Chapter 31 (Volume 2, Chapter 12) (Instalment 19):

Mr Wopsle as Hamlet

Synopsis of Chapter 31 (Volume 2, Chapter 12) (Instalment 19)

The play is a perfect antidote to the sombre feelings of Pip and Herbert in the previous chapter, with all the hilarious inadequacies of amateur dramatics. Mr. Wopsle invites Pip and Herbert to his dressing room, and asks their opinion of the evening. Pip feels sorry for Mr. Wopsle and invites him back to Barnard's Inn for supper, where Mr. Wopsle describes his future glittering career. Pip goes sadly to bed to dream confusedly about Estella, Clara and Hamlet.

Commentary on Chapter 31 (Volume 2, Chapter 12) (Instalment 19)

Hamlet and the Ghost of his Father

Meanwhile Mr. Waldengarver, in a frightful perspiration Dickens inserts a reference first to Mr. Wopsle, reminding the reader of Pip's origins, before reverting to the pretentious stage name adopted by Mr. Wopsle for his new career.

the Shade's being advised by the gallery to ‘turn over' The audience in the cheapest seats are mocking the actor playing the Ghost by telling him to turn over the page in the script from which he is all too obviously reading his lines.

Investigating Chapter 31 (Volume 2, Chapter 12) (Instalment 19)
  • How does Dickens make the visit to the theatre fit the general development of the novel?
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