I have two points upon this thread. First, Michael, in response to
> Don't forget, Hamy calls Polonius a fool,
> Prufrock calls himself ALMOST a fool.
> This is because Prufrock is switching from Hamlet to Lear. . .
I should very much like to know where Lear calls himself a fool. This
seems to me rather unlikely. The fool nearly outright calls him a fool,
and Lear threatens him with a whip; his speech to Gloucester about 'the
great stage of fools' does not appear to include either of them; and
even in his apology to Cordelia he does no such thing. Anyone
interested might read Empon's excellent essay, in Structure of Complex
Words, called 'Fool in Lear'.
My second point is about the propagation of the idea that Hamlet is
indecisive, which has appeared in several posts. What evidence to
support such a claim? It seems to me that Hamlet has sure enough made
up his mind; the problem is rather than he cannot act on his decision.
To be indecisive and to be incapable of action are not the same.
Hamlet's mind is made up on one thing--Claudius--before he even sees
the ghost. Hearing the tale of his father's murder, he replies: 'Oh my
prophetic soul. My uncle!'
And for that matter, if J. Alfred Prufrock (presuming that he is the
speaker of the poem, which is not completely clear) is indecisive, I
should like to know about what.