Hamlet Chronological Quotes

Theme: ReligionSpeaker: HamletMeaning: The ghost problem- is the ghost good or evil? Hamlet is unsure at first 1.4 “Angels and ministers of grace defend us! Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned, Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell, be thy intents wicked or charitable”
Theme: ReligionSpeaker: GhostMeaning: Explanation for the reason why Old king hamlet is appearing as a ghost. However, perhaps he is bad since what ‘foul crimes’ did he commit? 1.4 ‘Doomed for a certain term to walk the night and for the day confined to fast in fires, till the foul crimes done in my days of nature are burnt and purged away”
Theme: Religion, Speaker: HoratioMeaning: The apparition of the ghost is believed to be an omen 1.4 “This bodes some strange eruption to our state”
Theme: ReligionSpeakers: Marcellus and HoratioMeaning: Shows the safety blanket that religion casted; one view is that the ghosts apparition is a bad omen which is replied by Horatio to have faith in God and let him control it. 1.4 Marcellus: ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ Horatio: ‘Heaven will direct it’
Theme: RevengeSpeaker: Old king hamletMeaning: Contradictory request for a spirit which is trapped trying to escape purgatory, further emphasis of the question whether the ghost is good or evil? 1.4 “Revenge most foul and unnatural murder”
Theme: ReligionSpeaker: HamletMeaning: Latin phrase meaning ‘here, there and everywhere’ used to describe God, but applied here to the ghost- shows how the ghosts presence was compared to that of God 1.4 “Hic et ubique?”
Theme: ReligionSpeaker: GhostMeaning: Portraying purgatory as horrifying, would frighten a protestant Shakespearian audience 1.4 “I could tell a tale unfold whose lightest word would harrow up thy soul”
Theme: ReligionSpeaker: Old King HamletMeaning: The ghost claims that he was murdered without receiving the last rites which would have absolved him of his sins. 1.4 “Cut off even the blossoms of my sin, unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled. No reckoning made, but sent to my account with all my imperfections on my head”
Theme: ReligionSpeaker: HamletMeaning: Hamlet restrains himself from killing Claudius whilst he is praying because he believes if he does that Claudius will go to heaven and he will not be justly revenged. 3.3 “To take him in the purging of his soul When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?No.Up, sword and know thou a more horrid hent.”
Theme: ReligionSpeaker: ClaudiusMeaning: Claudius recognises that he has gone against God by killing his brother and makes a reference here to the biblical Cain and Abel. 3.3 “Oh, my offence is rank. It smells to heaven. It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t…pray can i not”
Theme: ReligionSpeaker: Hamlet soliloquyMeaning: God had prohibited suicide, meaning that Hamlet could not therefore commit suicide 1.5 “Or that the everlasting God had not fixed his canon ‘gainst self slaughter! O God, God!”
Theme: Religion, womenSpeaker: Priest about OpheliaMeaning: Because Ophelia’s death was suspicious, she deserves nothing more than stones to be thrown on her’ 5.1 “Her obsequies have been as far enlarged as we have warranty…For charitable prayers shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her’
Theme: ReligionSpeaker: Old HamletMeaning: Do not avenge against your mother, leave her to the fate of God 1.4 ‘Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven and those thorns that in her bosom lodge to prick and sting her’
Theme: Death, religionSpeaker: HamletMeaning: ‘How the knave jowls it to the ground as if it were Cain’s jawbone’
Theme: Death/ ThanatosSpeaker: Hamlet- SoliloquySignificance: Reveals the psychological effect that the duty to revenge his father has had on him ‘O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, / Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!’ (1.2)
that the Everlasting had not fix’d / His cannon ‘gainst self-slaughter’ (1.2)
Theme: Death wish/ actingSpeaker: Hamlet- Soliloquy 2Significance: To act or not to act or to be alive or not to be alive– contemplating these questions ‘To be, or not to be: that is the question’ (3.1)
‘To die, to sleep – / No more’ (3.1)
Theme: Death/ ThanatosSpeaker: Hamlet Significance: Seeing H in a new light? why is he condemning himself when he is really trying to end the life of Claudius ‘I could accuse me of such things that it were better that my mother had not borne me’ (3.1)
What dreams may come, / When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, / Must give us pause’ (3.1)
who would bear the whips and scorns of time… When he himself might his quietus make’ (3.1)
Theme: Carless attitude towards deathSpeaker: HamletSignificance: ‘How now, a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!’ (3.4)’I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits’ (5.2)
‘I’ll lug the guts into the neighbor room’ (3.4)
‘I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits’ (5.2)
Theme: Death- Attitude towardsSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Counter-argument to the fact that Hamlet has a careless attitude towards death ‘He has borne me on his back a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorges rise as it’
To what base uses we may return, Horatio.
Theme: Death- mourningSpeaker: ClaudiusSignificance: He killed King Hamlet therefore is acting mourningful to gain the trust of the state Our dear brother’s death / The memory be green, and that it us befitted / To bear our heart’s in grief, and our whole kingdom, / To be contracted in one brow of woe’ (1.2)
Theme: Death- attitudes towardsSpeaker: Claudius Significance: Mixture of happiness and sadness- death and marriage ‘With mirth in funeral and dirge in marriage, / In equal scale weighing delight and dole’ (1.2)
Theme: Death- Attitudes towardsSpeaker: ClaudiusSignificance: Claudius thinks that Hamlet’s mourning is bad yet ironically he went against ‘Nature’ by killing his brother (Hamlet’s mourning is) ‘a fault to heaven, A fault against the dead, a fault to nature’ (1.2)
Theme: Death- Attitudes towardsSpeaker: ClaudiusSignificance: Commenting that Hamlet’s grief is not manly (“) ‘ ’tis unmanly grief’ (1.2)
Theme: Death- Attitudes towardsSpeaker: GertrudeSignificance: Emphasising the natural process of death, yet once again ironic since it was not nature All that lives must die, / Passing through nature to eternity.’ (1.2)
‘Do not forever with thy vail├Ęd lids / Seek for thy noble father in the dust.’ (1.2)
Theme- Death- attitudes to deathSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Showing that Gertrude did not mourn her husband properly (according to Hamlet:) ‘a beast that wants discourse of reason / Would have mourned longer’ (1.2)
Theme- Death- attitudes to deathSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Shows Hamlet’s attitude towards the death of his father ”my inky cloak”Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief, / That can denote me truly'(he has) ‘that within which surpasses show’
Theme: Conflict- Hamlet towards ClaudiusSpeaker: HamletSignificance: ironic statement about how Claudius is less than family (incinuating incest) and also deceitful Conflict – Hamlet towards Claudius ‘A little more than kin, and less than kind’ (1.1)
Theme: ConflictSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Comparison between old king hamlet and claudius ‘So excellent a kind to this / Hyperion to a satyr’ (1.1)
Theme: ConflictSpeaker: Hamlet about ClaudiusSignificance: Hamlet’s view towards Claudius Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain’ (2.2)
Theme: WomenSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Hamlet viewing his mothers actions as a reflection of both her gender and her personality O most pernicious woman!’ (1.5)
Theme: ConflictSpeaker: HamleSignificance: – O, most wicked speed, to post/ With such dexterity to incestuous sheets'(before) ‘the salt of most unrighteous tears / Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, / She married”The funeral back’d meats/ Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables’
Theme: ConflictSpeaker: HamletSignificance: – Wicked, unnatural parent”Thou dost usurp that title now by fraud, / For in that shell of mother breeds a baud’
Theme: ConflictSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Does Hamlet love Ophelia or not? never doubt I love’ (2.2)
Theme: ConflictSpeaker: HamletSignificance: – I loved you once… You should not have believed me… I loved you not’ (3.1)
Theme: ConflictSpeaker: HamletSignificance: – ‘Forty thousand brothers / Could not with all their quantity of love / Make up my sum’ (5.1)
Theme: ConflictSpeaker: Laertes Significance: Shows that conflict at the time kept them motivated to commit revenge ‘It warms the very sickness in my heart/ That I will live and tell him to his teeth’
Theme: ConflictSpeaker: OsricSignificance: Sparks the final conflict that becomes the climax of the whole play ‘The King sir, hath laid that in a dozen passes between youself and him, he shall not exceed you three hits’
Theme: MadnessSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Hamlet revealing his dissembled madness I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft’
Theme: MadnessSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Hamlet is only mad sometimes ‘I am but mad north-north-west.’
Theme: MadnessSpeaker: HamletSignificance: This is only a figment of your imagination. Madness is good at creating hallucinations. This is the very coinage of your brain’
Theme: MadnessSpeaker: HamletSignificance: The moment Hamlet decides to dissemble his madness How strange or odd some’er I bear myself(As I perchance hereafter shall think meetTo put an antic disposition on)
Theme: MadnessSpeaker: GertrudeSignificance: Gertrude believing that Hamlet is truly mad This is mere madness’ Gertrude A5S1
Theme: MadnessSpeaker: ClownSignificance: Clown’s 4 quotes about Hamlets madness ‘Cannot you tell that? Every fool can tell that: itwas that very day that young Hamlet was born -he that is mad, and sent into England’ Clown 1 A5S1′[H] shall recover his witsthere’ Clown 1 A5S1′[…] there the men areas mad as he’ Clown 1 A5S1’Faith, e’en with losing his wits.’ Clown 1 A5S1
Theme: MadnessSpeaker: GertrudeSignificance: Describing Ophelia’s death/suicide which occurred as a result of her madness 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 lauds, As one incapable of her own distressOr like a creature native and enduedUnto 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. (4.7.199-208)
Theme: ActingSpeaker: GertrudeSignificance: Telling Hamlet to stop mourning ‘Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour offAnd let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark’ Gertrude A1S2
Theme: ActingSpeaker: GertrudeSignificance: SEEMS* Read Gitangi essay If it be,why seems it so particular with thee? Gertrude A1S2
Theme: ActingSpeaker: GertrudeSignificance: – ‘Seems, madam! Nay, it is; I know not seems.’Tis alone my inky cloak, good mother,Nor customary suits of solemn black,[…] These indeed, seem;For they are actions that a man might play,But I have that within which passes show -These but the trappings and the suits of woe’ Hamlet A1S2
Theme: WomenSpeaker: HamletSignificance: View towards his mothers incestuous actions with Claudius Hamlet’s view of women ‘O most pernicious woman!’ (1.5)
Theme: WomenSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Basing his opinions on his mother to the feminine species as a whole ‘frailty thy name is woman’ (1.2)
Theme: WomenSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Reveals the view that Hamlet has towards his mothers ‘ere hasty marriage’ ‘a beast that wants discourse of reason / Would have mourned longer’ (1.2)
Theme: WomenSpeaker: HamletSignificance: – ‘let me wring your heart; for so I shall, / if it be made of penetrable stuff; / If damned custom have not braz’d it so / That it be proof and bulwark against sense’ (3.4)
Theme: WomenSpeaker: HamletSignificance: Significance of women and make up ‘God has given you one face and you make yourselves another’
Theme: PowerSpeaker: LaertesSignificance: Telling Ophelia how Hamlet’s place in society gives him little control Perhaps he loves you now, …/ …his will is not his own, For he himself is subject to his birth’…for on his choice dependsThe safety and health of this whole state. And therefore must his choice be circumscribedUnto the voice and yielding of that bodyWhereof he is the head.’
Theme: PowerSpeaker: ClaudiusSignificance: God protects the king- chain of being ‘There’s such divinity doth hedge a king’
Theme: RevengeSpeaker: GhostSignificance: Commanding Hamlet to fulfill his wish ‘Revenge most foul and unnatural murder’Repeated…’Murder most foul’
Theme: RevengeSpeaker: GhostSignificance: Ghost instructing Hamlet ‘Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive against thy mother ought’
Theme: RevengeSpeaker: LaertesSignificance: Laertes suggests that since he hasn’t yet punished his father’s murderer, he must not be his real son. ‘The drop of blood that’s calm proclaims me a bastard’.
Theme: RevengeSpeaker: LaertesSignificance: Revenge is the only way to heal Laertes pain It warms the very sickness in my heartThat I shall live and tell him to his teeth”Thus didest thou”‘
Theme: GuiltSpeaker: ClaudiusSignificance: Claudius privately admitting his guilt ‘Pray can I not, / Though inclination be as sharp as will.”Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens, / To wash it as white as snow?”O, what form of prayer can serve my turn?’

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