Analysis Of And The Role Of An Extract Of Act I Scene Iv In Shakespeare's "Hamlet"

1016 words - 5 pages

The extract, which is the ending of the first act, sets the scene for the three next acts. It is the moment when the introduction ends and the main action of the play, the building up of tension aimed towards the tragic ending, begins. This scene carries a lot of importance as it is the scene which determines in a nutshell what is going to happen for the rest of the play. It shows another side of Hamlet's personality and gives the audience a vague hint as to what the morals of the play are.The extract reveals Hamlet to be a competent young man who gets things done instead of endlessly procrastinating about whether or not he should carry out his duty. He swears to the ghost that he will never ...view middle of the document...

The image that this conveys is one of seriousness, as such matters as death and revenge are not to be taken lightly. Such lines as "O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?" show that Hamlet is being serious, yet there is comical aspect to it because it is so grandiose, and Hamlet is taking the whole affair very seriously. His state of mind is obviously not rational, or at least how it would normally have been, because he has just been told that his father was murdered and that he is to murder his uncle. His state of mind cannot, therefore, be normal. He was already depressed before the play started, and now he is in shock as well. He seems to be focused on the task ahead, even to the point of obsession and infatuation. He even appears to be on the edge of sanity, but the audience learns later on in the play that this is a cover-up for what he intends to do. The multiple references to death, heaven and hell and the like indicate that Hamlet had been thinking about them more than a sane person would, as he was obsessing about his father's death. Shakespeare uses questions to put forth the fact that Hamlet a grandiose persona. "And shall I couple Hell?" shows that Hamlet is overemphasizing his position as a victim of unfortunate circumstances.The section of "Hamlet" in the extract is in strong contrast with the rest of the play, as previously Hamlet was a depressive, introverted young man, and after the scene the reader comes to realise that he procrastinates endlessly. The scene portrayed Hamlet...

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