Speech on Hamlet Essay

Submitted By apmcgrath13
Words: 702
Pages: 3

‘Speak to me. Speak to me. Oh speak. For which they say you spirits oft walk in death, speak of it. Stay and speak!’ Already in the first scene of the play Shakespeare begins to forewarn the audience against the evils of revenge. Horatio, the most loyal, cautious friend of Hamlets, witnesses the appearance of the ghost. In the renaissance period, those who believed in spirits, trusted that the presence of one meant that they had unfinished business to attend. Though this idea was both supernatural and horrifying to the Elizabethan audience, it made clearly evident that the ghost, ‘In the same figure, like the Kind that’s dead’, came back for a reason and one that was unpleasant. Hamlet’s perception is that the prior King was the ultimate father; he was his idol and ‘his fathers brother, but no more like his father’. As the conversation with Claudius, Gertrude and himself, he begins to communicate his disgust for Gertrude and says so with, ‘to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets.’ Here, the audience recognizes the actions of his mother can never be forgiven by Hamlet and that Claudius will never replace his father. ‘Foul deeds will rise’, and ‘So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear’. These thoughts establish the foreshadowing events of revenge throughout the entire play.

When Hamlet commences his descent into madness, his thoughts create the idea to assemble a play within a play, the murder of Gonzago. He justifies the reasoning by stating that if Claudius is disturbed, he will then reveal guilt for his actions, ‘Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King’. Shakespeare stages this for the audience and the characters in the play are able to understand the validity of Claudius as the murderer of the late King and the potential outcomes of this revenge against evil. As death is the primary concern within the play and the worst result of most revenge tragedies at the time, Hamlets differentiation is that his madness is ‘deeply ambiguous’. This manipulative plot instigates the actions of revenge feigned by the evils that madness can induce.

As Hamlets disgust and loathing of Claudius develops in Act 1, scene 3, his pace and short phrases hasten to match his quicken thoughts. Shakespeare does this to alert the audience of the suspense that arises with hamlets tone. His unfinished lines portray the irrationality of his thoughts that lead to, ‘take him in the purging’, of Claudius’ soul. His forceful, commanding dialogue towards Gertrude in the next scene, ‘come, come and sit you down, you shall not budge,’ allude to the action being taken to avenge Claudius and perform his murder. As he kills Polonius,’ thou wretched, rash,…