PASSAGES: Become familiar with these passages.
I might require you to identify the speaker, or identify
who or what the speaker describes. Be able to paraphrase
them, summarize them, and discuss their importance
to the play generally through close reading or identification
A. A mote it
is to trouble the minds eye.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets;
As stars with trains of fire
and dews of blood,
in the sun; and the moist star
Upon whose influence Neptunes empire stands
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse;
And even the like precurse of fierce events,
As harbingers preceding still the fates
And prologue to the omen coming on,
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.
But, soft! behold! lo! where it comes again.
It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviours birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowd and so gracious is the time.
O! that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew;
Or that the Everlasting had not fixd
His canon gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world.
Fie on t! O fie! tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown. . . . .
D. Angels and
ministers of grace defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damnd,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou comst in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee.
Is it a custom?
HAMLET: Ay, marry, is t:
But to my mind,though I am native here
And to the manner born,it is a custom
More honourd in the breach than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel east and west
Makes us traducd and taxd of other nations;
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and indeed it takes
From our achievements, though performd at height,
The pith and marrow of our attribute.
EE. What if
it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
That beetles oer his base into the sea,
And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason
And draw you into madness? think of it;
The very place puts toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain
That looks so many fathoms to the sea
And hears it roar beneath.
F. I am thy
Doomd for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confind to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purgd away. 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 combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand an end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
G. Ay, thou
poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee!
Yea, from the table of my memory
Ill wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmixd with baser matter: yes, by heaven!
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My tables,meet it is I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
At least Im sure it may be so in Denmark:
H. This business
is well ended.
My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief.
is funny about these words above spoken above by
#1: . A goodly one; in which there are many confines,
and dungeons, Denmark being one o the worst [prisons].
SPEAKER #2: We think not so, my lord.
SPEAKER #1. Why, then, tis none to you; for there
is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it
so: to me it is a prison.
SPEAKER #2: Why, then your ambition makes it one; tis
too narrow for your mind.
SPEAKER #1: O God! I could be bounded in a nutshell,
and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not
that I have bad dreams.J. I have of late,but wherefore
I know not,lost all my mirth, forgone all custom
of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my
disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems
to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy,
the air, look you, this brave oerhanging firmament,
this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why,
it appears no other thing to me but a foul and pestilent
congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man!
How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form,
in 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.K. I am but mad north-north-west:
when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.
L. Is it not
monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, 384
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wannd,
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!
Whats 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.
have these players
Play something like the murder of my father
Before mine uncle; Ill observe his looks;
Ill tent him to the quick: if he but blench
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil: and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy
As he is very potent with such spirits
Abuses me to damn me. Ill have grounds
More relative than this: the plays the thing
Wherein Ill catch the conscience of the king.
N. 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? To die: to sleep;
No more; and, by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wishd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, theres the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. Theres the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressors wrong, the proud mans contumely,
The pangs of disprizd love, the laws delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin?
O. But that
the dread of something after death,
The undiscoverd 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?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied oer with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
P. O! my offence
is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upont;
A brothers 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. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brothers blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow? . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . .
. . . But, O! what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder?
That cannot be; since I am still possessd
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardond and retain the offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offences gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law; but tis not so above;
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature, and we ourselves compelld
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults
To give in evidence. What then? what rests?
Try what repentance can: what can it not?
Yet what can it, when one can not repent?
O wretched state! O bosom black as death!
O limed soul, that struggling to be free
Art more engaged! Help, angels! make assay;
Bow, stubborn knees; and heart with strings of steel
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe.
All may be well.
Q. Now might
I do it pat, now he is praying;
And now Ill do t: and so he goes to heaven;
And so am I revengd. That would be scannd:
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
He took my father grossly, full of bread,
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
And how his audit stands who knows save heaven?
R. When he is
drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At gaming, swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in t;
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damnd and black
As hell, whereto it goes. . . .
S. And, England,
if my love thou holdst at aught,
As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
After the Danish sword, and thy free awe
Pays homage to us,thou mayst not coldly set
Our sovereign process, which imports at full,
By letters conjuring to that effect,
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
For like the hectic in my blood he rages,
And thou must cure me. Till I know tis done,
Howeer my haps, my joys were neer begun.
T. Rightly to
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honours at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father killd, a mother staind,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep, while, to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame,
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O! from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
U. It must be
se offendendo; it cannot be else. For here lies
the point: if I drown myself wittingly it argues an
act; and an act hath three branches; it is, to act,
to do, and to perform: argal, she drowned herself
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . .
Give me leave. Here lies the water; good: here stands
the man; good: if the man go to this water, and drown
himself, it is, will he, nill he, he goes; mark you
that? but if the water come to him, and drown him, he
drowns not himself: argal, he that is not guilty of
his own death shortens not his own life.
T. 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? quite chapfallen? Now get
you to my ladys chamber, and tell her, let her
paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make
her laugh at that.
Discuss the last half of the passage above. Who is
the lady mentioned in "my lady's chamber"?
Hamlet challenges the skull to make her laugh about
V. Not a whit,
we defy augury; theres 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 be now; if it be
not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all. Since
no man has aught of what he leaves, what is t
to leave betimes? Let be.
W. It is here,
Hamlet. 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 envenomd. The foul practice
Hath turnd itself on me; lo! here I lie,
Never to rise again. Thy mothers poisond.
I can no more. The king, the kings to blame.
X. There, my
blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportiond thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar;
The 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-hatchd, unfledgd comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in,
Bear t that th opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;
Take each mans censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not expressd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are most select and generous, chief in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
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.
Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!
Y: The potent
poison quite oer-crows my spirit:
I cannot live to hear the news from England,
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicitedThe rest is silence.
Z. Now cracks
a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince. And flights
of angels sing thee to thy rest.