Hamlet Critical Reading Essay

Submitted By gcolpitts9
Words: 997
Pages: 4

Act 1 Close Reading

1. In the first few lines, “O, that this too too solid flesh would melt thaw and resolve itself into a dew” (Shakespeare 10), Hamlet is making a wish. Hamlet is making a wish that he personally could commit suicide. Hamlet is also wishing that god did not make suicide such a powerful sin.

2. In lines 3-4, Hamlet is complaining about his life. Hamlet is comparing himself to a woman and that he is too weak. Hamlet says, “Or that Everlasting had not fix’d” (Shakespeare 10), which proves that Hamlet is angry and believes his pointless life should end in suicide.

3. In these two lines Hamlet is saying that suicide will solve all of his problems. Hamlet describes the world as, “weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable” (Shakespeare 10). Hamlet believes suicide is his best option in this situation however he cannot go through with it because of his faith and religion.

4. Hamlet is angry over how quickly she remarried. Her husband dies and then a few weeks later, she marries his brother. This infuriates Hamlet. This is clear when it mentions, “Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes” (Shakespeare 11). This proves that Hamlet makes the connection that her eyes have not even stopped crying because of Hamlet’s death. With that said however, Hamlet also mentions, “Had left the flushing in her galled eyes” (Shakespeare 11). This statement proves that even though her first husband died so recently, she remarried so gracefully and so poised.

5. In this part of the play, Hamlet’s sarcasm is very clear. Horatio mentions to Hamlet that he attended his father’s funeral but Hamlet, sarcastically, compares it to his mothers wedding. This is evident when it mentions, “I think it was to see my mother’s wedding” (Shakespeare 11). This tone is different than the soliloquy because in the soliloquy he is angry with her mother and absolutely furious that she remarried. Here Hamlet makes a joke about it and plays it off like he is content with his mother remarrying.

6. Throughout different sections of Act 1 Scene 2 of Hamlet, it becomes clear that Hamlet’s tone changes based on whom he is talking to. For instance, when he is talking to Claudius and his mother, he is mourning his father’s death and showing true respect to his mother. This is evident when it mentions, “Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief, that can denote me truly” (Shakespeare 9). When Hamlet is by himself, he becomes angry with his mother and he wants to end his life in a sinful way. This is clear when it says, “O, that this too solid flesh would melt thaw and resolve itself into a dew” (Shakespeare 10). When Hamlet is with his friends he is all jokes and sarcasm. This is clear when it mentions, “I think it was to see my mother’s wedding” (Shakespeare 11). All three of these tone changes prove that Hamlet acts different ways when he is around different people.

7. Laertes does not believe that the relationship will work because of Hamlet’s status. Laertes mentions that Hamlet may love Ophelia now, however when he becomes a man he knows that he cannot marry someone not at the same status level as him. Because of Hamlet’s status, he cannot make personal choices. Also, Laertes mentions, “ For on his choice depends the safety and health of this whole state (Shakespeare 15). This proves that Hamlet’s choice is not his own and that his woman is who the nation wants, which is not Ophelia.

8. Laertes gives advice to his sister that is defiantly similar to advice given today. That advice is to not lose her virginity before marriage. He is saying this to keep her pure and to make sure she can find a husband when the time is right. This is clear when it mentions, or lose your heart, or your chaste, treasure open to his