Hamlet Act 4 Scene IV Soliloquy

How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.

Hamlet’s fifth soliloquy, from the 1996 movie starring Kenneth Branagh. One of my favorite parts of the entire play, with Branagh as the perfect Hamlet. :smiley:

I felt the movie was just decent - but Branagh’s interpretation of Hamlet (the character) was the best I have ever seen. My favorite scene (don’t know the Act, Scene off hand) was his interaction with Ophelia “Get thee to a nunnery…”.

Branagh also played a great Henry V. One if my all time favorite movies.

Branagh’s performance as Hamlet was good but the movie itself wasn’t. What possessed him to move the story centuries forward to the nineteenth century?

Of all his Shakespeare movies Henry V and Othello were the best.

I must’ve seen a different Hamlet movie with Branagh in the title role. The one I saw was laugh-out-loud bad.


– Mark L. Chance.

The principal problem I have with Branagh’s Hamlet is that he tried to stuff the entire thing into a movie line for line – resulting in what’s almost ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks do Shakespeare’. The anachronistic setting doesn’t help either.

Branagh himself isn’t a bad Hamlet, but I didn’t find him particularly noteworthy.

Why is it one of your favorite parts of the play?

I’m wondering how adept the Bard’s pun on “occasions” is here. If he’s speaking of occasions of sin, surely awareness of those would prick his conscience and dull his revenge.

Yet at the same time he’s tempted by revenge as raising him above a beastly mentality.

I wonder if there’s a specific point where Hamlet doesn’t realize that a spiritual soul makes this particular line of thought less than dualistic…

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