Ophelia and Hamlet are in an intense argument after Ophelia rejects the continuous of her relationship with Hamlet. Ophelia returning Hamlet his love letters was her way of rejecting his love. Of course Hamlet doesn’t take this well at all. He is outraged by her actions in fact. Hamlet and Ophelia begin to lock horns.
In the first couple sentences, Hamlet ultimately dismantles Ophelia’s ego when he says, “Get thee (to) a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?” A nunnery means convent (used mockingly to refer to brothel). Brothel, is a house where men can visit prostitutes. So, he refers to Ophelia, who is his lover, as a prostitutes; a sinful woman. As a sinful woman, she shouldn’t born any child because then there will only be more sinners in the world.
When you are directed towards the third sentence, Hamlet says that he is an “indifferent honest”. To be indifferent honest, you are reasonably virtuous, meaning good. But, he sounds a bit contradicting as he finishes the sentence. After all, Hamlet hasn’t been the complete angel in the story so far. For example, In Act 1, Scene 5, Hamlet is confronted by his father’s ghost. The ghost tells Hamlet that he was murdered by the new king of Denmark, Claudius. He then tries to connivence Hamlet to seek revenge for him by killing Claudius. If he won’t kill Claudius for him, at least kill Claudius for Denmark:
“Oh, horrible, oh, horrible, most horrible!
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not.
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damnèd incest.
But howsoever thou pursuest this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once.
The glowworm shows the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire.
Adieu, adieu, adieu. Remember me.“ (Lines 78-91)
Hamlet’s mind is set upon this and he responses to the naughty sin by saying,
“It is “Adieu, adieu. Remember me.”
I have sworn ’t.” (Lines 111-112)
Hamlet goes on in a more reassuring way when he says to Ophelia, “I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in.” It also seems as if Hamlet is trying to speck himself into higher spirits. He says that everyone has their fair share of flaws, but as long as a person can shape them into something good, then they’ll be fine.
But then there is a sudden shift of tone in the next line when Hamlet says, “What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven?” It falls into a tone of confusion and anger. Was his father’s spirit on his heart? Does he think that he will end up like his spirit? Stuck between earth and heaven? Hamlet ends their argument by directing Ophelia again to go to a nunnery to repent and reflect upon her sins. But, shouldn’t Hamlet be the one doing so instead of Ophelia?
In conclusion, Shakespeare uses his words to bring life into his text. Without his usage of certain words, his texts wouldn’t be valued. Throughout Hamlet, Shakespeare has a strong usage and play with his words. They can really set the tone for a text because they are the backbone.