O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!

"O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!"

Hamlet (I, v, 106)

Hamlet is enraged when he learns a hideous and painful truth from the Ghost of his recently deceased father: the late king did not die a natural death but was murdered by his own brother, the new King Claudius. This foul deed enabled Claudius to take both the crown and Gertrude, the late king's wife, Hamlet's mother, as his Queen. Hamlet has been depressed the death of his father, but to learn that he was actually murdered by his own brother is devastating. This is the turning point for Hamlet, marking the beginning of his madness, whether it be entirely real or at least partly feigned. He lives for one thing, and that is revenge.

Themes: madness, murder and assassination, supernatural phenomena

Speakers: Hamlet

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