I need one good speech in Act IV of Hamlet. The speech has to give a "cause and effect" explanation to the audience of Shakespeare's time.It can be regarding social, cultural or economic values. I...

I need one good speech in Act IV of Hamlet. The speech has to give a "cause and effect" explanation to the audience of Shakespeare's time.

It can be regarding social, cultural or economic values.

I have to expand on that one speech

Thanks

Expert Answers
plcramer eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can think of two such speeches in act IV of Hamlet. The first is delivered by Hamlet himself after an encounter with Fortinbras and his army, a threat to Denmark, in scene IV. The monologue begins, "How all occasions do inform against me/And spur me in my dull revenge!" meaning that everything he sees and encounters makes it clear to him that he is wrong in his inaction and urges him onward towards revenge. This is the speech where Hamlet finally really forms his resolve to follow through on avenging his father. We see this resolve form in real time as he talks it through. The cause and effect at work here is Hamlet comparing himself to Fortinbras—who is in many ways his double as he is also a prince and also lost his father—and letting that unflattering comparison drive him to action.

The second speech that might work for your purposes is King Claudius in IV.V, which begins "O this is the poison of deep grief; it springs/All from her father's death." This speech is less famous and less important to the plot, but it deals more explicitly with cause and effect, outlining every tragedy that has recently occurred as a possible explanation for Ophelia's madness.

hi1954 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are really only two great "speeches" in Act IV of Hamlet, one by Hamlet and one by the King.  The King's speech, in IV.5, which begins "O, this is the poison of deep grief," gives a sort of synopsis of the situation at this point in the play.  Hamlet's speech in IV.4, lines 32 through the end, is probably more what you're after.  This is the speech with the lines

"Rightly to be great

Is not to stir without great argument,

But greatly to find quarrel in a straw

When honor's at the stake."

jillyfish | Student

Act IV, Scene IV. Hamlet has just witnessed Fortinbras, the man of action, set off to fight a meanigless war against Poland for pride's sake only. Halet is impressed and makes this long speech about what it means to act like a man...

What is a man,(35)
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(40)
To fust in us unused. 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(45)
Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do,'
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me.
Witness this army, of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,(50)
Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an eggshell. Rightly to be great(55)
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,(60)
And let all sleep, while to my shame I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,(65)
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!