Hamlet 2-5 Quotes

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” speaker: Poloniussituation: an aside as he tries to find out the reason for Hamlet’s madnessparaphrase: Although Hamlet is acting crazy, there seems to be some sense or rationality underneath what he is saying.
“Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live. / God’s man, much better! Use every man after his desert and who shall ‘scape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.” Speaker: HamletSituation: To Polonius after the Players arriveTreat these actors well because they are the historians of the era- It would be preferable to have a negative description on your gravestone than have them saying negative things about you now.Treat all people better than they deserve. If you only treat people as they deserve they will all be beaten. Treat people well because you are a person of good character, not because they are.
“We are oft to blame in this that with devotion’s visage and pious action we do sugar o’er the devil himself.” Speaker: PoloniusSituation: Polonius and Claudius in the hall-(He is speaking to Claudius after handing Ophelia a prayer book so that she will be pretending to pray when Hamlet meets up with her)We are often guilty of a false display of religious devotion. With the appearance of religious belief and action, we could even make the devil look good.
“How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience. The harlot’s cheek beautied with plast’ring art is not more ugly to the thing that helps it than is my deed to my most painted word. O heavy burden!” Speaker: ClaudiusSituation: Claudius and Polonius in the hall- (An aside, brought on by Polonius’s observation which shows that Claudius feels guilty about his murder and his hypocrisy.)How correct this is, and how guilty this makes me feel. The face of a *****, covered with makeup, is not seen as more horrible than are my false words to my false deeds- Oh, what a troubled conscience I have!*****’s face=Claudius’s deed of murdermakeup=Claudius’s false (hypocritical) actions
“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. To die, to sleep-no more- and by a sleep to say we ed the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to-’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep- for in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.” Speaker: HamletSituation: Soliloquy before he meets Ophelia in the hallTo live or die, that is the issue. Is it better to endure living in a troubled world or attempt to deal with the troubles and either to die in the attempt or end the troubles. It would be great to end my existence and be without the pain but I may dream: that’s the problem because after death, we may suffer (have bad dreams), a possibility that could cause us to avoid killing ourselves.
“Now, Hamlet, where’s Polonius?””At supper. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of politic worms are e’en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service- two dishes but to one table. That’s the end. / A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm. / Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar.” Situation: Hamlet speaking to Claudius after the murder of PoloniusNotice the political diction Hamlet uses as he describes Polonius’s body being eaten by worms: “convocation”- formal assembly of officials; “politic”- shrewd or artful in a political sense; “emperor” and the idea of a grand banquetDeath is seen as the great equalizer. Be able to explain literally how a King can go “a progress” (another political idea) through the guts of a beggar. The worm eats the King. The beggar-fisherman uses the worm for bait and catches a fish and then eats it.
“How all occasions do inform against me and spur my dull revenge. What is a man if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more. Sure He that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and godlike reason to fust in us unused.” Speaker: HamletSituation: After Hamlet sees the army of FortinbrasBe able to discuss these lines: Hamlet recognizes that the actions of Fortinbras show how inactive he has been. (Both seem to be attempting to set things right concerning their fathers, as Laertes will attempt to do as well.) He questions what value human beings possess if they behave like animals, merely eating and sleeping. Certainly God did not give us such power of thought not to be used. So Hamlet feels guilty that he has not acted, but he also recognizes that human beings cannot just behave instinctively- They must think about their actions.
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts. There’s fennel for you, and columbines. There’s rue for you, and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays. You (must) wear your rue with a difference. There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died. They say he made a good end.” Speaker: OpheliaSituation: Ophelia’s second mad scene with LaertesKnow the symbolism of the flowers and who would be the legitimate recipients of each:Rosemary (remembrance) and Pansies (thoughts)- to LaertesFennel (marital infidelity) and Columbines (lust)- to GertrudeRue (repentance and pity)- to Gertrude for repentance- to herself for pityDaisy (faithlessness and trickery)- to ClaudiusNo Violets- (faithfulness) They all died when her father died.
“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio-a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath bore me on his back a thousand times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? Quite chapfallen? Now get you to my lady’s (chamber,) and tell her; let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come. Make her laugh at that.” Speaker: HamletSituation: In the graveyard- to HoratioHere Hamlet describes Yorick, the King’s jester, a man who had been a playful clown in Hamlet’s youth. He asks the skull where all his playfulness has gone. Now he has no one around to laugh at him, and his jaw seems to have fallen off, so he is “Chop-fall’n”- a term that meant sad (“down in the mouth”). Hamlet tells the skull to go to Gertrude’s room (“my lady’s chamber” could also refer to the rooms of all women) and inform her that she can put on all the heavy makeup she wants to, she will still become a skull. See if she thinks that’s funny. Mention that this conversation with Hamlet holding the skull is one of the most famous in all of literature.
“Not a whit. We defy augury. There is (a) special providence in the fall of a sparrow. 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.” Speaker: HamletSituation: To Horatio before the duelHere Hamlet says he will pay no attention to omens or portents. He realizes that God is concerned even with the fall of sparrows – (Gospel of Matthew X.29). If his opportunity to revenge his father’s death is to happen now, it won’t happen in the future. If it is not to happen in the future, it will happen now. If it is not now, it will happen. All we can do is be ready to do God’s will. Hamlet is now demonstrating a new steadiness and confidence that all is in God’s hands. It doesn’t all depend on him, as he thought when he said he hated having “to set things right” at the beginning of the play.
“Our indiscretion sometime serves us well when our deep plots do pall; and that should learn us there’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough- hew them how we will-“ Speaker: HamletSituation: To Horatio- after confrontation with Laertes in the graveyardHamlet explains that at times it’s a good idea not to be restrained when our plans don’t seem to be working out, which should teach us that God affects what happens in our lives, no matter how we mess things up.
“So shall you hear of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, of accidental judgments, casual slaughters, of deaths put on by cunning and (forced) cause, and, in this upshot, purposes mistook fall’n on th’ inventors’ heads.” Speaker: HoratioSituation: After Hamlet’s death- Horatio addresses Fortinbras, his army, and the assembled nobles of the courtThe reputation of a person was seen as very important, a legacy that would live on long after the person was dead. It is Horatio’s duty to explain what has happened so that Hamlet will be remembered correctly. Be able to give examples of Sample examples: “carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts”- Claudius killing his brother; Gertrude going after Claudius”accidental judgements”- mistaken ideas of Hamlet’s madness”casual slaughters”-Hamlet killing Polonius”deaths put on by cunning and forced cause”- Hamlet’s and Laertes’s deaths and Gertrude’s death (put on by a scheme gone wrong)”purposes mistook/Fall’n on th’ inventors’ heads”- Rosencrantz’s and Guildenstern’s deaths; Claudius’s death (drinking the poisoned wine)

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