Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What quotes in the play prove Hamlet was depressed?

An additional quote that shows Hamlet to be depressed comes at the beginning of his monologue in act 2, scene 2: "I have of late—but / wherefore I know not—lost all my mirth." For some reason, Hamlet has recently lost all sense of fun and joy. He thinks of the world as a sterile, empty place. For good measure, he has no time or affection for the human race either.

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By the time Hamlet gives his speech in Act 2, Scene 2, it's clear that he's completely disillusioned with the world. And this is clearly a by-product of his depression. As he readily admits to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he's recently lost all sense of fun:

I have of late—but
wherefore I know not—lost all my mirth...(II, ii, 250-51).

As Hamlet is so obviously depressed, it's not surprising that he should have such a jaundiced view of the world. Even the joys of nature appall him. Far from the sky being a majestic roof decorated with golden sunlight, it appears to the miserable Hamlet as nothing more than a "sterile promontory" whose very air is contaminated by a "foul and pestilent congregation of vapors". The very air that Hamlet breathes makes him feel sick to the stomach.

And Hamlet doesn't have much time for people, either. Though man is supposed to be a noble creature, unlimited in capacity for thought, angelic in action, godlike in understanding, he appears to Hamlet as nothing more...

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