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  1. "See, it stalks away."
    The word choice of "stalks" implies that the ghost in moving with a purpose and makes the guards and audience wary. This highlights the ambigous nature of the ghost.
  2. "Before my God, I might not believe
    Without the sensible and true avouch
    Of mine own eyes."
    The audience believe Horatio, as he is a scholar, and accept that the Ghost is real. This trust in Horatio is improtant as later in the play the audience and Hamlet rely on his observations again, this time of Claudius' conscience.
  3. "Be thou a spirit of health or a goblin damn'd,
    Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
    Be thy intent wicked or charitable"
    The uncertain identity and moral status of the Ghost and the questionable morality of what it demands of Hamlet is captured in these antithetical phrases
  4. "Frailty, thy name is woman."
  5. "Ay, madam, it is common."
    Hamlet is disgusted by the lack of grieving Gertrude has shown her late husband; he hates the fact that she has moved on so quickly. When told by his mother that dying is a natural process, Hamlet uses wordplay to highlight that he feels Gertrude has acted like a "common" woman, by marrying her dead husbands brother and therefore giving in to her sexual desires, and not the Queen she is supposed to be.
  6. "Not so, my lord, I am too much in the sun."
    The bitter tone of this line indicates the antipathy Hamlet feels towards his uncle. Although "I am too much in the sun" means "I am too much in the merriment", suggesting that Hamlet is not enjoying the wedding celebrations along with the rest of the court, it is also a pun on the word 'son' implying that Hamlet resents being Claudius' son-in-law.
  7. "Hyperion to a satyr"
    Shakespeare uses imagery to portray Hamlet's feelings towards his father and uncle. Hamlet compares his father to a "Hyperion" - the sun god of ancient mythology - suggesting that he loved and respected him and that he felt he was a good man. However, Claudius is compared to a "satyr" - a lustful mythological creature that is half-man half-goat - implying that Hamlet thinks he is driven by his sexual desires who is not even half the man that his father was.
  8. "Revenge his foul and most unnatrual murder."
    This is the first conformation of the Ghost's murder that both Hamlet and the audience recieve. It is also the first time that the Ghost states his intentions and makes his request from Hamlet.
  9. "The serpent that did sting thy father's life
    Now wears his crown."
    Shakespeare's use of dramatic language discloses that it was Claudius who murdered Hamlet's father in order to become King. The connotations of "serpent" are sneaky, sly, cunning and posionous; all words which can be used to describe Claudius's nature and the way in which he killed his own brother (by putting poison in his ear when he was asleep).
  10. "The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite,
    That ever I was born to set it right."
  11. "But my uncle-father and aunt-mother are decieved."
    Hamlet mocks his mother and uncle to show how much he disagrees with their marriage. He does not take it seriously and basically laughs at how ridiculous it is. This mockery highlights the lack of respect Hamlet has for Gertrude and Claudius' marriage and "love". The theme of mistrust is shown through Hamlet's actions - pretending to be mad - as he has fooled or "decieved" both Gertrude and Claudius in order to exact his revenge.
  12. "I am mad but north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw."
  13. "Lord Hamlet with his doublet all unbrac'd"
  14. "Your noble son is mad."
  15. "The play's the thing,
    Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king."
  16. "O that this too solid flesh would melt"
  17. "To be, or not to be, that is the question"
  18. "Thus conscience does make cowards of us all"
  19. "Bloody, bawdy villain!
    Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!"
  20. "A villain kills my father and for that
    I, his sole son, do this same villain send
    To heaven."
  21. "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below,
    Words without thoughts never to heaven go."
  22. "My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth"
    This is the turning point for Hamlet when he finally decides to take action. Inspired by Fortinbras (a stylised foil of Hamlet who is rash and impulsive) Hamlet returns to Denmark confident and ready to take revenge: "This is I, Hamlet the Dane"
  23. "This is I,
    Hamlet the Dane."
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2012-01-17 21:05:19
Hamlet shakespeare

"Hamlet" quotes and analysis
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