Why Is Hamlet Upset In Act 1 Scene 2

Topics: Plays

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‘Hamlet’ is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays and is a play of questions. Unresolved questions are constantly being asked, such as the ghost’s intentions, good or evil. The most important question in the play in whether Hamlet is really mad, or is he acting.

Hamlet is constantly seeking the truth to these questions.

In this essay I am not only going to focus on the original text by Shakespeare, but will also be focusing on Franco Zefferelli’s film production of ‘Hamlet’. Zefferelli’s 129 minute film contains only 31% of the lines. In addition, Zefferelli also rearranges and rewrites.

Leading up to Act III Scene ii, Hamlet is very upset about the death of his father, and we can see this as in Act I Scene ii Hamlet is the only person dressed in black which shows that he is the only one that is still mourning over his father’s death.

Also Hamlet acts very nobly towards his father and this is shown in Hamlet’s soliloquy, also in Act I Scene ii.

“So excellent a King” – Hamlet, p35

Hamlet is very hostile towards Claudius throughout the play, even before the ghost tells Hamlet that Claudius murdered his father, and Hamlet shows this as even when Claudius and Gertrude are making the same point, Hamlet only agrees with Gertrude, and not with Claudius.

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When Hamlet realises that the ghost was telling the truth about the murder, his hostility towards Claudius turns into great anger, and this anger gets greater and greater from this point onwards.

The marriage of his mother upsets Hamlet a lot, and during Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act I Scene ii he shows his true feelings on the subject.

“Within a month! Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing of her galled eyes, she married. O most wicked speed, to post it is not, nor it cannot come to good.” – Hamlet, p36

Hamlet also says how he feels about the marriage to Horatio, which shows that he trusts Horatio not to say anything, and Horatio agrees with Hamlet.

“Horatio: My Lord, I came to see your father’s funeral.

Hamlet: I pray thee do not mock me, fellow student. I think it was to see my mother’s wedding.

Horatio: Indeed my Lord, it followed hard upon.” – p37

Throughout the play Horatio is the character that Hamlet trusts the most, as he always speaks to him about important points.

The ghost in the play determines the plot and theme of the play. He does this as when the ghost speaks to Hamlet and tells him about the murder, and that Hamlet must seek revenge he is basically telling the audience the plot of the play. The ghost is also the result of the ‘play within a play’ in Act III Scene ii. This is because Hamlet feels that he needs to prove if the ghost was telling the truth before he goes and kills his uncle, Claudius. The is one of the main questions posed in ‘Hamlet’, and Act III Scene ii is a major turning point in the play. After Hamlet has spoken to the ghost, he says that he is going to pretend that he is mad, and he tells Horatio and Marcellus this, which once again shows that he trusts Horatio, but that he also trusts Marcellus, which is important later on in the play.

The consequences of Hamlet seeking revenge are very severe as when he knows that the ghost was telling the truth and after he has set out to seek revenge, there are a great many deaths in the play, which are all a result of Hamlet seeking revenge. Before this however is Hamlet’s feigned madness. All of the characters (with the exception of Claudius) are convinced that Hamlet has gone mad, and Gertrude thinks that it is because of his father’s death, and her marriage to Claudius.

” I doubt it is no other, but the main, his father’s death, and our o’erhasty marriage.” – Gertrude, p61

Claudius however, is not sure whether Hamlet is really mad. He is also thinks that the problem may be deeper than Hamlet’s father’s death.

“Love? His affection do not that way tend, nor what he spake, though it lack’d form a little, was not like madness.” – Claudius, p84

In Act III Scene ii Hamlet involves Horatio as a second judgement on Claudius’ reactions to the play. He feels that this is important as with his hatred for Claudius he might not be entirely reliable, as he may exaggerate things in his mind. This is why he wants Horatio to say what he saw, so that they can compare views.

“Give him heedful note, for I mine eyes will rivet to his face: and after we will both our judgements join, to censure of his seeming.” – Hamlet, p88

There are lots of relationship changes in Act III Scene ii. A few of the main relationship changes include the relationships between Hamlet & Ophelia, Hamlet & Gertrude, Hamlet & Claudius, and Hamlet & Horatio.

The relationship between Hamlet & Ophelia is a very important, as Hamlet is very angry with his mother remarrying so quickly, and so has a hatred for all women. He takes out this hatred on Ophelia, and also intimidates and teases her. He does this before the play has begun. He also makes sexual innuendos towards her.

“Hamlet: That’s a fair thought to lie between maids’ legs.

Ophelia: What is, my Lord?

Hamlet: Nothing.” – p89

There is also a relationship change between Hamlet & Gertrude, as when Gertrude tells Hamlet to go sit next to him, he says no and goes to sit with Ophelia.

“Gertrude: Come hither my good Hamlet, sit by me.

Hamlet: No, good mother, here’s metal more attractive.” – p89

Also in this scene we see that Claudius does not react well to the play of the murder. This shows us that Claudius has a very guilty conscience as a result of the murder, and during this scene he shows this by acting very peculiarly during the play. He also realizes that Hamlet may know about the murder and so he starts to panic. This shows to Hamlet that the ghost was telling Hamlet about the murder of his father, and as a result of this the theme of revenge develops from this point onwards. Now I will explore the ways in which Franco Zefferelli creates dramatic tension in his film interpretation of Act III Scene ii.

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Why Is Hamlet Upset In Act 1 Scene 2. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-extent-act-iii-scene-ii-important-turning-point-hamlet/

Why Is Hamlet Upset In Act 1 Scene 2
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