Student Question

What are the similarities in Act 1, Scene 2 after Claudius leaves, and Act 1, Scene 4 after the ghost leaves?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The most striking similarity in these two scenes is the realization of Hamlet (1.2), Marcellus and Horatio (1.4) that things are not right in Denmark and the state of the monarchy.

Hamlet has the more complete thought process in his soliloquy (1.1.133-165). Here, he is mourning the loss of his father, ("So excellent a king") the treachery of his mother ("frailty, thy name is woman!"), and the unfitness of his uncle to be king ("My father's brother, but no more like my father/Than I to Hercules.")

Marcellus has the same sentiment but expresses it much more succienctly: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" (1.4.100)

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial