If Hamlet's first words in the play, “A little more than kin and less than kind,” are an aside, as most editors indicate by prefacing the line with the stage direction, “aside,” then this line would be Hamlet's first and shortest soliloquy. At the very least, it would be the first time any character in the play spoke directly to the audience, or if a soliloquy, spoke his thoughts out loud that only the audience could hear. This moment would be Shakespeare's means of introducing the main character as a man of thought. Shakespeare would also be signaling that much of the ensuing conflict of the play will occur in Hamlet's mind (his six great soliloquy's). However, that stage direction “aside” does not appear before Hamlet's first line in the First Folio nor in the good quarto that was printed during Shakespeare's lifetime. Future editors inserted it....
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John McGinnis