ENGLISH: Hamlet quotes and critics

“a play about performance” – ? Fintain O’Toole
“Hamlet’s tragedy is that he is wrong about his ability to fix the boundaries of life and death” – ? Fintain O’Toole
Fortinbras = “the ultimate image of Hamlet’s failure” – ? Fintain O’Toole
“Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister…” – ? Laertes, 1.3.30
“We can imagine Hamlet’s story without Ophelia, but Ophelia literally has no story without Hamlet” – ? Lee Edwards
Ophelia = “a microcosm of the male world’s banishment of the female” David Leverenz
“distracted” “hair down” “singing” “fantastical garlands” = stage directions re Ophelia in Second Quarto = innocence + whorish contamination
“long purples” = phallic symbol
“female fluidity as opposed to masculine aridity” = Elizabethan view on drowning
Ophelia = “the madwoman as heroine, a powerful figure who rebels against the family and patriarchal order” = ? Elaine Showalter
“psychological study in sexual intimidation” = ? Ellen Terry on Victorian stage as Ophelia (not dressed in white)
Hamlet’s “useless and wanton cruelty” towards Ophelia = ? Dr Johnson, 1765
“the apparition left the regions of the dead to little purpose” = ? Dr Johnson, 1765
Hamlet = “a beautiful, pure, noble and most moral nature, without the strength of nerve which makes the hero, sinks beneath a burden…” = ? Goethe, 1795
Threat of Fortinbras = = fear of Elizabeth I’s death (no heirs) -> Scottish king, James I
“to eliminate Fortinbras is to block out the play’s political dimension” = ? Graham Bradshaw
From 1718 to Bernard Shaw Fortinbras was eliminated from the ending… …not in Olivier film, 2008 RSC, 2016 RSC
“When sorrows come, they come not in single spies, But in battalions” = ? Claudius, 4.5
Who does Hamlet directly or indirectly kill? ClaudiusPoloniusOpheliaRosencrantzGuildensternLaertesGertrudeHimself(his country?)
“of unimproved mettle hot and full” = ? Horatio about Fortinbras, 1.1
Shakespeare “expected his audience to look upon it with as much abhorrence as the Athenians felt for Oedipus’ crime” = ? John Dover Wilson, 1944, about G and C’s incest
The ghost morally… … poisons Hamlet’s ear with truths
How often is the ghost seen? 11 times by 4 different characters
Hamlet guilty of “sickly inanition” “egotism” “doctrine of negation” = ? Turgenev, ‘Hamlet and Don Quixote’
When was Kenneth Branagh’s film version made? 1996
In the 1840s Hamlet was… … the darling of the Russian intelligentsia, Hamletism was a fashionable pose
Lartes and Fortinbras supply … ? vacuous versions of honour
“thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane…” = ? Hamlet at Claudius’ death
Hamlet = “the Western hero of consciousness” “despite his crimes…even his brutally pragmatic murderous treatment of Ophelia. We forgive Hamlet precisely as we forgive ourselves” = ? Harold Bloom
Ophelia’s madness = “the oppression of women in society as well as in tragedy” = ? Elaine Showalter
“The spirit that I have seenMay be the devil – and the devil hath powerT’assume a pleasing shape” = ? Hamlet
“Knowledge kills action; action requires the veils of illusion; that is the doctrine of Hamlet” = ? Nietzche
“He was a man, take him for all in all.I shall not look upon his like again.” = ? Hamlet
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” = ? Hamlet 2.2
“To be or not to be, that is the question -Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer… …The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,And by opposing end them.”
19th centure critics did not consider the problem of the ghost’s provenance as… … a reason for Hamlet’s delay
Ghost = “a majestic messenger of divine justice” = ? A. C. Bradley
“an honest ghost” “this fellow in the cellarage” the contradictory ways Hamlet addresses the ghost
“we are meant in the play to assume that he ought to have obeyed the ghost..” = ? A. C. Bradley
“Shakespeare’s most religious play” = A. C. Bradley
doubts about ghost = “unconscious fiction” an “excuse” = ? A. C. Bradley
Protestants did not believe in… Purgatory
To kill Claudius = Old Testament Revenge
To let God punish Gertrude = New Testament Revenge
“the new reigns in Norway and Denmark appear to have closed the door on a heroic past” = ? Anne Barton
“all in pieces, all coherence gone” = ? how John Donne viewed Renaissance = astronomy had decanter man and planet earth, Machiavelli had challenged ideas on morals and rulership, Montaigne had questioned natural law, the self
“the dark presence of the doubter” = ? Mallarm√©
date of ‘Hamlet’ = 1616
How much of the text does Hamlet speak almost 40%
‘to be or not to be’ does not reference whom? God
When did King Hamlet defeat Old Norway? 30 years before the first act
Claudius is good at what? containing the threat of Norwegian invasion through diplomacy and craft
“killed the king and whored my mother” = ? Hamlet about Claudius
“thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell;I took thee for thy better” = ? Hamlet
“O that this too too solid flesh would melt,Thaw and resolve itself into a dew,Or that the Everlasting had not fixed His canongainst self-slaughter.” Hamlet 2.1
“a bloody deed – almost as bad, good motherAs kill a king an marry with his brother” Hamlet
“He himself had contemplated the same deed against his father out of passion for his mother” = ? Freud, 1897
“Hamlet is idiotically insane with lucid intervals of lunacy” = ? W.S. Gilbert
Amleth means idiot in Old Norse
“crafty madness” Guildenstern’s view on Hamlet’s madness
R&G: “it’s about being a good feed for Hamlet” “just toadies to the king… Hamlet loathes second-rate things” = ? John Gielgud (1979)
“they are not near my conscience” H on R&G’s death
Richard Burton’s attitude to R&G = cold and sneering
Kenneth Branagh’s attitude to R&G = warm, witty but knowing
“to visit you, my lord, no other occasion” Rosencrantz
“my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived…I am but mad north-north-west” = ? Hamlet to R&G
“my lord, you once did love me” = ? Rosencrantz to Hamlet
What does Hamlet do during the Mousetrap? ruins actors’ performancemenaces unclehumiliates Opheliainsults the Queen
H ensured R&G have no ‘shriving’ time before their execution
“we shall have no marriages” Hamlet
“frailty thy name is woman” Hamlet
Peter Hall in 1965 RSC Hamlet decided… that the Mousetrap would fail
In which film version does the Mousetrap shock Gertrude and make her suspect Claudius? Peter Wirth 1961 film
In which film version does the Mousetrap shock Polonius and make her suspect Claudius? Zeffirelli 1990 film
Year of Zeffirelli’s film? 1990
Oboes during the Murder of Gonzago = ill winds, presaged doom or disaster, played at evil banquet in McBeth
the Mousetrap “proves a triumph far more complete than he had dared to expect” = ? A.C. Bradley
Who was the first to suggest that the Mousetrap was a failure? Shiga Naoya in ‘Claudius’ Diary’ (1912), also was pro Claudius and anti Hamlet
H has no real “evidence of Claudius’ villainy” until act 4 when he reads R&G’s letter = ? Anne Barton
Closet scene Hamlet “is at his worst in these scenes… self-righteousness…eagerness to order her sex-life” = ? Philip Edwards
“Oh my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t,A brother’s murder” Claudius
“Try what repentance can. What can it notYet what can it when one cannot repent?” Claudiusmost profoundly Christian speech in the playpotential tragic figure?Like McBeth, tries to keep what he has gained with a 2nd murder
“the arrogance of the man who is trying to effect justice is strongly contrasted with the Christian humility of the man who has done murder” = ? Philip Edwards
“too terrible to be read or to be uttered” = ? Dr Johnson, H’s lines about waiting to kill C until right moment
“I loved Ophelia – with a love forty thousand brothers could not match” Hamlet to Laertes over her grave
‘Lord we know what we are, but we know not what we may be…’ = ? Ophelia 4.5
Pyrrhus avenges Priam without mercy because Paris killed Achilles Hamlet and 1st player refer to this in 2.2
“this bodes some stranger eruption to our state” = ? Horatio
“these but the trappings and suits of woe” = Hamlet
“funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables” Hamlet
“I do not set my life at a pin’s fee” = ? Hamlet
“In the same figure like the king that’s dead” = ? Barnardo
“his grief for his father seems to be more nostalgia than true loss; he could never have emulated Old Hamlet’s style of kingship” = ? Rob Worrall

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