Meaning of Hamlet Quotes

O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt This quote occurs when Hamlet is speaking to the King and Queen about his father’s death and not returning to Wittenberg. It is Hamlet’s first apparent suicide thought.
Frailty, thy name is woman! This quote is about Hamlet’s mother. It occurs during the same conversation as the first quote. Hamlet is implying that she’s weak because he’s upset about her marrying Claudius to quickly.
This above all: to thine own self be true. This occurs during Polonius’s advice secession before Laertes leaves for France. It’s just telling Laertes to never lie to himself.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark Marcellus says this when talking to the other guards (regarding the ghost) this is just implying something is wrong in Denmark. Notes say it demonstrates patterns of imagery and foreshadows to trouble to come.
A countenance more in sorrow than in anger Horatio explaining the ghost to Hamlet. This is just saying he looks sad.
Leave her to heaven This occurs when the ghost (King Hamlet) visits prince Hamlet. This is just a demand for Hamlet not to seek revenge on his mother.
One may smile and smile and be a villain What Hamlet says when he speaks with king hamlet about his murder. This is about his mother/Claudius and covers the theme of appearance vs reality
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy This occurs during the ghost conversation because Hamlet believes only he understands the ghost’s message and Horatio doesn’t understand the 1/2 of it.
The time is out of joint Hamlet
Brevity is the soul of wit Polonius says this when he proposes his hypothesis about hamlet being “mad” because he loves Ophelia. It is basically saying to be brief is to be intelligent.*
Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t Polonius said during a conversation between Polonius and Hamlet. Saying his ideas seem strange but he has a plan.
There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so Hamlet said during a conversation with rosencrantz and guildenstern. Saying situations depend on how you look at things. It’s all about perspective
I am but mad north-north-west. . . I know a hawk from a handsaw Hamlet explaining to his friends and Polonius that he is not crazy. He knows what he’s doing and what’s going on.
The devil hath power T’assume a pleasing shape This quote occurs during Hamlet’s soliloquy. Questioning whether the ghost that visited him was truly his father or the devil in disguise
The play’s the thing This means that Hamlet believes that Hamlet believes the skit The Murder of Gonzago will reveal the guilt on Claudius for the murder of King Hamlet
To be or not to be- that is the question This quote ties in to the suicide theme. Just means that Hamlet is questioning to live or to die.
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio Occurs during the conversation between Hamlet and the gravedigger upon the gravedigger picking up the skull. Ironic because Hamlet is taking this death in such a light manner.
There’s such a divinity doth hedge a king Claudius saying God looks after kings. Conversation between him and Laertes.
Sweets to the sweet Gertrude says this when scattering flowers on Ophelia’s grave.
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends Occurs during a conversation between Hamlet and Horatio after Hamlet finds out about Ophelia’s death and fights with Laertes. It just means that God chooses what happens in this world.
There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow Hamlet says this to Horatio during the fencing. Means what’s meant to happen will happen in due time. This is a biblical allusion to Matthew 10.29-31