Hamlet. Act Four. Act Four Scene One. Gertrude informs Claudius of Polonius’ death. Claudius maintains that ‘this mad young man’ is a danger to everyone and must be shipped off to England next morning. He sends R and G to locate Hamlet and to recover Polonius’ body.
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There's matter in these sighs, these profound heaves: You must translate: 'tis fit we understand them.
Mad as the sea and wind, when both contend Which is the mightier:
It will be laid to us, whose providence Should have kept short, restrain'd and out of haunt, This mad young man: but so much was our love, We would not understand what was most fit; But, like the owner of a foul disease, To keep it from divulging, let it feed Even on the pith of Life.
And spur my dull revenge!
Personification is used here to create an image of Hamlet being on trial and one event after another coming in to testify against him.
‘And spur my dull revenge!’
Here, Hamlet goes on to compare his revenge to a dull, spiritless horse. No matter how much it is spurred, it will not get started. This recalls the Ghost’s: ‘And duller should’st thou be. . .’ Therefore, it appears clear that Hamlet imagines the Ghost as his judge.
‘Let him go, Gertrude; do not fear our person:There's such divinity doth hedge a king,That treason can but peep to what it would,Acts little of his will.’
To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation. To this point I stand, That both the worlds I give to negligence, Let come what comes; only I'll be revenged Most thoroughly for my father. Laertes, in complete contrast to Hamlet, disregards any possible consequences to his actions, in thios world or the next. He places avenging his father above either allegiance to the king or the possibility of damnation.
O, for two special reasons; Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd, But yet to me they are strong. The queen his mother Lives almost by his looks; and for myself-- My virtue or my plague, be it either which-- She's so conjunctive to my life and soul, That, as the star moves not but in his sphere, I could not but by her. The other motive, Why to a public count I might not go, Is the great love the general gender bear him;