Shakespeare Quotes- Hamlet

Valiant Hamlet Horatio about King Hamlet Act 1 scene 1- shows the audience how brave Old Hamlet was- what a good king he was- Hamlet has a lot to live up to, contrast to Claudius
For this relief much thanks. ‘Tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart Francisco to Horatio and Barnardo Act 1 Scene 1- idea of fear and worry- something bad is going on here
the sheeted dead Horatio about Caesar’s death Act 1 scene 1- prepares the audience for a play revolving around death- disasters will follow after the ghost
the morn, in russet mantle clad Horatio about the sun rise Act 1 scene 1- beautiful metaphor and imagery- inspires hope- the day and light are good- leaves the supernatural and spooky behind
our dear brother’s death the memory be green Claudius to the court about his brother’s death Act 1 scene 2- irony of dear as he killed the king- liar and opposite of Old Hamlet, ‘green’ reminds the audience how recent the death is- Hamlet’s reaction normal, court business will continue as normal- insincere, audience dislike him quickly
A little more than kin, and less than kind Hamlet aside about Claudius Act 1 scene 2- puns show the creepy relationship that the marriage has resulted in- dislikes how closely related he is to Claudius- show that he never liked Claudius- witty and cleaver- likeable hero
Good Hamlet cast thy nighted colour off Gertrude to Hamlet about his father’s death Act 1 scene 2- Kind, gentle tone shows her kindness towards Hamlet- motherly, cares for him, trying to be practical- reasons for remarrying= secures the kingdom
Tis not alone my inky cloak Hamlet to Gertrude about his grief Act 1 scene 2- Shows how miserable he is- death has greatly affected him, grief is embedded into his very beginning/soul
Tis unmanly grief, it shows a will most incorrect to heaven Claudius to Hamlet about his grief Act 1 scene 2- briefing is excessive- he has just lost his father- shows how insensitive Claudius is and evil as he caused this grief, suggests that Hamlet is being effeminate- insulting and degrading in this era, religious undertones- ironic ‘an eye for an eye’
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt Hamlet first soliloquy Act 1 scene 2- shows that he wants to dissolve/disappear- very passive reflects Hamlet’s inability to act- suicide against god and therefore a sin- moral dilemma
Hyperion to a satyr Hamlet first soliloquy Act 1 scene 2- compares both Old Hamlet and Claudius to classical figures- educated, one is a sun god- power, light, the other is a lecherous man/goat creature- what he thinks of Claudius
frailty, thy name is woman Hamlet first soliloquy Act 1 scene 2- believes that frail nature is directly linked to women- first evidence for misogynist tendencies- based on his mother’s weak marriage- projects his opinion of Gertrude onto all women- believes Gertrude is weak, ecceastialical view of women
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue Hamlet first soliloquy Act 1 scene 2- shows that he is trying to contain his disapproval of the marriage- fears what Claudius will do, sympathy for Hamlet- genuine grief
The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables Hamlet to Horatio about how close his father’s funeral and mother’s marriage were Act 1 scene 2- grotesque image- gluttony= 1 of the seven sins, waste not want not attitude= thrifty- Claudius’ attitude, cold reflects Claudius nature
All is not well. I doubt some foul play Hamlet to himself about father’s ghost Act 1 scene 2- believes that this shows death was suspicious- foreshadows him discovering that Claudius killed Old Hamlet, shows that revenge and greed are from depths of Hell- ironic that Hamlet seeks revenge= has to die- tragic pattern
A violet in the youth of prime nature, forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting Laertes to Ophelia about Hamlet’s affections Act 1 scene 3- describes Hamlet as being in the youth of his life- like springtime- therefore is fickle, immature and doesn’t last long, suggests his emotions are a passing fancy, use of doubling= emphasis, maidenhood was a women’s best currency
Show me the steep and thorny path way to heaven, whiles like a puffed and reckless libertine himself the primrose path of dalliance walk Ophelia to Laertes about his advice Act 1 scene 3- shows the closeness between Laertes and Ophelia, contrasting images frequently used to distinguish a life of virtue to life of vice- ‘the choice of Hercules’, warns her brother of hypocrisy- moment where Ophelia is in control/agency
to thine own self be true Polonius to Laertes on how to behave aboard Act 1 scene 3- ironic given that Polonius forces Ophelia into a situation where she can’t be herself- madness, irony are any of the characters true to themselves? something that Hamlet is grappling with
Do not believe his vows Polonius to Ophelia about Hamlet’s affections Act 1 scene 3- echoes what Laertes says= control over her- view of women/ men were deceivers ever- Much ado about nothing, Branagh version
The king doth wake tonight and take his rouses, keeps wassail, and the swaggering up-spring reels Hamlet to Horatio and Marcellus about Claudius nighttime parties Act 1 scene 4- shows that Claudius doest respect the need to grief the king- shows that Hamlet is an outsider as he doesn’t participate in these activities, Branagh version
Something rotten in the State of Denmark Marcellus about the ghost’s appearance Act 1 scene 4- shows the corruption of the Danish court- Claudius is the root of this- snake, polluting, disease
Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder The Ghost to Hamlet about his murder Act 1 scene 5- request that spurs the central plot= pivotal in Hamlet’s character- sets the action into motion- tragic pattern
that incestuous, that adulterate beast Ghost to Hamlet about Claudius Act 1 scene 5- very strong language- 2nd reference to Claudius committing incest- sin- against Leviticus- Henry VIII, animal imagery- beastial- reduces him
I have been so affrighted Ophelia to Polonius about Hamlet’s affections Act 2 scene 1- shows how frightened she is- diligent daughter tells her father these things
This is the very ecstasy of love Polonius to Ophelia about Hamlet’s advances Act 2 scene 1- shows that he believes Hamlet is made in love his daughter- arrogance, uncontrollable madness is bad- ironic his daughter descends into madness due to love for Hamlet/ love for her father
I did repel his letters Ophelia to Polonius about Hamlet’s advances Act 2 scene 1- shows that she has obeyed her father- classic, traditional daughter= how women should be viewed
My too much changed son Gertrude to Rosencrantz and Guildenstein about Hamlet’s behaviour At 2 scene 2- shows that she knows her son- recognises when he is behaving strangely- is it real or fake madness? shows maternal instinct wants to know what is bothering Hamlet
Your noble son is mad Polonius to Gertrude and Claudius about Hamlet’s behaviour Act 2 scene 2- despite building up to say this he is very blunt- ignores court protocol- Hamlet is the heir to the throne
More matter with less art Gertrude to Polonius about him getting to the point Act 2 scene 2- showing off her courtly manners- was probably born and raised for this position- experienced in this position but still sidelined= only gets 3.8% of the lines, court is flourishing despite Claudius behaviour- due to Gertrude?
But never doubt I love Hamlet in a love letter to Ophelia Act 2 scene 2- double meaning of love- could mean suspect or doubt, Hamlet is not skilled at poetry= not perfect renaissance gentleman= more touching to the audience as has flaws
Though this be madness, yet there is a method in’t Polonius to Hamlet Act 2 scene 2- shows that Polonius is beginning to work it all out- famous phrase
Denmark’s a prison Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildenstein Act 2 scene 2- shows how Hamlet feels trapped- walls do not make a prison not iron bars a cage= mentally trapped in his moral dilemma, cannot escape to Wittenburg, cannot trust anyone here- echoes the irony of Polonius statement to Laertes, isolated- has no confidant
Am I a coward…But I am pigeon-livered Hamlet’s soliloquy about how he thinks he is too cowardly to carry out revenge Act 2 scene 2- shows his self-reproach, hamartia= procrastination and inability to act- tragedy of character
Remorseless, treacherous lecherous, kindness villain Hamlet’s soliloquy about Claudius Act 2 scene 2- repetition of all the crimes Claudius has committed emphasises what a villain he is- sinks even lower in audience’s view
The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king Hamlet’s soliloquy about how he’ll work out if Claudius is guilty Act 2 scene 2- shows his courage and sudden ability to act as he devises a play- however still delays/ holds off actually killing Claudius, dramatic ending to the soliloquy- propels action forward- Hamlet has agency
To be, or not to be: that is the question: Hamlet’s soliloquy about contemplating suicide again Act 3 scene 1- pondering an idea that plagues Hamlet the whole way through the play= simple elegance and eloquence makes the question seem easy- shows complex system of layering- nobility, honour, religiosity, suicide issue, inaction prevaricates equivocate= depth of character, most famous shakespeare quote
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Hamlet’s soliloquy about committing suicide again Act 3 scene 1- shows honour code- renaissance hero= if he does not honour his father also breaking honour code, uses battle imagery- struggles of living- how Hamlet feels towards life, metaphor= increases intensity and drama
To die, to sleep- to sleep, perchance to dream. Hamlet’s soliloquy about the advantages of death Act 3 scene 1- links death to sleep= very appealing, syballans= whispering- lullaby, mellifluous quality, dreams or nightmares- this idea haunts him
The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns Hamlet’s soliloquy about death Act 3 scene 1- turns to the negative side of death- unknown= fear something the audience can/could relate to, very beautiful metaphor, traveller suggests voluntarily going= suicide, not the religious teaching towards death, travelling usually associated with riches and expansion- Britannia ruler of the waves
The fair Ophelia Hamlet’s end of the soliloquy about Ophelia Act 3 scene 1- shows her beauty and kind words towards her before his appalling treatment, changes the subject completely= leaves question and decision unanswered
I never gave you aught Hamlet to Ophelia about their relationship Act 3 scene 1- shows how their relationship has collapsed- something the audience could relate to – lovers denied
for to the noble mind rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind Ophelia to Hamlet about their relationship Act 3 scene 1- moving sentiments- shows that she genuinely loved Hamlet- exchanged sweet vows that now mean nothing
That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty Hamlet to Ophelia about beauty and honesty Act 3 scene 2- suggests that beauty and honesty are incompatible- deceiving as women can hide their lies behind their beauty- betrayed and disscontempt for women, life’s defilement is rejected- obsession with life’s evils vividly dramatised in projection f mother’s guilt onto Ophelia
I was the more deceived Ophelia to Hamlet about how she believed him Act 3 scene 1- echoes warning from her brother and father, women are innocent and the victims- men are inherently sinful- men are deceivers ever- human condition- goes against humanism
Get thee to a nunnery Hamlet to Ophelia Act 3 scene 1- cloistered or slang term for brothel- suppressed sexual desires- suggests she is sexually active women
God hath given you one face and you make yourselves another Hamlet to Ophelia Act 3 scene 1- misogynistic- suggests that all women are two faced- deceiving, treacherous- ecclesiastical true as she is spying for Polonius and Claudius
The Courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword; th’ expectancy and rose of that fair state Ophelia about Hamlet Act 3 scene 1- describes the hamlet before these horrible events; kind, sweet words show her love for him- the embodiment of the ideal prince that many humanist writers imagined fondly
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason like sweet bells jangle out of tune and harsh Ophelia about Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1- she is horrified by the change that has come over Hamlet and the gulf between the man he was and the man he now is- she is perturbed by his change and is at odds as she cannot love the man he has become- betrayed, spark for madness
Graham Bradshaw argues that Ophelia was Hamlet’s confident before these events and therefore sees her cutting him out of her life as he father ordered as a cause for this change and contrast in the two hamlets she mentions in her soliloquy Cornell Guide Graham Bradshaw, Ophelia and Hamlet
Do you think I meant country matters Hamlet to Ophelia Act 3 scene 2- While they are watching the play, Hamlet makes many crude and offensive jokes to Ophelia- shows he is thinking of sex
look you how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within two hours Hamlet to Ophelia Act 3 scene 2- shows how bitter he is towards the marriage, shows his sarcastic feelings towards his mother
The lady doth protest too much methinks Gertrude to Hamlet Act 3 scene 2- shows that Gertrude is feeling scrutinised but is unaware why she is being questioned, doesn’t know about Claudius or Hamlet’s plan
A poisons him i’th’garden for’s estate Hamlet to the court about the action in the play Act 3 scene 2- makes it clear that the nephew Lucianus has poisoned the king- trying to prick Claudius’ conscience- plan falling into place
Give me some light: away Claudius to the court after seeing the murder Act 3 scene 2- Claudius makes an excuse to leave the hall- shows his distressed and alarmed, a sign of guilt in Hamlet’s eyes- the plan has worked
My Lord, you once did love me. Rosencrantz to Hamlet Act 3 scene 2- pathos, tender moment- shows how much Hamlet has changed- can see how hamlet has cut himself of from all those he once loved- Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstein
Tis now the very witching time of night Hamlet soliloquy Act 3 scene 2- uses hellish language- shows his dark thoughts- dark and depressing- very hyperbolic, parallel to Lucianus’ speech in the play- shows a darker side of human nature- like an incantation- evil, dark
I will speak daggers to her but use none Hamlet soliloquy Act 3 scene 2- revels his next plan- to talk to his mother, shows what his feelings are towards his mother- will speak harshly, threateningly to try and get the truth
I like him not Claudius to Guildenstein Act 3 scene 3- Claudius exposes his true feelings towards Hamlet- makes him more despicable in the audience’s eyes as he has been lying the entire time- fake kindness
What if this curs├Ęd hand were thicker than itself with brother’s blood, is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens to wash it white as snow Claudius’ soliloquy Act 3 scene 3- this is a confession of his guilt- audience now truly know that ghost was telling the truth- admitting guilt- shows development of Claudius- complex characterisation- not just a stock villain, moments like this help develop relationship with the audience- given claudius’ character makes audience hate him more, hyperbolic images- link to Macbeth
Oh wretched state! Oh bosom black as death! Claudius soliloquy Act 3 scene 3- uses dark language- language of the confessor, speech is honest, open, unflinchingly confessional- a christian trembling before god- dual personality- can go from cold, chilling, calculating villain to vulnerable confessor- couple villain but still despicable in audience’s eyes
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below Claudius soliloquy after Hamlet has refrained from killing him Act 3 scene 3- telling the audience that he doesn’t intend dos confession to be known to anyone apart from God, shows that he is attempting to pray but is failing, ironic that the prayer won’t save him spiritually but saves him physically, makes him even lower in the audience’s opinion
Gertrude-Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offendedHamlet- Mother, you have my father much offended Gertrude to Hamlet Act 3 scene 4- shows that Gertrude doesn’t understand how Hamlet is feeling- wants everyone to play along at happy familiesHamlet’s reply Act 3 scene 4- uses word play to attack her on her hasty marriage- reminds audience that a hasty marriage is offensive to Old Hamlet- mourning duties
On, I am slain! Polonius from behind the arras Act 3 scene 4- 1st of many deaths on stage= shocking, sudden and unexpected- major pivotal plot moment- the point of no return in Hamlet’s character= his fate is sealed, wrongs must be righted as he has killed someone tragic pattern must be followed- pay the penalty, leads to Ophelia’s madness and Laertes’ return and therefore Hamlet’s death, death has propelled action forward= catastrophe leads to more disasters
A bloody deed. Almost as bad, good mother, as kill a king and marry with his brother Hamlet to Gertrude Act 3 scene 4- word play of bloody deed= suggests that what Gertrude and Claudius did is worse than killing Polonius- he is accusative- shows that he thinks Gertrude was involved in Old Hamlet’s death
O shame, where is thy blush Hamlet to Gertrude Act 3 scene 4- suggests that Gertrude isn’t embarrassed- therefore in on the murder, reinforces the idea that Gertrude is the opposite of a virtuous female
This is the very coinage of your brain Gertrude to Hamlet Act 3 scene 4- shows that sh thinks everything is in his mind- makes the audience doubt whether the ghost is real or just a figment of Hamlet’s imagination
I must be cruel only to be kind Hamlet to Gertrude Act 3 scene 4- shows a moment of tenderness between Gertrude and Hamlet- shows that despite his attack on women he still has fondness for his mother rand possibly Ophelia- shows that his cruel treatment of them is possibly just to protect them
I essentially am not in madness/ but mad in craft Hamlet to Gertrude Act 3 scene 4- revels to Gertrude that he is faking madness- shows that he has begun to trust mother again- shift in loyalty from Claudius to Hamlet- relationship being restored, echoes Polonius- ironic has just killed Polonius
Mad as the sea and wind Gertrude to Claudius Act 4 scene 1- Gertrude uses a simile to describe Hamlet’s mental state- does she still believe that her son is genuinely mad or does she believe Hamlet and is therefore now protecting him
if indeed you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs Hamlet to Claudius Act 4 scene 2- a gross, cold joke about Polonius- especially corse and rude given the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia before all this, rudeness could be to emphasises the madness
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England Claudius soliloquy Act 4 scene 3- revels to the audience that he is going to kill Hamlet- audience worries that Hamlet is not going to be able to complete he revenge goal
The queen his mother lives almost by his looks Claudius to Laertes Act 4 scene 7- through this exchange Shakespeare taps with the audience’s perception of Claudius- Claudius’ persuasion of Laertes into the second revenger and Hamlet’s death, suggests that Claudius cares for Gertrude does he really
my revenge will come Laertes to Claudius Act 4 scene 7- foreshadows what will happen at the end, shows that Laertes has moved from the hones avenger to the corrupted, cold, evil murderer, he is the foil to Hamlet- jumps into action while Hamlet delays and procrastinates
Are you like the painting of a sorrow, a face without a heart Claudius to Laertes Act 4 scene 7- simile of emotional blackmail- tugging at Laertes’ heart strings- shows how easy it is for Claudius to manipulate Laertes
Revenge should have no bounds Claudius to Laertes Act 4 scene 7- ironic statement- the finale shows that revenge has no bounds with the body count- pathos for Laertes he is young, grieving, lost and has lost all his family
Her garments, heavy with their drink, pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay to muddy death Gertrude to Claudius to Laertes Act 4 scene 7- speech vividly facts events off stage= as told by Gertrude emphasises the sense of commune between the 2 women- beautifully poetic elegance, Gertrude steps of her role- pastoral idyll more poignant, restores Ophelia to dignity, beauty which Hamlet’s vulgar reductive comments took from her, focus on the passive emphasises that this is not her fault- suicide- exempted from responsibility and culpability- soul is safe, very beautiful- harmonious
Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust Hamlet to Horatio Act 5 scene 1- sobering moment to audience- death is the great leveller, inevitable decay- sequel to Ophelia’s songs, reduces class divisions and the lack of social mobility, shows the reductive nature of death, physically and morally corruption, holding the skull- recognised symbol of theatre- visual representation of mortality- allows these musings to take flight- echoes funeral rites
I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet’s wife. I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid, and not t’have strewed thy grave Gertrude to Ophelia’s grave Act 5 scene 1- line leaking with pathos- shows how far both have come- the audience can see what Hamlet could have been, acknowledges her as a daughter in law- emotional for Gertrude
This is I, Hamlet the Dane Hamlet to the court Act 5 scene 1- announcing himself- revealing to Claudius that he is still alive, bravado and machismo- finally stepping into the role of prince- hope for the audience, majestic scorn
I loved Ophelia; forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum Hamlet to the court pointed comment to Laertes Act 5 scene 1- hyperbolic- shows how grief stricken he is: this is a declaration of love that he couldn’t say to Ophelia- is it true, the chest beating between Laertes and Hamlet- competition
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends Hamlet to Horatio Act 5 scene 2- ideas of fate, fortune, predestination- Hamlet must die as he has killed- tragic pattern, Hamlet is on the restorative path- faith reinstated in God
He that hath killed my king and whored my mother Hamlet to Horatio Act 5 scene 2- lucid, blunt analysis being revealed- committed one of the deadly sins and broken one of the 10 commandments, pathos as this is what changed Hamlet and set all this in motion
this canker of our nature Hamlet to Horatio Act 5 scene 2- uses the royal we- rightful heir but this will never happen- playing at king- see what he good of been- pathos, disease- all the corruption and evil has rooted from Claudius
I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits Hamlet to Osric Act 5 scene 2- dramatic irony in this prose- Hamlet does not know that this will end in his death- audience on tenterhooks
You will lose, my lord Horatio to Hamlet Act 5 scene 2- foreshadows- Hamlet will not lose but die, proleptic- contrasts to what Hamlet is saying
Give me your pardon, sir, I’ve done you wrong Hamlet to Laertes before their fight Act 5 scene 2- confesses his guilt to Laertes and asks for forgiveness- raised higher in the audience’s opinion- contrast to Laertes- know that his soul is going to be saved
I here proclaim was madness Hamlet to Laertes Act 5 scene 2- trying to excuse his previous actions- distancing himself from the act- turns himself into a different tragic hero- escaping punishment
I do receive your offered love like love, and will not wrong it Laertes to Hamlet Act 5 scene 2- presents himself as the idealistic revenger- simple honour code- however this is not the truth he is just pretending to accept this apology- not sincere- contrast to Hamlet, foreshadows the real repentance at the end
Our son shall win Claudius to Gertrude Act 5 scene 2- ironic as he is suggesting that he cares about Hamlet but has been planning his death- knows that Hamlet is bound to die
Gertrude, do not drink Claudius to Gertrude Act 5 scene 2- shows that his power is slipping away as cannot control his wife- trying to save himself rather than her, very feeble attempt- doesn’t really love her
I will my lord, I pray you pardon me Gertrude to Claudius Act 5 scene 2- ambiguity on whether Gertrude knows that it is poisoned or not- David Tennet version, asking for forgiveness of sins, pathos for her as we know she will die
I am justify killed with mine own treachery Laertes to Osric Act 5 scene 2- dying Laertes acknowledges that he was morally wrong- tragic pattern as has killed Hamlet- gets what he deserves
O my dear Hamlet- the drink, the drink- I am poisoned Gertrude to Hamlet Act 5 scene 2- dying words are affectionate and caring towards Hamlet- shows maternal instincts- warning for Hamlet, shows shift in alliance from Claudius to Hamlet
The king’s to blame Laertes to the court Act 5 scene 2- throwing Claudius under the bus- another shift in alliance from Claudius to Hamlet- Claudius is now left with no one
Thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane drink off this potion Hamlet to Claudius Act 5 scene 2- Gertrude’s death has spurred Hamlet into immediate action- takes the entire play to avenge father but avenges mother in minutes, climax of the action and Hamlet’s wrath against Claudius, emphasises that Claudius is the source of corruption in Denmark- restoring health of Denmark- justice and forgiveness- Hamlet is the hero
the rest is silence Hamlet to Horatio Act 5 scene 2- poignant- very beautiful- reminds us of Hamlet’s soliloquy- undiscovered country and dreams and sleep linked to death, hamlet is restored in the eyes of the audience- tragic pattern is fulfilled
Good night sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest Horatio to Hamlet after Hamlet has dead Act 5 scene 2- suitably poignant farewell from Hamlet’s closest and last friend- will certainly make the audience cry, very beautiful- good night reminds us of Hamlet’s soliloquy about death and sleep- painless and peaceful passing- dignity in death that he couldn’t have in life
Let four captains bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage Fortinbras to Horatio and court Act 5 scene 2- an apt ritual for the tragic hero- dies with dignity and is given the funeral of a king- appropriately honoured unlike Ophelia- contrast to how Claudius is viewed when the curtain falls
He is the most amiable of misanthropes William Hazlitt: Characters of Shakespeare’s plays, 1817- very fitting for Hamlet- outcast from society- goes against society
was ever a tragic figure so torn and tortured Ernest Jones: Hamlet and Oedipus, 1910- Hamlet is the most eloquent tragic in English literature, the development of Hamlet shows this- pathos- he move along the continum
The story of a ‘sweet prince’ wrenched from life and dedicate alone to death G. Wilson Knight: The Wheel of Fire, 1930- comes from the play: Horatio after Hamlet dies, emphasises the change that comes over Hamlet from the beginning of the play to the end- corrupted by revenge
Hamlet is first to last a creature of circumstance Kenneth Muir: Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, 1987- discusses the corruption of Hamlet over the course of the play- emphasised by the delay and procrastination, suggests that Hamlet is not responsible- the environment and situation corrupts him- what makes him so special not stock hero
Hamlet is already well-nigh overwhelmed with sorrow and disgust A.C.Bradley: Shakespearean tragedy- suggests that Hamlet has already been driven to the edge and radical scepticism by the shattering events of his life- questions the whole basis of his world- mind becoming unhinged
Branagh’s approach often goes ‘over the top’ Phillip Edwards
Branagh’s attempts to stretch Shakespeare’s tragedy into a sweeping movie epic seem forced Phillip Edwards
Hamlet is a man whose words make us at once think of loneliness… and emptiness C.S.Lewis- isolation in Hamlet
Hamlet is the conscience strike but paralysed liberal Charles Marowitz- reflects inability to act due to his internal conflicts and the external situation- humanism and christian doctrine, thou shalt not kill
Aye madam, it is commonI shall in all my best obey you madam Hamlet to Gertrude Act 1 Scene 2- reflects his bitterness towards his mother and her new marriage, also reflects that Hamlet is being stifled by Claudius and Gertrude- isolated and alone in Denmark – at odds with the court
O, most wicked speed Hamlet first soliloquy about his mother’s marriage- shows his affront to his views on marriage and his mother- whorish; isolated and alone- cannot confide in his mother
Hamlet is the most amiable of misanthropes William Hazlitt- Shows that Hamlet rails against society and the court- lonely and isolated= wants to act out against the court
with such dexterity to incestuous sheets Hamlet first soliloquy- reflects Hamlet’s disgust his mother’s new marriage, in Hamlet’s eyes she is emotionally frail- sexually corrupt and ecclesiastical view of women as eve reinforced- nature and attitudes of the times= incest broder meaning, break with Rome based on Leviticus man could not take his brother’s wife, Anne Boleyn
Shakespeare wished…to make full dramatic capital out of Gertrude’s infringement of ecclesiastical law John Dover Wilson- wanted to shock audience and reinforce that sin has entered the Danish court at the highest level- hamlet isolated as pure and uncorrupted, mourning etiquette for widows= six months and expected to wear widow’s weeds for two years and shun society
a Beast that want discourse of reason would have mourn’d longer Hamlet first soliloquy- lack of respect for Gertrude, suggests Gertrude is unable to feel any emotion and lacks the conscience that makes her human- bestial
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather so much as from occasion you may glean Claudius to Rosencrantz and Guilderstern- introduces the spying motif- builds the environment of political intrigue and alliances- friendship means nothing
Guilderstern and Rozencrantz are ‘just toadies to the king’ Richard Burton- bumbling victims who know little of Claudius’ true nature- does not justify their actions
were you sent for? Is it your own inclining? is it a free visitation? come, deal justly with me Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guilderstern= sudden sense of treachery, use of tripling and questions highlights that feeling of betrayal and shock that Hamlet feels when he discovers his friends are spying on him- surprised, confused- moving as Hamlet fully understands his isolation
Hamlet loathes second rate things John Gielgud- the corruption of the court and how Hamlet stands alone as a force for good and righteousness- few morally pure- Hamlet is working alone against the corruption of the court- higher entity therefore will result in death and destruction for many