Hamlet Quotes

“Who’s there?” Bernardo to StrangerMeaning: Central question in the play and to the theme
“Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen” Claudius to the courtMeaning: He married his brother’s wife and she is queen
“Brevity is the soul of wit” Polonius to Claudius and GertrudeMeaning: Irony; Claudius rambles
“More matter with less art” Gertrude to PoloniusMeaning: Get to the point
“This above all to thine self be true” Polonius to LaertesMeaning: Behave, stay true to your morals/ beliefs
“A little more kin and a little less than kind” Hamlet to ClaudiusMeaning: Pun, closer relation due to the recent marriage but there is more hostility in their relationship
“I am too much in the sun” Hamlet to ClaudiusMeaning: Pun, son=sun
“But you must know your father lost a father; that father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound in filial obligation for some term” Claudius to HamletMeaning: Irony, Claudius killed his father
“Tis unmanly grief” Claudius to HamletMeaning: Get over it
“And I beseech you interesting to visit my too much changed” Gertrude to R&GMeaning: Please visit my son who has gone insane, spy on Hamlet
“Your noble son is mad” Polonius to GertrudeMeaning: Polonius thinks this is brought on by Hamlet’s obsession with Ophelia
“I have a daughter… have while she is mine…when in her duty and obedience” Polonius to GertrudeMeaning: Ophelia has shown them the letters
“Dear Ophelia I am ill at these numbers” Hamlet to OpheliaMeaning: Passion in response to the letters
“And then I prescripts gave her, that she should lock herself from his resort take no messages receive no tokens” Polonius to OpheliaMeaning: Polonius tells Ophelia to avoid Hamlet and his letters
“Be you and I behind the arras then” Claudius to PoloniusMeaning: Polonius is to spy on Hamlet for Claudius
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” Hamlet to PoloniusMeaning: Insult; there is meaning to Hamlet’s madness but no meaning to Polonius’ words
“I am but mad north-northwest. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” Hamlet to R&GMeaning: I know you’re being disloyal and tells them he is only mad when he wants to be knowing they will tell this to Claudius
“Me think the lady doth protest too much” Gertrude to Claudius (?)Meaning: Too much promising
“I will speak daggers to her, but use none” Hamlet to himselfMeaning: I will hurt her with words, make Gertrude feel guilty
“As kill a king and marry his brother?” Hamlet to GertrudeMeaning: Response to Gertrude questioning him about Polonius’ death
“As kill a king?” Gertrude to HamletMeaning: Do you know who killed the king?
“Oh Hamlet, speak no more! Then turn my eyes into my very soul, and there I see such black and grained spots as will not leave their tinct” Gertrude to HamletMeaning: Gertrude realizes that her marriage to Claudius is wrong and Hamlet was right, black symbolizes impurity of her soul
“My wit’s diseased” Hamlet to R&GMeaning: Hamlet admits he’s gone crazy