Hamlet study guide info

‘Tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart. Francisco and Barnardo feel that something is amiss while on guard. This is soon before they encounter Hamlet’s father’s ghost.
Though art a scholar. Speak to it, Marcellus tells Horatio to try speaking to Hamlet’s ghost as ghosts were thought to only speak in Latin.
Is it not like the King? Marcellus, upon seeing Hamlet’s ghost, notices that the ghost wears the deceased King’s armor.
Out last king, whose image even but now appeared to us, was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway, Thereto pricked on by a most emulate pride, Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet…did slay this Fortinbras, who by a sealed compact, well ratified by law and heraldry, did forfiet, with his life, all those his lands which he stood seized of, to the conqueror. Horatio tells a story; Fortinbras Sr. challenged Hamlet Sr. to a fight, Hamlet Sr. won, and Fortinbras Sr. gave him lands.
Now, sir, young Fortinbras, Of unimprovèd mettle hot and full, Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there Sharked up a list of lawless resolutes, For food and diet, to some enterprise That hath a stomach in ‘t, which is no other—As it doth well appear unto our state—But to recover of us, by strong hand. Fortinbras Sr.’s son, Fortinbras, has gathered an army of thugs and, for some food, are going to try to take back the lands that Fortinbras Sr. lost to Hamlet Sr.
A mote it is to trouble the mind’s eye…Upon whose influence Neptune’s empire stands, was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse. And even the like precurse of feared events, as harbingers preceding still the fates and prologue to the omen coming on, have heaven and earth together demonstrated unto our climatures and countrymen. Horatio tells that the ghost is definitely a signal of foreboding…something bad is coming.
If thou art privy to thy country’s fate, which happily foreknowing may avoid, o, speak! Horatio tries to get the ghost to speak, saying that if the ghost knows the country’s fate, he should tell them.
Let us impart what we have seen tonight unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life, this spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him. Horatio proposes that they (he and Marcellus) try and get young Hamlet to speak to the ghost. Maybe the ghost will speak with him.
Though yet of Hamlet, our dear brother’s death the memory be green, and that it us befitted to bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom to be contracted in one brow of woe, yet so far hath discretion fought with nature that we with wisest sorrow think on him. The current king (Claudius) “mourns” over the recent death of Hamlet Sr.
Who, impotent and bedrid, scarcely hears of this his nephew’s purpose, to suppress his further gait herein, in that the levies, the lists, and the full proportions are all made out of his subject; Fortenbras’ uncle does not know about Fortenbras’ plan to retake lands. This is a PARALLEL plotline to Hamlet; both Hamlet and Fortenbras, whose fathers are dead, are going behind their king uncles’ backs.
A little more than kin and less than kind. Hamlet does not like his uncle. He says this in an aside.
cast thy nighted color off, and let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not forever with thy vailed lids seek for thy noble father int he dust. The Queen tells Hamlet to stop being all sad about his father’s death.
“Seems,” madam? Nay it is. I know not “seems.” ‘Tis not alone in my inky cloak…nor customary suits of solemn black… Hamlet tells his mother that he is truly sad
To give these morning duties to your father. But you must know your father lost a father, that father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound in filial obligation for some term to do obsequious sorrow… ‘Tis unmanly grief. Claudius tells Hamlet to stop grieving over his father’s death because everybody eveutlaly dies.
We pray you, throw to earth this unprevailing woe and think of us as a father; for let the world take note, you are the most immediate to our throne, and with no less nobility of love than that which dearest father bears his son do I impart toward you. Claudius tells Hamlet that he wants him to be a son to him and that Hamlet is directly in line to take the throne. Ironically though, Hamlet should be on the throne right now instead of Claudius.
I shall in all my best obey you, madam. Hamlet agrees to not go to Wittenberg not because his uncle said so, but because his mother did.
O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, or that the everlasting had not fixed his cannon ‘gainst self slaughter Hamlet, in a soliloquy, wants to die.
‘Tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature possess it merely. The corrupt world is like multiplying weeds. Life is pointless to him now.
Why, she would hang on him as if increase of appetite had grown by what if fed on. Hamlet comments on the observation that his mother seems to hang around Claudius more and more and she doesn’t seem distraught over her husband’s death at all.
Frailty, thy name is woman! Hamlet says women are weak as he sees that his mother willingly marries Claudius and seemingly doesn’t feel distraught over Hamlet Sr.’s death.
O, most wicked sped, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not, nor it cannot come to good but break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue. Hamlet will not tell his mother of how he feels about her remarrying to Claudius. because he does not want to hurt her.
I know you are no truant. But what is your affair in Elsinore? We’ll teach you to drink deep ere you depart. Hamlet tells Horatio that ever since Claudius took over Elsinore has just been full of partying and drinking.
The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. Hamlet tells Horatio, who came to see Claudius and the Queen’s marriage, that the food that catered for the funeral was used in the wedding. Claudius and Gertrude married really soon after Hamlet Sr.’s death.
My father’s spirit–in arms! All is not well. I doubt some foul play… Till then, sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise through all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes. Hamlet wonders why the ghost of his father is here and clothed with armor. Hamlet suspects that bad things will soon happen and the hidden truth will be revealed.
Let it be tenable in your silence still; and whatsomever else shall hap tonight, give it an understanding but no tongue. Hamlet tells Marcellus and Bernardo to not tell anyone else about seeing Hamlet Sr.’s ghost.
Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood, a violet in the youth of primy nature, forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, the perfume a suppliance of a minute, no more. Laertes warns Ophelia that Hamlet will not love her for long, so she should not trust him. He tries to protect Ophelia.
Perhaps he loves you now, and now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch the virtue of hi will; but you must fear, his greatness weighted, his will is not his own…for on his choice depedns teh safety and the heath of this whole state. Laertes warns Ophelia to not stay smitten with Hamlet because it is likely there will be an arranged marriage.
Then weigh what loss your honor may sustain if with too credent ear you list his songs or lose your heart or your chaste treasure open to his unmastered importunity. Laertes tells Ophelia that she should not lose her virginity to Hamlet.
Keep you in the rear of your affection, out of the shot and danger of desire…Be wary, then; best safety lies in fear. Youth to itself rebels, though none else is near. Laertes tells Ophelia to keep her love in check and that young people often lose their self-control even without any help from others. Fear will keep her safe.
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven, whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads and recks not his own rede. Ophelia tells Laertes that she will obey his warnings regarding loving Hamlet, but in turn warns Laertes that he should not be a hypocrite to his own word.
Give thy thoughts no tongue Polonius gives Laertes a few pointers on life. Think before you act.
Those friends though hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel. Polonius gives Laertes a few pointers on life. Keep your close friends close all the time.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice. Polonius gives Laertes a few pointers on life. Listen more than you speak.
For the apparel oft proclaims the man, and they in France of the best rank and station are of a most select and generous chief in that. Polonius gives Laertes a few pointers on life. A man’s clothes often tells of the man’s stature and character.
This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, though canst not then be false to any man. Polonius gives Laertes a few pointers on life. Be true to yourself.
What is’t Ophelia, he hath said to you? This is the first indication of Polonius being a busy body. Right when Ophelia comments on something Laertes has warned her about, Polonius is quick to find out what it was.
Affection, puh! You speak like a green girl unsifted in such perilous circumstance. Do you believe his “tenders” as you call them?…Tender yourself more dearly, or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase running it thus) you’ll tender me a fool. Polonius harshly warns Ophelia just what Laertes warned her about. Polonius tells her to stop loving Hamlet and check herself.
I do know when the blood burns, how prodigal the soul lends the tongue to vows. Polonius tells Ophelia during their discussion about her love with Hamlet that men will say anything when in lust (apparently he knows this from experience…)
I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth have you so slander any moment leisure as to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet. Polonius tells Ophelia to stop seeing Hamlet altogether (a different advice than what he initially gave her, which was to simply see him less.)
I shall obey, my lord. Ophelia says that she will obey Polonius’ command to stay away from Hamlet. Ophelia’s dutiful and obedient nature will prove to be her downfall.
The swagg’ring upspring reels; and as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down, the kettledrum and trumpet thus bray out…it is a custom more honored int he breach than the observance….makes us traduced and taxed of other nations. Hamlet explains to Horatio that ever since Claudius took the throne there has been lots of partying in Elsinore. Hamelt doesn’t like this and he says that other nations are starting to look down on Denmark.
The dram of evil doth all the noble substance of a doubt to his own scandal. Hamlet comments on the staet of Elsinore. He believes that even the smallest amount of evil makes something admirable seem disreputable.
Why, what should be the fear? I do not set my life at a pin’s fee. Upon deciding whether or not to confront the ghost, Hamlet comments that his life is worthless at the moment and he has nothing to fear.
My fate cries out and makes each petty arture in this body as hardy as the Nemean lion’s nerve. Still I am called. Unhand me, gentlemen. Hamlet tells Horatio and Marcellus that his fate lies in confronting the ghost.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Marcellus comments on the ghost’s presence, and that is means that there is corruption in Denmark.
My hour is almost come when i to sulf’rous and tormenting flames must render up myself. The ghost tells Hamlet that he cannot stay long, as he must soon return to hell (or purgatory).
So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear. The ghost tells Hamlet that when he ears what he has to say, Hamlet will feel the urge to revenge him.
Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder This is the first indication to Hamlet that there has been some foul play. The Ghost tells Hamlet he has been unnaturally slain.
Haste me to know ‘t, that I, with wings as swift as mediation of the thoughts of love, may weep to my revenge. Hamlet, when the Ghost tells him that he has been slain, vows to seek revenge immediately. However, the question remains whether or not Hamlet can live up to his words.
I find thee apt; and duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed that roots itself in ease on the Lethe wharf, wouldst thou not stir in this. After Hamlet swears to seek revenge upon the knowledge of his father’s murder, the Ghost doubts Hamlet’s ability to seek revenge.
The serpent that did sitng thy father’s life now wears his crown. The Ghost gives Hamlet further information: Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle, is the one who has killed Hamlet Sr.
WIth witchcraft of his wit with traitorous gifts…won to his shameful lust the will of my most seeming-virtuous queen. The Ghost tells Hamlet that Claudius took the throne and slept with the queen.
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother’s hand of life, of crown, of queen at once dispatched, cut off, even int eh blossoms of my sin, onhouseled, disappointed, unaneled, no reck’ning made The ghost tells Hamlet that he was unable to repent for his sins.
Leave her to heaven and to those thorns that in her bosom lodge to prick and sting her. The ghost tells Hamlet to not seek revenge on his mother; Let heaven allow her to repent.
O most pernicious woman! 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. Hamlet says this right after the ghost goes away. Hamlet comments on how his uncle has deceived him. His uncle has appeared innocent but is in fact guilty of murder. He also comments on his mother’s pernicious actions.
Give me one poor request…never make known what you have seen tonight. After confronting the ghost and learning of Claudius’ actions, Hamlet tells Horatio and Marcellus to not tell anyone of what had passed that night.
Swear. The Ghost urges Horatio and Marcellus to swear to Hamlet that they will never speak of what they had seen that night.
There are more things in heaven and earth… than are dreamt of in your philosophy. After having Horatio and Marcellus swear to not tell anyone about the ghost, Hamlet tells Horatio that there are many things we do not know even from our scholarly studies.
The time is our of joint. Or cursed spite that ever I was born to set it right! Hamlet curses his fate as a son whose father was slain by his deceiving uncle. Nevertheless, he sets out to make it right and begins thinking of a plot.
Before you visit him, to make inquire of his behavior. Polonius tells his servant to go to Paris and question Laertes’ acquaintences in order to spy on Laertes.
And there put on him what forgeries you please–marry, none so rank as may dishonor him…but, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips as are companions noted and most known to youth and liberty. Polonius tells his servant to go to Paris and question Laertes’ acquaintences in order to spy on Laertes. He even allows his servant to lie a little to learn of Laertes’ doings.
See you know your bait of falsehood take 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 reiterates to his servant that he should give falshoods in order to find the whereabouts and doings of Laertes in Paris. (by lies find the truth)
With a look so piteous in purport as if he had been loosed out of hell to speak of horrors–he comes before me. Ophelia tells Polonius that Hamlet had come up to her in a mess and acting crazy. Polonius believes that Hamlet is acting crazy because he had told Ophelia to break up with him.
This is the very ecstasy of love, whose violent property fordoes itself and leads the will to desperate undertakings as oft as any passion under heaven that does afflict our natures. Polonius believes that Hamlet’s madness is due to love for Ophelia. “Love is such a violent emotion that it makes people self destruct.” Polonius is going to tell the king about Hamlet’s madness.
but as you did command I did repel his letters and denied his access to me. Ophelia tells Polonius that she did what he told her to and told Hamlet to stay away from her. Polonius believes that this is the reason for Hamlet’s madness.
That has made him mad. I am sorry that with better heed and judgement I had not quoted him. I feared he did but trifle and meant to wreck thee. But beshrew my jealousy! Polonius believes that Hamlet’s madness is due to his refusing him Ophelia’s love. “I thought he was just toying with you and meant to ruin your reputation.”
This must be known, which, being kept close, might move more grief to hide than hate to utter love. Come. Polonius believes that it is best to tell the king of Hamlet’s madness even though it might upset the king.
Sith nor th’ exterior nor the inward man resembles that it was…that thus hath put him so much from th’ understanding of himself, I cannot dream of. King Claudius requests Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s help in spying on Hamlet in order to find the reason for his madness. “Hamet is not being himself, and I can’t think of any reason for it other than his father’s death”. Also important to note that Claudius shows no hint of guilt in speaking of Hamlet Sr.’s death.
I doubt it is no other but the main–his father’s death and our o’erhasty marriage. Gertrude believes that the only reason for Hamlet’s madness is his father’s death and her quick remarriage.
Upon our first, he sent out to supress his nephew’s levies…better looked into, he truly found it was against your Highness. Whereat…sends out arrests on Fortinbras, which he, in brief, obeys, receives rebuke from Norway, and, in fine, makes vow before his uncle never more to give th’ assay of arms against your Majesty….So levied before, against the Polack, with an entreaty, herein further shown, that it might please you to give quiet pass through your dominions for this enterprise. Voltemand informs King Claudius that Fortinbras’ uncle has received their letter telling of Fortinbras’ planned invasion and Fortinbras’ uncle ordered for his arrest. Fortinbras swore to never threaten Denmark again. Instead, he is now after Poland, and asks to peacefully let his troops pass through Elsinore. KC learns of this shortly after news of Hamlet’s madness.
brevity is the soul of wit Polonius gives ironic advice, saying that brief statements are the wisest statements during a rather long speech. Polonius says this while talking to Gertrude and KC about finding out the cause of Hamlet’s craziness.
I have a daughter…who, in her duty and obedience, mark, hath given me this. Now gather and surmise. Polonius tells Gertude and KC that Ophelia has given him a love letter from Hamlet, and Polonius uses this as evidence showing that Hamlet has indeed been courting Ophelia and has been driven mad from his love.
“Doubt thou the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love.” Polonius reads to KC and Gertrude Hamlet’s love letter to Ophelia. Shakespeare pokes fun at romantic writers with this overly sappy poetry.
At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him. Be you and I behind an arras then. Mark the encounter. If he love her not, and be not form his reason fall’n thereon, let me be no assistant for a state, but keep a farm and carters. Polonius plans to spy on Hamlet in order to find the cause of his madness. He plans to watch a meeting between Ophelia and Hamlet. If it turns out that Hamlet is not in love and has not gone made from love, let Polonius be fired.
Excellent well. You are fishmonger. After plotting to spy on Hamlet to find the reason for his madness, Polonius sees Hamlet enter the scene and asks Hamlet if he knows who he is. Hamlet says “yes I do…you’re a fishmonger”. Fishmonger also meant “pimp”, which could imply that Hamlet knows of Polonius’ plan to use Ophelia to get to Hamlet.
To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. Hamlet talks to Polonius after Polonius plotted with KC and Gertrude to spy on Hamlet. Hamlet contemplates that a honest man is hard to find.
How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter. Yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a fishmonger. He is far gone. And truly, in my youth, I suffered much exremity for love, very near this. During a chat with Hamlet, Polonius, in an aside, believes that Hamlet still harps on Ophelia and that Hamlet is indeed really crazy.
Though this be madness, yet there is methon in ‘t. In speaking to Hamlet, Polonius begins to speculate that Hamlet is going mad for a reason and that something else is going on.
Why then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. To me, it is a prison. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern meet Hamlet shortly after Polonius leaves Hamlet. Hamlet tells R and G that Denmark is a prison, and R and G tell Hamlet that they don’t think so. Hamlet then tells R and G that it all depends on point of view.
Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining?…there is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to color. Hamlet is suspicious and questions Rosencrantz and Guildenstern about why they were looking for him. Were you sent? You’re not good liars.
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason,l how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable;…the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals–and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. Hamlet, while talking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern about why they were sent to speak to him, notes that both the world and man are wondrous creatures, yet they both displease him. Man, despite his limitless potential, fails to live up to it. He finds men are no more important to him than dust, and he takes no delight in men.
I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw. Hamlet, after telling that his uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived, tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that while sometimes he is crazy, sometimes he has moments of clarity.
O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou! When Polonius returns to Hamlet and tells that actors have arrived, Hamlet sarcastically refers to Polonius as Jephthah, who, in the bible, unintentionally sacrificed his daughter. Oddly prophetic…
One speech in ‘t I chiefly loved. ‘Twas Aneas’ tale to Dido, adn thereabout of it especially when he speaks of Priam’s slaughter. If it live in your memory, begin at this line…` The speech Hamlet asks for is the tale Aeneas told Dido about Priam’s murder, all drawn from the epic Aeneid by Virgil. It’s a significant story because Pyrrhus, son of the warrior Achilles, comes to Troy in the Trojan horse to avenge the death of his father by killing Priam, King of Troy. Let it marinate a sec…a son killing a king to avenge his dad? That sounds like a parallel to Hamlet’s life. Later, the actor recites a quote and gets really emotional in doing so.
You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which i would set down and insert in ‘t could you not? Hamlet tells the first player to insert some lines into the play. Hamlet plans to have the play imitate the murder of his father and plans to see if KC reacts in order to confirm that the ghost was telling the truth.
Follow that lord–and look you mock him not. Hamlet dismisses the first player after asking him to memorize a few additional lines for the play. He tells the player to follow Polonius and to not mock him. *****?******
Is it not monstrous that this player here, but in a fiction, in a dream of passion, could force his soul so to his own conceit that from her working all his visage wanned, tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect, a broken voice, and his whole function suiting with forms to his conceit–and all for nithing! Hamlet is upset at himself after seeing the first player perform that excerpt. Hamlet believes himself to be a coward, having failed to act on his revenge. How is it possible that the actor can get so worked up over something that is fictitious?
What would he do had he the motive and the cue for passion that I have? Hamlet further contemplates on how the actor could muster up so much emotion over something that’s fictitious. What would the actor do if he had as much motive as he himself had?
Hum, I have heard that guilty creatures sitting at a play have, by the very cunning of the scene, been struck so to the soul that presently they have proclaimed their malefactions. Hamlet plans to watch Claudius’ expressions during the play which will illustrate the scene of his father’s murder. If he reacts, Hamlet knows that the ghost was not lying and that Claudius did kill Hamlet Sr.
The spirit that I have seen may be a devil, and the devil hath power t’ assume a pleasing shape. Hamlet, in his soliloquy at the end of II.ii wonders if the ghost was just a deceiving devil lying to him.
The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King. Hamlet plans to watch Claudius’ expressions during the play which will illustrate the scene of his father’s murder. If he reacts, Hamlet knows that the ghost was not lying and that Claudius did kill Hamlet Sr.
And can you by no drift of conference get from him why he puts on this confusion, grating so harshly all his days of quiet with turbulent and dangerous lunacy? King Claudius asks Rosencrantz and Guildenstern if they were able to get information regarding the cause of Hamlet’s madness, to which they reply they did not.
But with a crafty madness keeps aloof when we would bring him on to some confession of his true state. Guildenstern tells KC that Hamlet’s craftiness avoids their questioning and that they failed to find the cause of Hamlet’s madness.
And he beseeched me to entreat your Majesties to hear and see the matter. After R & G tell KC and Gertrude that actors passed when they talked to Hamlet, Polonius tells the King and Queen that Hamlet even told him to invite them to the play.
…will bestow ourselves that, seeing unseen, we may of their encounter frankly judge, and gather by him, as he is behaved, if ‘t be the affliction of his love or no that thus he suffers for. Claudius tells Gertrude to leave because he and Polonius are going to spy on Hamlet talking with Ophelia to see if Hamlet’s madness is caused by love. (III.i)
I do wish that your good beauties be the happy cause of Hamlet’s wildness. So shall I hope your virtues will bring him to his wonted way again, to both your honors. As Gertrude is about to leave Claudius and Polonius to spy on Ophelia and Hamlet’s encounter, Gertrude tells Ophelia that she hopes Hamlet’s madness is due to love so that Ophelia’s presence will bring Hamlet back to his senses. (She also hopes that Ophelia and Hamlet will be together).
O, ’tis too true! How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience. The harlot’s cheek beautied with plast’ring art is not more ugly to the thing that helps it than is my deed to my most painted word. O heavy burden! Claudius (in an aside) comments on Polonius’ statement that people’s devotion to God often masks their bad deeds. (Polonius has given Ophelia a prayer book to read in order for it to look natural when Hamlet finds her all alone.) Claudius says he feels guilty, and, like a harlot’s make-up, his fine words mask his ugly actions.
To be or not to be–that is the question. (right after Claudius and Polonius go hide to spy on Hamlet’s and Ophelia’s encounter) Hamlet questions whether it is better to be alive or to be dead.
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, and thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, and enterprises of gerat pitch and moment with this regard their currents turn awry and lose the name of action. Hamlet, in his soliloquy (III.i), expresses how thought often hampers one’s ability to act, making everyone cowards.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause. Hamlet, in contemplating suicide, is stopped by the mystery of the afterlife. He says that it is this that prevents most from killing themselves instead of enduring the hardships of life. In Elizabethan times, life was seen merely as a transition.
Who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns, puzzles the will and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of? Hamlet, in contemplating suicide, is stopped by the mystery of the afterlife, law, and religion. In Elizabethan times, life was seen merely as a transition.
I have remembrances of yours that I have longed long to redeliver. I pray you now receive them. (When KC and P are spying) Ophelia tells Hamlet that she has his love letters.
No, not I. I never gave you aught. (When KC and P are spying) After Ophelia tells Hamlet she would like to return his love letters, he tells her that he never sent her love letters.
Ay, truly, for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness….I did love you once. (When KC and P are spying) Hamlet had asked Ophelia if she was beautiful and honest (a virgin), to which Ophelia questioned why he asked. He then says that beauty can more easily turn a good girl into a ***** than goodness can turn a beautiful girl into a virgin. Basically, he’s saying that pretty girls are easy to have sex with, and chaste girls aren’t very attractive.
Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? O am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me. (When KC and P are spying) Hamlet lashes out at Ophelia, insulting her cruelly by saying that she shouldn’t have children because all humans are arrogant knaves. Hamlet’s rage is most likely resulting from his anger toward his mother.
Where’s your father? (When KC and P are spying) After cruelly insulting Ophelia, Hamlet suddenly asks where he father is. (?)
God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another. You jig and amble, and you lisp; you nickname God’s creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I’ll no more on ‘t. It hath made ma made. I say we will have no more marriage. Those that are married already, all but one, shall live. The rest shall keep as they are. to a nunnery, go. (When KC and P are spying) Hamlet insults Ophelia, saying that they use make-up to cover up the faces God gave them and deceive men for sex. He then hints that all but one married couple will live. (This may imply that Hamlet knows he’s being watched, as he hints to KC that he’s on to him.)
O what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!…I, of ladies most deject and wretched, that sucked the honey of his musicked vows, now see that noble and most sovereign reason, like sweet bells jangled, out of time and harsh; that unmatched form and stature of blown youth blasted with ecstasy. (When KC and P are spying) Ophelia mourns over Hamlet’s madness. She loves Hamlet, but is now distraught. She is hurt not only because of his words, but because of the fact that she loves him and fears for his madness.
His affections do not that way tend; Nor what he spake, though it lacked form a little, was not like madness. After Ophelia and Hamlet’s encounter, King Claudius says he doesn’t buy Hamlet’s madness and suspects that Hamlet is a danger to him.
Thus set it down: he shall with speed to England for the demand of our neglected tribute. After spying on Hamlet and suspecting that his madness is false, Claudius decides to send Hamlet to England in order to a.) get money to repay England’s debt to Denmark and b.) to clear his thoughts.
But yet do I believe the origin and commencement of his grief sprung fom neglected love…after the play let his queen-mother all alone entreat him to show his grief. Let her be round with him; and I’ll be placed, so please you, in the ear of all their conference. After spying on Hamlet with Claudius, Polonius is still convinced Hamlet’s madness is due to love. He plans to have Gertrude get Hamlet to tell her why he’s mad while he hides and spies on the meeting. If she can’t find out the reason of his madness, then send Hamlet to England.
Madness in great ones must not be unwatched go. After spying on Hamlet and hatching a new plan with Polonius to have Gertrude find the truth of Hamlet’s madness or have Hamlet sent to England, Claudius expresses his worry that Hamlet may know something about his father’s murder. They much keep Hamlet’s madness at close watch.
Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Hamlet tells the players that are about to perform that they should not over-exaggerate the scene because theater is meant to portray reality. Funny, because that’s exactly what Hamlet wants: the actors to mimic what really happened in the garden the night his father died.
Nay, do not think I flatter, for what advancement may I hope from thee that no revenue hast but thy good spirits to feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flattered? Hamlet complements Horatio, and Horatio says “you don’t have to flatter me.” Hamlet then tells him that he won’t ever try flattering him because Horatio is trustworthy. It is this trust that convinces Hamlet to tell Horatio of his plans regarding the play.
Give me that man that is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him in my heart’s core. (Before the play begins) Hamlet sincerely loves Horatio because Horatio wears his passions on his sleeve. He shows his true emotions and is completely honest and trustworthy. It is this trust that convinces Hamlet to tell Horatio of his plans regarding the play.
If his occulted guilt do not unkennel in one speech, it is a damned ghost that we have seen, and my imaginations are as foul as Vulcan’s stithy. Give him heedful note, for I mine eyes will rivit to his face Hamlet tells Horatio of his plans regarding the play. If his uncle doesn’t react, the ghost was lying.
Lady, shall I lie in your lap?…That’s a fair thought to lie between maids’ legs. Hamlet, seeing Ophelia at the play, is very disrespectful toward her, making sexual jokes.
O heavens, die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there’s hope a great man’s memory may outlive his life half a year. Hamlet sarcastically tells Ophelia that he has no reason to not be happy and that his mourning clothes are unwarranted because father should have been long forgotten months ago. (In reality Hamlet hates how people quickly forgot about his father).
Is this a prologue or the posy of a ring?…As woman’s love. Hamlet comments on the brevity of the prologue, saying that it might as well be an inscription on a ring. He follows up on this comment on brevity with an insult to women, saying that it was as short as women’s love. Hamlet is relentless and brutal in his insults toward his mother’s actions.
Yet, though I distrust, discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must. For women fear too much, even as they love. And women’s fear and love hold quantity, in neither aught, or in extremity. The Player Queen (the actress in the play) says that women’s greatest fear in love is that love will not last.
In second husband let me be accurst. None wed the second but who killed the first…A second time I kill my husband dead when second husband kisses me in bed. The Player Queen (the actress in the play) says that she won’t remarry after the Player King dies, and doing so will be like killing her original husband twice.
I do believe you think what now you speak, but what we do determine oft we break. The Player King (the actor in the play) says that even though the Player Queen might mean what she says now, she might break it when he actually dies.
Our wills and fates do so contrary run that our devices still are overthrown; our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own. So think thou wilt no second husband wed, but die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead. The Player King (the actor in the play) says that even though the Player Queen might mean what she says now, she might break it when he actually dies.
If, once a widow, ever I be wife. The Player Queen (the actress in the play) says that when the Player King dies she will never remarry. It is clear that Hamlet also wants to see Gertrude react to the play.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. During the play, after the Player Queen constantly tells the Player King that she will never remarry, Hamlet asks Gertrude of her opinion of the play. Gertrude believes that the P. Queen protests too much as if she is hiding her true feelings about remarriage. Gertrude sees herself in the Player Queen.
Your Majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not. Hamlet seemingly goads Gertrude and Claudius during the play; If you guys did nothing wrong, the play shouldn’t bother you.
It would coast you a groaning to take off mine edge. Hamlet again talks crudely toward Ophelia during the play with sexual innuendo.
What, frighted with false fire? When the play enacts the murder of the king, Claudius leaves the play, and Hamlet mutters that Claudius does so after being frighted with seeing his own act on stage.
Give me some light. Away! After seeing the murder scene in the play, Claudius stands and leaves.
I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound. Didst perceive? Hamlet meets with Horatio after Claudius leaves the play. Hamlet says that he now completely believes what the ghost said was true.
The Queen your mother, in most great affliction of spirit, hath sent me to you. Guildenstern tells Hamlet after the play that his mother would like to see him before he go to bed. (Part of Polonius’ and King Claudius’ spy plan).
Will you play upon this pipe?…Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me. Hamlet is angry at Guildenstern and Rosencrantz for thinking that they could trick him. Hamlet knows something is up and won’t stand for R & G’s manipulative attempts.
By th’ Mass, and ’tis like a camel indeed. Polonius agrees with Hamlet’s saying that a certain cloud looks like a camel, then a weasel, then a whale.. Hamlet toys with Polonius’ yes-man-ness.
Now could I drink hot blood and do such bitter business as the day would quake to look on…Let me be cruel, not unnatural. I will speak daggers to her, but use none. Hamlet, hot for revenge, decides to pay his mother a visit (after being asked to be R & G and Polonius). He decides to be stern with her, but will not be violent toward her because the ghost told him not to.
The terms of our estate may not endure hazard so near’s as doth hourly grow out of his brows. After Claudius sees the play, he knows that danger is fast approaching and sees to it that Hamlet be sent to England immediately.
My lord, he’s going to his mother’s closet. Behind the arras I’ll convey myself to hear the process. I’ll warrant she’ll tax him home; After the play, Polonius tells Claudius that Hamlet is going to Gertrude’s room and that he (Polonius) will hide behind the courtains.
O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven; It hath the primal eldest curse upon ‘t…Pray can I not, though inclination be as sharp as will. After the play and after Polonius takes leave to hide in Gertrude’s room, KC gives a soliloquy. He explains that his evil deed has caused so much guilt in murdering his brother that he can’t pray no matter how hard he tries. (significant because it is his attempts in praying that stops Hamlet from killing him).
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens to wash it white as snow? In KC’s soliloquy in III.iii, Claudius says that his evil deed has given him a lot of guilt. He questions if there is an amount of rain that could wash the sins from his hands (re: Macbeth).
Whereto serves mercy but to confront the visage of offense? And what’s in prayer but this twofold force, to be forestalled ere we come to fall, or pardoned being down? In KC’s soliloquy in III.iii, Claudius says he can’t pray due to his guilt. But, he asks, isn’t that what prayer is for? To clear up bad deeds and to prevent future ones? Mercy can only be merciful if faced with the worst offenses.
I am still possesseed of those effects for which I did the murder: My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. May one be pardoned and ratain th’ offense? In KC’s soliloquy in III.iii, Claudius says he can’t pray and repent his sin because he still has all of the gains from doing so: a queen, a kingdom, and ambition.
O wretched state! O bosom black as death! O limed soul, that, struggling to be free, art more engaged! Help, angels! Make assay. Bow, stubborn knees, and heart with strings of steel be soft as sinews of the newborn babe. At the end of KC’s soliloquy in III.iii, Claudius finally tries to pray and kneels. He’s not actually praying, though. This is significant: when Hamlet walks in, he believes that Claudius is really praying, and doesn’t kill him.
Now might I do it pat, now he is a-praying. And now I’ll do ‘t. At the end of KC’s soliloquy in III.iii, Hamlet enters the room and sees Claudius kneeling. While Claudius is NOT actually praying, to Hamlet it seems as if he is. But Hamlet reasons that if he kills him while praying Claudius will go straight to heaven, and Hamlet doesn’t want a villain to get that kind of treatment. So, Hamlet misses his opportunity to kill Claudius.
A villain kills my father, and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven. At the end of KC’s soliloquy in III.iii, Hamlet enters the room and sees Claudius kneeling. While Claudius is NOT actually praying, to Hamlet it seems as if he is. But Hamlet reasons that if he kills him while praying Claudius will go straight to heaven, and Hamlet doesn’t want a villain to get that kind of treatment. After all, even Hamlet Sr. was denied heaven because he did not repent in time. So, Hamlet misses his opportunity to kill Claudius.
And am I then revenged to take him in the purging of his soul, when he is fit and seasoned for his passage? No. At the end of KC’s soliloquy in III.iii, Hamlet enters the room and sees Claudius kneeling. While Claudius is NOT actually praying, to Hamlet it seems as if he is. But Hamlet reasons that if he kills him while praying Claudius will go straight to heaven, and Hamlet doesn’t want a villain to get that kind of treatment. After all, even Hamlet Sr. was denied heaven because he did not repent in time. So, Hamlet misses his opportunity to kill Claudius.
Up sword, and know thou a more horrid hent. At the end of KC’s soliloquy in III.iii, Hamlet enters the room and sees Claudius kneeling. While Claudius is NOT actually praying, to Hamlet it seems as if he is. But Hamlet reasons that if he kills him while praying Claudius will go straight to heaven, and Hamlet doesn’t want a villain to get that kind of treatment. So, Hamlet misses his opportunity to kill Claudius.
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; words without thoughts never to heaven go. After Hamlet misses the opportunity to kill Claudius (mistaking his position for praying), Claudius rises from kneeling, saying that although he says he wants to repent, he truly doesn’t. Though he speaks of repentance, he’s not really sorry.
I’ll warrant you. Fear me not. Withdraw, I hear him coming. After Polonius tells Gertrude that he’s going to hide behind a curtain and advises her on what to say, Gertrude agrees and tells him to hide.
Mother, you have my father much offended. Hamlet says this quick remark in response to Gertrude saying “Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.” While Gertrude was referring King Claudius, Hamlet was referring to Hamlet Sr.
You go not till I set you up a glass where you may see the inmost part of you. (When Polonius is spying) While talking to Gertrude in Gertrude’s lair, Hamlet tells her that he wants to see the real her (“give you a mirror so you can see the real you”).
What wilt thou do? Thou will not murder me? Help ho! (When Polonius is spying) As Hamlet verbally attacks Gertrude for marrying her husband’s brother, Hamlet get’s so angry that Gertrude worries he will murder her. She cries for help. This causes Polonius to stir in the curtain, and Hamlet, thinking that Polonius is Claudius, stabs him.
How now, a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead. (When Polonius is spying) As Hamlet verbally attacks Gertrude for marrying her husband’s brother, Hamlet get’s so angry that Gertrude worries he will murder her. After she cries for help, Hamlet says this as Polonius to stirs in the curtain. Hamlet, thinking that Polonius is Claudius, stabs him.
O, what a rash and bloody deed is this! This is the turning point for Gertrude. Immediately after Polonius is stabbed by mistake by Hamlet, Gertrude realizes the consequences of her and Polonius’ spying.
As kill a king? After Polonius is stabbed, Gertrude exclaims how bloody a deed occurred. Hamlet tells her it is as bad as marrying the king’s brother-murderer. To this, Gertrude asks “As kill a king?”…She had no idea of Claudius’ murder.
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell. I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune. After Hamlet inadvertently kills Polonius, he tells his dead body “now you see what happens to nosy meddlers”.
What have I done, that thou dar’st wag thy tongue in noise so rude against me? After Polonius is stabbed, the Queen asks Hamlet of what she has done to make him so cruel toward her.
A combination and a form indeed where every god did seem to set his seal to give the world assurance of a man. This was your husband. Look you now what follows. Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?…What judgement would step from this to this? After Polonius is stabbed, Hamlet continues to Claudius. Hamlet Sr. was a noble man, while Claudius is a corrupt man.
O Hamlet, speak no more! Though turn’st my eyes into my very soul, and there I see such black and grained spots as will not leave their tinct. After Polonius is stabbed and Hamlet berates Gertrude for marrying Claudius, Gertrude, feeling terrible for her deeds, begs Hamlet to stop berating her as she now sees the flaws in herself.
O, speak to me no more! These words like daggers enter in my ears. After Polonius is stabbed and Hamlet berates Gertrude for marrying Claudius, Gertrude, feeling terrible for her deeds, begs Hamlet to stop berating her as she now sees the flaws in herself. Hamlet said he would speak daggers, and she says he has done so.
Alas, he’s mad. After incessantly berating his mother for marrying Claudius, Hamlet is approached by the ghost. After Hamlet begins talking to the ghost, Gertrude says “Alas, he’s mad”…she can’t see the ghost. Perhaps the ghost doesn’t want Gertrude to see it, or Hamlet really is going mad.
This visitation is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose…O step between her and her fighting soul. Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works. After Hamlet berated Gertrude in her chamber, the ghost returns to tell Hamlet to stay focused on taking revenge on Claudius. He told him not to hurt Gertrude, after all.
Why, look you there, look how it steals away! My father, in his habit as he lieved! Look where he goes even now out at the portal! Gertrude doesn’t see ghost that Hamlet sees, and Hamlet tries to point it out to her. Perhaps the ghost doesn’t want Gertrude to see it, or Hamlet really is going mad. Also, the ghost isn’t wearing the armor anymore.
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul that not your trespass but my madness speaks…Whiles rank corruption, mining all within, infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven, repent what’s past, avoid what is to to come, and do not spread the compost on the weeds to make them ranker. After Hamlet sees the ghost in Gertrude’s chamber, Hamlet tells her to not dismiss what he has said to her as words of a madman. Instead, she should repent her sins and stop sleeping with Claudius.
But go not to my uncle’s bed. Assume a virtue if you have it not. After the whole ordeal with killing Polonius and seeing a ghost, Hamlet tells the now-remorseful Gertrude to not sleep with Claudius.
I must be cruel only to be kind. Hamlet, after the whole ordeal with killing Polonius and seeing the ghost in Gertrude’s room, tells Gertrude that he is only being cruel to her for good intentions, hurting her out of love. He does not want her to be with Claudius.
Not this, by no means, that I bid you do–Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed…make you to ravel all this matter out: that I essentially am not in madness but mad in craft. (after the whole ordeal with killing Polonius and seeing the ghost in Gertrude’s room) Hamlet asks Gertrude to not tell Claudius that he is pretending to be mad.
I have no life to breathe what thou hast said to me. Gertrude tells Hamlet that she won’t tell Claudius that he is faking madness.
and ‘t shall go hard but I will delve one yard below their mines and blow them to the moon. Hamlet seeks revenge on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (since they tried to manipulate him). They think they are tricking Hamlet in sending him to England to be killed, and Hamlet will use this against them. (“I will use their explosives to blow themselves up”).
Where is your son? Act IV. Claudius doesn’t seem to associate himself with Hamlet any longer.
O come away! My soul is full of discord and dismay. King Claudius, after hearing of Polonius’ death, knows that Hamlet is on to him and is serious about revenge.
The body is with the King, but the king is not with the body. The King is a thing– When Rosencrantz asks Hamlet where the body is, Hamlet cleverly replies that the body is with the King (Polonius is with Hamlet Sr.) but the king is not with the body (Claudius is not with Polonius). Hamlet doesn’t accept Claudius as king; the real king is Hamlet Sr.
I have sent so seek him and to find the body. How dangerous is it that this man goes loose! Yet must not we put the strong law on him. Claudius says that he must get rid of Hamlet, but he must be careful because Hamlet is smart (IV.iii)
A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm. Hamlet acts mad again, saying a deep statement: In the end, kingship doesn’t matter; we’ll all be dead. We’re all equal when we’re dead. (He says this when he tell Claudius that Polonius is at supper, being eaten by worms).
Therefore prepare thyself. The bark is ready, and the wind at help, the’ associates tend, and everything is bent for England. Claudius tells Hamlet that he will be sent to England immediately with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
And England, if my love though hold’st at aught…thou mayst not coldly set our sovereign process, which imports at full, by letters congruing to that effect, the present death of hamlet. Claudius tells the audience that he plans to send a letter to the King of England telling him to kill Hamlet. He says this right after he sends Hamlet to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Truly to speak, and with no additoin, we go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name. Fortinbras tells Hamlet (on his way to his boat for England) that he (Fortinbras) and his 20,000 man army is going to Poland for a patch of land. This inspires Hamlet; if Fortinbras can lead thousands into battle for a trivial purpose, surely he can muster up the courage to avenge his father.
What is a man if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? Hamlet, after seeing Fortinbras lead men to Poland, questions himself. Why hasn’t he mustered up the courage to avenge his father? What is a man if he just eats and sleeps?
Now whether it be bestial oblivion or some craven scruple of thinking too precisely on th’ event (A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom and ever three parts coward)…sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means to do ‘t. Hamlet, in his soliloquy in IV.iv after seeing Fortinbras lead men to Poland, contemplates his hesitation in vengeance. He comments on Fortinbras’ ability to act without much motive (worthless land) and how it compares to his own lack of initiative with strong motives (avenging his father’s death).
Rightly to be great is not to stir without great argument, but greatly to find quarrel in a straw when honor’s at the stake. Hamlet further compares himself to Fortinbras in IV.iv soliloquy. To be truly great doesn’t mean you’d only fight for a good reason; it means you’d fight over nothing if your honor was at stake.
O from this time forth my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth! After seeing Fortinbras lead 20,000 men to Poland to reclaim rather worthless land, Hamlet believes that he himself should have the courage to avenge his father once and for all. Nothing else matters now except for his avenging his father’s death.
So full of artless jealousy is guilt, it spills itself in fearing to be split. After hearing the Ophelia has become mad, Gertrude fears that her guilt will give her away. (“Guilt makes you so full of suspicions that you give yourself away because you try so hard not to”)
Lord, we know what we are but know not what we may be. Ophelia, in her state of madness, tells Claudius “we know what we are now, but not what we may become.”
When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions: Claudius in IV.v talks about all of the bad things that have happened lately: the death of Polonius, Ophelia’s madness, Hamlet’s sent for execution in England. When it rains, it pours.
The ocean, overpeering of his list, eats not the flats with more impiteous haste than young Laertes, in a riotous head, o’erbears your officers. A messenger informs Claudius that Laertes is angry at Claudius and is going through Claudius’ guards (with a group of men shouting “Laertes shall be king!”) to get to him. Laertes blames Claudius for Polonius’ death.
That drop of blood that’s calm proclaims me bastard, cries “cuckold to my father, brands the harlot even here between the chaste unsmirched brow ofmy true mother. Laertes is angry at Claudius because he believes Claudius killed Polonius. “I have but one calm drop of blood in my body”
How came he dead? I’ll not be juggled with. To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation. To this point I stand, that both the worlds I give to negligence, let come what comes, only I”ll be revenged most throughly for my father. Laertes questions Claudius about Polonius’ death, saying that he’ll commit even treason if it means avenging his father’s death. Laertes proves himself to be a man of action, and, when put in a similar situation that Hamlet was in, does not hesitate to seek revenge. Laertes is a foil to Hamlet, like Fortinbras.
That I am guiltless of your father’s death and m most sensibly in grief for it, it shall as level to your judgement ‘pear as day does to your eye. Claudius tells the enraged Laertes that he is innocent in Polonius’ death. Claudius, however, will use Laertes’ thirst for revenge and manipulate Laertes to hate Hamlet.
O heavens, is ‘t possible a young maid’s wits should be as mortal as an old man’s life? Laertes sees Ophelia in her mad state after Polonius’ death. He is in awe of how fast Ophelia grew mad. He also wants to avenge her madness.
There’s fennel for you, and columbines…we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays. You must wear your rue with a difference. There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died. Ophelia, in her madness, mocks wedding and funeral ritual. She says she’d like to give violets, which represent faithfulness, but they all died when Polonius passed away.
If by direct or by collateral hand they find us touched, we will our kingdom give, our crown, our life, and all that we can ours, to you in satisfaction. But if not, be you content to lend your patience to us, and we shall jointly labor with your soul to give it due content. This is Claudius’ deal with Laertes: He tells Laertes to find the cause of Polonius’ death. If he finds that Claudius is guilty (which he isn’t), he will hand over the throne. If he finds someone else, Claudius will help him seek revenge.
His means of death, his obscure funeral…cry to be heard, as ’twere from heaven to earth, that I must call ‘t in question. Laertes tells Claudius that he questions Polonius’ death because he was not given a proper funeral. (He tells him this after Claudius tells him to find who is responsible for the murder (Claudius knows that Hamlet killed him, though. He just wants to manipulate Laertes).)
I have words to speak in thine ear will make thee dumb;…Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England. Hamlet, in a letter to Horatio, says that he’s returning to Denmark with some shocking news. Also, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are still going to England. (At this point of the play, the audience wonders how Hamlet was able to pull this off)
She is so conjunctive to my life and soul that, as the star moves not but in his sphere, I could not but by her. The other motive why to a public count I might not go is the great love the general gender bear him Claudius tells Laertes that he didn’t act on Hamlet’s crimes because Getrude loves Hamlet and the public loves him.
High and might, you shall know I am set naked on your kingdom. In Hamlet’s letter to Claudius, Hamlet tells him that he is returning defenseless to Denmark.
I am lost in it, my lord. But let him come. It warms the very sickness in my heart that I shall live and tell him to his teeth “Thus didst thou” After hearing that Hamlet is returning to Denmark, Laertes tells Claudius to let him come so that he may take revenge.
If it be so, Laertes…will you be ruled by me? Claudius proposes that he and Laertes team up to take down Hamlet, who is returning to Denmark after being sent to England for execution.
And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe but even his mother shall uncharge the practice and call it an accident. Claudius has a plan and tells Laertes that Hamlet’s death will look like an accident as to not upset Gertrude.
I will be ruled, the rather if you could devise it so that I might be the organ. Laertes tells Claudius that if they are going to kill Hamlet, that he (Laertes) should be the one to actually kill him.
He made a confession of you and gave you such a masterly report for art and exercise in your defense, and for your rapier most especial, that he cried out ‘twould be a sight indeed if one could match you. Claudius reminds Laertes of Hamlet’s fencing skills. Perhaps they could use this to their advantage…
There lives within the very flame of love a kind of wick or snuff that will abate it. Claudius tries to get Laertes to defend his love for Polonius by prodding Laertes and Polonius’ relationship. Claudius asks if Laertes really loved his father and wondering what he might be willing to do to prove it.
To cut his throat i’ th’ church. Laertes is pissed at Hamlet, so much so that he is willing to kill Hamlet in church. (he says this after Claudius questions how far Laertes is willing to go to avenge his father).
He, being remiss, most generous, and free from all contriving, will not peruse the foils, so that with ease, or with a little shuffling, you may choose a sword unbated, and in a pass of practice requite him for you father. Claudius tells Laertes that they will hold a fencing match and, since Hamlet’s a trusting person, Laertes can choose a sword that isn’t blunted to kill Hamlet without spiking Hamlet’s suspicion.
And for that purpose I’ll anoint my sword. I bought an unction of a mountebank so mortal that, but a dip a knife in it…I’ll touch my point with this contagion that, if I gall him slightly, it may be death. As if stabbing Hamlet wasn’t enough, Laertes tells Claudius that he will dip his foil in poison.
When in your motion you are hot and dry…and that he calls for a drink, I’ll have prepared him a chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping, if he by chance escape your venomed stuck, our purpose may hold there. And as if stabbing Hamlet with a poisoned foil wasn’t enough, Claudius tells Laertes that he will prepare a poisoned drink for Hamlet to drink while he’s “hot and dry” during the fencing match.
One woe doth tread upon another’s heel, so fast they follow. Your sister’s drowned Gertrude comes into the scene after Laertes and Claudius plotted Hamlet’s murder, telling them that Ophelia has drowned.
There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds clamb’ring to hang, an envious silver broke, when down her weedy trophies and herself fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide, and mermaid-like awhile they bore her up, which time she chantdd snatches of old lauds, as one incapable of her own distress or like a creature native and endued unto that element. Gertrude fills Laertes and Claudius in on the details of Ophelia’s death. She was in a tree and in her madness she fell into the river. Her clothes initially caused her to float up, but eventually soaked up with water so much so that they sank her. Whether or not Ophelia committed suicide is never confirmed, but the characters seem to lean toward that hypothesis. (IV.vii)
How much I had to do to calm his rage! After the news of Ophelia’s death, Claudius tells Gertrude that he had to do a lot in order to calm Laertes. Claudius has outright lied to Gertrude as he and Laertes were actually hatching a plan to kill Hamlet. (Remember, Gertrude left the scene while Laertes was pissed at Claudius, thinking he killed Polonius. )
Has this fellow no feelign of his business? He sings in grave-making. As Hamlet sees the gravedigger singing as he digs the grave, Hamlet wonders how the gravedigger could be so callous and happy in doing such a task. To the gravedigger, it’s just a job.
That skull had a tongue in it and could sing once. Hamlet, holding a skull he found in the graveyard, talks of how the skull used to be a person that could sing.
This is Laertes, a very noble youth. Mark. Hamlet and Horatio hide in the graveyard as people pass. Hamlet sees that one of the people is Laertes. Hamlet says that Laertes is a noble youth, which is ironic because Laertes has just planned with Claudius to murder Hamlet. This shows Laertes’ and Hamlet’s former respect for each other.
No more be done. We should profane the service of the dead to sing a requiem and such rest to her as to peace-parted souls. After Laertes asks if more could be done for Ophelia’s funeral, the Doctor (pastor) tells him that they can’t do any more because she was a potential suicide.
What is he whose grief bears such an emphasis, whose phrase of sorrow conjures the wand’ring stars and makes them stand like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,… Hamlet comes out from his hiding place in the graveyard and goes to Ophelia’s graveside. He announces his presence almost like declaring his royal kingship.
Thou pray’st not well. I prithee take thy fingers from my throat for though I am not splentitive and rash, yet have I in me something dangerous, which let thy wisdom fear. Hamlet, while Laertes grapples with him in Ophelia’s grave, tells him that he has something dangerous that he should fear.
Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her? Hamlet tells Laertes after their graveyard scrap that he truly loved Ophelia (Laertes blames Hamlet for both Polonius’ and Ophelia’s death).
Hear you, sir, what is the reason that you use me thus? I love you ever. But it is no matter. Let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew, and the dog will have his day. Hamlet, after his scrap with Laertes, wonders why Laertes is so mad at him. Hamlet loved Laertes.
Strengthen your pateince in our last night’s speech…This grave shall have a living monument. Claudius, after the whole graveyard incident, tells Laertes to remind himself of their plot to kill hamlet and says that Ophelia’s grave will have a living monument (Hamlet).
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will. Hamlet tells Horatio that there’s always a God in heaven guiding them through life. Hamlet has changed since the beginning of the play. He is now resigned to his fate.
I sat me down, devised a new comission, and wrote it fair…He should those bearers be put to sudden death, not shriving time allowed Hamlet tells Horatio how he was able to return to Denmark: he forged a letter from Claudius to replace the one that had his execution order in it. Instead, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are to be executed.
Why, man, they did make love to this employment. They are not near my conscience. Their defeat does by their own insinuation grow. When Hamlet tells Horatio that he has sent Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to die in England, Hamlet tells Horatio that he has not guilt in doing so. “They deserve it.”
That to Laertes I forgot myself, for by the image of my cause I see the portraiture of his. I’ll court his favors. Hamlet, talking to Horatio, tries to understand Laertes’ sentiments, seeing a mirror image of himself in Laertes (they both lost a father). Hamlet decides that he’ll be nice to Laertes.
You will lose, my lord. Horatio warns Hamlet that if he decides to fence with Laertes that Hamlet could lose (or die). The whole play, Hamlet has contemplated suicide. After Claudius’ murdering his father, “whoring” his mother, and trying to kill him, he has nothing much left to lose.
If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is ‘t to leave betimes? Let be. Hamlet resigns to fate and decides to fence with Laertes. What will be will be, and I’ll be ready for my death if it comes today or tomorrow.
Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil free me so far in your most generous thoughts that I have shot my arrow o’er the house and hurt my brother. Before the fencing match, Hamlet sincerely apologizes to Laertes, saying that his madness had gotten the best of him and that he did not want to hurt Laertes.
I am satisfied in nature, whose motive in this case should stir me most to my revenge; but in my terms of honor I stand aloof and will no reconcilement till by some elder masters of known honor I have a voice and precedent of peace to keep my name ungored. Laertes hears Hamlet’s apology and is satisfied, but he’d look like a be a bit of a fool if he just responded, “Thanks for apologizing for killing my dad” and left it at that. Laertes thinks his name will have to be cleared by a more proper method, one that won’t stain his reputation
You mock me, sir. Hamlet praises Laertes’ skill before the match, and even though Hamlet has just aplogized to Laertes for angering him, Laertes is still mad at Hamlet enough to accusing his complement as mockery.
I will, my lord; I pray you pardon me. Gertrude drinks from Hamlet’s cup, which was poisoned, even though Claudius told her not to. She disobeys Claudius, probably because she’s fed up with being with him.
And yet it is almost against my conscience. Laertes sees an opening and is about to stab Hamlet, but right before says in an aside that he is starting to not want to do it. Maybe Hamlet’s apology is starting to get to him. Nevertheless, he still stabs Hamlet.
Why as a woodcock to mine onw springe…I am justly killed with mine own treachery. In the scuffle Laertes and Hamlet exchanged foils and Hamlet stabs Laertes. Laertes says it is fitting that he dies by his own sword’s treachery, as he has been treacherous himself.
The drink, the drink! I am poisoned! Gertrude’s dying words is telling Hamlet that she is dying due to being poisoned. She does not want to hide anything from Hamlet any longer.
No med’cine int he world can do thee good. In thee there is not half an hour’s life. The treacherous instrument is in thy hand, unbated and envenomed…The King, the King’s to blame. Laertes, as he dies, tells Hamlet that he has poisoned him and that Claudius is to blame. Laertes’ confession probably stems from his forgiving Hamlet as Hamlet had apologized to Laertes prior to the match.
It is a poison tempered by himself. Exchange forgiveness with me… Mine and my father’s death come not upon thee, nor thine on me. Laertes’ final dying words. Laertes tells Hamlet rightly forced Claudius to drink the poison as it was his to begin with. He also asks for forgiveness and no longer feels ill will toward Hamlet in Polonius’ death.
Though livest; report me and my cause aright to the unsatisfied. As Hamlet dies, he tells Horatio to tell all the people what really happened in Elsinore.
Here, thou incestuous, murd’rous, damned Dane, Drink of this potion…Follow my mother. After Laertes tells Hamlet that the King is to blame for his mother’s death, Hamlet takes the poisoned drink and forces it down Claudius’ throat.
On Fortinbras, he has my dying voice. As Hamlet dies, he tells Horatio that he wants Fortinbras to take the throne, probably because a.) he was inspired by Fortinbras’ leadership and willingness to act, or b.) the lands were once his father’s anyway. In any case, this shows that Hamlet truly cares about Denmark.
Now cracks a noble heart. Watching Hamlet pass, Horatio says that that he has always admired Hamlet.
For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune. I have some rights of memory in this kingdom, which now to claim my vantage doth invite me. Fortinbras takes the now-empty throne in Elsinore after the whole fencing incident.
Let four captains bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage, for he was likely, had he been put on, to have proved most royal; Fortinbras honors Hamlet because he believes that Hamlet would have been a good king.

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