Hamlet quotes pg. 2

When the blood burns, how prodigal the soulLends the tongue vows. Polonius imparts his advice to his daughter Ophelia next, warning her against Hamlet’s advances, saying that sexual desire can overtake the soul and cause men to speak carelessly.
Why, what should be the fear? I do not set my life at a pin’s fee; And for my soul, what can it do to that, Being a thing immortal as itself? Horatio is trying to talk Hamlet out of following his father’s ghost, but Hamlet is fearless, saying that he sets almost no value on his own life and that he has no concern for his soul which cannot be damaged, as it is immortal, just like the apparition itself.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Marcellus and Horatio decide to follow Hamlet even though he has warned them both not to try to stop him; they are worried for the prince’s safety when Marcellus exclaims that something is amiss in their country, as the appearance of the dead king’s beckoning ghost implies.
I could a tale unfold whose lightest wordWould harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, Thy knotted and combined locks to partAnd each particular hair to stand on end, Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:But this eternal blazon must not beTo ears of flesh and blood. The dead king’s ghost tells Hamlet that he could horrify him with tales of purgatory, but that this information is not for the living.
I find thee apt;And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weedThat roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf The ghost is surprised that Hamlet is catching on so quickly when he expected him to be like weeds along the bank of the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness in Hades.
But virtue, as it never will be moved, Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven, The ghost tells Hamlet that true virtue (which he thought belonged to his queen) cannot be seduced.
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,Unhousel’d, disappointed, unanel’d,No reckoning made, but sent to my accountWith all my imperfections on my head His father’s ghost tells Hamlet that he was murdered and sent to eternity without the benefit of the sacrament, unannointed, without extreme unction or spiritual preparation of any kind.
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not; Let not the royal bed of Denmark beA couch for luxury and damned incest.But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contriveAgainst thy mother aught: leave her to heavenAnd to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,To prick and sting her. The ghosts says if Hamlet has the natural affection of a son he will seek revenge to remove lust and incest from the royal bed, but recommends that he not punish his mother, but leave her penalty to heaven and her own conscience.
Ay, thou poor Ghost, while memory holds a seatIn this distracted globe. Remember thee!Yea, from the table of my memoryI’ll wipe away all trivial fond records Hamlet swears to himself that not only will he remember the ghost’s words, but he will erase former memories and think of nothing else.
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!My tables — meet it is I set it down,That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;At least I’m sure it may be so in Denmark Hamlet curses his uncle and his smiles (which give the impression that nothing is wrong). Hamlet then tells himself it is appropriate to write about his uncle’s villainous smiles in tables (tablets), not just the table of his mind.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Hamlet tells Horatio that science (natural philosophy) does not explain, nor come close to recounting all phenomena.
The time is out of joint: O cursed spite,That ever I was born to set it right! Hamlet, speaking to Horatio, Marcellus and himself, acknowledges the wrongness of the time and curses the spite of fate itself that he was born to bring justice.
Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:And thus do we of wisdom and of reach, With windlasses and with assays of bias, By indirections find directions out Polonius has been advising Reynaldo in devious conversational strategies to find out what Laertes is up to while he is out of the country. Polonius concludes his directions by telling Reynaldo that any lies he may tell about Laertes will only enhance the likelihood that others will reveal truths about Laertes, assuring him that wise and powerful men like himself use these roundabout tactics.
This is the very ecstasy of love,Whose violent property fordoes itselfAnd leads the will to desperate undertakings Ophelia has come to her father to relate Hamlet’s strange behavior and Polonius attributes the strangeness to the madness of love and not to disillusionment with women in general because of his mother’s hasty marriage.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,I will be brief. Polonius has rushed to the king’s side to attribute Hamlet’s strange behavior to the madness induced by love. Polonius says brevity is the soul of eloquence even though Polonius himself is never brief in his pronunciations.
More matter, with less art. The queen urges Polonius to come to the point he is trying to make about the source of Hamlet’s madness.
Madam, I swear I use no art at all.That he is mad, ’tis true: ’tis true ’tis pity;And pity ’tis ’tis true Polonius swears to the queen he will use no art although he immediately begins to play with his own words instead of getting to the point.
Though this be madness, yet there is methodin ‘t. Will you walk out of the air, my lord? Polonius has been talking with Hamlet and makes this comment about the underlying rationality of his madness in an aside that Hamlet cannot hear, similar to a note to oneself.
These tedious old fools! As soon as Polonius leaves, Hamlet calls him a fool and groups him with other old fools he has known.
Rosencranz: As the indifferent children of the earth. Guildenstern: Happy, in that we are not over-happy, onFortune’s cap we are not the very button. Hamlet asks how Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been and Rosencrantz replies for them both saying they have been so-so. Then Guildenstern also answers Hamlet saying he is glad that he and Rosencrantz are not exuberant.
Why, then, ’tis none to you; for there is nothingeither good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To meit is a prison. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have disagreed with Hamlet who has just called Denmark a prison, when Hamlet makes this enigmatic declaration that thinking itself determines the goodness or badness of circumstances.
O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and countmyself a king of infinite space, were it not that Ihave bad dreams. Hamlet says that he could fool himself into thinking that infinite space existed in a nutshell where he ruled as king were it not for his bad dreams.
I have of late—but whereforeI know not—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom ofexercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with mydisposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems tome a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament,this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why,it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilentcongregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how likea god! The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Mandelights not me—no, nor woman neither, though byyour smiling you seem to say so. Hamlet has just succeeded in extracting the truth from Guildenstern that both he and Rosencrantz have been sent for by the crown. Hamlet immediately confesses to an excess of despondency yet maintains its source mystifies him, although the audience is already privy to his issues with his mother and uncle. Hamlet continues to characterize his own state of mind, saying that he has lost his sense of humor, that he no longer exercises, that the earth and sky have lost their wonder, and that man himself, who he lauds excessively, and women too have lost their charm.

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