In Act 2 scene 2 line 534-592 said by Hamlet, How do Hamlet's rhetorical strategies develop his character?

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davidwheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hamlet's rhetorical questions about the ability of the actor to pretend to be angry and sad about the death of Queen Hecuba lead him to question his own motives and analyse his own actions. His father has been murdered - he has far more cause for grief and anger than the actor. Yet he says he 'can do nothing'. He uses disparaging comparisons to criticize himself - he is 'a dull and muddy-mettled rascal'. He asks whether he is a coward, but rejects this analysis. His tormented mental state is shown throughout the soliloquy by his constant change of topic. He berates Claudius - 'kindless villain. and then mocks himself fot the very soliloquy he is delivering - he must 'unpack my heart with words' rather than take actionn against his step-father. This reference to acting reminds him that 'guilty creatures' sitting at a play often reveal their guilt. And from that thought he conceives the plan to watch Claudius' reactions while 'The Mousetrap' is performed. I'm not sure his character IS develpoed in this speech, but it is analysed and he ends up with a clear plan of action.