Cut the bullshit. His character is evident and like most people in his situation, he waffles a bit. But he says what he needs to, and that's why people like the play, not for some wank academic theory that cannot reconcile the two points above.
Step away, for a moment, from your impulse toward reverse snobbery, and think about Shakespeare
. Not the 'Shakespeare' of dry and dusty folios, and concordances, and indices of every kind, nor, certainly, the 'Shakespeare' of English class, the skinny one with a bee-colored jacket, mind you. I mean the real
Shakespeare, the Shakespeare that Shakespeare himself would want you to experience when you experience Shakespeare.
I mean Shakespeare heard aloud:
in a theater
and seen on a stage
and props and scenery
like in a play?
Shakespeare without glosses, or helpful hints in the margin, or even the ability to flip back to Act II.
Shakespeare experienced as direct experience
, and not mediated from word to mind and back again.
Doing it for real, seeing it performed - with all the subtle nuances of emphasis (aural or
visual), interpretation, and memory performance implies - can very often have the effect of rendering what reads in black an white upon the printed page a good bit greyer in reality.