Hamlet Test

This above all: to thine own self be true. . . (45) Speaker: Polonius (to Laertes)Meaning: Above all, be true to yourself.Context: Polonius is giving his son Laertes advice before he leaves for Paris
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. (55) Speaker: Marcellus (To Horatio)Meaning: There is some sort of corruption or a situation in which something is wrong in DenmarkContext: When the Ghost of the Dead King arrives at is walking around the palace, Marcellus realizes something is happening in Denmark
Brevity is the soul of wit Speaker: Polonius (To King & Queen)Meaning: Speaking of how wise speeches should be short and conciseContext: Polonius is speaking to the King and Queen about how Hamlet is crazy
Madness in great ones must not go unwatched. (135) Speaker: King (to Polonius)Meaning: Hamlet is going crazy and they must watch him.Context: Claudius is discussing with Polonius Hamlet’s behaviors
O my offense is rank, it smells to heaven; (165) Speaker: KingMeaning: Oh, my crime is so rotten it stinks all the way to heavenContext: The King is praying and asking for forgiveness for murdering his brother.
The serpent that did sting thy father’s life / Now wears his crown (59) Speaker: Ghost (to Hamlet)Meaning: The man who killed King Hamlet, is now the new KingContext: The Ghost is telling Hamlet that King Claudius killed his father
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:Words without thoughts never to heaven go. (169) Speaker: King Meaning: My words fly up toward heaven, but my thoughts stay down here on earth. Words without thoughts behind them will never make it to heaven.Context: While the King’s prayer is coming to an end, he is claiming that he asks for forgiveness for his acts but he does not actually mean it
Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince,And flights of angels sing thee to they rest. (283) Speaker: Horatio Meaning: Now a noble heart is breaking. Good night, sweet prince. May hosts of angels sing you to sleep.—Why are those drums approaching?Context: Horatio is talking about Hamlet who just died saying that he hopes he goes to Heaven
Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t . . . (95) Speaker: PoloniusMeaning: Even though what’s happening is crazy there is a method to the craziness.Context: Polonius is speaking to himself, kind of talking to himself saying that there is a method to his madness.
There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. / Pray you, love, remember. (217) Speaker: Ophelia (To King, Queen, Laertes)Meaning: Look at my flowers. There’s rosemary, that’s for remembering. Please remember, love. And there are pansies, they’re for thoughts.Context: Ophelia is giving out flowers and saying what they mean to each person. She gives Laertes a flower of remembrance to honor their father.
To die, to sleep—To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub, . . . (127) Speaker: HamletMeaning: o die, to sleep—to sleep, maybe to dream. Ah, but there’s the catch:Context: Hamlet talking to himself and a little bit Ophelia is saying this about how death is like sleeping and people do not know exactly how life will end and thats the catch for the difference .
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. (151) Speaker: Queen (To Hamlet)Meaning: The lady’s overdoing it and complains too much, I think.Context: When the players are performing the play the Queen is complaining about the player that portrays her
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! How infinite in faculty; (101) Speaker: Hamlet (To Rosencrantz/Guildenstern)Meaning: What a perfect invention a human is, how noble in his capacity to reason, how unlimited in thinking, how admirable in his shape and movement, how angelic in action, how godlike in understanding!Context: Hamlet is talking about how great, beautiful, and noble humans are. Noble in reason, unlimited thinking.
Alas poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio . . . (249) Speaker: hamlet (To Horatio)Meaning: Oh, poor Yorick! I used to know him, HoratioContext: Hamlet is speaking to Horatio and the gravedigger in the graveyard and is talking about how he used to know the Jester as a kid when he sees he died. Leads on to talk about how everyone is equal and nothing matters anymore when someone dies.
Old English Beowulf; 500
Middle English 1066
Modern English Hamlet; 1500
What presence does adjectives like rot, decay, disease, rankness, ect. have in the book World is a rotten place and is filled with corruption and dying people; everyone is equal when they die
Was hope promised in the end? Hope of a new leader, Fortinbras. He will reveal the true story between what happened and there will be no more corruption.
What is the symbolism in Ophelia’s flowers and death? Exemplified how Ophelia thinks about life. She decorates the tree before she dies

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