Targeting the audience assignment
To take him in the purging of his soul
When he is fit and season'd for his passage?
Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent.
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in th’incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At game-a-swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in ‘t---
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
That his soul may be as damned and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.
This passage found in Act 3, Scene 3 of Hamlet by William Shakespeare, requires a deeper understanding of religion and culture in Elizabethan time. Hamlet is contemplating killing Claudius, as Claudius is confessing his sins to God. He believes that if Claudius dies while confessing his sins, his soul will go to heaven rather than suffer in hell. Hamlet decides to wait for a more opportunistic time and puts away his sword. He decides the ideal moment will be when Claudius is drunk or sinning. He imagines tripping his uncle, sending him face-first to hell, a worthy punishment for his father’s murder. Hamlet sees the King’s attempt to cure himself with prayers, but is truly keeping himself alive from the wrath of his sword.
Aspects of Elizabethan Era
In order to truly understand this passage, an individual must understand the role of religion in Elizabethan time....