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In Hamlet, Act II, Hamlet says:
- The Player's first monologue is essential to the play for the following reasons:
- It begins the meta-drama motif: theatre about theatre. The key to uncovering Claudius' guilt is through theatre.
- It mirrors the Ghost's monologue from Act I. Hamlet is drawn to morbid dialogues: they set him in motion.
- It foils Hamlet's predicament. Pyrrhus killing Priam is analogous to Hamlet killing Claudius. The speech is both an allusion and a foreshadowing of his revenge against a King.
- It shows Hamlet's love of the theatre. Hamlet is happiest in Act II: the players and Horatio are the only ones he trusts. As Denmark is a prison, Hamlet is free only while he's on stage.
- It shows hilarious critical commentary between Hamlet and Polonius. It shows that Hamlet knows what good art is and Polonius does not. The monologue foils the artistic hero and the fool.
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