How do the following quotations from Hamlet help develop character, plot, or conflict?

1. How all occasions do inform against me

And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,

If his chief good and market of his time

Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.

Sure he that made us with such large discourse,

Looking before and after, gave us not

That capability and godlike reason

To fust in us unus’d.


2.   A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat  of the fish that hath fed of that worm


3. Now, whether it be

Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple

Of thinking too precisely on the event,–

A thought which, quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom

And ever three parts coward,–I do not know

Why yet I live to say ’This thing’s to do;’

Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means

To do’t.

Expert Answers

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If you look at these from Hamlet's perspective, all of them serve to develop his character further.  As he discusses the nature of man and wonders how it is that we should have this ability to reason and yet lack the ability to do something about the things we think about, he demonstrates his weakness, his inability to act on the anger and despair he feels at his father's murder.  As he gains more will, his thoughts which were previously only 75% cowardice and 25% will to act begin to gain more power to act.

The second quote has more to do with the changing nature of man and whether or not man is really anything greater than the beasts given that we come from dust, that we will return to it and that a worm can be eating the remains of a king and then be eaten by any man who finds that worm.

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