Hamlet Act 5 Study Guide

Hamlet “Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him.”Meaning: Oh, poor Yorick! I used to know him
Hamlet “What! The fair Ophelia?”Meaning: What, the beautiful Ophelia?
Gertrude “Sweets to the sweet. Farewell.”Meaning: Sweet flowers for a sweet girl. Goodbye! (she scatters flowers)
Laertes “Hold off the earth awhile til I have caught her once more in my arms.”Meaning: Hold off burying her until I’ve caught her in my arms once more.
Claudius “Gertrude, do not drink.”Meaning: Gertrude, don’t drink that.
Laertes “I am justly killed with mine own treachery.”Meaning: Like a mouse caught in my own trap, Osric. (he collapses) I’ve been killed by my own evil tricks.
Gertrude “The drink, the drink. I am poisoned.”Meaning: The drink, the drink! I’ve been poisoned. (she dies)
Horatio “Good night, sweet prince, and flights o angels sing thee to thy rest.”Meaning: Good night, sweet prince. May hosts of angels sing you to sleep.
Fortinbras “Let four captains bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage.”Meaning: Let four captains carry Hamlet like a soldier onto the stage.
Hamlet “Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs?”Meaning: I don’t know how many times I kissed the lips that used to be right here. Where are your jokes now? Your pranks? Your songs?
Gravedigger (aka Clown) “You lie out on’t, sir, and therefore ’tis not yours. For my part, I do not lie in’t, yet it is mine.”Meaning: And you’re lying outside of it, so it’s not yours. As for me, I’m not lying to you in it—it’s really mine.
Hamlet “If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, absent thee from felicity awhile and in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain to tell my story.”Meaning: If you ever loved me, then please postpone the sweet relief of death awhile, and stay in this harsh world long enough to tell my story.
Hamlet I do prophesy the election lights on Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.”Meaning: I bet Fortinbras will win the election to the Danish crown. He’s got my vote as I die.
Hamlet “Cat will mew but dog will have its day.”Meaning: Can’t keep cats from acting like cats, and dogs like dogs

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