“Neither a borrowe nor a lender be:..This above all,-to thine own self be true;” (Act 1) Polonius said this to Laertes. Polonius was giving him advice before Laertes had to leave for France. *Significance: Polonius does not follow his own advice due to the fact that he is always spying for the King.
“…meet it is I set it down,That one may smile, and smile, and be a villian;”(Act 1) Hamlet said this to himself after seeing the Ghost. *Significance: The Ghost reveals that he was in fact murdered by Claudius
“The serpent that did sting thy father’s life, Now wears his crown.” (Act 1) King Hamlet (The Ghost) says this when he meets with Hamlet for the first time. He is revealing that Claudius has murdered him. *Significance: This drives the plot and gives Hamlet his motive for revenge
“Lord Hamlet,…with a look so piteous in purport, As if he had been loosed out of hellTo speak of horrors,-he comes before me.” (Act 2) Ophelia says this when she is telling Polonius about her strange encounter with Hamlet. *Significance: This starts the questioning of Hamlet’s sanity
“But what might you think, When I had seen this hot love on the wing-As I percieved it, I must tell you that,…” (Act 2) Polonius says this when he is telling Claudius and Gertrude about the relationship between Hamlet & Ophelia. He also read the letters between the two. *Significance: He believes this is the reason for Hamlet’s strange behavior, which throws everyone offtrack
“…the play’s the thing, Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” (Act 2) Hamlet says this at the end of his soliloquy after meeting the play actors. *Significance: He is giving Claudius the benefit of the doubt and decides that his reaction the the play will prove if he is guilty or not.
“The harlot’s cheek, beautified 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!” (Act 3, Scence 1) Claudius says this to himself. He is comparing the fact that makeup covering a whore is no uglier than what he has done. *Significance: tells us that he is guilty of something.
“I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp,…” (Act 3, Scene 1) Hamlet says this to Ophelia when they meet. He is saying that she is putting on an act.*Significance: Hamlet feels like he has lost trust in Ophelia because he knows that she is lying to him.
“And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, That suck’d the honey of his music vows,Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;” (Act 3, Scene 1) Ophelia says this to herself after her horrible encounter with Hamlet. *Significance: She believes that Hamlet has gone crazy
“Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go.” (Act 3, Scene 1) King Claudius says this to Polonius right after watching Hamlet freak out at Ophelia. *Significance: The king has to figure out why Hamlet is crazy
“Give me that manThat is not passion’s slave, and I will wear himIn my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart, As I do thee.” (Act 3, Scene 2) Hamlet says this to Horatio when he asks Horatio to be a witness of Claudius’ reaction to the play. *Significance: This is an act of Sanity and shows Hamlet trusts Horatio
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” (Act 3, Scene 2) Queen Gertrude says this to Hamlet when he asks her what she thinks about the play. *Significance: She is referring to the Queen in the play who says,”I will never marry again” and recognizes that Hamlet is mocking her
“Let me be cruel, not unnatural;I will speak daggers to her, but use none;” (Act 3, Scene 2) Hamlet says this to himself before he has to go speak with his mother. *Significance: He is going to rip her apart verbally but not physically by letting her in on what is going on.
“I… I do this same villian send to heav’n. O, this is hire and salary, not revenge…To take him in the purging of his soul,When he is fit and season’d for his passage? No!Up, sword;” (Act 3, Scene 3) Hamlet says this to himself when he sees that the King is praying and stops himself from going through with the murder. Hamlet does not want to kill Claudius while he is praying because that will send him to heaven. *Significance: DRAMATIC IRONY. Claudius is not actually praying because he does not want to give up what he has gained from the murder.
“O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs All from her father’s death.” (Act 5) Claudius says this when he is referring to Ophelia’s strange behavior. He is concluding that it is due to her father’s death. *Significance: This helps feed into Laertes’ drive for revenge.
“Was’t Hamlet wrong’d Laertes? Never, Hamlet:If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away, And when he’s not himself does wrong Laertes,Then Hamlet does it not,…Who does it then? His madness;” (Act 5) Hamlet says this, speaking in 3rd person, to Laertes*Significance: He is blaming his madness for his actions
Death 1. In the beginning of the play Hamlet follows an unidentified Ghost, because he is not positive that it is his father at this point. This shows some interest in death2. Hamlet comtemplates suicide but is hesitant due to the fear of what will happen when he dies. 3. Hamlet has a hard time understanding how his mother could move on so fast, while he is constantly grieving4. After meeting with the soldiers, Hamlet can’t understand how they can kill eachother over worthless land and he, with a valid reason, can’t kill Claudius.
Revenge/Foil -Laertes-Horatio -Ophelia -Fortinbras
Role of Women -Ophelia was treated horribly by Hamlet and even used by her own Father
Ghost- Dad or Demon? I believe that the Ghost was actually Hamlets father. 1. Claudius’ reaction to the play proved that he was guilty2. It is reasonable to assume that the King would want people to know the truth about his death 3. The ghost even came back to remind Hamlet to leave his mother out of it, which shows he is truly sincere and still cares for his wife.
Divine Right of Rule, “Rotten in Denmark” There is a strong connection between that Ruler and the well-being of the nation. “Rotten in Denmark” refers to the idea that because Claudius is not a fit ruler and has corrupted Denmark. One example of this is when the Ghost of King Hamlet shows up. Many took this as a sign that things are not the way that they should be.
Perception vs. Reality The idea of ones perception being their reality is connected with the control that your mind/mood really has. Hamlet states that Denmark is a prison to him because that’s how he thinks of it and thats how it makes him feel. However, on the contrary, someone who is very happy and enjoys their life in Denmark may say very positive things about it.
Dramatic Irony -Hamlet doesn’t kill Claudius, because he is “praying”-Laertes tells Hamlet that he will not wrong Hamlet’s offer of forgiveness before the fight, when he actually plans to kill him.-Polonius thinking that Ophelia and Hamlets relationship and her rejection was the reason for Hamlets insanity when he is actually putting on an “antic disposition”