In this way, this speech connects many of the play’s main themes, including the idea of suicide and death, the difficulty of knowing the truth in a spiritually ambiguous universe, and the connection between thought and action. In addition to its crucial thematic content, this speech is important for what it reveals about the quality of Hamlet’s mind. His deeply passionate nature is complemented by a relentlessly logical intellect, which works furiously to find a solution to his misery. He has turned to religion and found it inadequate to help him either kill himself or resolve to kill Claudius. Here, he turns to a logical philosophical inquiry and finds it equally frustrating.
The opera was first seen in the US at the Academy of Music in New York on 16 April 1888 and in the UK on 5 July 1889 in London. When it was given in Paris on 12 October 1894, "Verdi composed a short ballet (which) forms part of the ceremony of welcome for the Venetian ambassadors in the act 3 finale."  The first Parisian production was directed by Lapissida, with costumes designed by Charles Bianchini, and sets by Marcel Jambon (Act I), Amable and Eugène Gardy (Act II), Eugène Carpezat (Act III), and Auguste-Alfred Rubé and Philippe Chaperon (Act IV).