Why does Hamlet wish that this "too, too solid flesh would melt"? What's the cause of his suicidal tendencies? Under what circumstances, and at which moments of the play, does Hamlet dwell on the...

  • Why does Hamlet wish that this "too, too solid flesh would melt"? What's the cause of his suicidal tendencies? Under what circumstances, and at which moments of the play, does Hamlet dwell on the possibility of ending his own life?

Asked on by malcop100

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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He is disappointed in his inability to take action after his father's suspected murder and his uncle Claudius then quickly marrying his mother. He feels that he must do something but since he is unable to do so, he might as well end this horrible torment he feels. He hesitates due to his uncertainty about what might happen after he does the deed, perhaps his torment would continue given that God has "fixed his canon 'gainst self-slaughter." And so he decides to continue.

He revisits the idea several times during the action of the play, famously again during the "to be or not to be speech" as he considers again the benefits of suicide versus simply enduring the tragedy he has seen and the suspicion that it is his father's brother who perpetrated the nefarious act.

It isn't until Act IV that he resolves to do something, that he cannot simply talk and brood about it anymore.

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