Hamlet Quotes

“A little more than kin, a little less than kind.” Act: 1Scene: 2Speaker: HamletMeaning: “Too closely related to be good.”
“Frailty thy name is woman.” Act: 1Scene: 2Speaker: HamletMeaning: “Gertrude remarried so quickly, proving her weakness.”
“To thine own self be true.” Act: 1Scene: 3Speaker: Polonius to LaertesMeaning: “Through everything his son must stay true to himself.”
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Act: 1Scene: 4Speaker: MarselliusMeaning: “Denmark has horrid images – It’s a straight-forward quote.”
“Oh cursed spite / that ever I was born to make it right.” Act: 1Scene: 5Speaker: HamletMeaning: “I must kill Claudius to get revenge for my father and fix Denmark.”
“More matter with less art.” Act: 2Scene: 2Speaker: Gertrude to PoloniusMeaning: “More substance/action – Less rhetorics/talk.”
“Brevity is the soul of wit.” Act: 2Scene: 2Speaker: PoloniusMeaning: “Intelligence with communication should be kept short.”
“There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Act: 2Scene: 2Speaker: HamletMeaning: “Anything can be deemed good or bad by something.”
“To be or not to be that is the question.” Act: 3Scene: 1Speaker: HamletMeaning: “To exist or not to exist.”
“Madness in great ones must not go unwatched.” Act: 3Scene: 1Speaker: ClaudiusMeaning: “Hamlet has become too dangerous to not fear.”
“The lady doth protest too much, me thinks.” Act: 3Scene: 2Speaker: GertrudeMeaning: “When someone denies something so much it becomes suspicious.”
“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below / words without thoughts never go to heaven.” Act: 3Scene: 3Speaker: ClaudiusMeaning: “Claudius prays however knows he isn’t sorry – this is guilt.”
“How all occasions do inform against me and spur my dull revenge.” Act: 4Scene: 4Speaker: HamletMeaning: “All examples around Hamlet prove he is unable to get revenge.”
“So full of artless jealousy is guilt / it spill itself in fear of being spilt.” Act: 4Scene: 5Speaker: GertrudeMeaning: “The guilt remains ambiguous – Gertrude says this to pronounce no upsetment.” “Guilt spills itself.”
“Such a sight as this becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.” Act: 5Scene: 2Speaker: FortinbrasMeaning: “A sight like such is a battlefield, however it should have never become one.”