Q & A guide to A.C. Bradley's commentary on Hamlet
Q: Did Hamlet delay because of "external difficulties"?
A: No. See Page 94.
Q: Did Hamlet delay because he was "restrained by conscience or a moral scruple"?
A: No. See Page 97.
Q: Did Hamlet delay because, as Goethe wrote, "a lovely, pure and most moral nature, without the strength of nerve which forms a hero, sinks beneath a burden which it cannot bear and must not cast away"?
A: No. See Page 101.
Q: Did Hamlet delay because he lost himself in "labyrinths of thought"?
A: No. See Page 104.
Q: Did Hamlet delay because he was afflicted by "profound melancholy"?
A: Yes. See Page 108.
Q: Was Hamlet insane?
A: No. See Page 120.
Q: Why didn't Hamlet kill the King when he had the chance?
A: Because he has "no effective desire" to do it. See Page 134.
Q: Did Hamlet love Ophelia?
A: Before his father's death and his mother's remarriage, yes. After that, not so much. See Page 153.
Q: Did Ophelia betray Hamlet?
A: No. See Page 160.
Q: Before Hamlet's father died, did the Queen go to bed with Claudius?
A: Yes. See Page 166.
Q: Did the Queen help murder her husband?
A: No. See Page 166.
Q: Was Claudius a good king?
A: Yes. See Page 168.
Q: Would Claudius have gone to heaven if he had been killed at prayer?
A: No. See Page 171.
Q: Is Hamlet a religious play?
A: Maybe at the very end, somewhat. See Page 171.
Q: How long ago did Hamlet's father die?
A: Almost two months before the opening of the play, but the marriage of Claudius and Gertrude took place immediately before the opening of the play. See Note A, Page 401.
Q: Where was Hamlet when his father died?
A: Probably at Elsinore, not Wittenberg. See Note B, Page 403.
Q: How old is Hamlet?
A: Thirty. See Note C, Page 407.
Q: Is the Player's speech about Hecuba pure bombast?
A: No. See Note F, Page 413.