Hamlet Act III Sc Iii
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Hamlet Act III Sc iii
This scene is a dramatic peak in which both Claudius and Hamlet acknowledge their respective dilemmas. The King faces the question of how to repent and so save himself, at least, from spiritual damnation. Hamlet’s theological problem with killing Claudius becomes yet another hurdle and he becomes increasingly trapped by his own indecision.
Claudius makes his first admission of regicide in this soliloquy. He uses disease imagery, continuing the motif, heightening our awareness of the terrible thing he has done. The King refers to the ‘primal eldest curse’, an allusion to the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. This parallel is apt, not only because they were brothers, it represents a terrible sin against God -- in this case because the natural order has been violated. There is no evidence to suggest Claudius was particularly pious prior to this crime, but the need for Grace in the eyes of God would have been very important to him. Ironically he is un...
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