Sc. 2, Lines 62–95: Describe the tone of Hamlet’s aside after Claudius greets him as “my cousin Hamlet and my son.” Why might he feel this way? Why does the Queen urge Hamlet to cast “thy nighted color off”? What does Hamlet imply when he says that outward signs of mourning “are actions that a man might play”? Describe the conflict you see between Hamlet on one side and, on the other side, his uncle, the King, and his mother, the Queen.
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A good word to describe Hamlet at this point is melancholy. Nobody does melancholy better than Hamlet. The new king, Claudius, is really good at working a crowd. He tries to look sad about his brother's untimely death but hamlet thinks Claudius and his mother are not sincere: he thinks all tears and sadness are "actions that a man might play." When uncle Claudius call's Hamlet his son, Hamlet respond that he may be related but he is nothing like Claudius, "a little more than kin but less than kind."
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