Hamlet Quote Test

“In what particular thought to work I know not; But in the gross and scope of my opinion, This bodes some strange eruption in our state” (Act I) Speaker: Horatio Listener: MarcellusSituation: The men have just seen the ghostParaphrase: Horatio thinks that the appearance of the ghost is a bad sign for the country (Denmark is on the brink of war with Norway).
“Let us impart what we have seen tonight Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life, This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him. Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it, As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?” (Act I)Speaker: HoratioListener: MarcellusSituation: Marcellus and Horatio are discussing the ghost.Paraphrase: Horatio suggests that they leave their post to tell Hamlet about the ghost, since it looks like his father, maybe it will talk to him.
“Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off, and let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not for ever with thy vailed lids Seek for thy noble father in the dust. Thou knowst ’tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity.” (Act I)Speaker: Queen GertrudeListener: HamletSituation: Gertrude and Hamlet arguing about the late King.Paraphrase: Gertrude tells Hamlet to stop being solemn and to be nice to Caludius. She wants him to stop mourning his father. Speaker’s attitude: Unsympathetic.
“These (outer shows of grief) indeed seem, For they are actions that a man might play. But I have that within that passeth show; These but the trappings and the suits of woe.” (Act I)Speaker: HamletListener: GertrudeSituation: Gertrude and Hamlet argue over his display of grief.Paraphrase: Hamlet says that the dark clothes he wears are just symbols of the overbearing grief that he feels.Speaker’s Attitude: Offended/Sad/Disappointed
“But to preserver In obstinate condolement is a course Of impious stubbournness; tis unmanly grief. It shows a will most incorrect to heaven, A heart unfortified, a mind impatient, And understanding simple and unschooled.” (Act I)Speaker: King ClaudiusListener: HamletSituation: Claudius intervenes in the argument between Hamlet and Gertrude.Paraphrase: Being overun with grief is something that weak, stubborn, unintelligent people do.Speaker’s Attitude: Haughty/Insensitive
“O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fixedHis canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable,Seem to me all the uses of this world!Fie on ‘t, ah fie! ‘Tis an unweeded gardenThat grows to seed” (Act I)Speaker: HamletListener: AudienceSituation: Hamlet’s SoliloquyParaphrase: Hamlet briefly suggests suicide as a solution to his problem because life seems pointless and boring; he compares it to an unkempt garden growing weeds. But he decides not to kill himself, assumingly due to the disgrace that goes along with it.Major Literary Device: MetaphorSpeaker’s Attitude: Hopeless/Frustrated
“A little month, or ere those shoes were oldWith which she followed my poor father’s body,Like Niobe, all tears, why she, even she–O God! A beast, that wants discourse of reason,Would have mourned longer–married with my uncle. . .” (Act I)Speaker: HamletListener: Audience Situation: Hamlet’s SoliloquyParaphrase: Hamlet says that his mother, shortly after his father’s funeral where all she did was cry, married his uncle – an animal would have mourned longer.
“Then weigh what loss your honor may sustain,If with too credent ear you list his songsOr lose your heart, or your chaste treasure openTo his unmastered importunity (Act I)Speaker: LaertesListener: OpheliaSituation: Laertes urges Ophelia to stay pure.Paraphrase: Laertes asks Ophelia to consider the shame she would feel if she had sex with Hamlet.Speaker’s Attitude: Cautious/Concerned
“I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,Have you so slander any moment leisureAs to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.Look to’t, I charge you. Come your ways” (Act I)Speaker: Lord PoloniusListener: OpheliaSituation: Polonius warns Ophelia about Hamlet.Paraphrase: Polonius tells Ophelia to do as he says and not to waste time speaking with Hamlet.Speaker’s Attitude: Parental/Controlling
“This heavy-headed revel east and west Makes us traduced and taxed of other nations.They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phraseSoil our addition; and indeed it takesFrom our achievements . . . (Act I)Speaker: HamletListener: HoratioSituation: The men (Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus) await the ghost.Paraphrase: Other countries make fun of Denmark, thinking of them as loud, drunk partiers to degrade them of their nobleness.Revelation about Claudius’ character? He’s giving Denmark a bad reputation.
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (Act I)Speaker: MarcellusListener: HoratioSituation: Hamlet followed the ghost to speak privately.Paraphrase: Denmark is full of moral and political corruption – referring to King Claudius’ behavior.Major Literary Device: Irony and ForeshadowingElement of Tragedy: Comic Relief?
Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts -O wicked wit and gifts, that have the powerSo to seduce!—won to his shameful lust The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen” (Act I)Speaker: GhostListener: HamletSituation: Hamlet speaks with the ghost of his father.Paraphrase: King Claudius seduced the innocent Queen with his words and fancy gifts.Element of Tragedy: Motif
“But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contriveAgainst thy mother aught. Leave her to heavenAnd to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,To prick and sting her” (Act I)Speaker: GhostListener: HamletSituation: Ghost is giving instructions to Hamlet.Paraphrase: Get revenge on Claudius however you please, but leave your mother alone.Major Literary Device: Foreshadowing
“How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself–As I perchance hereafter shall think meetTo put an antic disposition on . . .” (Act I)Speaker: HamletListener: HoratioSituation: Hamlet warns Horatio about his future behavior.Paraphrase: Hamlet warns Horatio that he (Hamlet) might act crazy in the near future, but he has good reason.
“The time is out of joint. O cursed spite,That ever I was born to set it right!” (Act I)Speaker: HamletListener: Horatio and MarcellusSituation: Horatio and Marcellus are sworn to secrecy.Paraphrase: There is a lot wrong at the current time, but I am supposed/going to fix everything.Speaker’s Attitude: ConfidentElement of Tragedy: Couplet.
“Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth: And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,With windlasses and with assays of bias.By indirections find directions out . . .” (Act II)Speaker: PoloniusListener: ReynaldoSituation: Polonius asks Reynaldo to spy on his son.Paraphrase: Your lie brings out the truth, we’re doing this wisely and practically; find out what he’s up to but do it subtly.Major Literary Device: JuxtapositionSpeaker’s Attitude: Mischievous
“If it will please you To show us so much gentry and good willAs to expend your time with us awhile,For the supply and profit of our hope.Your visitation shall receive such thanks,As fits a king’s remembrance” (Act II)Speaker: GertrudeListener: Guildenstern/RosencrantzSituation: The queen brought Hamlet’s friends to visit him.Paraphrase: If you spend time with us and help us, you will be greatly rewarded.
“Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes.I will be brief. Your noble son is mad.Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,What is’t but to be nothing else but mad? But let that go” (Act II)Speaker: PoloniusListener: Gertrude and ClaudiusSituation: Polonius tells the King and Queen that Hamlet is crazy.Paraphrase: Since being wise means being brief, I will get to the point. Your son is crazy. What is crazy except to be crazy? But nevermind that.Why is this a good example of irony? He’s saying he will be brief but he drags on instead.
“At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him.Be you and I behind an arras then.Mark the encounter: if he love her notAnd be not from his reason fall’n thereon,Let me be no assistant for a state,But keep a farm and carters” (Act II)Speaker: PoloniusListener: ClaudiusSituation: Gertrude, Polonius, and Claudius set up a trap for Hamlet.Paraphrase: I’ll send my daughter to see him. You (Claudius) and I will hide behind the curtains, if Hamlet isnt’ crazy then you can fire me.Speaker’s Attitude: Confident
“. . .what have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?””Prison, my lord?””Denmark’s a prison.””Then is the world one.””A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst” (Act II)Speaker: Hamlet/Guildenstern/RosencrantzListener: Hamlet/Guildenstern/RosencrantzSituation: Hamlet talking to Guildenstern and RosencrantzParaphrase: Hamlet asks them what crimes they’ve committed to be sent to Denmark because it’s a prison. Rosencrantz says that the world is a prison, Hamlet agrees. He says that Denmark is the worst of the cells and dungeons.Major Literary Device: Metaphor and Personification
“What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason, How infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?” (Act II)Speaker: HamletListener: RosencrantzSituation: Hamlet realized that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were spying.Paraphrase: How amazing are humans? The ability to reason and think, their shape and movement – how godlike! We are more beautiful than animals but, to me, what are we except dust?Major Dramatic Device: Monologue
“But my uncle-father and aunt–mother are deceived. . . .I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw” (Act II)Speaker: HamletListener: Rosencrantz/GuildensternSituation: Hamlet speaks with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern about actors.Paraphrase: The King and Queen are deceived. I am only crazy when I want to be. But I am not mad. Speaker’s Attitude: Confident.
“You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which I would set down and insert in’t, could you not?” (Act II)Speaker: HamletListener: First PlayerSituation: Hamlet is watching the players rehearse.Paraphrase: We’ll see that tomorrow night. If I write a speech of 12-16 lines, could you have it memorized by tomorrow night?
“For it cannot beBut I am pigeon-livered and lack gallTo make oppression bitter, or ere thisI should have fatted all the region kitesWith this slave’s offal. Bloody, bawdy villain!” (Act II)Speaker: HamletListener: AudienceSituation: Hamlet’s SoliloquyParaphrase: If someone insulted me I would take it because I am weak and I lack confidence; if I weren’t so weak I would’ve killed the King long ago.Major Dramatic Device: SoliloquySpeaker’s Attitude: Bitter
“This is most brave,That I, the son of a dear father murdered,Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,Must, like a *****, unpack my heart with words,And fall-a-cursing, like a very drab, a scullion!” (Act II)Speaker: HamletListener: AudienceSituation: Hamlet’s SoliloquyParaphrase: My father is dead/has been murdered and I am to seek out his revenge but all I can do is shout words and curse.Major Literary Device: SimileMajor Dramatic Device: Soliloquy
“I’ll have these playersPlay something like the murder of my fatherBefore mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks;I’ll tent him to the quick. If he but blench,I know my course.” (Act II)Speaker: HamletListener: AudienceSituation: Hamlet’s SoliloquyParaphrase: I’ll have the actors play the murder of my father on stage while Claudius watches. If he reacts, I’ll know he truly killed my father. Major Literary Device: Foreshadowing
“–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” (Act III)Speaker: PoloniusListener: OpheliaSituation: They’re waiting for Hamlet.Paraphrase: It’s true that when you act like you’re devoted to God you can be masking past actions.Major Literary Device: AllusionWhat theme does this quotation support? Looks can be deceiving.
“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?” (Act III)Speaker: HamletListener: AudienceSituation: Hamlet’s SoliloquyParaphrase: Claudius and Polonius are spying.Major Literary Device: Is it better to be alive or dead? Is it better to suffer through hardships or to fight against them?Major Dramatic Device: Soliloquy
“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 now of?” (Act III)Speaker: HamletListener: AudienceSituation: Hamlet is speaking to himself.Paraphrase: Who would rather struggle through life, unless you fear the afterlife, the place where no one returns and makes us fight for life?Major Literary Device: Metaphor
“That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty . . . for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into its likeness.This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof” (Act III)Speaker: HamletListener: OpheliaSituation: Hamlet talking about his attraction to Ophelia.Paraphrase: Your truthfulness is far more important to me than your beauty.Why is this monologue in prose rather than iambic pentameter? To hint at his mental state.
“I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God has given you one face, and your make yourselves another” (Act III)Speaker: HamletListener: OpheliaSituation: Polonius is listening to Hamlet and OpheliaParaphrase: I’ve heard about your makeup too, you cover up the face that God gave you to look like another.Speaker’s Attitude: Angry
“Horatio, thou art e’en as just a manAs e’er my conversation coped withal.””O, my dear lord–” “Nay, do not think I flatter,For what advancement may I hope from theeThat no revenue has but thy good spirits,To feed and clothe thee? . . .No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,And crook the pregnant hinges of the kneeWhere thrift may follow fawning” (Act III)Speaker: Hamlet and HoratioListener: Hamlet and HoratioSituation: Getting ready for the play.Paraphrase: Hamlet tells Horatio that he’s the best man he’s ever known, but he’s not flattering him.Major Literary Device: ?Speaker’s Attitude: Honest
“O heavens! Die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there’s hope a great man’s memory may outlive his life half a year” (Act III)Speaker: Hamlet Listener: OpheliaSituation: Talking about Gertrude.Paraphrase: Goodness, he’s died two months ago and he hasn’t been forgotten yet? Then there’s reason that his memory may live six months. (Poking at the fact that she moved on quickly)Why do you think this passage is written in prose, not iambic pentameter? For comic relief?Speaker’s Attitude: Sarcastic/Angry
“You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot you make it speak. ‘Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played upon than a pipe?” (Act III)Speaker: HamletListener: GuildensternSituation: The play is about to start.Paraphrase: You would use me, you know how to get me to talk yet you don’t. You may attempt to use me but don’t take me for a fool.Major Literary Device: MetaphorWhy do you think this passage is written in prose instead of iambic pentameter? To emphasize Hamlet’s anger/insulted attitude.
“Let me be cruel, not unnatural.I will speak daggers to her, but use none.My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites;How in my words soever she be shent,To give them seals never, my soul, consent” (Act III)Speaker: HamletListener: AudienceSituation: Hamlet’s SoliloquyParaphrase: Let me be fierce, but not inhumane. I will be sharp but not harm her physically. I will use my words to get to the Queen.Major Literary Device: Simile
“O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven;It hath the primal eldest curse upon ‘t,A brother’s murder. Pray can I not though inclination be as sharp as will” (Act III)Speaker: King ClaudiusListener: AudienceSituation: King’s SoliloquyParaphrase: My crime is offensive, heaven frowns upon me. I killed my brother and I cannot pray about it, but I desperately wish to.
“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.Words without thoughts never to heaven go” (Act III)Speaker: ClaudiusListener: AudienceSituation: King’s SoliloquyParaphrase: I pray to the heavens but my thoughts remain here on earth, meaningless prayers don’t get answered.
“Now, mother, what’s the matter?””Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.””Mother, you have my father much offended” (Act III)Speaker: Hamlet/GertrudeListener: Hamlet/GertrudeSituation: Hamlet goes to speak with his mother.Paraphrase: Both think that the other is insulting the late King’s memory. Hamlet by acting like a mad man and being overcome with grief and Gertrude by marrying Claudius too quickly.Speaker One’s Attitude: AngrySpeaker Two’s Attitude: Concerned.
“Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge.You go not till I set you up a glassWhere you may see the inmost part of you” (Act III)Speaker: HamletListener: Gertrude Situation: Hamlet confronts his mother.Paraphrase: Sit down and don’t move until I put a mirror in front of you so you can see your true self.Major Literary Device: Inversion
“Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune.Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger” (Act III)Speaker: HamletListener: PoloniusSituation: Hamlet just killed Polonius.Paraphrase: This is what you get for spying. I thought you were someone else but that’s what you get.Speaker’s Attitude: Disconcerned.
“But go not to mine uncle’s bed;Assume a virtue, if you have it not.That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat,Of habits devil, is angel yet in this,That to the use of actions fair and good”He likewise gives a frock or livery,That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night,And that shall lend a kind of easinessTo the next abstinence. . . “ (Act III)Speaker: HamletListener: GertrudeSituation: Hamlet telling her to refrain from evil.Paraphrase: I warn you not to sleep in the King’s bed tonight if you can help yourself. Refraining becomes a habit, if you say no now it will be easier next time
“O heavy deed!It had been so with us, had we been there.His liberty is full of threats to all–To you yourself, to us, to everyone.Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered?” (Act IV)Speaker: ClaudiusListener: GertrudeSituation: Gertrude has told Claudius that Hamlet killed Polonius.Paraphrase: This is terrible! That would’ve been me, he’s a danger to everyone of us. How should we deal with him?Speaker’s Attitude: Frightened
“Take you me for a sponge, my lord?” “Ay, sir, that soaks up the king’s countenance, his rewards, his authorities, But such officers do the king best service in the end: he keeps them, like an ape and apple, in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to be last swallowed: when he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and sponge, you shall be dry again” (Act IV)Speaker: Rosenceantz/HamletListener: Rosencrantz/HamletSituation: Hamlet knows they’re spies.Paraphrase: You just want the King’s approval and rewards. He just uses you when he needs you.Major Literary Device: MetaphorSpeaker’s Attitude: Angry
“Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of politic worms are e’en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service, two dishes, but to one table–that’s the end” (Act IV)Speaker: HamletListener: ClaudiusSituation: Talking about deceased Polonius.Paraphrase: He is in the ground being eaten by worms. We fatten up by eating so the worms may fatten up by eating us. Who could be seen as the “Politic worm” in this scene? Royalty (The King)Why do you think this passage is written in prose, not iambic pentameter? To emphasize comic relief?Speaker’s Attitude: Sarcastic
“How all occasions do inform against me,And spur my dull revenge! What is a man, If his chief good and market of his timeBe but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more” (Act IV)Speaker: HamletListener: AudienceSituation: Hamlet’s SoliloquyParaphrase: Everything proves me wrong and tells me to hasten my revenge. What is a man who just eats and sleeps? Just a beast.
“Rightly to be greatIs not to stir without great argument,But greatly to find quarrel in a straw,When honor’s at the stake. How stand I then,That have a father killed, a mother stained,Excitements of my reason and my blood,And let all sleep?” (Act IV)Speaker: HamletListener: AudienceSituation: Hamlet’s Soliloquy Paraphrase: A good man fights for honor. So where does that leave me? My father has been murdered and my mother degraded. Should I ignore it all and leave it to rest?Speaker’s Attitude: Confused
“Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s day,All in the morning betime,And I a maid at your window,To be your Valentine.Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,And dupp’d the chamber-door;Let in the maid, that out a maidNever departed more (Act IV)Speaker: OpheliaListener: ClaudiusSituation: Ophelia sings to Claudius (She’s cray cray)Paraphrase: She sings of a couple who fell in love (referring to she and Hamlet).Speaker’s Attitude: Thoughtful
“Quoth she, before you tumbled me,You promised me to wed.So would I ha’ done, by yonder sun,An thou hadst not come to my bed” (Act IV)Speaker: Ophelia Listener: ClaudiusSituation: She continues singing.Paraphrase: She sings about a boy who promised to marry her if she went to bed with him but then betrayed her (shows her true feelings?)Speaker’s Attitude: Hurt
“His means of death, his obscure funeral–No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o’er his bones,No noble rite nor formal ostentation–Cry to be heard, as ’twere from heaven to earth,That I must call’t in question” (Act IV)Speaker: LaertesListener: ClaudiusSituation: Speaking of Polonius’ death.Paraphrase: The way he died, with his secret funeral should be questioned. It was not enough.
“What would you undertake,To show yourself your father’s son in deedMore than in words?” (Act IV)Speaker: ClaudiusListener: LaertesSituation: King manipulating Laertes.Paraphrase: What would you to prove that you are your father’s son?Speaker’s Attitude: Mischievous.
“And, for that purpose, I’ll anoint my sword.I bought an unction of a mountebank,So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,Collected from all simples that have virtueUnder the moon, can save the thing from death” (Act IV)Speaker: LaertesListener: ClaudiusSituation: They’re planning to kill Hamlet.Paraphrase: I’ll poison my sword so that even if I only graze him he is sure to die.Speaker’s Attitude: Mischievous
“Her clothes spread wide,And mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up,Which time she changed snatches of old tunes,As one incapable of her own distress,Or like a creature native and induedUnto that element. But long it could not beTill that her garments, heavy with their drink,Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious layTo muddy death” (Act IV)Speaker: GertrudeListener: LaertesSituation: She tells him that Ophelia died.Paraphrase: She (Ophelia) fell into the brook as if she was unaware of the danger/didn’t care. She just sunk into the bottom.Speaker’s Attitude: Frightened/Solumn
“Is she to be buried in Christian burial that willfully seeks her own salvation?”I tell thee she is; and therefore make here grave straight. The crowner hath sat on her, and finds it Christian burial.””How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defense?” (Act V)Speaker: Gravedigger/OtherListener: Gravedigger/OtherSituation: Ophelia has died and they’re making the graveParaphrase: They ask if they’re really going to give her a Christian burial after she killed herself. It’s not proper but they’re going to do it anyway.Why is this written in prose instead of iambic pentameter? They are lower class characters.
“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and how, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols, your songs, your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar?. . . Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come; make her laugh at that” (Act V)Speaker: HamletListener: HoratioSituation: Walking through the graveyard.Paraphrase: I used to know him! Where are you now? Speaker’s Attitude: Crazed?
“There’s a divinity that shapes our ends,Rough-hew them how we will–“ (Act V)Speaker: HamletListener: HoratioSituation: They’re walking through the castle.Paraphrase: God is guiding our path – however often we may screw up.Speaker’s Attitude: Hopeful
“There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all” (Act V)Speaker: HamletListener: HoratioSituation: Hamlet and Horatio talking about the duel.Paraphrase: God controls everything, it will work out how it’s supposed to.Speaker’s Attitude: Confident/ At peace.
“I am more an antique Roman than a Dane.Here’s yet some liquor left” (Act V)Speaker: HoratioListener: HamletSituation: Gertrude, Claudius, and Laertes have just died.Paraphrase: I am more old fashioned than modern, there’s more drink left.Speaker’s Attitude: Thoughtful
“O, I die, Horatio!The potent poison quite o’er-crows my spirit.I cannot live to hear the news from England,But I do prophesy the election lightsOn Fortinbras. He has my dying voice” (Act V)Speaker: HamletListener: HoratioSituation: Fortinbras is returning.Paraphrase: I’m dying, Horatio! The poison is strong, I won’t live to see what happens but I bet Fortinbras will rule.
“Let four captainsBear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;For he was likely, had he been put on,To have proved most royal: and, for his passage,The soldiers’ music and the rites of warSpeak loudly for him”Take up the bodies. Such a sight as thisBecomes the field, but here shows much amiss” (Act V)Speaker: FortinbrasListener: HoratioSituation: Hamlet has just died and Fortinbras has come to rule.Paraphrase: Have the captains carry Hamlet like a soldier, he would’ve been a great King. Pick up these bodies, it’s for a battlefield.
“The spirit that I have seenMay be the devil, and the devil hath powerTo assume a pleasing shape . . . .I’ll have groundsMore relative than this. The play’s the thingWherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (Act II)Speaker: HamletListener: AudienceSituation: Hamlet’s SoliloquyParaphrase: I may have seen the devil, and he may be playing tricks on me, but the play will reveal the truth. Major Literary Device: Foreshadowing
“O, such a deedAs from the body of contraction plucksThe very soul, and sweet religion makesA rhapsody of words.” (Act III)Speaker: HamletListener: Gertrude Situation: Accusing her of cheating.Paraphrase: Oh such a sin you’ve committed, you’ve made a mockery of marriage and religion. Major Literary Device: MotifTo what contract does the speaker refer? Marriage