Hamlet Key Quotes Act 2

Polonius: ‘There put on him what forgeries you please’ asking Reynaldo to put false accusations on Laertes to see his reaction, Laertes doesn’t bare same responsibility of honouring his father as Ophelia.
Polonius: ‘Breath his faults so quaintly’ Suggesting Reynaldo should imply that Laertes behaviour is like any other young man who has been given his freedom. Idea that language can be manipulated to shape the truth.
Polonius: ‘A savageness in unreclaimed blood’ this is wildness of untamed youth. Boys will be boys. Misogyny
Polonius: ‘You bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth’ metaphor, suggest using a lie to get the truth, Polonius is unethical, deception.
Polonius: ‘By indirections find directions out’ encouraging deception, find out the right way through indirect methods. These tactics anticipate the behaviour of Claudius and R&G
Ophelia: ‘Piteous in purport’, ‘piteous and profound’ Ophelia’s description of Hamlet when he came into her looking dreadful. Can be said that Hamlet did this purposely knowing she will tell Polonius who will relay this to the King
Ophelia: ‘He seemed to find his way without his eyes’ significant, portrays Hamlets character. Never sure what he is doing. Uncertainty
Polonius: ‘This is the very ecstasy of love/Whose violent property fordoes itself’ cynical, love can lead to madness. What happened with Ophelia
Claudius: ‘The need we have to use you did provoke’ Using R&G as tools only for his need.
Claudius: ‘Sith nor th’exterior nor the inward man/Resembles that it was’ division between inside and outside of person. Appearance v reality. Deception
Gertrude: ‘Your visitation shall receive such thanks/As fits a king’s remembrance’ Mercenary, ulterior motive, not sincere
Polonius: ‘The very cause of Hamlets Lunacy’ Telling King and Queen that Hamlet is mad because of Ophelia.
Gertrude: ‘His fathers death and our o’er-hasty marriage’ shows some form of guilt. Awareness what she did was wrong. Maybe had no choice?
Polonius: ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’ Polonius claims that speaking concisely is the basis of true wit, intelligence. Wise maxim which he himself does not follow.
Polonius: ‘I’ll loose my daughter to him’ Polonius decides to send Ophelia to Hamlet. Language reiterates her being used as a pawn. Claudius admires this and calls Polonius ‘Faithful and honourable’
Gertrude: ‘the poor wretch comes reading’ Gertrude expresses more sympathy for Hamlet when he comes in with a book
Hamlet: ‘You are a fishmonger’ Sexual innuendo, Hamlet uses this as a derogatory term to directly insult Polonius
Polonius: ‘Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t’ Polonius says a line that reiterates the idea (unknown to him) that Hamlet is using his madness. Suspicious.
Rosencrantz: ‘None, my lord, but the world has grown honest’ Deception, major irony as they are not there for honest reasons.
Hamlet: ‘Then is doomsday near’ Melancholic, bitter view of the world
Hamlet: ‘Denmark’s a prison’ Sense of being trapped, confinement. 4 main events happening one after the other: discussion on how to deal with Hamlets state of mind, Hamlets fake madness, R&G and plan to reveal Claudius guilt all emphasise sense of claustrophobia
Hamlet: ‘Nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so’ Existential philosophy, almost as if he’s trying to justify his taking revenge.
Hamlet: ”there is a kind of confession in your looks’ Hamlet notices R+G are hiding something – they cannot pretend and deceive like Hamlet can (he speaks in prose but with the movement of a soliloquy, perhaps a reflection of his disposition and his honesty in disclosing it)
Hamlet: ‘But a foul and pestilent congregation of vapour’ Describes the world in a metaphorical sense, also links to belief that infections were carried in the air.
Hamlet: ‘Quintessence of dust’ Metaphor for the uselessness of people and how meaningless the world is to Hamlet.
Hamlet: ‘My uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived’ Black humour, innuendo intended at Claudius and Gertrude. Dark humour can be seen as an evidence for sanity
Hamlet: ‘I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw’ When the wind is north-north-west, the hunter’s eye, the bird, and the sun, would be in a direct line, and with the sun thus in his eye he would not at all be able to distinguish a hawk from a handsaw. LINKS TO ANTIC DISPOSITION AND CLAUDIUS. Witty language suggest Hamlet can choose to be mad or sane.
Hamlet: ‘Am I a coward?’, ‘But I am pigeon-liver’d and lack gall’, ‘What an ass am I!’ Examples of self-hatred and frustration at his own reluctance to act.
Hamlet: ‘Had he the motive and the cue for passion/That I have? He would have drowned the stage in tears’ Contrasting himself with Hecuba, hyperbole used to suggest how useless Hamlet is. Unable to take his father’s revenge. Conflict within himself.
Hamlet: ‘Bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kind less villain!’ Describing Claudius, use of powerful adjectives shows a weird fascination of Hamlets with Claudius and Gertrude’s sex life.
Hamlet, ‘Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell’ Use of religion, its his one and only goal
Hamlet, ‘Must like a ***** unpack my heart with words’ Suggestion that women (whores) are manipulative in the Hecuba soliloquy
Hamlet: ‘The spirit that I have seen/ May be a devil’ In his burst of negativity he doubts the intentions of the ghost.
Hamlet: ‘The play’s the thing/Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king’ Divisive plan to catch the King out, despite Hamlets morals he takes a leaf out of Claudius’s books by using deception, the play within a play for his own purpose.

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