Hamlet: Quotes from Act 1 scene 3

Laertes: ‘For Hamlet and the trifling of his favours,/ A violet in the youth of primy nature,/ Froward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,/ THe suppliance of a minute, no more.’ Laertes warns his sister to keep her virginity whilst he is gone, as he doesn’t believe Hamlet to truly love her, and thinks he sees her as a temporary pleasure.
Laertes: ‘but you must fear,/ His greatness weighed, his will is not his own;/ For he himself is subject to his birth.’ Laertes recognises that a man of Hamlet’s position in society will have pressure to marry someone of higher social standing. Therefore, he sees Ophelia as being a muse.
Ophelia: ‘I shall th’effect of this good lesson keep/ As watchman to my heart. But, my good brother,/ Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,. Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,/ Whilst, like a puffed and reckless libertine. Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,/ And recks not his own rede.’ Ophelia gracefully takes on the advice of Laertes, but points out the often inherent hypocrisy in man’s advice. She believes there is a chance that Laertes is preaching sexual virtue to her, whilst himself being sexually promiscuous, like ‘a puffed and reckless libertine.’
Polonius: ‘Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice: Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgement.’ Polonius warns Laertes to not be swayed by the influence of those he meets on his travel. This occurs in a long speech, overbearing and hyperbolic, given by Polonius.
Polonius: Affection? Puh! You speak like a green girl. Unsifted on such perilous circumstance. Do you believe his tenders, as you call them? Polonius reinforces what Laertes said to Ophelia, arguing that Hamlet is just acting as though he is in love for his own gain. He does not believe Hamlet to be genuinely affectionate of Ophelia.
Ophelia: My lord, he hath importuned me with love,/ In honourable fashion.’Polonius: Ay, fashion you may call it. Polonius twists Ophelia’s words to further emphasise that she is being taken advantage of. ‘Fashion’ represents his affection as something transient, like a garment he would temporarily wear.

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