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Hamlet. Characters, structure, and theme. Hamlet -- Act I. Scene 3 Polonius and Ophelia say goodbye to Laertes. Scene 1 Horatio speaks with Ghost. Scene 2 Claudius at Court Hamlet’s grief Horatio tells Hamlet about Ghost. Scene 4 Hamlet waiting for Ghost “Stamp of one defect”.

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hamlet

Hamlet

Characters,

structure, and theme

hamlet act i
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 3

Polonius and

Ophelia say

goodbye to

Laertes

Scene 1

Horatio speaks

with Ghost

Scene 2

Claudius at Court

Hamlet’s grief

Horatio tells Hamlet about Ghost

Scene 4

Hamlet waiting

for Ghost

“Stamp of one defect”

Scene 5

Hamlet and Ghost

antic disposition

hamlet act i1
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 1

If there be any good thing to be done,That may to thee do ease and grace to me,

Speak to me:

If thou art privy to thy country's fate,Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid, O, speak!Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy lifeExtorted treasure in the womb of earth,For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,Speak of it: stay, and speak!

hamlet act i2
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 3

Polonius and

Ophelia say

goodbye to

Laertes

Scene 2

Claudius at Court

Hamlet’s grief

Horatio tells Hamlet about Ghost

Scene 1

Horatio speaks

with Ghost

Scene 4

Hamlet waiting

for Ghost

“Stamp of one defect”

Scene 5

Hamlet and Ghost

antic disposition

hamlet act i3
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 2

Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,The imperial jointress to this warlike state,Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,--With an auspicious and a dropping eye,With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,In equal scale weighing delight and dole,--Taken to wife

hamlet act i4
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 2

Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not 'seems.''Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,Nor customary suits of solemn black,Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,For they are actions that a man might play:But I have that within which passeth show;These but the trappings and the suits of woe.

hamlet act i5
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 2

O, that this too too solid flesh would meltThaw and resolve itself into a dew!Or that the Everlasting had not fix'dHis canon 'gainst self-slaughter! . . .

Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,As if increase of appetite had grownBy what it fed on: and yet, within a month--Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!

hamlet act i6
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 2

Foul deeds will rise

Though all the earth o’rewhelm them to men’s eyes.

hamlet act i7
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 3

Polonius and

Ophelia say

goodbye to

Laertes

Scene 2

Claudius at Court

Hamlet’s grief

Horatio tells Hamlet about Ghost

Scene 1

Horatio speaks

with Ghost

Scene 4

Hamlet waiting

for Ghost

“Stamp of one defect”

Scene 5

Hamlet and Ghost

antic disposition

hamlet act i8
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 3

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.

hamlet act i9
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 3

Polonius and

Ophelia say

goodbye to

Laertes

Scene 2

Claudius at Court

Hamlet’s grief

Horatio tells Hamlet about Ghost

Scene 1

Horatio speaks

with Ghost

Scene 4

Hamlet waiting

for Ghost

“Stamp of one defect”

Scene 5

Hamlet and Ghost

antic disposition

hamlet act i10
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 4

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,. . . 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 corruptionFrom that particular fault:

hamlet act i11
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 5

Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.. . .

Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swiftAs meditation or the thoughts of love,May sweep to my revenge.

hamlet act i12
Hamlet -- Act I

Scene 5

O cursed spite that ever I was born to set it right.

hamlet act ii
Hamlet -- Act II

Scene 1

Polonius/Reynaldo

Ophelia’s report

re/Hamlet

Scene 2

Claudius with Ros and Gild

Polonius’s report

Hamlet and fishmonger

Players/Pyrrhus

“The play’s the thing”

hamlet act ii1
Hamlet -- Act II

Scene 1

My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;And with a look so piteous in purportAs if he had been loosed out of hellTo speak of horrors,--he comes before me.

hamlet act ii2
Hamlet -- Act II

Scene 1

Polonius/Reynaldo

Ophelia’s report

re/Hamlet

Scene 2

Claudius with Ros and Gild

Polonius’s report

Hamlet and fishmonger

Players/Pyrrhus

“The play’s the thing”

hamlet act ii3
Hamlet -- Act II

Scene 2

HAMLET My excellent good friends! How dost thou,Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both?

ROS As the indifferent children of the earth.

GILD Happy, in that we are not over-happy;On fortune's cap we are not the very button. . . .

'Faith, her privates we.

hamlet act ii4
Hamlet -- Act II

Scene 2

HAMLET 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.

hamlet act ii5
Hamlet -- Act II

Scene 2

So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood,And like a neutral to his will and matter,Did nothing.. . . so, after Pyrrhus' pause,Aroused vengeance sets him new a-work;And never did the Cyclops' hammers fallOn Mars's armour forged for proof eterneWith less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding swordNow falls on Priam.

hamlet act ii6
Hamlet -- Act II

Scene 2

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. . . 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 passionThat I have?

hamlet act ii7
Hamlet -- Act II

Scene 2

I have heardThat guilty creatures sitting at a playHave by the very cunning of the sceneBeen struck so to the soul that presentlyThey have proclaim'd their malefactions;For murder, though it have no tongue, will speakWith most miraculous organ.

hamlet act ii8
Hamlet -- Act II

Scene 2

The spirit that I have seenMay be the devil: and the devil hath powerTo assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhapsOut of my weakness and my melancholy,As he is very potent with such spirits,Abuses me to damn me: I'll have groundsMore relative than this: the play 's the thingWherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

hamlet act iii
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 1

NUNNERY SCENE

Hamlet and Ophelia

Scene 2

MOUSETRAP SCENE

Hamlet and players

Play within a play

Scene 3

PRAYER SCENE

Claudius/Hamlet

Scene 4

CLOSET SCENE

Gertrude/Hamlet

Death of Polonius

hamlet act iii1
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 1

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

hamlet act iii2
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 1

Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest;but yet I could accuse me of such things that itwere better my mother had not borne me. . . .

Go thy ways to a nunnery.Where's your father?

hamlet act iii3
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 1

O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword; The expectancy and rose of the fair state,The glass of fashion and the mould of form,The observed of all observers, quite, quite down!

hamlet act iii4
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 1

NUNNERY SCENE

Hamlet and Ophelia

Scene 2

MOUSETRAP SCENE

Hamlet and players

Play within a play

Scene 3

PRAYER SCENE

Claudius/Hamlet

Scene 4

CLOSET SCENE

Gertrude/Hamlet

Death of Polonius

hamlet act iii5
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 2

HAMLET He poisons him i' the garden for's estate. His name's Gonzago: the story is extant, and writ in choice Italian: you shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.

OPHELIA The king rises.

HAMLET What, frighted with false fire! . . .

CLAUDIUS Give me some light: away!

hamlet act iii6
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 2

Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world: now could I drink hotblood, And do such bitter business as the dayWould quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother.O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom: Let me be cruel, not unnatural: I will speak daggers to her, but use none.

hamlet act iii7
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 1

NUNNERY SCENE

Hamlet and Ophelia

Scene 2

MOUSETRAP SCENE

Hamlet and players

Play within a play

Scene 3

PRAYER SCENE

Claudius/Hamlet

Scene 4

CLOSET SCENE

Gertrude/Hamlet

Death of Polonius

hamlet act iii8
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 3

O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven;It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,A brother's murder. Pray can I not,Though inclination be as sharp as will:My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;And, like a man to double business bound,I stand in pause where I shall first begin,And both neglect.

hamlet act iii9
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 3

Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;And now I'll do't. And so he goes to heaven;And so am I revenged. That would be scann'd:A villain kills my father; and for that,I, his sole son, do this same villain sendTo heaven.

hamlet act iii10
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 3

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

hamlet act iii11
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 1

NUNNERY SCENE

Hamlet and Ophelia

Scene 2

MOUSETRAP SCENE

Hamlet and players

Play within a play

Scene 3

PRAYER SCENE

Claudius/Hamlet

Scene 4

CLOSET SCENE

Gertrude/Hamlet

Death of Polonius

hamlet act iii12
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 4

Alas, how is't with you,That you do bend your eye on vacancyAnd with the incorporal air do hold discourse?

hamlet act iii13
Hamlet -- Act III

Scene 4

I do repent: but heaven hath pleased it so,To punish me with this and this with me,That I must be their scourge and minister.I will bestow him, and will answer wellThe death I gave him.

hamlet act iv
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 3

Claudius sends

Hamlet to England

Scene 1

Gertrude/

Claudius

Scene 2

Ros and Gild

seek Hamlet

Scene 4

Hamlet sees

Fortinbras

Scene 5

Gertrude

Ophelia’s madness

Laertes’ threat

Scene 6

Letter to Horatio

from Hamlet

Scene 7

Claudius and Laertes’

plans against Hamlet

Gertrude’s report of

Ophelia’s death

hamlet act iv1
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 3

CLAUDIUS Where is Polonius?

HAMLET In heaven; send hither to see: if your messenger find him not there, seek him i' the other place yourself. But indeed, if you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.

hamlet act iv2
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 1

Gertrude/

Claudius

Scene 2

Ros and Gild

seek Hamlet

Scene 3

Claudius sends

Hamlet to England

Scene 4

Hamlet sees

Fortinbras

Scene 5

Gertrude

Ophelia’s madness

Laertes’ threat

Scene 6

Letter to Horatio

from Hamlet

Scene 7

Claudius and Laertes’

plans against Hamlet

Gertrude’s report of

Ophelia’s death

hamlet act iv3
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 4

How all occasions do inform against me,And spur my dull revenge! . . .

Now, whether it beBestial oblivion, or some craven scrupleOf thinking too precisely on the event,A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one partwisdomAnd ever three parts coward, I do not knowWhy yet I live to say 'This thing's to do'

hamlet act iv4
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 1

Rightly to be greatIs not to stir without great argument,But greatly to find quarrel in a strawWhen honour's at the stake.

hamlet act iv5
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 1

O, from this time forth,My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!

hamlet act iv6
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 1

Gertrude/

Claudius

Scene 2

Ros and Gild

seek Hamlet

Scene 3

Claudius sends

Hamlet to England

Scene 4

Hamlet sees

Fortinbras

Scene 6

Letter to Horatio

from Hamlet

Scene 7

Claudius and Laertes’

plans against Hamlet

Gertrude’s report of

Ophelia’s death

Scene 5

Gertrude

Ophelia’s madness

Laertes’ threat

hamlet act iv7
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 5

Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,And dupp'd the chamber-door;Let in the maid, that out a maidNever departed more.

hamlet act iv8
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 5

How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with:To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil!Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!I dare damnation. . . . I'll be revengedMost thoroughly for my father.

hamlet act iv9
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 1

Gertrude/

Claudius

Scene 2

Ros and Gild

seek Hamlet

Scene 3

Claudius sends

Hamlet to England

Scene 4

Hamlet sees

Fortinbras

Scene 5

Gertrude

Ophelia’s madness

Laertes’ threat

Scene 6

Letter to Horatio

from Hamlet

Scene 7

Claudius and Laertes’

plans against Hamlet

Gertrude’s report of

Ophelia’s death

hamlet act iv10
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 5

Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase. Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put ona compelled valour, and in the grapple I boarded them: on the instant they got clear of our ship; so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like thieves of mercy: but they knew what they did; I am to do a good turn for them.

hamlet act iv11
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 1

Gertrude/

Claudius

Scene 2

Ros and Gild

seek Hamlet

Scene 3

Claudius sends

Hamlet to England

Scene 4

Hamlet sees

Fortinbras

Scene 5

Gertrude

Ophelia’s madness

Laertes’ threat

Scene 6

Letter to Horatio

from Hamlet

Scene 7

Claudius and Laertes’

plans against Hamlet

Gertrude’s report of

Ophelia’s death

hamlet act iv12
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 5

There is a willow grows aslant a brook,That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;There with fantastic garlands did she come. . . Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious layTo muddy death.

hamlet act iv13
Hamlet -- Act IV

Scene 5

Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,And therefore I forbid my tears: but yetIt is our trick; nature her custom holds,Let shame say what it will: when these are gone,The woman will be out.

hamlet act v
Hamlet -- Act V

Scene 2

FOIL SCENE

Hamlet/Horatio

Laertes’ challenge

Duel

Death of Gertrude/Claudius

Death of Laertes/Hamlet

Fortinbras

Scene 1

GRAVEYARD SCENE

Gravediggers/Hamlet

Burial of Ophelia

hamlet act v1
Hamlet -- Act V

Scene 1

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.

hamlet act v2
Hamlet -- Act V

Scene 2

FOIL SCENE

Hamlet/Horatio

Laertes’ challenge

Duel

Death of Gertrude/Claudius

Death of Laertes/Hamlet

Fortinbras

Scene 1

GRAVEYARD SCENE

Gravediggers/Hamlet

Burial of Ophelia

hamlet act v3
Hamlet -- Act V

Scene 2

Rashly,And praised be rashness for it, let us know,Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well,When our deep plots do pall: and that should teachusThere's a divinity that shapes our ends,Rough-hew them how we will.

hamlet act v4
Hamlet -- Act V

Scene 2

Not a whit, we defy augury: there's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will benow; if it be not now, yet it will come: thereadiness is all.

hamlet act v5
Hamlet -- Act V

Scene 2

The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath;And in the cup an union shall he throw,Richer than that which four successive kingsIn Denmark's crown have worn.

hamlet act v6
Hamlet -- Act V

Scene 2

Hamlet, thou art slain;No medicine in the world can do thee good;In thee there is not half an hour of life;The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,Unbated and envenom'd: the foul practiseHath turn'd itself on me lo, here I lie,Never to rise again: thy mother's poison'd:I can no more: the king, the king's to blame.

hamlet act v7
Hamlet -- Act V

Scene 2

The point!--envenom'd too! Then, venom, to thywork.

Treason! treason!

O, yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt.

Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,Drink off this potion. Is thy union here?Follow my mother.

hamlet act v8
Hamlet -- Act V

Scene 2

O good Horatio, what a wounded name,Things standing thus unknown, shall live behindme!If thou didst ever hold me in thy heartAbsent thee from felicity awhile,And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,To tell my story.

hamlet act v9
Hamlet -- Act V

Scene 2

Let four captainsBear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;For he was likely, had he been put on,To have proved most royally: and, for his passage,The soldiers' music and the rites of warSpeak loudly for him.