Hamlet Act II Quotes

“And there put on him / What forgeries you please – marry, none so rank / As may dishonor him, take heed of that, / But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips / As are companions noted and most known / To youth and liberty.” Polonius to Reynaldo; he is saying he can make up whatever lies he wants (as long as they don’t hurt his image) about Laertes
“But breathe his faults so quaintly / That they may seem the taints of liberty, / The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind, / A savageness in unreclaim├Ęd blood, / Of general assault.” Polonius to Reynaldo; his is telling him to describe Laertes’ faults so subtly that will seem like things that come with independence and the sudden urges most men have
“Your bait of falsehood take this carp of truth; / … / … / By indirections find directions out.” Polonius to Reynaldo; he is saying that by lying you will find out the truth
“Mad for thy love?” Polonius to Ophelia; he is saying that Hamlet is crazy in love with her
“By heaven, it is as proper to our age / To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions / As it is common for the younger sort / To lack discretion.” Polonius to Ophelia; he is saying it is as natural for old people to go too far with their suspicions as it is for younger people to lack good judgement
“This must be known, which, being kept close, might move / More grief to hide than hate to utter love.” Polonius to Ophelia; he is saying if they hide Hamlet’s craziness it will only get worse
“To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather / So much as from the occasion you may glean, / Whether aught to is unknown afflicts him thus / That, opened, lies within our remedy.” King Claudius to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; he’s asking them to spy on Hamlet and find out what’s bothering him
“Your visitation shall receive such thanks / As fits a king’s remembrance.” Queen to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; the Queen is bribing them
“Brevity is the soul of wit” Polonius to Queen; he is saying that it’s smart to be concise which is ironic because he’s a windbag
“More matter with less art.” Queen to Polonius; she’s telling him to get to the point
“Doubt thou the stars are fire, / Doubt that the sun doth move, / Doubt truth to be a liar, / But never doubt I love.” Polonius to Queen (reading a letter from Hamlet to Ophelia); Hamlet is saying you can doubt everything in this world but the fact that he loves her
“You are a fishmonger.” Hamlet to Polonius; he’s basically saying that he’s selling him crap
“For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion – Have you a daughter?” Hamlet to Polonius; he’s going from talking about kissing dead flesh to talking about his daughter
“Let her not walk i’ th’ sun. Conception is a blessing, but, as your daughter may conceive, friend, look to ‘t.” Hamlet to Polonius; he’s basically saying his daughter is ‘easy’
“Words, words, words.” Hamlet to Polonius; he’s just screwing with Polonius
“Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old men have grey beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they have a plentiful lack of wit” Hamlet to Polonius; he’s telling Polonius that he’s reading a book about lies and then goes to describe the character as Polonius (but Polonius doesn’t realize it)
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.” Polonius to himself (aside); he’s saying that sometimes Hamlet sounds crazy but sometimes he makes sense, and he’s starting to doubt a little bit
“How pregnant sometimes his replies are! A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of.” Polonius to himself (aside); he’s starting to doubt whether or not Hamlet is truly crazy
“These tedious old fools.” Hamlet to himself (aside); he’s talking about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and how he knows what’s going on
“Let me question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of / Fortune that she sends you to prison hither?” Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; Hamlet is testing them by asking them why they’re here when he already knows why
“But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?” Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; he’s testing them again
“O, there has been much throwing about of brains.” Guildenstern to Hamlet;