Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Important Passages by Abbie Clark

. I have of late,—but wherefore I know not,—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire,—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
Act 2; Scene 2
In this scene, Hamlet is explaining his depressed state of mind  to his old friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. I noted the importance of this passage because I thought it allowed me to view exactly how much hurt his father's death  caused him. He describes humans as being noble in reason, infinite in facilities and admirable in form, only to shatter that image with his own personal opinion in which he compares humans to nothing more than dust. After learning that his Uncle murdered his father and after swearing his revenge, Hamlet seems to be questioning everything. His whole world was shattered in a short period of time; all he knew is gone and he is trying to re-compensate by  trusting nothing, not even his previous thoughts. 

Marry, sir, here’s my drift:
(And I believe it is a fetch of wit)
You, laying these slight sullies on my son
As ’twere a thing a little soiled i' th' working—
Mark you, your party in converse, him you would sound,
Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes
The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured
He closes with you in this consequence:
“Good sir” or so, or “Friend,” or “Gentleman,”
According to the phrase or the addition
Of man and country
Act 2; Scene 1

I noted this passage simply because it made me want to punch Polonius in the face. He is so pompous and thinks he knows everything. He can't even fathom the thought of trusting his full grown son to live on his own. This elaborate plan to make his servant plant the seed of a bad reputation in  the minds of people who may know Laertes only to see if they are true is ridiculous. Obviously he has some major control issues in the way he tries to control Laertes and in the way he tries to control Ophelia and Hamlet's love for one another. This passage showed me to what extent Polonius will go to have this control. Polonius is going to cause some serious problems for Hamlet I think. 

Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing—no, not for a king,
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damned defeat was made. Am I a coward?
Who calls me “villain”? Breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by the nose? Gives me the lie i' th' throat
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this?
'Swounds, I should take it, for it cannot be
But I am pigeon-livered and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave’s offal. Bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
O vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murdered,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words
And fall a-cursing like a very drab,
A scullion! Fie upon ’t, foh!
About, my brain.—Hum, I have heard
That guilty creatures sitting at a play
Have, by the very cunning of the scene,
Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaimed their malefactions.
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I’ll have these players
Play something like the murder of my father
Before mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks.
I’ll tent him to the quick. If he do blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil, and the devil hath power
T' assume a pleasing shape. Yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me. I’ll have grounds
More relative than this. The play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king
Act 2: scene 2

In this scene, Hamlet is reciting a soliloquy in which he firsts act on his sworn revenge. He notes how the actors made him feel just by their acting abilities alone and he conceives and idea in which will prove if his Uncle is guilty of his father's murder. Hamlet decides to make the actors perform a scene much like his father's murder in front of his Uncle. During this, Hamlet will  gauge his Uncle's reaction to determine whether he is  guilty or not. Hamlet is sure this will work for he thinks that even though murder has no tongue, it still finds a way to speak. 

1 comment:

  1. I think you did a good job highlighting some of the most important part of this act, especially the last soliloquy in which Hamlet re-evaluates his revenge on King Claudius in order to avenge his fathers death.