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Hamlet Literary Groups
Quote List
Quotes: Remember, the ones with asterisks are REQUIRED for the Quote/Illustrator group
to present to the class. However, all students are responsible for knowing all these quotes
as ANY of them may show up on the final Hamlet exam.
Act 1
“A little more than kin, and less that kind!”
*“But I have that within that passeth show;/ These but the trappings and the suits of woe.”
“Frailty, thy name is woman”
“…Foul deeds will rise,/ Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.”
“For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favor,/ Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood”
“…Do not, as some ungracious pastor do, / Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven ,
primrose path of dalliance treads.”
Whiles…/himself the
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be”
“This above all, to thine own self be true,/ And it must follow, as the night the day,/
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
“Unhand me, gentlemen. / By heaven, I’ll make a ghost of him that lets me!”
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”
“The serpent that did sting thy father’s life / now wears his crown.”
*“There are more things in Heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Act II
“ I doubt it is no other but the main, / His father’s death and our o’er hasty marriage.”
“Brevity is the soul of wit.”
*“…for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
*“I am but mad north-northwest: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.”
“The play’s the thing/ Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.”
“To be or not to be: That is the question…”
*“…ay, there’s the rub /
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come…”
“Get thee to a nunnery”
“My lord, I have remembrances of yours / That I have longed long to redeliver.”
“I say we will have no mo’ marriage. Those that are married already – all but one- shall live.”
*“Madness in great ones/ must not unwatched go.”
“I eat the air, promise crammed.”
“In second husband let me be accursed! / None wed the second but who killed the first.”
“The lady doth protest too much methinks.”
“What, frighted with false fire?”
“O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven;”
“You go not till I set you up a glass / Where you may see the inmost part of you.”
“Thou turn’st my eyes into my very soul, / And there I see such black and grained spots…”
“Alas, how is’t with you,/ that you do bend your eye on vacancy / And with th’ incorporal air do hold discourse?”
“I must be cruel only to be kind.”
“Be thou assured, if words be made of breath, / And breath of life, I have no life to breathe/ What thou hast said to me.”
Act IV
*“In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger find him not there, see him in the other place yourself.”
“O, from this time forth, / My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!”
“He is dead and gone, lady, /He is dead and gone; / At his head a grass-green turf, / At his heels a stone.”
“When sorrows come, they come not in single spies, / But in battalions”
*“There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.”
“And for that purpose I’ll anoint my sword. / I bought an unction of a mountebank , / So mortal that, but dip a knife in it, /
Where it draws blood… it may be death.”
“There is a willow that grows askant the brook, / That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream: / Therewith fantastic
garlands did she make / Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples…”
Act V
*“Is she to be buried in Christian burial, when she willfully seeks her own salvation?”
“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio--”
“To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it
stopping a bunghole?”
“Sweets to the sweet, farewell…”
“’Swounds, show me what thou’t do./Woo’t weep, woo’t fihgt, woo’t fast, woo’t tear thyself,/ Woo’t drink up eisel, eat a
“Stay, give me drink.—Hamlet, this pearl is thine./ Here’s to thy health.”
*“For by the image of my cause I see/ The portraiture of his.”
“Why as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric./ I am justly killed by mine own treachery.”
“Good night, sweet Prince, / And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
“O I die, Horatio!…/But I do prophesy th’ election lights/ On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.