In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a prince is forced to take drastic action once he discovers that his beloved father was murdered by his treacherous uncle. In the first passage given (Act I, scene v), Hamlet is reacting to this horrible news given to him by a ghost that resembles his late father. In the second passage given (Act II scene ii) Hamlet is developing a plan to explore the truth behind the ghost’s claims. While these passages may have completely different contexts and purposes, the overall connotation and underlying messages in both passages prove the relation between them.
In Act I, scene v, Hamlet is reacting to the ghost’s claims that his father was murdered cleverly by his uncle, and the new king, Claudius. Hamlet is completely overwhelmed, as is seen when he says “Hold, hold, my heart;” (Act I, v, 93). The ghost’s parting words were “Adieu, adieu, adieu. Remember me” which frustrates Hamlet even more. He states the ridiculousness of that farewell by claiming that one could not forget this event no matter how hard they tried, and rather they’d remember the encounter as the foremost significant memory within their mind. He then goes on to compare his mind to the world, declaring his mind was a “distracted globe” (Act I, v, 97). He also associates his memories with written accounts, such as records and books, and says that he’d rather erase those memories in order to focus on the information he was given by the ghost. Hamlet then goes on to reference his mother as a wicked woman, and his uncle as a villain. He noted to himself that appearances aren’t always what they seem, as “one may smile, and smile, and be a villain” (Act I, v, 108). Hamlet concludes his monologue with a simple claim that he must follow through with his vow to the ghost- to take revenge on Claudius for his father’s murder because had “sworn’t” (Act I, v, 112). Since Hamlet doesn’t list any other reason for him avenging his father, one begins to wonder if the only reason Hamlet would avenge his father’s murder is because the ghost made him promise to, and not, rather, because he has a lust for revenge due to the amount of love he felt for his father. Also, the fact that Hamlet is overwhelmed by all of this information, as proved earlier, gives the appearance that he might have been a bit distracted during his talk with the ghost, and therefore made his promise as an overwhelmed man, rather than a passionate son. This suggests that Hamlet does not want to kill his uncle. This statement is further proven in Act II, scene ii, when Hamlet is deliberating how to fulfill his promise to the ghost.
In Act II, scene ii, Hamlet still isn’t sure how to go about killing his uncle, which would allow him to fulfill his promise to the ghost.