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Welcome to the Great Lines Page for The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.

Our intent is to create a line-linked index to the greatest or most memorable lines in the play. Of course, every index is simply another way to "crack the book," and that is our intent, to get into the story in as many ways as possible, and read it, read it, read it! Good luck and enjoy. -Jagtig


Sit down awhile; And let us once again assail your ears, That are so fortified against our story - Bernardo

it harrows me with fear and wonder. - Horatio

But in the gross and scope of my opinion, This bodes some strange eruption to our state. - Horatio

...this sweaty haste Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day: - Marcellus

Of unimproved mettle hot and full,...

The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets: - Horatio

The extravagant and erring spirit hies To his confine: - Horatio

The head is not more native to the heart, The hand more instrumental to the mouth,... - Claudius

A little more than kin, less than kind. - Hamlet

Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity.

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

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

as this temple waxes, The inward service of the mind and soul Grows wide withal. - Laertes

The canker galls the infants of the spring, Too oft before their buttons be disclosed,...- Laertes

Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.- Laertes

Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven; Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, And recks not his own rede. - Ophelia to Laertes

A double blessing is a double grace, Occasion smiles upon a second leave. - Laertes to Ophelia

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

The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out The triumph of his pledge. - Hamlet speaking of Claudius' celebrations.

I am native here And to the manner born,... Hamlet

Since nature cannot choose his origin-- Hamlet

(these particular men) 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

Note: this is his first paraphrase of Aristotles' theory of tragedy, the tragic flaw that undoes an otherwise noble and lofty character. He will expound on this before the play, The Mousetrap, is performed.

thrice he walk'd By their oppress'd and fear-surprised eyes,

why the sepulchre, Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd, Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws, To cast thee up again. - Hamlet

Unhand me, gentlemen. By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me! - Hamlet

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. - This most famous of lines is spoken by Marcellus.

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 on end, Like quills upon the fretful porpentine: - King Hamlet's ghost with reference to his time in Hell or Purgatory.

My hour is almost come, When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames Must render up myself.

Murder most foul, as in the best it is;

Come on--you hear this fellow in the cellarage

A worthy pioner!

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

The time is out of joint: O cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it right!

the taints of liberty, The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind, A savageness in unreclaimed blood,

This must be known; which, being kept close, might move More grief to hide

I must be cruel, only to be kind:

For 'tis the sport to have the engineer Hoist with his own petard

a knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.

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

He's loved of the distracted multitude, Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;

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

And where the offence is let the great axe fall.

an act hath three branches: it is, to act, to do, to perform:

There is no ancient gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers: they hold up Adam's profession.

Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating

Did these bones cost no more the breeding, but to play at loggats with 'em?

we must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us

To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a bung-hole?

Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand Like wonder-wounded hearers?

For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak With most miraculous organ

Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind

pleased not the million; 'twas caviare to the general:

A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom And ever three parts coward,

the funeral baked meats Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables

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

Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing;

But I will delve one yard below their mines, And blow them at the moon:

A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom And ever three parts coward.

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