Hamlet Quotes

This above all: To thine own self be true,And it must follow, as the night the day,Thou canst not be false to any man. Polonius (speaking to Laertes);Meaning: be true to yourself, don’t lie, be yourself around othersImportance: Laertes is leaving for Paris
My uncle!Aye, that incestuous, that adulterous beast. Ghost;Meaning: Claudius has married Gertrude = cowardly and incestImportance: Hamlet’s conversation w/ ghost about how evil Claudius is- Claudius’ secret revealed
Taint no thy mind, nor let thy soul contriveAgainst thy mother aught. Leaver her to HeavenAnd to those thorns that in her bosom lodgeTo prick and sting her. Ghost;Meaning: get revenge on Claudius, but don’t hurt Gertrude. Leave it to her and God to deal with her sins.Importance: Ghost wants Hamlet to get revenge on Claudius without hurting his mother
The time is out of joint. Oh, cursed spiteThat ever I was born to set it right! Hamlet;Meaning: everything is going wrong and I am supposed to fix it all!?Importance: Ghost was telling Hamlet to swear & get revenge to set everything straight
Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t Polonius; (aside)Meaning: there is a solution to all this madnessImportance: Polonius thinks Hamlet’s gone mad and wants to find out why
The play’s the thingWherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King. Hamlet;Meaning: the truth about Claudius will reveal itself through the playImportance: Hamlet changes lines in play to test Claudius and the words of the Ghost
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Queen;Meaning: I think the lady is overdoing it.Importance: Queen talking about Player Queen in the play. Ironic b/c she’s commenting about herself
I must be cruel only to be kind. Hamlet;Meaning: The situation is only getting worse. Must tell Gertrude about it all and how evil Claudius isImportance: Hamlet wants revenge and doesn’t want his mother to be with Claudius
The cat will mew and dog will have his day. Hamlet;Meaning: Hamlet is saying even Hercules can’t keep cats from being cats and dogs from being dogs.Importance: Hamlet & Laertes fight in Ophelia’s grave about who loved her more
The king, the King’s to blame. Laertes;Meaning: the king is to blame.Importance: Laertes is saying that the plan to kill Hamlet went wrong & the king is to blame for their death

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