‘Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting’ Laertes to Ophelia 1.3

About Hamlet’s affections – suggests they are a

passing fancy. Use of doubling here.

‘… to thine own self be true’ Polonius to Laertes 1.3

Wise words from a ‘fool’. Irony? Are any of the

characters true to themselves?

‘Do not believe his vows’ Polonius to Ophelia 1.3 Warning her that Hamlet’s assertions of love are false - both Laertes & Polonius have said this.
‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ Marcellus 1.4

An ominous warning after Hamlet follows the

Ghost – creates a sense of corruption.

‘Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder’ The Ghost to Hamlet 1.5 The request which spurs the central plot.
‘… that incestuous, that adulterate beast’ Ghost about Claudius 1.5 Language which Hamlet will later echo.
‘… I have been so affrighted’ Ophelia to Polonius 2.1 Fearful of Hamlet’s strange behaviour.
‘This is the very ecstasy of love’ Polonius to Ophelia 2.1 Mistakenly takes Hamlet’s odd behaviour as being due to an infatuation with Ophelia.
‘I did repel his letters’ Ophelia to Polonius 2.1 Shows she’s obedient to her father.
‘My too much changed son’ Ophelia to R & G 2.2 Recognises how Hamlet is behaving.
‘Hamlet’s lunacy’ Polonius to Claudius 2.2 Shows how all are noticing Hamlet’s peculiar conduct.
‘… brevity is the soul of wit’ Polonius to Claudius 2.2

Irony! Polonius always takes ages to say what

needs to be said!

‘… never doubt I love’ Hamlet in letter to Ophelia 2.2 Playing with words but is this evidence that Hamlet really did love her?
‘... the madness wherein now he raves’ Polonius to C & G 2.2 Convinced that Hamlet is mad.

‘Though this be madness, yet there is method


Polonius to Hamlet 2.2

He rightly guesses that Hamlet’s seeming madness

is carefully crafted for purpose.

‘Denmark’s a prison’ Hamlet to R & G 2.2 Shows how Hamlet feels trapped.
‘a coward… pigeon-livered’ Hamlet soliloquy about himself 2.2 Self-reproach – Hamlet’s not convinced that he can carry out revenge.

‘Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous,

kindless villain!’

Hamlet soliloquy 2.2 His thoughts about Claudius.
‘… The play’s the thing/ Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.’ Hamlet soliloquy 2.2 Shows courage as he plots the first stage of his revenge through the play within the play.
‘To be, or not to be: that is the question:’ Hamlet soliloquy 3.1 Again, pondering thoughts of suicide.
‘The fair Ophelia!’ Hamlet to Ophelia 3.1 Kind words before he turns against her.