Hamlet Key Passages


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a review of key passages of Hamlet

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Hamlet Key Passages

  1. 2. Soliloquies
  2. 3. 1.2.125-160 <ul><li>After meeting Hamlet for the first time, we discover his mental state as he wishes: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Oh, that this too too sallied flesh would melt”. </li></ul>
  3. 4. 1.2.250-255 <ul><li>Hamlet discovers his father’s ghost wanders the land and questions: “My father’s spirit in arms?” </li></ul>
  4. 5. 1.5.90-112 <ul><li>Upon learning that his father was murdered at the hands of his brother, Hamlet exclaims: “O all you host of heaven!” </li></ul>
  5. 6. 2.2.505-565 <ul><li>The player weeps at the plight of Priam, slain King of Troy, but Hamlet has yet to act on his oath of vengeance against the murderer Claudius and loathes himself for his inaction: “O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I”. </li></ul>
  6. 7. 3.1.50-90 <ul><li>The world seems a dark place to Hamlet as he contemplates again the value of life and ponders the most famous question in tragedy: “To be, or not to be, that is the question”. </li></ul>
  7. 8. 3.1.148-160 <ul><li>Poor Ophelia is terrified by Hamlet’s reaction to her (while her father and the King spy on the exchange) and mourns: “O, what a noble mind is here o’verthrown”. </li></ul>
  8. 9. 3.3.350-363 <ul><li>Claudius reveals his guilt by his reaction to the play, the Murder of Gonzago, and finally Hamlet has proof of the Ghosts accusation but this knowledge is both satisfying and frightening to Hamlet as he contemplates his next move: “’Tis the very witching time of night”. </li></ul>
  9. 10. 3.3.35-72 <ul><li>In his only soliloquy, Claudius reveals that he feels remorse for this crime but as he is unwilling to give up the fruits of his sins, he knows he will never be forgiven for what he has done and is doomed: “O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven”. </li></ul>
  10. 11. 3.3.72-96 <ul><li>Hamlet, seeing Claudius at confession, mistakes his posture for true repentance and decides not to carry out his plans to kill Claudius until his soul is black with sin: ”Now might I do it pat”. </li></ul>
  11. 12. 4.4.30-68 <ul><li>Upon encountering Fortinbras’ captain and learning of the war against Poland, Hamlet again measures himself up to another and finds himself lacking: “How all occasions do inform against me”. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Moment that reveal <ul><li>Character or theme </li></ul>
  13. 14. 1.3.50-81 <ul><li>As Laertes leaves for France, Polonius offers him some sage advice: “to thine own self be true”. </li></ul>
  14. 15. 2.2.280-294 <ul><li>Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are unable to glean from Hamlet any more that this: “What a piece of work is a man”. </li></ul>
  15. 16. 3.1.90-145 <ul><li>Ophelia approaches Hamlet and a somewhat one-sided fight ensues where Hamlet tells Ophelia: “Get thee to a nunnery”. </li></ul>
  16. 17. 4.3.15-33 <ul><li>Hamlet will not reveal the location of Polonius’ body when questioned by Claudius but does offer this riddle in reply: “At supper”. </li></ul>
  17. 18. 4.5.150-195 <ul><li>In reaction to the tragedy around her, Ophelia goes mad, mad I tell you: “Oh heat, dry up my brain”. </li></ul>
  18. 19. 5.1.158-186 <ul><li>The reunion of Hamlet and Yorick (or at least his skull) prompts Hamlet to reflect on the transient nature of our physical presence on earth and he realizes that the ultimate fate of kings and beggars is to return to dust as all the dead have done: “Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust...”. </li></ul>
  19. 20. 5.2.185-198 <ul><li>Horatio pleads with Hamlet not to meet Laertes’ challenge but Hamlet finally seems to be at peace with his own mortality: “If it be now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; it if be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all”. </li></ul>
  20. 21. 5.2.330-340 <ul><li>Hamlet’s final words are spoken and Horatio is left to mourn Hamlet’s passing with a touching prayer: “Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!” </li></ul>
  21. 22. 5.2.340-382 <ul><li>The play ends with an explanation of what has transpired to leave Denmark a bloody wreak and Horatio is the bearer of the moral to this tragedy “lest more mischance/On plots and errors happen.” </li></ul>
  22. 23. Study hard…