Monday, March 24, 2003

Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, marries her own brother-in-law, Hamlet's uncle Caludius, only two months after the death of Hamlet's father, the true king of Denmark. Hamlet recalls his mother's tender affections toward his father, believing that her display of love was a pretense to satisfy her own lust and greed. He alleges his mother's initial grief over the loss of her husband was a pretense. She cried "unrighteous tears".

In an outpouring of disgust, anger and sorrow , Hamlet looks at everything in the world as corrupted, rank and gross.

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!

( I wish my flesh would melt and I'd dissolve and be released from this agony . The use of too too is to add emphasis )
.... O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!

( How flat the world looks to me )

Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely.

( Blast it. Bad stuff ( weeds ) have filled the garden ( earth) and now pccupy it entirely ( merely = completely) )

That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:

( How did this happen, in less than two months after my father died? )

So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!

(My father was such an excellent person, so loving and gentle to my mother that he won't even allow rough winds to touch her. And what a contrast between him and my uncle ! My father was a God ( Hyperion. Father of Sun). My uncle is a beast, full of lust and base desires ( Satyr : Half man-half beast, Friend of wine-god Dionysus, and symbolically represents lust and bestial pleasures)

Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month --
Let me not think on't -- Frailty, thy name is woman! --

( My mother appeared to love my father so much ! She'd cling on to him as if what she eats just increases her appetite for it. But within a month of his death, see what she has done --- Let me not even think about it. )

A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears: -- why she, even she --

(She followed my fathers body, all tears like Niobe (Queen Niobe boasted children were lovlier than the Gods. The Gods slew her children and turned Niobe into rock. Yet her tears still flow from the rock. ) Such a grieving woman has committed this act before the shoes in which she followed my fathers body have become old,

O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:

Even a beast which lacks intelligence would have mourned longer than my mother has ( Beasts have no concept of sorrow as they exist in the present) . But she has gone ahead and married my uncle, who's as much like my father as I am like Hercules ( Hercules is a superhero and Hamlet looks upon himself as a worm )

Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Even before the salt of her false tears have dried, Even before the redness ( flushing) has left her eyes, she has entered the incestuous bed with indecent haste. It is not going to end well. It breaks my heart, but I must remain silent.


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