Passage from Hamlet

This essay Passage from Hamlet has a total of 2116 words and 10 pages.

Passage from Hamlet

Formal Critical Analysis of a Passage from Hamlet - Hamlet’s speech (III,
iv, 139-180)



Sung-Wook Han

AP English 4 / Mr. Epes

Hamlet Paper

Formal Critical Analysis of a Passage from Hamlet

Hamlet is probably the best known and most popular play of William
Shakespeare, and it is natural for any person to question what makes Hamlet a
great tragedy and why it receives such praises. The answer is in fact simple; it
effectively arouses pity and fear in the audiences’ mind. The audience feels
pity when they see a noble character experiencing a regrettable downfall because
of his innate tragic flaw, and they fear that the same thing might happen to
them. Hamlet’s speech (III, iv, 139-180) contributes to producing this feeling
of pity and fear. First it explains the thought with particular emotional
effectiveness. Second it conveys Hamlet’s character, both virtue and tragic
fear. Lastly, it marks the beginning of the tragic discovery and Hamlet’s
downfall, answering the question “why does Hamlet delay?” Observing the
beginning of Hamlet’s downfall and tragic discovery in this passage, which
happens despite his many virtues, maximizes the pity and fear at the same time.

The first contribution is that this passage conveys Hamlet’s thoughts with
poetic and emotional effectiveness. Hamlet denies his madness and urges Gertrude
not to make his madness an excuse for her faults. He asserts that excuses would
only cover the superficial faults and the soul would be corrupted deep within.
He further asks Gertrude not to commit any more sins that make past faults even
worse and to confess herself to heaven. After all, Hamlet sarcastically begs her
pardon for his reproach. Hamlet explains that during the extremely rotten time,
Hamlet, who is good and of virtue, must beg pardon to and get permission from
Gertrude, who represents vice by committing many sins, to do good things such as
urging her to repent. As a method for salvation, Hamlet asks her not to go to
Claudius’ bed. Then he apologizes for the death of Polonius and admits his own
fault. However, he insists that Polonius and he both are punished because God
has made him the agent to punish Polonius with him and him with Polonius. He
takes the responsibility, and explains Gertrude that he is cruel only to be kind
to her and warns that worse things are yet to come.

Through out the passage, imageries are used to add poetic emotion to Hamlet’s
thought

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