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Discuss Hamlet's statement, "The time is out of joint. O cursed spite, that ever I was...

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warslave | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 1, 2011 at 4:34 PM via web

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Discuss Hamlet's statement, "The time is out of joint. O cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it right.”

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

Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:21 PM (Answer #1)

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You have not included a question with this quote from "Hamlet".  I will make a leap of judgement and guess that you want to know a little about the quotation.  It is from Act 1, sc. 5 and it is at the end of the scene (and the end of the act).  Hamlet spoke the lines to Horatio and Marcellus.  Hamlet has just spoken to and heard from the ghost of his father who has asked Hamlet to swear to get revenge for his death.  The ghost told Hamlet that he was killed by his brother, the same brother, Claudius, who has married the former king's wife, Gertrude, and has now assumed the ghost's throne.  The lines set the tone for the rest of the play and Hamlet's reluctance and delay in getting that promised revenge.  Hamlet does not carry out the wishes of his dead father until the last scene of the play, and then, it is almost a spur of the moment, anger-driven act.  The lines indicate that Hamlet does not want this burden of responsibility ("cursed spite"), but he realizes that it is his duty as his father's son ("That I was ever born...") to get that revenge against his father's murderer.

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