Hamlet Quotes

“Frailty thy name is woman” Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2; Women are weak. Hamlet says that because Gertrude married Claudius within a month of his father’s death.
“The funeral baked meatsdid coldly furnish forth the marriage tables” Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2; Gertrude and Claudius’s swift marriage after death of Hamlet’s father; used funeral food leftovers for the wedding.
“To thine self be true” Polonius Act 1 Scene 3; Be true to yourself
“I do not know my lord what I should think” Ophelia Act 1 Scene 3; Shows that Ophelia is submissive to her father and she does not know what to believe
“And to the manner born, it is a customMore honored in the breach than the observance” Hamlet Act 1 Scene 4; Hamlet does not like the tradition in Denmark to drink that Claudius is following he would rather ignore that tradition.
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” Marcellus Act 1 Scene 4; Once Hamlet leaves with the ghost he believes that something is wrong.
“There are more things in Heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt in your philosophy” Hamlet Act 1 Scene 5; There are more unbelievable things in the world than he can even imagine.
“Brevity is the soul of wit” Polonius Act 2 Scene 2; It is meant to be ironic because Polonius never stops talking and this is saying that being brief and concise is the best.
“What a piece of work is man” Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2; Hamlet tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that man is the perfect creature yet he is not interested in man or woman.
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so” Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2; Things aren’t necessarily bad, but if you believe they are, then they will be.
“I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a hand-saw” Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2; Meaning I’m only mad sometimes and the rest of the time, I know exactly what is going on
“The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2; Having actors act out his father’s murder for Claudius will prove whether or not he is guilty.
“Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go” Claudius Act 3 Scene 1; important people that are insane have to be watched. Hamlet is a threat to Claudius
“Give me that man that is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him in my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart, as I do thee.” Hamlet Act 3 Scene 2; Show me the person who’s master of his emotions, and I’ll put him close to my heart—in my heart of hearts—as I do you
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks” Gertrude Act 3 Scene 2; Gertrude believes the plater queen is overdoing her vows which leads the reader to believe that she maybe did not say those wedding vows to Old Hamlet.
“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: words without thoughts never to Heaven go” Claudius Act 3 Scene 3; His words will be heard by God, but his evil thoughts and hatred will not go to Heaven.
“So full of artless jealousy is guilt It spills itself in fearing to be split” Gertrude Act 4, Scene 5; Responsible for Ophelia because of making Hamlet mad which led to him murdering Polonius. we often show our guilt by trying to hide it
“My lord we know what we are but know not what we may be” Ophelia Act 4 Scene 5; She says that we know what we are now but not what will become of us.
“When sorrows come they come not in single spies but in battalions” Claudius Act 4 Scene 5; He says that when bad things happen they do not come one at a time they come all at once.
“That we would do we should do when we would” Claudius Act 4 Scene 7; People should do what they intend right when they intend it. Ironic because Hamlet keeps changing his mind and if Hamlet took Claudius’ advice, he would have been dead.
“To cut his throat i’ the church” Laertes Act 4 Scene 7 This is what he would do to Hamlet in order to avenge Polonius’ death. (Hamlet was shocked earlier that Claudius was praying.) It really shows how unafraid Laertes is of hell.
“As one incapable of her own distress” Gertrude Act 4 Scene 7; As Gertrude describes Ophelia’s death she says that Ophelia sang like she did not know of the danger she was in.
“Sweets to the sweet” Gertrude Act 5 Scene 1; Gertrude puts sweet flowers by Ophelia’s dead body; sweet people deserve sweet things.
“There’s a divinity that shapes our ends” Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2; He believes that no matter how much we try God decides what happens to us in the end.
“Popped in between th’ election and my hopes” Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2; This is the first time Hamlet mentions that Claudius stole the throne from him”
“We defy augury” Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2; Hamlet does not believe in superstitions that do not come from God.
“There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow” Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2; Reference to Matthew 10:29; Hamlet is basically saying that God controls everything.
“I have shot mine arrow o’er the house” Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2; Hamlet is basically saying he did not kill Polonius on purpose.
“Goodnight, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest” Horatio Act 5 Scene 2; Horatio is sad Hamlet died so he hopes that Hamlet is in Heaven.