Important quotations

William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" has achieved such world fame that many passages and quotations from the play have become part of the active vocabulary of many languages as sayings, either because they are distinguished by a particular sharpness of thought, or because they are of a remarkable linguistic beauty. We have listed a selection of the best known and most important quotations for you and commented briefly on them:

 

  • "Frailty, thy name is woman!" (1.2.149) - Hamlet

 

In this quote, Hamlet metaphorically expresses his lack of understanding for his mother remarrying only a few weeks after the death of her husband. Since he is not only talking about his mother at this point, but about women in general, some interpreters argue: Hamlet could be exposed as a misogynistic character because of this statement.

 

  • "It is not nor it cannot come to good: But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue." (1.2.161-162) - Hamlet

 

Hamlet admits to himself through this Correctio that he will never be able to come to terms with the marriage between his mother and uncle. However, at the beginning of the drama, he finds himself unable to confront either character directly. Instead, he carries his grief silently. At this point, it is already clear that Hamlet will increasingly distance himself from courtly society. He decides not to inform anyone of his true emotional state with two emotionally charged decla...

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