Overall Theme: Guilt


…It is not madness

That I have utt’red. Bring me to the test,

And I the matter will reword; which madness

Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,

Lay not that flattering unction to your soul

That not your trespass but my madness speaks.

It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,

Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,

Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;

Repent what’s past; avoid what is to come;

And do not spread the compost on the weeds

To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue;

For in the fatness of these pursy times

Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg

Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.


O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.

Act 3, Scene 4
In this scene, Queen Gertrude admits to her guilt and sorrow that she has been feeling, much as a person who is getting pulled over might feel. The officer pulls you over and always asks if you know why. Then some guilt might settle in because you know that you broke a law, whether it was speeding, missing a tail light, or others. Queen Gertrude knows of the mistakes that have been made and Hamlet is telling her to confess to God, but she doesn’t even have the strength to do that. When you get pulled over, you have the fear of getting a ticket, and if you’re at home with your parents, wondering what they are going to say. After that, you know that if you wouldn’t have just don’t that one unlawful thing, this wouldn’t have happened, and the guilt settles in. 

King Claudius:

Sir in my heart there was a kind of fighting

That would not let me sleep. Methought I lay

Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly,

And praised be rashness for it–let us know,

Our indiscretion sometime serves us well,

When our deep plots do pall;and that should learn us

There’s a divinity that shapes our ends,

Rough-hew them how we will…

Act 5, scene 2
In this quote, the king is admitting to the guilt he has about killing his own brother for the power he was greedy for. He is realizing that he messed up and feels guilting for the actions he has pulled. Much with the same situation with this barn. This is my family barn and we have let it get old and worn down. I have had server all talks with my great grandpa about wishing it was still in top shape like it was several years ago. Several of us feel the guilt of not keeping it up to shape like we should’ve. Admitting to it wasn’t easy, much like how it took King Claudius the whole book to admit it to Hamlet, but the guilt will always sit there, whether you admit it or not. This barn means a lot to my family, and to let it get weathered like it has, leaves guilt in us. 

Queen Gertrude: 

Be thou assured, if words be made of breath

And breath of life, I have no life to breathe

What thou hast said to me. 

Act 3, scene 4
Within this scene, Queen Gertrude is admitting that losing her husband has caused guilt and it has built up inside of her. Having the opportunity to do community service events for the people city missions can cause great guilt. Guilt of not doing more for the community and for those who might not have it as great as you have. Doing this helps you see how great you truly have it, and also helps you see how much needs to be done in the community to make it better. The guilt settles in and opens different parts to the mind. Much like how Queen Gertrude didn’t know that the act of her husband dying would have such a large effect on how she thought of things and acted. Her mind was confused and depressed. Much like the effect of realizing how much can be done in the community can have on someone else. 


…hath the primal eldest curse upon’t…

Act 3, scene 3
King Claudius in alone in this scene and confessing that was he has done is awful and regrets it, to an extent. He knows that was he has done is said to be the ultimate sin, and it’s taking its toll on how he is feeling. Much like this situation, my job lost a dear friend and coworker of ours and we felt the guilt of not knowing that she was feeling this she was. We felt the guilt of not showing enough affection and telling her how much she means to us, because you truly never know when you are going to lose someone in your life. Hamlet must have left this pain as well, but Claudius must also feel the guilt of being the one who took King Hamlet out of each of their lives, when so many cared about him. This wasn’t easy for my work, much as I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Hamlet. 

King Claudius:

O, ’tis too true!

How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience.

The harlot’s cheek beautied with plast’ring art,

Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it

Than is my deed to my most painted word.

O heavy burthen!

Act 3, scene 1
In this quote, the king is reacting to Polonius’ speech about hiding the truth. He acts out so much because he knows that has done wrong. In the photo above, my mom killed a spider that my sister was screaming about, but then once the deed was done, my sister was crying because we just killing a spider that was alive and not bugging us. My sister was upset because she said she could have just thrown him outside rather than killing it (even though there is no way she would have even come within five feet of the spider). She was upset that she told my mom to kill the spider, even though it didn’t seem to do much harm to anyone else. King Claudius was also feeling guilt for killing his brother and then marrying his (then) widowed wife.