Important Quotations in Hamlet

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Hamlet Important Quotations

Act 1 Scene 1

"'the dreaded sight twice seen of us....'" Act 1, Scene 1, line 31

From Marcellus to Horatio:

“‘This bodes some strange eruption to our state.’” Act 1, Scene 1, line 80

From Horatio to Marcellus: Means that the peacefulness of their state will be interrupted by something…foreshadows to when the ghost arrives.

Act 1 Scene 2

“A little more than kin, and less than kind.” Act 1, Scene 2, line 66

From Hamlet to King: Hamlet says Claudius (calls him son right before) is more than just family, being both Claudius' nephew and his son by marriage, but less than kind meaning that he does not consider it a warm, friendly, loving relationship. He is expressing his disapproval of the marriage of his mother to his uncle. He was shocked by how quickly it happened after his father’s death.

“Frailty, thy name is woman.” Act 1, Scene 2, Line 148

Hamlet soliloquy: Hamlet is angry that his mother, Gertrude, has married his uncle Claudius within a month of his father's death. The speech generalizes the attribution of weakness of character from his mother to womankind. Weakness of his mother.

“She married. O, most wicked speed, to post, With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” Act 1, Scene 2, Line 158-159

Hamlet soliloquy: Refers to the marriage of Gertrude and Claudius…how much he dislikes it, doesn’t say why.

Act 1 Scene 3

Act 1, Scene 3, Line 63-71

From Polonius to Laertes: Telling him not to give his thoughts to others, not to start a fight, don’t say everything you think, think before you act, be friendly but don’t be friends with people lower than you, keep the value of the friends you have, if you fight…win, listen to everything but don’t voice yours all the time…listen but don’t judge.

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be, For loan oft loses both itself and friend” Act 1, Scene 3 Lines 79-80

From Polonius to Laertes: If you borrow or lend money, you will lose your friends and lose the money you lent, won’t learn how to manage money if you become a borrower.

“This above all: to thine own self be true” Act 1, Scene 3, Line 82

Polonius to Laertes: if true to yourself, won’t be deceptive to anyone else.It means to first know thyself, who you are, why you behave, act, speak and react in the way you do. Know all that lurks in your subconscious driving your will at times to your destruction. To know your own mind and conquer it with mastery of will is to be true to oneself without compromise.

“Tis in my memory locked, and you yourself shall keep the key of it.” Act 1, Scene 3, Line 91-92

Ophelia to Laertes: What Laertes said is still stuck in her mind and she will always remember and do what he says until he says so, shows how woman do not have a large amount of rights in the play. She cannot love who she wants to love and must follow the commands of her brother and father.

Act 1 Scene 4

Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 26-40…Extended Metaphor

Hamlet to Horatio:

“He waxes desperate with imagination.” Act 1, Scene 4, Line 96

Horatio to Marcellus: Hamlet is willing to go any length to follow the ghost of mystery, even if it means to walk in the steps of danger. His imagination has made him go crazy, gone crazy because of wild ideas.

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Act 1, Scene 4, Line 99

Marcellus to Horatio: Marcellus just saw the King Hamlet all dressed up for battle, believes something wrong is going to happen, foreshadowing. It is strange King Hamlet has appeared all of a sudden…corruption.

Act 1 Scene 5

“The serpent that did sting thy father’s life, Now wears his crown. Act 1, Scene 5, Line 44-45 King Hamlet to Hamlet: the kingdom believes it was a snake that stung King Hamlet but that “snake” is Claudius. “O my prophetic soul! My uncle!” Act 1, Scene 5, Line 46 Hamlet to King Hamlet: Hamlet always had a feeling something was wrong with the marriage, and disliked his uncle and did not know why. Everything...
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