Act one Hamlet discussion : in-class writing on theme of Appearance VS reality.

Essay by steve_gelvinHigh School, 12th grade January 2003

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my teacher did not grade this in-class essay, so there will be a lot of minor or major errors as you read this.

In Act I, Hamlet frequently says words that have double meanings. Apparent meanings seem only to fulfill the question asked; however, when looking close to the words, we can find the real meanings. These real meanings portray Hamlet's sophisticated mind and Hamlet's emotion towards the listener.

Hamlet's figurative words reveal his opposition and his anger towards Claudius. When the King says to Hamlet, "But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son--," Hamlet says to himself (aside) that, "A little more than kin, and less more than kind"(I.ii.23). This bursts with clues about his state of mind. He is more than a nephew to Claudius, but Hamlet hardly feels "kind" affection towards the new king. Nor does he feel the loyalty that is expected when meeting with a king.

And when Claudius asks him, "How is it that the clouds still hang on you?," Hamlet replies, "No so, my lord, I am too much i'th'sun"(I.ii.24). His pun on sun and son says much about his difficult position regarding whether he is truly a son. With all these double meanings, we can see how he feels towards the listeners.

In addition, Hamlet's lengthy speeches always portray his feelings by using numerous double meaning words. The word that we think we know such as "nature" has yet double meanings in Hamlet's dialogues; "Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweeded garden, That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely" (I.ii.26) or, "Think it no more. For nature crescent does not grow alone, in thews and bulk" (I.iii.31) or, "So, oft it chances in particular men, That for some vicious mole of nature in them, as in...