In Act 2, sc. 2, what's Hamlet's state of mind revealed by his soliquy? What do Hamlet's remarks to Polonius tell about Hamlet's thoughts?

1 Answer | Add Yours

luannw's profile pic

luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

The soliloquy to which you refer is the "...rogue and peasant slave.." speech.  Here, Hamlet is upset with himself because he's done nothing yet to avenge his father's death as he promised the ghost he'd do.  At the beginning of the speech, he compares himself to the actor who, delivering the lines he just gave, was so emotional, he had tears in his eyes.  Hamlet says he should be that emotional and determined to avenge his father's death. He says that he hasn't even done any planning and that if anyone were to call him a wimp or to slap him, he'd deserve it for his inaction.  Then he rants about his uncle, calling him a "bloody, bawdy villain!" among other names.  He becomes determined to take some kind of action and so, at the end of this speech, says he's heard that someone, seeing his bad deeds enacted, might react, therefore he'll have the players enact a scene depicting his father's death and see if Claudius reacts.  That way, Hamlet will know that the ghost was indeed the spirit of his dead father and not a demon trying to lure him into hell by getting him to commit murder.  Hamlet's earlier remarks to Polonius tell us that Hamlet has disdain for Polonius whom he considers a meddlesome person.  Hamlet makes caustic remarks to Polonius reflecting Hamlet's scorn for Polonius.

We’ve answered 317,722 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question