King Claudius criticizes Hamlet for his continued mourning over King Hamlet

Subject: Literature
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 646
Topics: Book, Hamlet, Poetry, William Shakespeare


The king Claudius uses you as an expression for a person in a superior position. A first scenario, King Claudius said, “’this must be so.’ We pray you, throw to earth/ you are the most immediate to our throne (1:2:106-109).” The king respects Hamlet as the next to be crowned king. It is worth noting that the old English version used honorifics you as plural while thou used as a singular form. However, after the influence of the French in the 13th century you became a polite singular form. French had the use of vous, thus the choice for you became common for inferiors addressing their superiors such as servants to their masters. A second scenario, King Claudius insisted “But, you must know, your father lost a father (1:2:89)”

Thou is useful for special intimacy or expression to a supreme being. Gertrude uses thee for special intimacy. Queen Gertrude says “Why seems it so particular with thee?/Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet / I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg./ I shall in all my best obey you, madam (1:2:77-120).” Queen Gertrude is the mother to Hamlet that explains the special intimacy expressional use of “thee.” The prayer of his mother to him affirms his powerful position as the next to ascend to the throne (Shakespeare, 1602).


The mood of this scene is sad; Hamlet is mourning the death of his father. He is in so much pain due to his father’s death that wishes for death. However, King Claudius and his mother the queen are reminding him of his responsibilities as the next King. Their desire is for him not to go back to school in Wittenberg as he wishes. King Claudius says, “Do I impart toward you. For your intent, In going back to school in Wittenberg, It is most retrograde to our desire (1:2:112-114)

King Claudius informs him of what is at hand with the death of his father. The wishes of his father were for him to ascend the throne after his death. His mother as well prays that he thinks of his responsibility and consider staying. The theme of Love is also apparent in the scene as we can affirm the love of Hamlets father for his son to ascend the throne. He loved his father too that is why he wished for death during his mourning (Desmet, 2016). King Claudius says, “Take it to heart? Fie! ’tis a fault to heaven, /A fault against the dead, a fault to nature, /To reason most absurd: whose common theme/ Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,/ From the first corse till he that died to-day (1:2:101-106).”


Stichomythia used in the scene, definitively is dialogue in alternate lines that is used in classical drama in the creation of an argument. In the scene, the dialogue between King Claudius and Hamlet is useful in heightening the emotions and present the tough decisions for Hamlet. The King thinks that it is in the best interest for Hamlet to assume power instead of going back to school. The King informs Hamlet that the wish of a father to a son is the throne (Desmet, 2016).

The use of Footnotes

Shakespeare has used footnotes in the play very effectively. Numbering of lines in Hamlet has very effective use for the reader. First, the numbers are a form of reference in quoting a particular extract (Moretti, 2011). The numbers as well are useful as a bookmark for individuals reading the play within an extended period. Other types of footnotes such as stage directions, the end of a scene are fundamental in providing direction for a director with intentions of casting the play. The footnotes as well provide the reader with a play like feel. Fundamentally, while reading the play it feels like watching the play in a theater.

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  1. Desmet, Christy. Text, Style, and Author in Hamlet Q1. Journal of Early Modern Studies, [S.l.], v. 5, p. 135-156, mar. 2016. ISSN 2279-7149. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 28 Oct. 2017. doi:10.13128/JEMS-2279-7149-18086.
  2. Moretti, F. (2011). Network Theory, Plot Analysis. Literature Lab , <>.
  3. Shakespeare. (1602). Hamlet. Retrieved 2017, from <>
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