Hamlet: Prince of Denmark
Hamlet: The Play Hamlet: The History Hamlet: The Characters Hamlet: The Criticism More Hamlet
Hamlet Quotes
 

Time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will.

KING CLAUDIUS, Act I, scene ii

All that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

QUEEN GERTRUDE, Act I, scene ii

Your father lost a father,
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
In filial obligation for some term
To do obsequious sorrow. But to persevere
In obstinate condolement is a course
Of impious stubbornness. 'Tis unmanly grief.
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschooled.
For what we know must be and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we in our peevish opposition
Take it to heart? Fie! 'Tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd, whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse till he that died today,
'This must be so.'

KING CLAUDIUS, Act I, scene ii

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew,
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter. O God, God,
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't, ah, fie, 'tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely.

HAMLET, Act I, scene ii

Frailty, thy name is woman.

HAMLET, Act I, scene ii

Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

HAMLET, Act I, scene ii

Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.

HAMLET, Act I, scene ii

Nature, crescent, does not grow alone
In thews and bulk, but as this temple waxes
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal.

LAERTES, Act I, scene iii

The chariest maid is prodigal enough
If she unmask her beauty to the moon.

LAERTES, Act I, scene iii

Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes.

LAERTES, Act I, scene iii

In the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.

LAERTES, Act I, scene iii

Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.

LAERTES, Act I, scene iii

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel,
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade.

POLONIUS, Act I, scene iii

Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear't that th' opposèd may beware of thee.

POLONIUS, Act I, scene iii

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.

POLONIUS, Act I, scene iii

The apparel oft proclaims the man.

POLONIUS, Act I, scene iii

Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

POLONIUS, Act I, scene iii

To thine ownself be true,
And it must follow as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

POLONIUS, Act I, scene iii

I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Lends the tongue vows. These blazes, daughter,
Giving more light than heat, extinct in both
Even in their promise, as it is a-making,
You must not take for fire.

POLONIUS, Act I, scene iii

So oft it chances in particular men
That--for some vicious mole of nature in them,
As in their birth, wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot choose his origin--
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason,
Or by some habit that too much o'erleavens
The form of plausive manners, that these men
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,
Their virtues else, be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo,
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault.

HAMLET, Act I, scene iv

The dram of evil
Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
To his own scandal.

HAMLET, Act I, scene iv

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

MARCELLUS, Act I, scene iv

But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combinèd locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine.
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood.

GHOST, Act I, scene v

The serpent that did sting thy father's life
Now wears his crown.

GHOST, Act I, scene v

But virtue, as it never will be moved,
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed
And prey on garbage.

GHOST, Act I, scene v

One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

HAMLET, Act I, scene v

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

HAMLET, Act I, scene v

The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite
That ever I was born to set it right!

HAMLET, Act I, scene v

This is the very ecstasy of love,
Whose violent property fordoes itself
And leads the will to desperate undertakings
As oft as any passion under heaven
That does afflict our natures.

POLONIUS, Act II, scene i

Since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief.

POLONIUS, Act II, scene ii

'Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.'

HAMLET'S LETTER TO OPHELIA, Act II, scene ii

To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

HAMLET, Act II, scene ii

Words, words, words.

HAMLET, Act II, scene ii

On Fortune's cap we are not the very button.

GUILDENSTERN, Act II, scene ii

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

HAMLET, Act II, scene ii

O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.

HAMLET, Act II, scene ii

I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality that it is but a shadow's shadow.

ROSENCRANTZ, Act II, scene ii

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. No, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

HAMLET, Act II, scene ii

Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune! All you gods,
In general synod take away her power,
Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
As low as to the fiends.

PLAYER, Act II, scene ii

Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?

HAMLET, Act II, scene ii

O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wanned,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing! For Hecuba!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing.

HAMLET, Act II, scene ii

The play's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

HAMLET, Act II, scene ii

The harlot's cheek, beautied with plast'ring art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it
Than is my deed to my most painted word.
O heavy burthen!

KING CLAUDIUS, Act III, scene i

To be, or not to be -- that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.

HAMLET, Act III, scene i

To die, to sleep--
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly 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 come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.

HAMLET, Act III, scene i

Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

HAMLET, Act III, scene i

Conscience does make cowards of us all.

HAMLET, Act III, scene i

Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

OPHELIA, Act III, scene i

The power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness.

HAMLET, Act III, scene i

Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?

HAMLET, Act III, scene i

Get thee to a nunnery. Go, farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.

HAMLET, Act III, scene i

We will have no more marriage. Those that are married already, all but one, shall live. The rest shall keep as they are.

HAMLET, Act III, scene i

O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword,
Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
The observed of all observers, quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck'd the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh,
That unmatched form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy. O, woe is me
T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

OPHELIA, Act III, scene i

Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.

KING CLAUDIUS, Act III, scene i

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to hear a boisterous periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumbshows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you, avoid it.

HAMLET, Act III, scene ii

Blest are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled,
That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart.

HAMLET, Act III, scene ii

Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.

PLAYER QUEEN, Act III, scene ii

A second time I kill my husband dead
When second husband kisses me in bed.

PLAYER QUEEN, Act III, scene ii

Purpose is but the slave to memory,
Of violent birth, but poor validity,
Which now like fruit unripe sticks on the tree,
But fall unshaken when they mellow be.

PLAYER KING, Act III, scene ii

What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.

PLAYER KING, Act III, scene ii

The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy.

PLAYER KING, Act III, scene ii

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

QUEEN GERTRUDE, Act III, scene ii

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.

HAMLET, Act III, scene ii

'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on.

HAMLET, Act III, scene ii

The single and peculiar life is bound
With all the strength and armor of the mind
To keep itself from noyance, but much more
That spirit upon whose weal depend and rest
The lives of many. The cease of majesty
Dies not alone, but like a gulf doth draw
What's near it with it; 'tis massy wheel,
Fixed on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things
Are mortised and adjoined, which when it falls,
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boist'rous ruin. Never alone
Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.

ROSENCRANTZ, Act III, scene iii

What if this cursèd hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy
But to confront the visage of offense?

KING CLAUDIUS, Act III, scene iii

And what's in prayer but this twofold force,
To be forestallèd ere we come to fall,
Or pardoned being down?

KING CLAUDIUS, Act III, scene iii

In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law. But 'tis not so above.

KING CLAUDIUS, Act III, scene iii

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

KING CLAUDIUS, Act III, scene iii

A bloody deed! Almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king and marry with his brother.

HAMLET, Act III, scene iv

Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
I took thee for thy better.

HAMLET, Act III, scene iv

Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.

GHOST, Act III, scene iv

Forgive me this my virtue.
For in the fatness of these pursy times
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.

HAMLET, Act III, scene iv

Assume a virtue, if you have it not.

HAMLET, Act III, scene iv

That monster custom, who all sense doth eat.

HAMLET, Act III, scene iv

Refrain tonight,
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence; the next more easy;
For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
And either curb the devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency.

HAMLET, Act III, scene iv

A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.

HAMLET, Act IV, scene ii

Diseases desperate grown
By desperate appliance are relieved,
Or not at all.

KING CLAUDIUS, Act IV, scene iii

Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service, two dishes, but to one table.

HAMLET, Act IV, scene iii

What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.

HAMLET, Act IV, scene iv

Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused.

HAMLET, Act IV, scene iv

Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honor's at the stake.

HAMLET, Act IV, scene iv

To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is,
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss.

QUEEN GERTRUDE, Act IV, scene v

So full of artless jealousy is guilt
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.

QUEEN GERTRUDE, Act IV, scene v

Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.

OPHELIA, Act IV, scene v

When sorrows come, they come not single spies
But in battalions.

KING CLAUDIUS, Act IV, scene v

There lives within the very flame of love
A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it.

KING CLAUDIUS, Act IV, scene vii

That we would do
We should do when we would, for this 'would' changes
And hath abatements and delays as many
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents,
And then this 'should' is like a spendthrift sigh
That hurts by easing.

KING CLAUDIUS, Act IV, scene vii

Revenge should have no bounds.

KING CLAUDIUS, Act IV, scene vii

The hand of little employment hath the daintier sense.

HAMLET, Act V, scene i

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning?

HAMLET, Act V, scene i

Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!

HAMLET, Act V, scene i

Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew and dog will have his day.

HAMLET, Act V, scene i

There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.

HAMLET, Act V, scene ii

'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
Between the pass and fell incensèd points
Of mighty opposites.

HAMLET, Act V, scene ii

There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow.

HAMLET, Act V, scene ii

The rest is silence.

HAMLET, Act V, scene ii

Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

HORATIO, Act V, scene ii

Home | The Play | The Playwright | History | Characters | Criticism | Quotes | Summary | Actors | Monologues | Art | Quiz
© 2012 - Hamlet-Shakespeare.com. All rights reserved.