“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Speaker: GertrudeSpoken to: HamletSituation: the queen is watching the play that Hamlet had the actors put on. Hamlet asks his mom what she thinks of the play because he knows that the play should trigger something is her moral conscience. In the play the player queen refuses to remarry after her husband has died. Hamlet thinks Gertrude should be more like thisMeaning: The queens reply means that she believes the player queen was too dramatic about never remarrying and that she protested too much against it. The queen does not see the great harm in remarrying. Language:
“O, my prophetic soul” Act 1 Scene 5 Line 42 Speaker: HamletSpoken to: the GhostSituation: Right after the ghost revealed to Hamlet the story of his father’s murder done by his uncle Hamlet says this because he had predicted or had a feeling that his uncle was the murderer.Meaning: Hamlet exclaims that he has a prophetic soul because prophetic means predicting and Hamlet predicted earlier that his uncle had something to do with his fathers’s death. Hamlet is not happy that his prediction is correct so he is cursing the fact that his hunch became a reality.Language: prophetic: accurately describing or predicting what will happen in the future
“Do not as some ungracious pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven” Act 1 Scene 3 Lines 47-48Speaker: OpheliaSpoken to: Laertes Situation: Laertes was explaining to Ophelia why she should not be with Hamlet. The reasons were that Hamlet will one day be King and will put the well being of the state before Ophelia. Also if Hamlet and Ophelia get together, it will make Ophelia un pure and ruined for any other man. Ophelia’s line is her response to Laertes warnings to be safe and to not rebel.Meaning: Ophelia is telling Laertes not to be a hypocrite. She is saying not not be like a priest who acts holy and then does bad deeds. She is saying that Laertes is only showing her the difficult way to heaven while others have the easy way. Language: satire: on the church, “Steep and thorny”: nature imagery
“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” Act 3 Scene 3 Lines: 97-98Speaker: ClaudiusSpoken to: himself because Hamlet has already left the roomSituation: Claudis is praying to God asking forgiveness and reconciling his sins. Hamlet overhears this so Hamlet decides not to kill Claudis. Then right after Hamlet leaves Claudius admits that his prayers were not honest.Meaning: Claudius means that although he said this prayer he did not mean all the words he prayed. Because there was no honestly behind the words, they will not go to heaven. Language: It is a rhymed coupletDramatic irony: we hear Claudius say this, but Hamlet just misses it. Personification: on “words” and on “thoughts”
“O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!” Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 129-130Speaker: HamletSpoken to: no one, Soliloquy Situation: Hamlet says this line right after Claudius and Gertrude leave. The King and the Queen were talking to Hamlet and making sure that he stopped grieving and that he stayed in Elsinore. Hamlet’s soliloquy is a response to the disgust he feels towards the king and the queen.Meaning: Hamlet wishes that he would not have to be alive to deal with the anguish caused by his father’s death and his mother’s remarriage. He wishes he could just melt away and not be alive anymore.Language: decay imageryMetaphor: comparing his body to ice (something that is solid, then thaws, melts, and turns into dew.
“This visitation is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose” Speaker: GhostSpoken to: HamletSituation: Hamlet is alone with Gertrude and he is yelling at her and scolding her for all her wrong doings. The ghost appears only to happen during this scene.Meaning: The reason for the ghost’s visit is to sharpen Hamlet’s almost blunted purpose. Or in other words, to get Hamlet back on trap and to make sure he does not do anything he would regret like injuring or killing his mother.Language: Knife imageryWhet: sharpen, renewBlunted: dull, gone, wrong
“What’s Hecuba to him, or he to HecubaThat he should weep for her?” Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 559-560Speaker: HamletSpoken to: Soliloquy Situation: Right after the play in acted out, Hamlet questions the play and how it relates to his life. Hamlet feels guilty because he has not yet done anything to avenge his fathers death. He is very upset with himself and decides that he must take action.Meaning: Hamlet is questioning the play in relation to his own mother and Claudius. He is thinking what made him weep for her.Language: Personification: Hecuba was a queen in Greek mythology who had 19 children
.”There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; Pray, love, remember.” Act 4 Scene 5 Lines 179-180Speaker: Ophelia Spoken to: King, Queen, and LaertesSituation: Ophelia has gone crazy after her father’s death and Hamlet’s actions. Ophelia enters the room singing a song and not making sense. She is holding all these flowers and hands them to the people in the room.Meaning: Ophelia is giving out the rosemary and saying that it is for remembrance then she pleads for them to love and remember. The meaning of these lines in unclear because Ophelia s is mad and her actions do not represent coherent thoughts.Language: garden imagery
“Brevity is the soul of wit” Act 2 Scene 2 Line 90 Speaker: PoloniusSpoken to: GertrudeSituation: Polonius is trying to explain to the Queen the cause of Hamlet’s lunacy.Meaning: Briefness is at the heart of intelligence.Language: irony and humor because Polonius says this but he is a person who is not brief but usually overly ostentatious
“O, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!” Act 4 Scene 4 Line 67Speaker: HamletSpoken to: soliloquy Situation: Fortinbras arrives at the castle with his army as they March to Poland. Hamlet sees how Fortinbras has taken action to restore the honor of his father’s kingdom and Hamlet is jealous. Meaning: Hamlet realizes that if he wants to get revenge he must stop stalling and do it. Hamlet is swearing to himself that he will devote all time and thoughts toward a plan to finally kill Claudius.Language:
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Act 1 Scene 4 Line 90Speaker: MarcellusSpoken to: Horatio Situation: Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus see the ghost. The ghosts beckons Hamlet away and wants to speak to him alone. Marcellus and Horatio deplore Hamlet not to go alone with the ghost because it might be an evil spirit. Hamlet goes anyway leaving Marcellus and Horatio shaken up.Meaning: Something is not right in Denmark. Something is about to go terribly wrong.Language: decay imagery
“Thus conscience does make cowards of us all” Act 3 Scene 1 Line 84Speaker: Hamlet Spoken to: Soliloquy Situation: This soliloquy is said right before Ophelia and Hamlet have their conversation that is planned to be overheard by Polonius and Claudius. Hamlet is still very upset with himself and the situation he is in. Hamlet is still considering suicide/ is very depressed.Meaning: Hamlet is saying that his conscience is what stops him from immediately killing Claudius. Hamlet knows he must kill Claudius but Hamlet struggles to because his thoughts make him afraid to kill.Language: personifies “conscience”
“How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience.” Act 3 Scene 1 Line 51Speaker: King ClaudiusSpoken to: no one because it is an asideSituation: This is right before Ophelia is sent to go talk to Hamlet while the others listen. Gertrude is hoping that the cause of Hamlet’s madness is indeed his love for Ophelia. Then Polonius says the line, “with devotion’s visage and pious action we do sugar o’er the devil himself.” Claudis has a reaction to this line because Claudis has tried to cover up his bad needMeaning: The speech that Polonius said is like a stingy slap to my conscience.Language: metaphor: comparing a stingy slap or a hit to something that hits to conscience. Claudius” conscience was not literally slapped it just felt like that to him.
“How all occasions do inform against meAnd spur my dull revenge.” Act 4 Scene 4 Lines 33-34Speaker: HamletSpoken to: soliloquy Situation: This soliloquy and these lines take place right after Hamlet has an interaction with Fortinbras and his captain. Fortinbras is leading his army to Poland to reinstate the honor of the his father’s kingdom,Meaning: Hamlet sees what Fortinbras is doing and realizes he needs to be doing more. The actions of Fortinbras have informed Hamlet and allowed him to refocus on revenge against Claudius. Language: metaphor: compares Hamlet’s revenge to a dull knife that needs to be sharpened.
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.” Act 2 Scene 2 Line 205-206 Speaker: Polonius Spoken to: no one, asideSituation: Hamlet and Polonius are having a discussion. Hamlet is having fun with Polonius and pretending to be mad. Polonius still believes Hamlet is mad for his love for Ophelia.Meaning: Polonius recognizes that Hamlet is mad but he believes that there is some kind of meaning or greater plan behind the madness.Language:
“To cut his throat in th” church.” Act 4 Scene 7 Line 127Speaker: LaertesSpoken to: King ClaudiusSituation: the king and Laertes are plotting their revenge on HamletMeaning: Laertes is saying that he hates Hamlet so much and wants revenge so much that he would even be willing to kill Hamlet in a church. (Hamlet himself had too great of a conscience to kill Claudis while he was praying in the church). Language:
“Now could I drink hot blood,And do such bitter business as the dayWould quake to look on.” Act 3 Scene 2 Lines 389-391Speaker: HamletSpoken to: soliloquySituation: Hamlet is getting ready to speak to Gertrude.Meaning: Now I could do something as awful as drinking hot blood because it is nighttime and one cannot do these sorts of things during the brightness of dayLanguage: bitter business- alliterationPersonification of “day”
“O what a noble mind is here o’erthrown” Act 3 Scene 1 Line 153Speaker: OpheliaSpoken to: Soliloquy (blank verse)Situation: this soliloquy is said right after Hamlet and Ophelia talk. Hamlet is speaks harshly towards Ophelia and upsets her.Meaning: It is a pity that a great mind like Hamlet’s has turned mad. Language
“…the devil hath powerT’ assume a pleasing shape.” Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 600-601 Speaker: Hamlet Spoken to: Soliloquy #3Situation: Hamlet has decided to perform the play with the same situation as his father’s murderMeaning: Hamlet wants to make sure that his uncle is the murderer. This is why Hamlet is going to study Claudius’ reaction to the play. Hamlet wants to do this because he believes that the devil could have disguised himself as the ghost of his dad. Hamlet wants to make sure the ghosts actually was his dad and was honest.Language:
“This above all, to thine own self to true,And it must follow and the night the day Thou canst not them be false to any man.” Act 1 Scene 3 Lines 78-80Speaker: PoloniusSpoken to: LaertesSituation: Polonius is giving Laertes advice before he returns to school in Paris.Meaning: Polonius’ advice is: be true to yourself, and just like day follows after every night, you must never be false to anyone. Language:
meter black verse- unrhymed iambic pentameter
rhyme used sparingly usually rhymed couplets to indicate the end of a scene of important speechpriam passagemouse trap play
prose common people speak prose and hamlet speaks prose when talking to them. prose is also used to indicate deceit or
soliloquy character speaking thoughts aloud to him/herself-reveals inner feelings, character
aside short line that is spoken to the side so that other characters in the scene do not her
play within a play “the murder of Gonzago””the mouse trap play
Structure five acts subdivided into scenes of various lengths-exposition, complication, turning point, resolution, denoument
comic relief scenes graveyard/grave digger-polonius
character foiil a character who sets off another they are often similar in significant ways and in similar circumstances, but each behaves differently and thus is a foil to the other.-laertes and fortinbras
irony verbal, situational, dramatic, puns
bodkin dagger
ere before
quietus a finishing stroke; anything that effectually ends or settlesdischarge, release, inactivity
luxury lust
ecstasy madness
imagery language that appeals to the senses. describes things in a way that gives the reader or playgoer a sense of how to respond to the people, events, and ideas being presented. alerts us of the kind of world shakepeare is trying to create.
conscience thoughts/thinking-determining right from wrong
hecuba queen in play that mourned heavily for deceased husband-hamlet thinks gertrude should have mourned like Hecuba
pun example what’s the matter?-reading-wrong
an unweeded garden denmark
on Fortune’s cap we are not the very button not at the height of happiness
thy face is valanced bearded
pigeon livered cowardly
mortal coil life
adders fanged rosencrantz and guidenstern
hoist with his own petard tricked by his own deception
ore among a mineral of metals base purity
even for an egg shell valueless object
false danish dogs disloyal subjects
wormwood, wormwood bitterness
a short tale to make in summary
tears seven times salt great grief
sprinkle cool patience calm yourself
the bird of dawning rooster
sucked the honey of his music vows enjoyed his courtship
it out-herods Herod it is overacted
garments, heavy with their drink soaked
cudgel thy brains ponder
not a mouse stirring quiet
old mole ghost
my two school fellows rosencrantz and guildenstern
sweet prince hamlet
thou incestuous, murderous damned Dane Claudius said by Ghost
this water-fly osric
thou wretched, rash, intruding fool polonius
his wholesome brother hamlet sr.
my young lady and mistress player
pretty lady ophelia
my switzers guards
o rose of may ophelia
goodman delver grave digger
a whoreson mad fellow jorick
a ministering angel ophelia
honest soldier francisco
freinds to this groud and liegemen to the dane horatio and marcellus
the ambitious Norway fortinbras
our sometime sister gertrude
our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son hamlet
dead corse hamlet sr.
thou nobel youth hamlet
most pernicious woman gertrude
villain, villain, smiling, damned villain claudius
freinds, scholars, and soldiers horatio/marcellus
castle elsinore
“a little more than kin, and less than kind” speaker: Hamletspoken to: Gertrudemeaning: more related now, but less natural- shows Hamlet is disgusted
“frailty thy name is woman” soliloquy 1hamlettalking about Gertrude because she was uncontrollable and needed a man
“do not,as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven, while like a puffed and reckless libertine himself the primrose path of dalliance treads and recks not his own rede” Gertrude to Laertes-do not be a hypocrite-libertine: does whatever they want-hard way to heaven while you take easy one
pernicious destructive
tables writing tablets
more matter with less art Gertrude-cut to the chase
Aeneas Troyian sees Queen Dido and tell her about Trojan war and killing of Priam who was killed in war by Pyrrhus who chopped him into pieces-Hecuba mourns heavily
hamlet 30 years old
Why does Hamlet delay the murder so much? 1. external difficulties2. sentimental dreamer- rather than a do-er3. victim of excessive melancholy- depressed4. suffering Oedipus complex- identifies with Claudius because it is what he wished he could do5. only motivated by ambition- wants throne6. hamlet mislead by ghost- its a sin to kill
grave yard scene act 5 scene 1
center of the play/ turning point Act 3 Scene 3
“let not the royal bed of Denmark be a couch for luxury and incest said by: Ghostspoken to: Hamletabout: Claudius
“Leave her to heaven and to those thorns that in her bosom lodge, to prick and sting her -leave her to her own guilt and suffering and let her die naturally-said by Ghost to Hamlet
“The time is out of joint. O cursed spite that ever i was born to set it right!” -said by Hamlet-horatio, marcellus, and ghost are in the area-things in Denmark are not what they should be. Hamlet is angry that he is the one who has to kill in order to set it right
“or ere this i should have fatted all the region kites Hamlet- i should have made all the birds of prey take the kings guts before this.
“Tis too much proved- that with devotion’s visage and pious action we do sugar over the devil himself” -Polonius to king
“Thus conscience does make cowards of us all” Hamlet
“I will speak daggers to her, but use none. My tongue and soul in this by hyprocties hamlet talking about Gertrude
“And do such bitter business as the day would quake to look on hamlet
“For tis the sport to have the enginer hoist with his own petard and it shall go hard but i will delve one yard below their mines and blow them at the moon” Hamlet-talking about how he knows R and G are deceitful and he is saying that their plan will backfire on them-petard: explosivehoist with: blown up by
“But, like the owner of a foul disease, to keep it from divulging, let it feed even on the pith of life” king spoken to the queen-kept hidden like a disease that is wanted to be kept secret despite the hard
“if it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. the readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is it to leave betimes? let be hamletwhatever will happen when it does- since no one has knowledge of what he is leaving behind, what does an early death matter after all? not enough to struggle against it
“Hamlet denies it. who does it then? his madness. if it be so, hamlet is of faction that is wronged; his madness is poor hamlet’s enemy” hamlet talking to Laertes
“why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric; i am justly killed with mine own treachery” Laertes bird into trap
“I am more an antique Roman than a Dane” horatio- he wants to die with Hamlet out of honor
“he has my dying voice” Hamlet wants Fortinbras to be the next king
“Of carnal, cloody, and unnatural acts, of accidental judgements, casual slaughters, of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause” horatio
“I embrace my fortune i have some rights of memory in this kingdom, which now to cliam my vantage doth invite me” Fortinbras
spell author Shakespeare

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