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What does this speech reveal about the Hamlet’s state of mind (Scene 2, lines...

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samsoto | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 19, 2007 at 12:52 AM via web

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What does this speech reveal about the Hamlet’s state of mind (Scene 2, lines 129-159)?

English is not my first language and I just got here to this country and I am having a hard time understanding such play. This is what the teacher is asking, all i understood was that the uncle kill hamlet's father and marries his mom. Please help me. Thank you

Hamlet’s first soliloquy (Scene 2, lines 129-159) occurs before Horatio reports the Ghost’s appearance.  What does this speech reveal about the Prince’s state of mind?  What specific things trouble him?

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cmcqueeney | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted October 19, 2007 at 1:06 AM (Answer #1)

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Hamlet is extremely distraught at this point in the play.  His first comments are that he wished God had not forbidden suicide because he is in so much despair he wants to kill himself.  He is pondering the marriage of his mother to his uncle.  He cannot believe it happened so quickly and he cannot believe his mother would marry someone like his uncle after having been so in love with Hamlet's father.

He also contemplates his mother's sorrow upon his father's death.  He says she was inconsolable, yet not two months after, she was marrying his uncle.  Hamlet is heart sick over the entire thing, but he seems to be the only person bothered by it, so he keeps it to himself.  He declares that the situation is not good and cannot produce any good in the future. 

Below is a link to enotes that provides the original text along with a translation to help you. 

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

Posted October 19, 2007 at 1:14 AM (Answer #3)

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Hamlet also suggests the incest theme in this speech.  (When a woman married, in those days, she essentially became a sister to her husband's brother, making the relationship between Gertrude and Claudius an incestuous one in the eyes of many.) Hamlet presents some foreshadowing when he says that nothing good can come from the marriage of his mother to his uncle - and of course, he is right.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 19, 2007 at 1:20 AM (Answer #4)

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As a teacher certified to teach ESOL, you seem to being wonderfully!  Keep up the good work.  :)

Just thought you might like to know that there is another site (free to use) that gives the original text alongside a modern translation to help ensure your understanding.

Go to www.sparknotes.com and look for the category "No Fear Shakespeare."  There is also a wonderful discussion of the play with analysis here at enotes.com.

 

 

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