Thematic Quote Analysis
“Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself,
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on,
That you, at such times seeing m, never shall,
With arms encumber’d thus, or this head-shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As, “Well, well, we know”; or, “We could, am if we
Or. “If we list to speak”; or, “There be, an if they might”; — Oh such ambiguous giving out, to note
That you know aught of me: this not to do,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you,
(Act 1 scene 5 lines 170-182)
Polonius [Aside]: Though this be madness, yet there is
method in’t. —Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
Hamlet: Into my grave?
Polonius: Indeed, that’s out o’ the air. [Aside.] How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often
madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so
prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him, and
suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him
and my daughter.”
(Act 2 scene 2 lines 204-212)
“Make you to ravel all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft. ‘Twere good you let him know;
For who, that’s but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib,
Such dear concernings hide? who would do so?
No, in despite of sense and secrecy.
Unpeg the basket on the house’s top,
Let the birds fly, and, like the famour ape,
To try conclusions, in the basket creep,
And break you own neck down.”
(Act 3 scene 4 lines 188-198)
Whether they've had sex or not, that's a lot of pressure to put on a young woman. And it's too much for Ophelia. When she goes mad, she sings a bawdy song about a maiden who is tricked into losing her virginity with a false promise of marriage (4.5.7)—part of the reason why many literary critics see Ophelia's madness as a result of patriarchal pressure and abuse....
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