Hamlet Act 3 Quotes

Claudius And can you by no drift of conferenceGet from him why he puts on this confusion,Grating so harshly all his days of quietWith turbulent and dangerous lunacy?
Rosencrantz He does confess he feels himself distracted.But from what cause he will by no means speak.
Guilderstern Nor do we find him forward to be sounded.But with a crafty madness keeps aloofWhen we would bring him on to some confessionOf his true state.
Gertrude Did he receive you well?
Rosencrantz Most like a gentleman.
Guilderstern But with much forcing of his disposition
Rosencrantz *****rd of question, but of our demandsMost free in his reply.
Gertrude Did you assay him?To any pastime?
Rosencrantz Madam, it so fell out, that certain playersWe o’erraught on the way. Of these we told him,And there did seem in him a kind of joy to hear of it. They are about the court,And, as I think, they have already orderThis night to play before him.
Polonius ‘Tis most true,And he beseeched me to entreat your MajestiesTo hear and see the matter.
Claudius With all my heart, and it doth much content meTo hear him so inclined.Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,And drive his purpose on to these delights.
Claudius Sweet Gertrude, leave us too,For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,That he, as ’twere by accident, may hereAffront Ophelia.Her father and myself (lawful espials)Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing unseen,We may of their encounter frankly judge,And gather by him, as he is behaved,If ‘t be the affliction of his love or noThat thus he suffers for.
Gertrude I shall obey you.And for your part, Ophelia, I do wishThat your good beauties be the happy causeOf Hamlet’s wildness. So shall I hope your virtuesWill bring him to his wonted way again,To both your honors.
Ophelia Madam, I wish it may.
Polonius Ophelia, walk you here. (to CLAUDIUS) Gracious, so please you,We will bestow ourselves. (to OPHELIA)Read on this bookThat show of such an exercise may colorYour loneliness.—We are oft to blame in this,’Tis too much proved, that with devotion’s visageAnd pious action we do sugar o’erThe devil himself.
Claudius Oh, ’tis too true!How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!The harlot’s cheek, beautied with plastering art,Is not more ugly to the thing that helps itThan is my deed to my most painted word.O heavy burden!
Polonius I hear him coming. Let’s withdraw, my lord.
Hamlet To be, or not to be? That is the question—Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,And, by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep—No more—and by a sleep to say we endThe heartache and the thousand natural shocksThat flesh is heir to—’tis a consummationDevoutly to be wished! To die, to sleep.
Hamlet To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub,For in that sleep of death what dreams may comeWhen we have shuffled off this mortal coil,Must give us pause. There’s the respectThat makes calamity of so long life. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,The insolence of office, and the spurnsThat patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,When he himself might his quietus makeWith a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,To grunt and sweat under a weary life,But that the dread of something after death,The undiscovered country from whose bournNo traveler returns, puzzles the willAnd makes us rather bear those ills we haveThan fly to others that we know not of?
Hamlet Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,And thus the native hue of resolutionIs sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,And enterprises of great pith and momentWith this regard their currents turn awry,And lose the name of action.—Soft you now,The fair Ophelia!—Nymph, in thy orisonsBe all my sins remembered.
Ophelia Good my lord,How does your honor for this many a day?
Hamlet I humbly thank you. Well, well, well.
Ophelia My lord, I have remembrances of yoursThat I have longèd long to redeliver.I pray you now receive them.
Hamlet No, not I. I never gave you aught.
Ophelia My honored lord, you know right well you did,And with them, words of so sweet breath composedAs made the things more rich. Their perfume lost,take these again, for to the noble mindRich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.There, my lord.
Hamlet Ha, ha, are you honest?
Hamlet Are you fair?
Ophelia What means your lordship?
Hamlet That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admitno discourse to your beauty.
Ophelia Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than withhonesty?
Hamlet Ay, truly, for the power of beauty will sooner transformhonesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honestycan translate beauty into his likeness. This was sometime aparadox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love youonce.
Ophelia Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so
Hamlet You should not have believed me, for virtue cannot soinoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved younot.
Ophelia I was the more deceived.
Hamlet Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder ofsinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I couldaccuse me of such things that it were better my mother hadnot borne me. I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put themin, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in.What should such fellows as I do crawling between earthand heaven? We are arrant knaves, all. Believe none of us.Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where’s your father?
Ophelia At home, my lord.
Hamlet Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the foolno where but in ‘s own house. Farewell.
Ophelia O, help him, you sweet heavens!
Hamlet If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry.Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt notescape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, ifthou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know wellenough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go,and quickly too. Farewell.
Ophelia Heavenly powers, restore him!
Hamlet I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God hasgiven you one face and you make yourselves another. Youjig and amble, and you lisp, you nickname God’s creaturesand make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I’ll nomore on ‘t. It hath made me mad. I say, we will have no moremarriages. Those that are married already, all but one, shalllive. The rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go
Ophelia Oh, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!—The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword,Th’ expectancy and rose of the fair state,The glass of fashion and the mould of form,Th’ observed of all observers, quite, quite down!And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,That sucked the honey of his music vows,Now see that noble and most sovereign reasonLike sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;That unmatched form and feature of blown youthBlasted with ecstasy. Oh, woe is me,T’ have seen what I have seen, see what I see!
Claudius Love? His affections do not that way tend.Nor what he spake, though it lacked form a little,Was not like madness. There’s something in his soulO’er which his melancholy sits on brood,And I do doubt the hatch and the discloseWill be some danger—which for to prevent,I have in quick determinationThus set it down: he shall with speed to EnglandFor the demand of our neglected tribute.Haply the seas and countries differentWith variable objects shall expelThis something-settled matter in his heart,Whereon his brains still beating puts him thusFrom fashion of himself. What think you on ‘t?
Polonius It shall do well. But yet do I believeThe origin and commencement of his griefSprung from neglected love.—How now, Ophelia?You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said. We heard it all.—My lord, do as you please.But, if you hold it fit, after the playLet his queen mother all alone entreat himTo show his grief. Let her be round with him,And I’ll be placed, so please you, in the earOf all their conference. If she find him not,To England send him or confine him whereYour wisdom best shall think.
Claudius It shall be so.Madness in great ones must not unwatched go
Hamlet Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you,trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many ofyour players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines.Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand thus, butuse all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I maysay) whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget atemperance that may give it smoothness. Oh, it offends meto the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear apassion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of thegroundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothingbut inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I would have sucha fellow whipped for o’erdoing Termagant. It out-HerodsHerod. Pray you, avoid it.
First Player I warrant your honor.
Hamlet Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be yourtutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action,with this special observance that you o’erstep not themodesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from thepurpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now,was and is to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature, toshow virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and thevery age and body of the time his form and pressure. Nowthis overdone or come tardy off, though it make theunskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, thecensure of the which one must in your allowance o’erweigha whole theatre of others.
Hamlet Oh, there be players that I have seen play and heard otherspraise (and that highly), not to speak it profanely, that,neither having th’ accent of Christians nor the gait ofChristian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowedthat I have thought some of nature’s journeymen had mademen and not made them well, they imitated humanity soabominably.
First Player I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us, sir.
Hamlet O, reform it altogether! And let those that play your clownsspeak no more than is set down for them, for there be ofthem that will themselves laugh to set on some quantity ofbarren spectators to laugh too, though in the meantimesome necessary question of the play be then to beconsidered. That’s villainous, and shows a most pitifulambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.