Read a passage in Act 2 Scene 2 where Hamlet explains to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern why he is melancholy (“I have of late, but wherefore I know not lost all my mirth...”). What picture of man does Hamlet depict in this passage?


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Once Hamlet gets them to admit that they have been "sent for," he tells them that he is melancholy. He describes man as the very essence of what is best in the world, giving a list of good qualities: "noble in reason, infinite in faculty, admirable in form, angelic in action, and indeed the paragon of all animals." (quoting is slightly altered from the original) Indeed, his picture of man is one of perfection, yet he says that his melancholy stems from the fact that nothing about this impresses him and he finds no delight in the human race.