The harlot’s cheek, beautied with plast’ring art, is not more ugly to the thing that helps it than is my deed to my most painted word.
Hamlet contemplates commiting suicide, because the pains of life are too much for him to bear. Although he does not want to bear them anymore, he is scared of the afterlife, and he would rather deal with these struggles than journey into the unknown.
Hamlet has a fit of rage, lamenting the dishonesty of beauty and women in general. He curses women and all of humankind, causing Ophelia to again question his sanity.
O, what form of prayer can serve my turn? "Forgive me my foul murder"?
Hamlet anxiously lectures the players on how to act the oarts he has written for them. This show must be perfect, so he can see Claudius's reaction and confirm his belief that he killed his father.
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Claudius runs out of the play crying out for light, further proving Hamlet's belief that he is indeed a murderer.
Claudius begins to feel regretful for his son and decides to pray. Hamlet slips into the room where Claudius is to kill him but sees him praying and realizes if he kills him now, he will go straight to Heaven.
Hamlet decides to kill Claudius when he is sinning instead and leaves. Claudius rises and declares that he is unable to pray sincerely.