Claudius Soliloquy Act 3, Scene 3 Essay

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Claudius Soliloquy Act 3, Scene 3

Claudius has just been talking to Rosencratz and Guildenstern he tells them that hamlet must go immediately to England with them. Polonius tells king Claudius that hamlet is going to meet Gertrude his mother and so Polonius will hide behind the arras (wall-hanging) and listen in on the conversation.

“O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven; It hath the primal eldest curse upon't, A brother's murder.”

After Claudius is left alone he confesses his guilt and says that he does not know how forgiveness can be attained for his crime. He compares himself to Cain in the bible as the first criminal, in murdering his own brother. He says that he is tempting
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Hamlet's 'double business’ is the avenging of his father's death without destroying the reputation of the royal family, his mother in particular.

“And both neglect. What if this cursed hand Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,” ”Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy”

Claudius is saying that his hands are covered with the blood of his brother and asks “Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens To wash it white as snow” he is saying that he cant get it off, that his hands are stained forever with his blood and he will never be forgiven for his sin as it was a terrible crime to commit. He asks “whereto serves mercy“ he is saying when will he be free from the sins that he has committed and he knows the answer, he will never be so it is kind of a hypothetical question put in there by Shakespeare.

“But to confront the visage of offence? And what's in prayer but this two-fold force, To be forestalled ere we come to fall,”

Claudius is saying that he must confront his inner demons head on by prayer between him and god the two fold force coming together in a prayer. But as he cannot pray he is having to wait maybe until he dies for his final judgement by god until things come to fall.

”Or pardon'd being down? Then
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