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What would be 2 significances in this quote Act1, scene2 l.76: "seems, madam! nay, it...

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hodoo | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 1, 2007 at 1:10 PM via web

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What would be 2 significances in this quote Act1, scene2 l.76: "seems, madam! nay, it is, I know not "seems."

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 1, 2007 at 9:41 PM (Answer #1)

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The first meaning would be literal: Hamlet is objecting to his mother saying that he appears to be upset, and is insisting that he is.

The second meaning depends on the line following: it is a pun. He says it isn't his "inky cloak" that makes him look that way—it isn't just the "seams" of his mourning clothes that make him seem upset (not just how he is dressed). It is how he is: the man, not just the clothes.

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dedalus | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 2, 2007 at 6:26 AM (Answer #2)

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this gets to a central issue (and question) in the play:

illusion vs. reality

later on does hamlet SEEM to be crazy, as he tells horatio he will be putting on an "antic disposition" shortly after this passage (which is illusion). or IS hamlet actually crazy? (reality)

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