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Hamlet’s Soliloquies

Number Five - Act Four, Scene Four - “How all


occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull
revenge.”

 context - Hamlet has been banished to England


for killing Polonius - on the way he sees
Fortinbras’ army crossing a plain in Denmark -
asks where they are going.

 Hamlet compares himself to Fortinbras who is


travelling to Poland to make war “for a worthless
patch of land” and he berates himself because
he has still not acted on his revenge yet.
“Examples gross as earth exhort me, Witness
this army of such mass and charge ...” -
Fortinbras is that example of action where the
cause for action is pretty minor compared to
revenging a murdered father.

 wonders about the role and purpose of man - he


is like a beast if he does not use his God given
reason (chain of being here - man is above the
animals)

 “Whether it be bestial oblivion or some craven


scruple Of thinking too precisely on the event, ...I
do not know Why yet I live to say this thing’s to
do,” - Hamlet wonders if it is being like an animal
or thinking too much that has caused his lack of
action
 Hamlet resolves to act finally “O from this time
forth My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth.”