Quotes from Hamlet

A little more than kin and less than kind. A famous quote from the play; Hamlet makes a play on words to imply that Claudius is more than family (or kin) because not only is he Hamlet’s uncle, he is now his stepfather as well.
Seems, madam! Nay, it is. I know not “seems.” Hamlet is calling his mother superficial because of her lack of grief over her husband’s death and the speed with which she went into bed with his brother. He shuns her contrived image throughout the play (“frailty, thy name is woman”), and especially in the closet scene (Act 4). As far as we can tell, he never believes that his mother mourns his father’s loss in any genuine manner.
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem, to me all the uses of this world! Hamlet is saying he is saying life is pointless. He’s saying it’s tiring, boring and he won’t get anything out of it.
Frailty, thy name is woman! Hamlet is still speaking in his first of five soliloquies. The “woman” he specifically refers to is his mother. Hamlet felt she was weak, or not strong enough to mourn his father longer. Hamlet goes on further to say that not even an animal or beast, who has no reasoning skills, would have abandoned the mourning so quickly. All in all, this shows how angry and confused Hamlet is by his mother’s remarriage.
Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage table. Hamlet continually emphasizes how soon his mother married Claudius after the death of his father King Hamlet. The baked meats for his funeral would still be good to be served at their wedding, so soon did the wedding occur.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be, For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true,And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Don’t involve money with friends. When lending out money to friends, you run the risk of losing both money (because you may be taken advantage of) and friends (because of the awkward position). Borrowing ruins your saving habits and tempts you to spend money you don’t have. Husbandry: careful management of resources.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. At the end of Scene IV, a guard, Marcellus, says these famous words to Horatio. After Hamlet follows the ghost, Marcellus and Horatio know they have to follow as well, because Hamlet is acting so impulsively. Marcellus’s words are remarking on how something evil and vile is afoot. This moment could be interpreted as foreshadowing of the impending deaths of most of the principle characters.
Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. Take revenge for his horrible murder, that crime against nature.The ghost has just explained how it was killed. Then it says to Hamlet, If you ever loved me (your father) then take revenge for me. The manner is which I died was horrific and unjust.
Aye, that incestuous, that adulterate beast. ghost talking about Claudius
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge To prick and sting her. The Ghost doesn’t want Hamlet to take any action to punish her, but to rather let Heaven, and her own conscience, punish her.
The time is out of joint. Oh, cursed spite that ever I was born to set it right! Hamlet, now, has the burden of avenging his father’s death and is sad about the whole task ahead. The quote illustrates Hamlet’s view of the enormity of the task and foreshadows his wavering and hesitation. -Hamlet
What majesty should be, what duty is,Why day is day, night night, and time is time,Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.Therefore, since brevity is the soul of witAnd tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,I will be brief
Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t. At this point of the play, Hamlet and Polonius are interacting onstage, but this quote is technically spoken by Polonius to the audience, in an aside. What Polonius is saying is that, even though Hamlet is talking crazy, it actually makes sense, or it has a “method.” Polonius’s assertion is ironic because he is right and wrong. Polonius believes Hamlet is acting “mad” because Hamlet’s love of Ophelia has driven him to such. While Polonius is correct to think that there is reason behind Hamlet’s actions, he is incorrect as to the cause. Hamlet is purposefully acting mad to disguise his true mission to avenge his father’s murder.
Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so
What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. No, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.
The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.
Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.
Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude, says this famous line while watching The Mousetrap. Gertrude is talking about the queen in the play. She feels that the play-queen seems insincere because she repeats so dramatically that she’ll never remarry due to her undying love of her husband. The play-queen, in fact, does remarry. It is unclear whether Gertrude recognizes the parallel between herself and the play-queen; Hamlet certainly feels that way. This moment has an irony that is shown throughout the play.
O good Horatio, I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound. Didst perceive?
O heart, lose not thy nature, let not ever The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom. Let me be cruel, not unnatural. I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below, Words without thoughts never to Heaven go. They express his futility in attempting to pray for forgiveness for his brother’s murder. He is unable to relinquish everything he has gained from the murder, so he has not atoned for the act. Consequently, his prayers lacks sincerity and is merely “words.” -Claudius
Oh, shame! Where is thy blush?
O Hamlet, speak no more! Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul, And there I see such black and grained spots As will not leave their tinct.
I must be cruel only to be kind. Let’s the audience know that his treatment of Ophelia, Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildernstern fits into his plan for revenge of his father’s murder. In order to be kind to those who have been tainted by Claudius, Hamlet must be cruel and mad. -Hamlet talking to Gertrude
What is a man If his chief good and market of his timeBe but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Oh, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth.
Alas, Poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio. Quote is about the fragility of life. Hamlet concludes that all men, happy or sad, comic or tragic, die. -Hamlet talking to Horatio
Sweets to the sweet.
The cat will mew and dog will have his day.
I am justly killed with mine own treachery.
The drink, the drink! I am poisoned.
The King, the King’s to blame.

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