| Quote #4
Even though the Ghost is concerned with Gertrude's "damned incest," he tells Hamlet to keep Gertrude out of the revenge plot and "leave her to heaven." Hamlet agrees and yet, he seems completely incapable of keeping his word to the Ghost. He obsesses over his mother's sexual relationship with Claudius throughout the entire play (while he should be taking action against Claudius). Hamlet's obsession with Gertrude is so problematic that the Ghost returns in Act III, scene iv, to remind Hamlet that his "purpose" is to kill Claudius, not to verbally abuse his mother.
| Quote #5
After watching one of the traveling players (actors) deliver a moving speech, Hamlet berates himself for his inability to avenge his father's murder. If an actor can move himself to tears (to "weep") for a fictional character ("Hecuba"), why can't Hamlet spur himself into action for a very real and personal figure, his father? Hamlet tries to place himself in the actor's position as he wonders what the actor would do "had he the motive and the cue for passion." Does this mean that Hamlet is also aware of the fact that he must play the "role" of a typical hero from a revenge tragedy?
| Quote #6
The spirit that I have seen
We've already seen how the Ghost is an unreliable figure that seems to dramatize the play's religious crisis (see 1.5.5. above). In this passage, Hamlet confirms that the spirit "[m]ay be the devil," who has lied about Old Hamlet's death in order to lead young Hamlet astray. Hamlet wants to be sure that Claudius is guilty so he devises a plan – the traveling actors will perform a play, The Murder of Gonzago (also called The Mousetrap), which has a plot that's similar to the Ghost's story about Old Hamlet's murder. Hamlet hopes to gauge Claudius's reaction to the play in order to determine if he's guilty of fratricide (killing a brother). This has major implications for the play's ideas about theater so be sure to check out "Art and Culture" if you're interested in this.
This passage, as you can guess, also has serious implications for the theme of "Madness." Hamlet voices a common concern that a "melancholy" disposition (like being clinically depressed) has made him prone to hallucinate, which could in turn, leave him vulnerable to the devil's trickery.