Hamlet Act 2 Quotes (Barry)

REASONS TO USE PROSE To convey:1. disorganized thoughts/confusion2. insanity3. class difference (higher class uses iambic pentameter, lower class uses prose)
“What forgeries you please: marry, none so rankAs may dishonor him, take heed of that,But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slipsAs are companions noted and most known to youth and liberty” Polonius to Reynaldo. Explaining the lies Reynaldo can drop to people in France while spying on Laertes.
“He closes with you in this consequence” Polonius to Reynaldo. Instructing him on how to sound innocent when dropping lies about Laertes.
“Your bait of falsehood take this carp of truth” Polonius to Reynaldo. METAPHOR. By lying you will discover the truth.
“By indirections find directions out” Polonius to Reynaldo. By leading people in the wrong direction, you will be able to find out the truth about Laertes.
“Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbrac’d […] To speak of horrors – he comes before me” Ophelia to Polonius. PERIODIC SENTENCE. Describing her encounter with the ‘mad’ Hamlet.
“Mad for thy love?” Polonius to Ophelia. Jumps to this conclusion without even comforting her.
“No, my good lord, but as you did commandI did repel his letters, and deniedHis access to me” Ophelia to Polonius. Describing a potential cause for Hamlet’s madness.
“That hath made him mad” Polonius to Ophelia. Jumping to the conclusion of Hamlet’s madness, and leads to remaining plot developments.
“So much from th’ understanding of himself,I cannot dream of…” Claudius to Rosencrantz/Guildenstern. Doesn’t ask about their journey or them, just gets right to the point. Self-serving.
“Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.””Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz.” Claudius/Gertrude. Claudius gets the two mixed up and Gertrude quietly corrects him. Demonstrates how Gertrude is much more involved in Hamlet’s life.
“My too much CHANGED son.” Gertrude. INVERTED SYNTAX to put emphasis on ‘changed.’
“Makes vow before his uncle never moreTo give th’ assay of arms against your Majesty” Voltemand to Claudius. Explains that Fortinbras is not going to attack Denmark.
“Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,I will be brief. Your noble son is mad…” Polonius to Claudius/Gertrude. Funny because he has spent a long time building up to this news.
“Mad call I it” Polonius to Claudius/Gertrude. INVERTED SYNTAX to put emphasis on ‘mad.’
“Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb,Or look’d upon this love with idle sight” Polonius to Claudius/Gertrude. Justifying why he told Ophelia to spurn Hamlet.
[Points to his head and shoulder] Polonius (stage direction). If I’m lying, you can chop off my head.
“…if he love her not,And be not from his reason fall’n thereon,Let me be no assistant for a state,But keep a farm and carters” Polonius to Claudius/Gertrude. Exaggerating and saying that if his theory about Hamlet is incorrect, Polonius will become a farmer.
“Ay, sir, to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man pick’d out of ten thousand” Hamlet to Polonius. Demonstrating Shakespeare’s disgust with humanity.
“Let her not walk i’ th’ sun. Conception is a blessing,but as your daughter may conceive, friend, look to’t” Hamlet to Polonius. Sun is a play on words for ‘don’t let your daughter walk with me (son). Also, conception could mean understanding or pregnancy, suggesting that Hamlet and Ophelia had a sexual relationship, or that Ophelia may come to understand the truth about Polonius.
“Slanders, sir; for the satirical rouge […] for yourself, sir, shall grow old as I am, if like a crab you could go backward” Hamlet to Polonius. Lowkey using prose to insult Polonius.
“You cannot take from me any thing that I will notmore willingly part withal – except my life, except my life,except my life” Hamlet to Polonius. Demonstrating how demoralized Hamlet is and how he wishes he didn’t have to deal with all of this.
“My excellent good friends! How dost thou,Guildernstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do youboth?” Hamlet. Switches from informal thou to formal you, realizing that his friends were send to him for a reason.
“Denmark’s a prison” Hamlet to R/G. Metaphor.
“Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison” Hamlet to R/G. Acknowledging their stupidity.
“My lord, we were sent for” Guildenstern to Hamlet. Prose.
“What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world; the paragon of animals; and yet to me what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me – nor women neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so” Hamlet to R/G. Distressed at how Claudius and even Hamlet’s friends haven ow been ‘bought.’
“what lenten entertainment the players shall receive from you. We coted them on the way, and hither are they coming to offer you service” Rosencrantz to Hamlet. Explaining that the players are coming; totally missing Hamlet’s point.
“Will they pursue the quality no longer than they can sing?” Hamlet to Rosencrantz. About child actors’ voices deepening.

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