamlet as “a beast, that wants discourse of reason, would have mourn’d longer.” Hamlet actually describes his mother as being lower on moral and empathetic level than a mute creature saying it would have mourned longer than her. Hamlet’s feelings are at times view as harsh or irrational but personally I think they are justified. Out of everyone he know his mother is supposed to be the closet and most intimate to his father but after his death it’s like he never existed; Hamlet being morally aware sees this as wicked. I share his feelings; if my dad died I would hope my mother would show some distress for more than just the funeral.
    5. Hamlet sees his father and Claudius as polar opposites, his father as the reason for Denmark’s success and Claudius as its current downfall, his father strong, and Claudius weak. Disposition is a very natural feeling sons have towards new stepfathers. Growing up your dad becomes your role model, your idol; your stepdad is your dad’s enemy instantly making him your enemy as well. Hamlet shows this by comparing both of them on multiple occasions he says “So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr.” By comparing a god (King Hamlet) to an ugly beast (King Claudius) he shows a clear stance on his father’s superiority. Hamlet also says “My father’s brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules” once again showing a clear stance that King Hamlet is a far better man than his brother. Hamlet’s attitude is defiantly justifiable in this case as well. It is very common for sons to see their actual father’s as superior to their step fathers. And of his case of feeling a little bit of distaste because of the quick timing of Claudius’s arrival to throne makes sense.

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  44. 1. In the line "Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt", staying with the word choice "solid" is the better decision over "sullied". "Sullied", while fitting in context, does not lend much extra meaning to the monologue. We can gather without the word that the recent months have tainted Hamlet's emotions and memory. "Solid", for such a simple word, holds so much meaning in this context. Hamlet wishes that he could not only let go of this life and problems but of the shell that has trapped him. His father dies, his mother remarries all too soon. He watches as the people close to him leave him, and he is left behind watching but unable to join. His casing is holding him back from moving forward, in other words his depression is limiting him. This casing is heavy with all the tragedies in Hamlet's life. And now that casing, his flesh, his life, his memory, will forever be stuck with him. How Hamlet wishes he could forget the last two months and shed this state of depression, but it is solid--immovable, unshakable. Depression is steadily and unwaveringly attached to Hamlet. Oh, that his problems could just melt away. Furthermore, Hamlet is stuck, stuck because of this skin, for he cannot commit suicide and death has not come upon him. What is happening is all too real, too solid to escape from, and Hamlet just wishes it could become not so prominent in his life.


    2. Hamlet is done with the world, to put it simply. He has given up and is spiteful toward the nation, for so easily forgetting his father's recent death. His father was so great, why would they wipe away his memory so quickly? The imagery Shakespeare employs strengthens Hamlet's apparent depression. He describes the world as stale and lifeless, and this is such a strong line, showing how much he has given up. There is nothing left that this world could offer him. It is a cruel and emotionless world he lives in. Is he, Hamlet, the only one who cares that his father died? Hamlet is so sick with his life, even evident in "Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt"; he is simply done. "'Tis and unweeded garden" is how Hamlet chooses to describe life. Life is uncontrollable and naturally chaotic, so much so that chaos can grow to cover the good in life. "That grows to seed"(1.2.138); the chaos may not be present in life at first, but the way that life works, chaos will appear and grow and grow, no matter how terrible. "...she would hang on him, As if increase of appetite had grown..." (1.2.145-146) this bit of imagery demonstrates the large amount love that Hamlet's mother used to feel towards Hamlet's father and we can distinguish the great amount of shock and disbelief that Hamlet must be feeling.


    3. To Hamlet, life is worthless, meaningless. It cannot be cured. His life is a curse that he is forced to carry with him and cannot sake. "or that the Everlasting had not fix'd His cannon 'gainst self-slaughter!" (1.2.133-134). Hamlet laments that he is not able to kill himself, and end this state of depression. Death, suicide more specifically, is the ultimatum of giving up. Why, Hamlet, why are you giving up? Everyone's father dies at some point. And yes, your situation was a strange one, but death? Why is it that you cannot make yourself stronger with these emotions? Why is it that you do not believe you have a chance at living? That is an awful, formidable way to think. It is illegal for a reason. For someone to think their life worthless does not say much for them. That comment alone shows that they have chosen to give up instead of fight. Hamlet's father never would have given up.
    Nicole B.

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    1. 4. In this soliloquy, Hamlet is definitely nursing anger towards his mother for moving on so quickly. "...So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a star; so loving to my mother That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly." (1.2.141-144) Shakespeare gives Hamlet these lines to inform the audience just how much Hamlet loves his father, and to bring up the idea that Hamlet resents his mother. Hamlet is describing how wonderful his father was, as if his mother does not deserve him, like she has overlooked his greatness. And, oh what a sin that is! Hamlet expands on this idea that his mother is cruel; "...a beast, that wants discourse of reason, Would have mourn'd longer..." (1.2.152-153Hamlet is obviously absolutely furious at his mother's choice of action, and getting more and more worked up as he goes. Does he even go to say that she may have faked ever being sorrowful? "Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her galled eyes." (1.2.156-157) "Unrighteous tears"- tears that are not real, and have no emotion behind them. Or more than that, could Hamlet be saying that his mother, for marrying he brother-in-law so quickly, does not deserve to weep at all or say that she ever was sad? In either case, the claim carries high stakes, as does the rest of the monologue.
      Two months is a very long time to stay depressed, even if the cause is the death of a father. Hamlet should not have forgotten the tragedy, like his mother seems to be doing, but after two months, it would be perfectly acceptable and normal if Hamlet could move past depression, and learn to deal with his sorrow and make it motivate him to be as great as his father. Sadly, Hamlet does not see that any positive can come out of the current events. That is too bad, for this could have strengthened Hamlet as a person. Of course, weighing in the recent marriage changes the perspective. That marriage is so strange that Hamlet has every reason to become upset again, angry this time: his father's memory is being insulted by this quick marriage. If only Hamlet had someone to talk to when his father had first died; this could have solved everything. If there had been one person to be with him, give him advice and here what he has to say. Because Hamlet has had no one in the last two months, and because of the strange events following his father's death, it is appropriate that Hamlet may still be grieving. He was never given the proper care and attention. And on top off that, he was without a doubt insulted by the wedding.


      5. Claudius is a sorry sort compared with Hamlet's father, which Hamlet shows to us in his monologue. Hamlet's father is Hercules, the invincible, unbeatable, amazing. Claudius is a common person, nothing special. In fact, in this metaphor he is Hamlet. He is someone who should look up to Hamlet's father and try to be like Hamlet's father. Early in the soliloquy Hamlet voices how he thinks of his own father as a god, while Claudius is a owly satyr, a goat-man. A creature with no honor or purpose, as some may say. Hamlet has every reason to be scornful of Claudius. Claudius took over Hamlet's fathers place, both as king and as father. Now, this can spurn hatred for two reasons. First of all, people can be so against change that having a new ruler/father in place will cause you to be very judgmental of them. Second of all, Hamlet so believes that his father is on the same level as the gods. To be replaced is impossible, to be replaced by someone so base and vulgar is an insult, and for Claudius to tell Hamlet to move on and accept him as the father is asking for trouble. That could never go over well. Hamlet has no choice but to repond the way he does: he is alone and depressed, angry at everyone. Hamlet just needs some care and some help, but he is given none. He is given replacements, happiness-fillers. He is watching a fake life go on in front of him that he is included with, how could he not be bitter?

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  45. 1. If I were hired as the editor of a new edition of Hamlet, I would you choose “solid” over “sullied.” With solid, I feel as though it's it's not only easier to interpret, it provides actual imagery of the meat melting, unthawing, and turning into dew. I'm sure this is what Shakespeare originally intended the word to be, because it serves two different purposes, as stated before: the imagery and the interpretation.

    2. This soliloquy is packed with imagery, Hamlet uses it to convey his attitude toward family members and the entire world. He wishes the world were pure like an unweeded garden, but understands that it is impossible. But with the unfortunate set of events at hand such his father passing away and his mother remarrying not only quickly, but to her brother in law, Hamlet feels as if the weeds, or immorality, has overtaken his world/the garden. It's very obvious that Hamlet is in a state of hatred right now. In the very beginning of the soliloquy, he starts off wishing he was dead; that his physical body could just dissolve into nothing: "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
    Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!" Then he continues to complain, wishing that God, or "Everlasting" would permit self-slaughter (read: suicide) as an exit to the terrible world he lives in.

    3. Hamlet's attitude toward his life is complete despair. Given the events that happened, I can't blame him for feeling this way. His father died, then his mother rushed into a marriage with his father's own brother! He feels betrayed on behalf of his father, which is totally understandable. His life is hopeless in his eyes; he wants to commit suicide, as previously stated, and his entire world, or garden, is in a state of corruption. His life has absolutely nothing good to offer him, "all the uses of this world" are nothing more than "weary, stale, flat and unprofitable."

    4. Hamlet is absolutely disgusted with his mother's actions. From what we know currently, the death of Hamlet's father was just as painful to Hamlet as it was to her. Hamlet thinks she remarried too quickly: "ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she married." He also thinks that she was trying to replace his father; and she was. Often times when someone's relationship with someone else' is ended, they seek comfort within someone else to fill the void. In this case, the mother is seeking comfort in someone else to fill the void that Hamlet's father's death created. She didn't marry just anyone, though. She married her brother in law. To marry her husband's brother is like a slap in her late husband's face, and Hamlet feels that way as well. It's not exactly incest, but religiously, it can be considered as such and Hamlet points that out: "O, most wicked speed, to post
    With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!"

    5. Hamlet's attitude toward his father, compared to his attitude toward Cornelius is completely opposite. He felt as though his father was a great king and husband to his mother, as stated here: "so excellent a king; that was, to this, / Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother." In this same quote, Hamlet compares his father to a titan and Cornelius to a beast. Cornelius doesn't sit quite right with Hamlet or me, apparently. He seems very shady, it feels as if he's putting up a façade. He also makes an indirect comparison to himself and Cornelius by contrasting himself and Hercules, and comparing Cornelius to himself and his father to Hercules.

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  46. Kirsten S.
    2.2 Soliloquy Explication
    Hamlet is his own worst critic. Throughout this soliloquy, Hamlet is making a comparison between him and the actor and then questioning his own ability. For example, he says on lines 564-565, “What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,/That he should weep for her?” He is saying that the actor has had no emotional connection to Hecuba at all, but so skillfully portrays an act of pure tears and emotion for her, and how this can captivate any audience. He further compares this feat of the actor to himself, whom he calls a, “...dull and muddy-mettled rascal.../And can say nothing; no, not for a king,/Upon whose property and most dear life/A damn'd defeat was made.” He is ashamed that he is not able to act upon the murder of his father with the same emotion that the actor had towards somebody he wasn't even connected with. It makes him feel self-conscious in a way. The way he talks of himself, is in a negative light. He almost doesn't believe he can pull off as great of a performance. Towards the end of this soliloquy he seems different though. He has more confidence in himself, and his revenge plot is made evident, “For murder 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;/I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench,/I know my course.” He decides to use the actors for his own good in deceiving his uncle and uncovering the truth, very manipulative.

    2.2 Performance Comparison
    Once again I thought David Tennant's version was more effective. Shakespeare uses soliloquys to show what a character is thinking, to understand them more. Tennant's portrayal of Hamlet is very dramatic, which I like, because when I imagine how Hamlet is speaking and acting this soliloquy, it isn't monotone and one-dimensional. I expect movement, shouting, questioning of oneself. And Tennant's version did that. He started off by breaking a security camera, he was on his knees almost whispering, and then the next moment shouting. He looked into the camera a lot too, his hair sticking out, untamed. I think by doing this, it shows Hamlet's inner struggles with everything. It shows him going slightly insane. It shows him having a mental breakdown. On the other hand, Branagh's version was the opposite of Tennant's exciting performance. He spoke very quietly in the beginning, as if he didn't quite believe in what he was saying. He didn't have the confidence and allure. He also completely avoided looking at the camera. Overall, his actions just didn't match the words Hamlet says.

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