Favorite Scene in HamletHamlet is full of amazing scenes, but what's your favorite one?

11 Answers

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I am quite disturbed by the anti-Ophelia hatred that runs through so many of these discussions - is it just guys who like Ophelia?! What is it about her that make women hate her and enjoy seeing her pushed over the edge into lunacy? Is there something masochistic about seeing another female destroyed by a man?!!!

Anyway, my favourite scene has to be Hamlet's soliloquy in Act I scene 2 after the court has exited. I just love the language and the description of Hamlet and his new life as he struggles to come to terms with the death of his father and changes in court. An excellent piece of existentialism.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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My favorite scene is Act 3 Scene 1, the "To be or not to be..." soliloquy, but not for the first half of the speech.  I love the absolute truth expressed in the lines, "Thus conscience makes cowards of us all, / And thus the native hue of resolution / Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought."  Doesn't everyone have a personal example of a time when he or she really really wanted to do something, but a jump in thought to the possible negative outcomes changed his or her mind?  I know I have dozens!

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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My absolutely favorite scene in Hamlet is Act 3, Scene 1, . . . although not for the reason you might expect.  Yes, "to be or not to be" are a few of the most quoted words in English Literature.  Yes.  But what I LOVE about the scene is Hamlet's despicable treatment of Ophelia, sending her over the edge!  Brilliant!  I just love all the innuendo (as I always do) with lines like "Are you honest?" and "Are you fair?"  LOVE it!  Ha!

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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I really like the scene where Hamlet is messing with Polonius - putting on the antic of madness for him - Act II, scene 2:

Polonius:  Do you know me, my lord?

Hamlet:  Excellent well; you're a fishmonger.

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Scott Locklear | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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As much as I would like to pick something cleverly obscure, I have to go with the greatest scene of them all: act 3, scene 1

And here's why, the most famous line from it:

To be, or not to be,--that is the question...

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jessica-w | Student, College Freshman | (Level 2) eNoter

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I love the Scene 1 in Act 3.

-"Get thee to a nunnery"

I don't particularly like Ophelia so Hamlets horrible treatment of her makes me quite happy.


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d2leaperd | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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personally i dont have a favourite scene, as all have positive and negatives, although my most favourite quote/line "..let be" such a decisive and emotionally rational statement has been reflected or matched in any other story of sorts to my knowledge

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tishmel | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

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I am haunted by Ophelia's scene in which she completely loses a grip, Act IV, Scene 5, in which she sing-songs the depth and breadth of her despair and madnes:

There’s fennel for you, and columbines; there’s rue for you, and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference. There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they wither’d all when my father died. They say he made a good end,—  [Sings.]         “For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.”

For all his clever plans, Hamlet's trap has caught an innocent in its net, and the loss of Ophelia can be attributed to no one but him.  For me, this is what makes the tragedy complete. 




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arjun | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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All the scenes are very interesting but the scene in which he is beckoned by the ghost and his friend forbids to go after him. Hamlet utters very bold words.

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nedsneebly | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

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i would have to say my favorite scene is the last soliliquey , the most defining speech he gives in the middle of the wasteland in act 4 " may my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth." not only is this speech about finally making up his mind , he really sums up man  and war- what is a man if his chief good and market of his time is to eat and sleep? that cabality of god like reason,-the imminent death of twenty thousand men got to their graves like beds , fight for a plot... what good is the intellect and reasoning that has been given to us if all we do is waste it in eating , sleeping, and in imperialism.