Hamlet Act 1

“Who’s there?” Barnardo- first line; establishes a mood of uncertainty/unrest
“Sit down a while, And let us assail your ears” Barnardo- talking to Horatio to disprove his skepticism; military imagery; synecdoche
“Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio” Marcellus
“By Heaven I charge these speak” Horatio- commanding/takes action/not scared of ghosts
“Before my God, I might not believe this Without the sensible and true avouch Of mine own eyes” Horatio- would not have believed there was a ghost unless he saw it himself
* “This bodes some strange eruption to our state” Horatio- foreshadowing
“A mote is to trouble the mind’s eye” Horatio- the whole situation can be explained but irritates him; personification/synecdoche
“If thou art privy to thy country’s fate, Which happily foreknowing may avoid” Horatio- asks the ghost if he is there to talk about the fate of Denmark
“Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death The memory be green, and that it us befitted To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom To be in contracted in one brow of woe, Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature That we with wisest sorrow thing on him Together with remembrance of ourselves” Claudius- tries to show how bad he feels about King Hamlet’s death; comes off detached/sarcastic/artificial; periodic sentence to cause confusion
“our sometime sister, now our queen” Claudius- antithesis
* “With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage” Claudius- “mirth” = happiness & “dirth”= sadness; oxymoron used to manipulate the people around him
“In equal scale weighing delight and dole” Claudius- alliteration used to underscore the opposites
“you” vs. “thou” “you”- formal, shows respect, distances oneself”thou”- personal, shows intimacy
“Your leave and favor to return to France” Laertes to Claudius
“But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son” Claudius to Hamlet
* “A little more than kin, and less than kind” Hamlet to Claudius
“Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not forever with thy failed lids Seek for thy noble father in the dust” Gertrude to Hamlet- tells Hamlet to stop mourning for his father and be nice to Claudius
“’tis unmanly grief” Claudius to Hamlet
“You are the most immediate to the throne, and with no less nobility of love Than that which dearest father bears his son I impart toward you” Claudius to Hamlet- use of “you” distances King from Hamlet
“’tis an unweeded garden That grows to seed, things rank and gross in nature” Hamlet- soliloquy; believes that what has happened in his society has brought decay
* “Frailty, thy name is woman!” Hamlet- apostrophe
“O most wicked speed: to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets” Hamlet- alliteration
“I must hold my tongue” Hamlet- reveals pain and sinister deeds; foreshadow revenge
“I saw him once, ‘a goodly king […] My lord, I think I saw him yesternight […] My lord, the King your father” Horatio to Hamlet
“As I do live, my honor’d lord, ’tis true, And we did think it writ down in our duty To let you know of it” Horatio- about telling Hamlet he has seen Hamlet’s father’s ghost
“Foul deeds will rise, Through all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes” Hamlet- foreshadow; knows the truth will come out
“Perhaps he loves you now, And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch The virus of his will, but you must fear, His greatness weigh’d , his will is not his own, For he himself is subject to his birth” Laertes to Ophelia- cautionary tone; warns that Hamlet’s obligation is to Denmark, not to Ophelia
“Be wary then, best safety lies in fear” Laertes to Ophelia
“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice, Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgement” Polonius to Laertes- tells Laertes to behave himself in France
* “Neither a borrower nor a lender [be]” Polonius to Laertes
* “This above all: to thine own self be true” Polonius to Laertes
* “What is’t, Ophelia, he hath said to you?” Polonius to Ophelia- about Ophelia’s conversation with Laertes
“What is it between you? Give me up the truth” Polonius to Ophelia- about Ophelia’s relationship with Hamlet
* “I do not know, my lord, what I should think” Ophelia to Polonius- acts submissive/scared of her father
* “These blazes, daughter, Giving more light than heat, extinct in both Even in their promise, as it is a-making You must not take for fire” Polonius to Ophelia- says that Hamlet’s love is not genuine
* “I shall obey, my lord” Ophelia to Polonius- obedient to her father; tragic flaw
* “So, oft it chances in particular men, That for some vicious mole of nature in them, As in their birth, wherein they are not guilty […] from that particular fault: the dram of Doth all the noble substance of a doubt to his own scandal” Hamlet- people who seem benevolent on the outside van do evil deeds; shows Hamlet’s philosophical side
* “Look, my lord, it comes!” Hamlet- first sight of the ghost
* “Why, what would be the fear? I do not set my life at a pin’s fee” Hamlet- not scared of the ghost/death; highlights his sad mental state
* “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” Marcellus- corruption/decay/destruction
“A serpent stung me, so the whole ear of Denmark Is by a forged process of my death Rankly abus’d” Ghost- synecdoche
* “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life Now wears his crown” Ghost
* “Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch’d” Ghost- inverted syntax puts emphasis on King Hamlet’s loses
“Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin, Unhous’led, disappointed, unanel’d, no reck’ning made, but sent to my account With all my imperfections on my head” Ghost- since he was murdered, he was unable to make a last confession
* “Leave her to heaven, And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge To prick and sting her” Ghost to Hamlet- wants Hamlet to leave Gertrude alone to feel guilty; metaphor for sin
“Yah, from the table of my memory I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past” Hamlet to Ghost- determined to forget everything but his plan for revenge
* “Why right, you are in the right, And so, without more circumstance at all, I hold it fit that we shake hands and part, You as your business and desire shall point you, For every man hath business and desire, Such as it is, and for my own poor part, I will go pray” Hamlet to Horatio- brushing Horatio off; doesn’t want Horatio to be a part of the revenge plan
“Never make known what you have seen to-night” Hamlet- about seeing the Ghost
* “How storage or odd some’er I bear myself– As I perchance hereafter shall think meet To put an antic disposition on” Hamlet- explains that there might be times when he needs to act crazy (“antic disposition”); shows Hamlet is already formulating a plan
* “O cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it right!” Hamlet- upset that he has to be the one who seeks revenge; extended metaphor of a broken bone; couplet