Hamlet Quotes Act 2 & 3

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.” speaker: Poloniussituation: when he speaks with Hamlet in the hallnotes: there seems to be a method to what he is saying
Hamlet: “Denmark’s a prison.” Rosencrantz: “Then is the world one.”Hamlet: “A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o’ th’ worst.Rosencrantz: “We think not so, my lord.”Hamlet: “Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.”Rosencrantz: “Why then, your ambition makes it one. ‘Tis too narrow for your mind.”Hamlet: “O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.” speaker:Hamletsituation: when R and G first arrive to find out what’s wrong with Hamletnotes: Denmark is a prison, the world is a big prison with many parts, but Denmark is the worst part of the prison. Then it’s not a prison to you, but there is no true or falsehood. You can rationalize anything to make it true. To me it is a prison. I could be sealed in a tiny space, and still be satisfied. I don’t need to be king of anything, what’s bothering are my bad dreams.*Hamlet is being ironic when he says “it’s not a prison for you” because he believes in objective morality. He believes there is a right and a wrong, and he doesn’t think you can just make something right by justifying it. (he’s being sarcastic.)
Hamlet: Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.God’s bodykins, man, much better. Use every man after his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in.Follow him, friends. We’ll hear a play tomorrow. (to FIRST PLAYER)— Dost thou hear me, old friend? Can you play The Murder of Gonzago?We’ll ha ‘t tomorrow night. 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?Very well. Follow that lord, and look you mock him not. speaker: Hamletsituation: after the players (actors) arrivenotes: Will you use the actors? Treat them well. They are the historians of the era. It will be better for you to have something negative written on your grave stone than for the actors to say bad things about you while you are alive. Good Lord, man, use people better than they deserve. If you treat everyone how they deserve, they will all be punished. Instead, treat them well because you are a good person. Not because they deserve it. ********these are famous lines bc these are the lines Shakespeare describe’s the importance of actors (the arts)-shakespeare refused to employ child actors (making fun of the arts who give parts to kids)
“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.” speaker: PoloniusSituation: Polonius and Claudius in the hall-(He is speaking to Claudius after handing Ophelia a prayer book so that she will be pretending to pray when Hamlet meets up with her)notes: We are often guilty of a false display of religious devotion. With the appearance of religious belief and action, we could even make the devil look good.
“How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!The harlot’s cheek, beautied with plastering art,Is not more ugly to the thing that helps itThan is my deed to my most painted word.O heavy burden!” Speaker: ClaudiusSituation: Claudius and Polonius in the hall- (An aside, brought on by Polonius’s observation which shows that Claudius feels guilty about his murder and his hypocrisy.)How correct this is, and how guilty this makes me feel. The face of a *****, covered with makeup, is not seen as more horrible than are my false words to my false deeds- Oh, what a troubled conscience I have!harlott’s cheek=Claudius’s deed of murder-make up doesn’t cover up her ugliness the same way he can’t cover up her murdermakeup=Claudius’s false (hypocritical) actions
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? To die, to sleep—No more—and by a sleep to say we endThe heartache and the thousand natural shocksThat flesh is heir to—’tis a consummationDevoutly to be wished! To die, to sleep.To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub,For in that sleep of death what dreams may comeWhen we have shuffled off this mortal coil,Must give us pause. Speaker: HamletSituation: Soliloquy before he meets Ophelia in the hallTo live or die, that is the issue. Is it better to endure living in a troubled world or attempt to deal with the troubles and either to die in the attempt or end the troubles. It would be great to end my existence and be without the pain but I may dream: that’s the problem because after death, we may suffer (have bad dreams), a possibility that could cause us to avoid killing ourselves.^^^^hamlet is saying there may be an after-life and that’s why we don’t kill ourselves (there’s the rub)
“Since my dear soul was mistress of her choiceAnd could of men distinguish, her electionHath sealed thee for herself, for thou hast been—As one in suffering all that suffers nothing—A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewardsHast ta’en with equal thanks. And blessed are thoseWhose blood and judgment are so well commingled,That they are not a pipe for Fortune’s fingerTo sound what stop she please. Give me that manThat is not passion’s slave, and I will wear himIn my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart,As I do thee” Speaker: HamletSituation: To Horatio before the playSince I have become an adult and could choose my friend, my deepest self has chosen you as my best friend because you are a stoic, someone who takes suffering and pleasure in the same way, and people like you who have balanced passion and reason are so lucky because they are not victims of events. (Notice the musical metaphor of being a flute that fortune can play) I prefer the person that is not enslaved to his feelings, and that person I will be close to as I am to you-
“Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! 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 on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.” Speaker: HamletSituation: To R. and G. after the playnotes: See how you treat me as something worthless. You try to manipulate me, you act like you know my inner workings and there is much music in this flute and you can’t play it. By the blood of Christ, do you believe I can be manipulated easier than a flute? Call me anything, though you can bother me, you can’t manipulate me.
“May one be pardoned and retain th’ offense?In the corrupted currents of this worldOffense’s gilded hand may shove by justice,And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itselfBuys out the law. But ’tis not so above.There is no shuffling. There the action liesIn his true nature, and we ourselves compelled,Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,To give in evidence.” Speaker: Claudius- soliloquySituation: After the PlayCan one be forgiven and keep their ill-gotten gains? In the evil earthly world, bribery can often relieve a sinner from judgment, but not in heaven. There is not trickery. There our sins are clearly seen, and the sinner must testify against himself.
“There’s letters sealed, and my two schoolfellows,Whom I will trust as I will adders fanged,They bear the mandate. They must sweep my wayAnd marshal me to knavery. Let it work,For ’tis the sport to have the engineerHoist with his own petard. And ‘t shall go hard,But I will delve one yard below their mines,And blow them at the moon. Oh, ’tis most sweetWhen in one line two crafts directly meet.” Speaker: HamletSituation: To his mother in her bedroomR. & G., whom I trust as I would poisonous snakes, have been given sealed letters. They will clear my path and lead me to trickery. Let that be, because it is great fun to have the bombmaker blown up by his own bomb. It will be difficult, but I will dig below their bombs and blow them up. It’s so great when two ships or two crafty plans are on a collision course.