Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s deathThe memory be green, and that it us befittedTo bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdomTo be contracted in one brow of woe,Yet so far hath discretion fought with natureThat we with wisest sorrow think on him,Together with remembrance of ourselves.Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,The imperial jointress to this warlike state,Have we, as ’twere with a defeated joy,–With an auspicious and a dropping eye,With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,In equal scale weighing delight and dole,–Taken to wife Speaker: King Claudius Addressed to: CourtAct I Scene IIContext: Claudius telling court that Denmark should move on from death of previous king.Significance: Contains motif of opposites, learn Claudius is married to Gertrude
Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not ‘seems.”Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,Nor customary suits of solemn black,Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,Nor the dejected ‘havior of the visage,Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,For they are actions that a man might play:But I have that within which passeth show;These but the trappings and the suits of woe. Speaker: Hamlet to GertrudeAct I Scene IIContext: He really does miss his dadSignificance: Shows he hasn’t moved on, characterizes Hamlet, motif of acting
O, that this too too solid flesh would meltThaw and resolve itself into a dew!Or that the Everlasting had not fix’dHis canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,Seem to me all the uses of this world!Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,That grows to seed; things rank and gross in naturePossess it merely. That it should come to this!But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:So excellent a king; that was, to this,Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my motherThat he might not beteem the winds of heavenVisit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!Must I remember? Speaker: HamletAct I Scene IIContext: Hamlet wants to die and Claudius isn’t as good as his dad.Significance: Maybe depression, Hamlet = religious
Angels and ministers of grace defend us!Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn’d,Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,Be thy intents wicked or charitable,Thou comest in such a questionable shapeThat I will speak to thee: I’ll call thee Hamlet,King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!Let me not burst in ignorance; but tellWhy thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn’d,Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws,To cast thee up again. What may this mean,That thou, dead corse, again in complete steelRevisit’st thus the glimpses of the moon,Making night hideous; and we fools of natureSo horridly to shake our dispositionWith thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we do? Speaker: Hamlet to GhostAct I Scene IVContext: Hamlet chasing after his dadSignificance: 1st time he sees the ghost, questioning
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother’s handOf life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch’d:Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,Unhousel’d, disappointed, unanel’d,No reckoning made, but sent to my accountWith all my imperfections on my head:O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not; Speaker: Ghost to Hamlet Act I Scene VContext: Telling how he was murdered and why he went to hellSignificance: Starts conflict of play
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come;Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself,As I perchance hereafter shall think meetTo put an antic disposition on, Speaker: Hamlet to Horatio Act I Scene VContext: Hamlet has just met the Ghost and he decides to act crazy so no one will know his real plansSignificance: Horatio and Hamlet are foils, and this is his plan to act crazy
He took me by the wrist and held me hard;Then goes he to the length of all his arm;And, with his other hand thus o’er his brow,He falls to such perusal of my faceAs he would draw it. Long stay’d he so;At last, a little shaking of mine armAnd thrice his head thus waving up and down,He raised a sigh so piteous and profoundAs it did seem to shatter all his bulkAnd end his being: that done, he lets me go:And, with his head over his shoulder turn’d,He seem’d to find his way without his eyes;For out o’ doors he went without their helps,And, to the last, bended their light on me. Speaker: Ophelia to Polonius Act II Scene IContext: Hamlet came into Ophelia’s closet and started acting crazySignificance: This is part of his plan to fool everyone, but everyone thinks he loves Ophelia
I have of late–butwherefore I know not–lost all my mirth, forgone allcustom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavilywith my disposition that this goodly frame, theearth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this mostexcellent canopy, the air, look you, this braveo’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof frettedwith golden fire, why, it appears no other thing tome than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!how infinite in faculty! in form and moving howexpress and admirable! in action how like an angel!in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of theworld! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,what is this quintessence of dust? Speaker: Hamlet to Rosencrantz and GuildensternAct II Scene IIContext: This is Hamlet’s reaction to Rosencrantz and GuildensternSignificance: Doesn’t actually answer their question and tells why he’s sad, shows his depression
I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind issoutherly I know a hawk from a handsaw. Speaker: Hamlet to Guildenstern Act II Scene IIContext: Hamlet is trying to say he is not crazy all the timeSignificance: Everyone thinks he is crazy, secrecy
To be, or not to be: that is the question:Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;No more; and by a sleep to say we endThe heart-ache and the thousand natural shocksThat flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummationDevoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;For in that sleep of death what dreams may comeWhen we have shuffled off this mortal coil Speaker: Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1 Context: Hamlet considers suicide Significance: Questions his sanity, opposites, super famous speech, tells why Hamlet hasn’t killed himself
Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be abreeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest;but yet I could accuse me of such things that itwere better my mother had not borne me: I am veryproud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences atmy beck than I have thoughts to put them in,imagination to give them shape, or time to act themin. What should such fellows as I do crawlingbetween earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves,all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Speaker: Hamlet to Ophelia Act 3 Scene 1 Context: This is right after Hamlet contemplates suicide, he tells Ophelia he doesn’t love herSignificance: Letting go to focus on revenge, shows his feeling toward women/men
And what’s in prayer but this two-fold force,To be forestalled ere we come to fall,Or pardon’d being down? Then I’ll look up;My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayerCan serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder’?That cannot be; since I am still possess’dOf those effects for which I did the murder,My crown, mine own ambition and my queen.May one be pardon’d and retain the offence? Speaker: Claudius Act 3 Scene 3Context: Claudius is trying to pray and wondering howSignificance: Actual confession, his death is put off
Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;And now I’ll do’t. And so he goes to heaven;And so am I revenged. That would be scann’d:A villain kills my father; and for that,I, his sole son, do this same villain sendTo heaven.O, this is hire and salary, not revenge.He took my father grossly, full of bread;With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;And how his audit stands who knows save heaven?But in our circumstance and course of thought,’Tis heavy with him: and am I then revenged,To take him in the purging of his soul,When he is fit and season’d for his passage?No! Speaker: HamletAct III Scene IIIContext: Hamlet is watching Claudius praySignificance: Doesn’t kill him, action vs. inaction, is Hamlet a coward?
How stand I then,That have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d,Excitements of my reason and my blood,And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I seeThe imminent death of twenty thousand men,That, for a fantasy and trick of fame,Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plotWhereon the numbers cannot try the cause,Which is not tomb enough and continentTo hide the slain? O, from this time forth,My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth! Speaker: HamletAct 4 Scene 4Context: Hamlet watches fortinbras’s army march across denmark to go fight over a small piece of territorySignificance: Hamlet sets his sights on revenge on Claudius for killing his father. Has a theme for revenge, and the idea of honor as a motivator so he won’t be a coward anymore
I will do’t:And, for that purpose, I’ll anoint my sword.I bought an unction of a mountebank,So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,Collected from all simples that have virtueUnder the moon, can save the thing from deathThat is but scratch’d withal: I’ll touch my pointWith this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,It may be death. Speaker: Laertes to Claudius Act 4 Scene 7Context: Laertes has poisoned his sword with a poison that if it even scratches Hamlet he will die.Significance: Laertes and Claudius are scheming about how to kill Hamlet, they come up with the poisoned sword and a poisoned drink.
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weedsClambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;When down her weedy trophies and herselfFell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;As one incapable of her own distress,Or like a creature native and induedUnto that element: but long it could not beTill that her garments, heavy with their drink,Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious layTo muddy death. Speaker: Gertrude to LaertesAct 4 Scene 7 Context: Gertrude is describing to Laertes how Ophelia has drowned and died in the river.Significance: This contributes to the theme of Appearance vs reality in the play, because it may look like she drowned, but she didn’t really try to get out of the water so did she commit suicide? Ophelia was not getting the help she needed in the play
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellowof infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hathborne me on his back a thousand times; and now, howabhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims atit. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I knownot how oft. Where be your gibes now? yourgambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not onenow, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, lether paint an inch thick, to this favour she mustcome; make her laugh at that. Speaker: Hamlet to Horatio Act 5 Scene 1Context: Hamlet is holding the skull of the Kings old jester Yorick. He is remembering the times they had together and how funny the jester was.Significance: Everyone dies, no matter how famous
Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,Drink off this potion. Is thy union here?Follow my mother. Speaker: Hamlet to ClaudiusAct:5.2Context: Hamlet forces Claudius to drink the rest of the poisoned drink, and tells him to follow his mother to death.Significance: Finally Hamlet has Killed Claudius, he has achived his revenge and did what the ghost said.
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me!If thou didst ever hold me in thy heartAbsent thee from felicity awhile,And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,To tell my story. Speaker: Hamlet to HoratioAct: 5.2Context: Hamlet is dying, and tells Horatio to tell his storySignificance: Hamlet was worried that people would think that he was a bad guy for killing them. He wants Horatio to tell his story because he knows everything from the ghost until now. The heart of his pursuit of revenge was his unconditional love for his father.
Not from his mouth,Had it the ability of life to thank you:He never gave commandment for their death.But since, so jump upon this bloody question,You from the Polack wars, and you from England,Are here arrived give order that these bodiesHigh on a stage be placed to the view;And let me speak to the yet unknowing worldHow these things came about: so shall you hearOf carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,And, in this upshot, purposes mistookFall’n on the inventors’ reads: all this can ITruly deliver. Speaker: Horatio to FortinbrasAct: 5.2Context: Everyone has died. Horatio sums up what happened.Significance: This is the end of the play as everyone has died, and Fortinbras is now the new king of denmark.

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