Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry – as ‘twere, – I cannot tell how.

I have become concerned with what the actual temperature is in this scene. I mean, I understand that Hamlet is messing with Osric and getting him to agree to whatever he says. But there is also an objective temperature – and one statement or the other is in conflict with that.

I suspect it is actually very hot. This sentence is supporting my sense of the earlier line wherein Osric seems to be disinclined to put his hat on, due to the heat.

In fact, it is Osric who brings up the temperature. He is the first to declare it is hot – which leads me to believe that it is, in fact, hot. This line has a sense of relief to it – yes, it is. Hot. Very hot. We’re back on to solid ground here and Osric can fan himself with his hat if he wants to if he cannot tell how hot it is.

What’s funny to me about this is that I have never paid the slightest attention to what the actual circumstances were in this scene, temperature-wise. It always was just Hamlet messing about with a sycophant.


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