In the first section of the passage, Hamlet is filled with self-loathing.
His feelings of worthlessness are made quite apparent as he questions himself with statements like “What is a man, if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? A beast no more.” This metaphor clearly shows how unworthy Hamlet feels about the fact that he has been lying around doing nothing and his father remains unavenged. His use of unpleasant imagery like “bestial oblivion” and “fust” also contribute to his tone. Hamlet knows he has been thinking too much and acting too little. He questions his own courage when he says that his thoughts are ” but one part wisdom and ever three parts coward.” Hamlet understands that pondering on an action like he has been doing only leads to excuses to ignore the offense done to him, and it is his fear creating the excuses and leaving his honor soiled.
In the second section of the passage Hamlet is still angry at himself, especially when he views himself next to Fortinbras. He juxtaposes his own actions against Fortinbras’ in lines like “Why yet I live to say “This thing’s to do,” sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means to do’t.” and “Witness this army of such mass and charge, led by a delicate and tender prince , whose spirit, with divine ambitioned puffed, makes mouths at the invisible event.” He continues to question his self worth as he sees the fact that Fortinbras is willing to spend 20,000 lives to gain honor in his “event,” while He himself has not been able to gather even enough courage take care of his “event” which is revenging his father. The comparison is clear Hamlet is a “coward” while Fortinbras is a brave “delicate and tender prince.
“In the third section Hamlet finds the answer to the self questioning that has occurred in the first to passages. He realizes he must take action immediately and quit delaying. He understands the fact that “Rightly to be great is not to stir without great argument, but greatly to find quarrel in a straw when honor’s at stake.” Hamlet has much greater reason then “a straw” to be angry and a vivid picture of his reason for rage is painted in the line “a father killed, a mother stained, excitements of my reason and my blood, let all sleep, while to my shame I see the imminent death of twenty thousand men.” His honor has been taken away and he is standing by watching normal men die without reason while he, a prince who is supposedly of noble blood stands idly by while his father lies dead and his murderer continues to sully Hamlets honor by sleeping with his victims wife. Hamlet’s admiration for Fortinbras’ action along with his feelings toward himself have turned to utter disgust.
Hamlet uses grave imagery in his speech like ” (there) is not tomb enough and continent to hide the slain.” To show his mind has voyaged down to the depths of morbidity that show he is prepared to act. He knows that he is worth nothing until his father is avenged as he shows in his statement ” My thoughts be bloody, or they be nothing worth” this line clearly illustrates that by the end of the passage Hamlet’s state of mind is nothing short of murderous.