Hamlet Themes - Repentance
Claudius has murdered his brother, King Hamlet Senior, and wants to repent - he knows that forgiveness is a possibilty, but because he won't give up what he has gained by sin he is frustrated: "Try what repentance can, what can it not?/Yet what can it when one cannot repent?" At the end of the extract he makes a renewed effort: "Help angels! Make assay,/Bow stubborn knees". We learn here that repentance isn't automatic - we must change internal attitudes, it must be genuine and not just sought after for selfish reasons.

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