Hamlet Act 4 Quotes

Mad as the sea and wind when both contend which is the mightier. In his lawless fit, behind the arras hearing something stir… Who: GertrudeTo: ClaudiusWhy: retelling how Hamlet killed PoloniusDevices: metaphor w/ hurricane
His liberty is full of threats to all – to you yourself, to us, to everyone. Who: Claudius To: GertrudeWhy: she told him about Polonius’ murder and he wants to decide punishmentDevices: anaphora + personification
The body is with the King, but the King is not with the body. The King is a thing. Who: HamletTo: R&GWhy: teases them when they ask where Polonius’ body isDevices: chiasmus
Diseases desperate grown by desperate appliance are relieved. Who: ClaudiusTo: attendantsWhy: desperate times call for desperate measures; Hamlet’s madness must be cured at once or not at all
Your worm is your only emperor for diet. Who: HamletTo: ClaudiusWhy: we are all the same in deathDevices: metaphor w/ fishing
In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger find him not there, seek him I’th’other place yourself. Who: HamletTo: ClaudiusWhy: taunting him, daring him to find Polonius in HellDevices: prose
Farewell, dear Mother. Who: HamletTo: ClaudiusWhy: mocks him and calls him his mother as Claudius tries to send Hamlet to England
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England. Who: ClaudiusTo: himselfWhy: wishes death for Hamlet when he “sends” him to EnglandDevices: metonymy, apostrophe
How all occasions do in form 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. Who: HamletTo: himselfWhy: pushes me to avenge my father, but I cannot follow throughDevices: personification
Even for an eggshell…How stand I then…I see th’imminent death of twenty thousand men that for a fantasy and trick of fame, go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot wherein the numbers cannot try the cause. Who: HamletTo: himselfWhy: lamenting about the bravery of Fortinbras’ men over something worthless; remarks that if the men will die over Poland, he should very well die trying to avenge his fatherDevices: rhetorical question, metaphor
Oh, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth! Who: HamletTo: himselfWhy: his thoughts, not actions, have been bloody enough. he thinks in a circle.Devices: couplet
Says she hears there’s tricks i’the world, and gems, and beats her heart…Her speech is nothing, yet the unshaped use of it doth move the hearers to collection. Who: Gentleman To: Horatio and GertrudeWhy: Ophelia speaks nonsense, but there seems to be meaning. what will the commoners think?
‘Twere good she were spoken with, for she may strew dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds. Who: HoratioTo: Gertrude and GentlemanWhy: Ophelia’s blabbering could endanger Denmark. it is good she has been consoled/talked to.
To my sick soul, as sin’s true nature is, each toy seems prologue to some great amiss. So full of artless jealousy is guilt, it spills itself in fearing to be spilt. Who: Gertrude (aside)To: herselfWhy: after the Gentleman comes in with news of Ophelia’s madness, she remarks that every little trifle builds up to some great, tragic event. The more you try to hide something you’re guilty about, the more likely it is to burst out.Devices: couplet, metaphor
He is dead and gone, lady, He is dead and gone;At his head a grass green turf,At his heels a stone. Who: Ophelia (singing)To: Gertrude Why: she mourns her father by singing funeral songs + love songs for Hamlet
But I cannot choose but weep to think they would lay him i’the cold ground. My brother shall know of it. And so I thank you for your good counsel. Who: OpheliaTo: ClaudiusWhy: Ophelia is angered that her father was not granted proper burial; his death was covered up by Claudius
When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions…This, like to a murdering piece, in many places gives me superfluous death. Who: ClaudiusTo: GertrudeWhy: warning that death comes in threes. Laertes is back, and there are rumors about Polonius’ death. Claudius thinks that all the things piling up are killing him.
Young Laertes, in a riotous head, o’erbears your officers…’Laertes shall be king!’ Who: MessengerTo: Claudius and Gertrude Why: the kingdom is ready for new leadership. They are angered over the mysterious circumstances surrounding Polonius’ death.
O thou vile king, give me my father! Who: LaertesTo: ClaudiusWhy: confronts Claudius about Polonius’ untimely and dishonored deathDevices: invective, sarcastic use of ‘thou’
– Where is my father?- Dead.- But not by him. Who: Laertes, Claudius, Gertrude (respectively)Why: Claudius answers Laertes’ accusations and anger; Gertrude is quick to defend her husband. Claudius asks Laertes if he really wants to know who killed his father.Devices: stichomythia (rapid dialogue)
I’ll not be juggled with. To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil! Who: LaertesTo: Claudius and GertrudeWhy: says they should not try to deceive him on the topic of his father’s strange death
It shall as level to your judgment ‘pear as day does to your eye. Who: ClaudiusTo: LaertesWhy: let me speak, and the explanation will be as logical to you as daylight when the truth emerges
Tears seven times salt, burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye! Who: LaertesTo: Ophelia (kind of)Why: he would rather go blind in both eyes than witness his beloved sister fall into madness over Polonius’ deathly
The Queen his mother lives almost by his looks, and for myself — my virtue or my plague, be it either which — she is so conjunctive to my life and soul, that, as the star moves not but in his sphere, I could not but by her. Who: ClaudiusTo: LaertesWhy: explaining 1/2 reasons why he won’t punish Hamlet for murdering Polonius: (1) Claudius loves Gertrude too much to see her suffer over the incarceration of her son (2) the public loves Hamlet
It warms the very sickness in my heart that I shall live and tell him to his teeth, ‘thus didst thou.’ Who: LaertesTo: ClaudiusWhy: Laertes vows to avenge his father by cutting Hamlet’s throat in church. messenger comes in, and Claudius begins to plan the jousting tournament
He, being remiss, most generous, and free from all contriving… Who: ClaudiusTo: LaertesWhy: they plan Hamlet’s murder, and Claudius remarks that because Hamlet loves and respects Laertes he will never see the poison coming. backhanded compliment Devices: periodic sentence
One woe doth tread upon another’s heel. Who: Gertrude To: Claudius and LaertesWhy: Ophelia has killed herself and Laertes’ built-up rage is quickly deflated

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