The time is out of joint
Let us go in together,
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
The time is out of joint—O cursèd spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let's go together.
To Hamlet, the state of affairs (the "time") in Denmark
resembles a dislocated shoulder, "out of joint." He sees himself as
the physician who will have to operate on the crippled kingdom not
just by setting the bones, but also by removing a cancer: King
The dour Dane mutters these sentiments after encountering his
father's ghost. We have seen that he is already plotting the way to
"heal" the time—by first pretending to be sick himself [see
ANTIC DISPOSITION]. But while he speaks to his companions with
resolution, in these remarks which end the first act he betrays
feelings of resentment and unfitness to the task. These feelings
will become the subject of his greatest soliloquies.