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What is the significance of the following quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet: "let not...

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em444 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted November 1, 2012 at 1:41 AM via web

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What is the significance of the following quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet: "let not ever/The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom/Let me be cruel, not unatural." 

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 1, 2012 at 3:19 AM (Answer #1)

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Hamlet speaks these lines before he goes to see his mother, who is angry at him after the play he staged had so obviously offended Claudius. Nero was a Roman emperor who had famously murdered his mother, and by saying this, Hamlet is keeping true to his father's command that he not exact revenge on his mother. He does, however, plan to tell her precisely what he thinks about her marriage to Claudius, and this includes telling her about his father's murder. She is stunned by the allegation, but ultimately believes him.

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