Index of passages about


Glenn Close as Queen Gertrude in Mourning

Glenn Close as Queen Gertrude Drinking

"Frailty, thy name is woman!" (1.2.146). Hamlet says this in the middle of his first soliloquy, as he is expressing his disgust at the speed with which his mother went from his father's grave to his uncle's bed. [Scene Summary]
"A violet in the youth of primy nature" (1.3.7). This, says Laertes, is how Ophelia should think of Hamlet's feelings for her. Laertes is willing to concede that Hamlet may be sincere, but his "favor" is like the violet--quick to bloom, quick to die. [Scene Summary]
"Pyrrhus stood, / And like a neutral to his will and matter, / Did nothing" (2.2.480-482). So the First Player describes a momentary pause in a killer's killing. Later in the scene Hamlet will bitterly accuse himself of doing nothing. [Scene Summary]
Hamlet says that "the dread of something after death, / The undiscover'd country from whose bourn / No traveller returns, puzzles the will" (3.1.77-79). This is in the "to be or not to be" soliloquy. In the end, his analysis of his self-analysis is that too much thinking keeps him from acting. [Scene Summary]
"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, / As I do thee (3.2.71-74), says Hamlet to Horatio. Hamlet is praising Horatio for a quality that Hamlet believes he lacks: steadiness. [Scene Summary]
"Our wills and fates do so contrary run / That our devices still are overthrown; / Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own" (211-213), says the Player King at the end of a long speech. He's responding to his wife's declaration that she will never marry another after his death, and he's explaining that things and people always change. [Scene Summary]
"Pray can I not, / Though inclination be as sharp as will" (3.3.38-39), says the King, while having an attack of conscience. He is mortally afraid of eternal damnation, but he can't find it in himself to soften his hard heart. [Scene Summary]
"You cannot call it love" (3.4.68), Hamlet tells his mother in the closet scene, expressing his furious amazement that she has exchanged a good husband for a bad one. [Scene Summary]
"Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be" (4.5.43-44), says Ophelia in the first part of her mad scene. "O heavens! is't possible, a young maid's wits / Should be as mortal as an old man's life?" (4.5.160-161), Laertes asks in the second part of the same scene. [Scene Summary]
The King says that "Time qualifies the spark and fire" (4.7.113) of love. He is encouraging Laertes to kill Hamlet, and his argument is that if Laertes doesn't act now on his strong love for his father, that love may die, and he may never act. [Scene Summary]
"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?" (5.1.189-192). Thus Hamlet questions the skull of Yorick, his father's jester. The scene is full of variations on the idea that "you can't take it with you." Not your land, not your looks, not even your favorite jokes. [Scene Summary]