Hamlet key quotations/interpretations ACT 3

1. Gertrude expresses Ophelia’s pressure to resolve Hamlet’s madness “I hope your virtues will bring him [Hamlet] to his wonted way again”
1. Polonius suggests spying is wrong, triggering Claudius’ conscience “[by] pious action we do sugar o’er the devil himself”
1. When watching Ophelia, where to Polonius and Claudius hide in Branagh’s production? Behind a one-way mirror
1. Polonius expresses his eagerness to be at the centre of conspiring “I’ll be placed (so please you) in the ear of all their conference”
1. How does Billington perceive Polonius? “sinisterly snooping”
1. Hamlet criticises himself, but also highlights the danger in Claudius “conscience does make cowards of us all”
1. Hamlet is either angry or heartbroken, through his antic disposition rejecting Ophelia “I did love you once”
1. Hamlet portrays women as deceptive and weak – though this is a deliberate fa├žade “you make yourself another [face]: you jig, you amble, and you lisp”
1. How does Stockton interpret Hamlet to view Ophelia? “to Hamlet, she is a sexual object, a corrupted and deceitful lover”
1. Ophelia portrays her upset/guilt after talking to Hamlet “deject and wretched”
1. What is Showalter’s interpretation of Ophelia as a character? Ophelia is a cipher for Hamlet to react against, rather than being developed as a character
2. Hamlet only sees true friendship in Horatio “thou art e’en as just a man”
2. Hamlet embarrasses Ophelia – sexually alluring and disregarding of women “do you think I meant country matters?” (Ophelia replies “I think nothing” – ever repulsed or flirting)
2. Hamlet states men can’t rely on women in death (directed at Gertrude) “by’r lady, he must build churches”
2. Hamlet tells R + G they cannot manipulate him “though you can fret me, you cannot play me”
2. Hamlet despises Gertrude just as much as Claudius – only the ghost’s orders of “leave her to heaven” prevent him from killing her(?) “my tongue and my soul in this be hypocrites”
2. Claudius is confused (and threaten) by Hamlet “I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words are not mine”
2. How does Knight suggest Hamlet’s approach to Claudius? “joy of torturing the king’s conscience”
2. How does Claudius prove his guilt? “give me some light!” (relates to Hamlet – “too much in the sun” – Claudius seeks morality)
2. How does Taylor observe Claudius’s guilt? “the face of Claudius shifts by infinitesimal degrees as he watches the re-enactment of his crime”
3. Claudius wishes to protect himself (and Denmark?) “nor it stands safe with us to let his madness range”
3. Claudius doesn’t feel the guilt he knows he should, so he can’t atone “pray I cannot…I stand in pause where I shall first begin”
3. Claudius is struggling with the idea of confession – does he want to ‘cheat’ heaven? (Hamlet’s later idea that Politicians could God) “may one be pardon’d and retain the offence?”
3. How does Knight interpret Claudius’s prayer? “the fine flower of a soul in anguish”
3. Claudius prayer is futile, he cannot truly feel guilty and confess “my words fly up, my thoughts remain below”
3. By what does Coleridge judge Claudius? “not what you have done but what you are”
3. Rosencrantz expresses the importance of regents (Elizabeth I) “that spirit upon whose weal depends and rests the lives of many”
3. Hamlet refrains from killing Claudius to ensure it is when Claudius is sinning (ironic – he has not repented) “that his heels may kick at heaven”
3. How does Swinburne assess Hamlet’s pensivity? “by no means irresolution or hesitation…but rather the strong conflux of contending forces”
4. Polonius directs Gertrude in a similar way that he does Ophelia to expose Hamlet “look you lay home to him”
4. How does Billington view Polonius’s intrusiveness? “no one is ever quite alone in this corrupt kingdom”
4. Hamlet’s twisting of his mother’s words makes him appear mad (though he can still manipulate language – sane) “Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue”
4. Hamlet bluntly accuses Gertrude of being involved in the murder of his father (she is bewildered) “Almost as bad, good mother, as kill a king and marry his brother”
4. What is Collins’ view of Gertrude in (3,4)? “Gertrude’s innocence is established and her fate sealed”
4. Hamlet brandishes Gertrude as voracious and immoral (misogynistic) “that blurs the grace of blush and modesty”
4. Hamlet fetidly describes Gertrude’s grotesque temptation “the rank sweat of an enseamed bed”
4. How does Billington perceive Gertrude and Claudius’s relationship? “[Claudius and Gertrude are] physically wrapped up in each other”
4. Hamlet venerates his father and scorns Gertrude’s attraction to the harsh Claudius “Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed, and batten on the moor?”
4. Hamlet iterates to Gertrude that he is not mad through physical features “my pulse, as yours, doth keep time temperately”
4. How does Clapp view Hamlet? “he always transmits a meaning. He is never in the least bit mad”
4. Hamlet is aware of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s deception “who I trust as I would adders fang’d”
4. How does Billington see Hamlet? “a prince who finds himself an outcast in his own land”
4. Hamlet jokes about Polonius’ death, and he will be sent to England (is he mad?) “This man shall send me packing”
4. Gertrude admits her sinful ways with Claudius “[inside my soul] there I see such black and grained spots”
4. How does Taylor perceive Gertrude’s response to finding out about her father’s murder? “Gertrude wakes up to the true nature of the man she has married in a slightly rattled but sly way”
4. Gertrude feels guilty/remembers old Hamlet/sad that Claudius has betrayed her/may believe Hamlet is mad “O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain”
4. How does Billington view Gertrude’s guilt? “you see her shredding tears of outright contrition”
4. The ghost returns to keep Hamlet to the point “whet thy almost blunted purpose”
4. How does Mel Gibson’s production portray Hamlet and Gertrude in this scene? Underlying interior of sexuality

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