In act III of Hamlet, why is Hamlet so upset about his mother's marriage?

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jmj616's profile pic

jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Act III, Sc. 4 of Hamlet is the famous "closet" scene.  Hamlet is invited to meet with with his mother in her "closet," a small private room (perhaps her bedroom).  In this scene, Hamlet gives full vent to his feelings about his mother's marriage to Claudius.

Hamlet begins by saying, "Mother, you have my father much offended."  He is upset, obviously, that his mother has married the murderer of his father.

Furthermore, Hamlet feels that Claudius is a very poor "replacement husband" as compared to the previous King, Hamlet's father.  Hamlet describes his father:

See what a grace was seated on this brow;
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
A station like the herald Mercury
New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill:(65)
A combination and a form indeed
Where every god did seem to set his seal
To give the world assurance of a man.

 Claudius, by contrast, he describes as a "mildew'd ear" and a "moor," meaning a worthless piece of land.   He is not worth the "twentieth part the tithe" of the previous King, meaning he is not worth 1/200 as much.

Hamlet calls the conjugal bed shared by his mother and Claudius "an enseamed [greasy] bed," and a pig sty.

koi-miazaki's profile pic

koi-miazaki | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In act 1 scene 2, Hamlet is despaired because his Father just died and his mother immediately married his Uncle. That is why he kinda says that it is the mother who should be crying, but instead, she married in only a month after his father's death. That's why his mad and despaired. It's because of his mother.


THat's the only answer I know. Maybe you're talking about act 1 scene 2? uhm... I dunno

Just in case, my answer might help ^_^

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