Hamlet Act 2 Quotes Flashcard Example #90365

“This is the very ecstasy of love”
Said by Poloninus to Ophelia; he believes that Hamlet’s behavior can be explained by him being heartbroken over Ophelia
“Brevity is the soul of wit”
Said by Polonius to Claudius and Gertrude; means that he’ll get straight to the point; ironic because he just rambles on and on and on
“More matter with less art”
Said by Gertrude to Polonius; tells him to just get to the point and stop rambling about things
“To me it is a prison”
Said by Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; he’s referring to not being able to leave Denmark because he is the future heir; he’s also pretending to be mad at this point
“I am but mad north-northwest when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw”
Said by Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; he’s pretending to be mad, but he’s also trying to hint to them that he’s just pretending it
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it”
Said by Polonius to himself; it’s an aside; referring to Hamlet’s strange behavior; he assumes that there is a cause to his madness (Ophelia’s rejection)
“You are a fishmonger”
Said by Hamlet to Polonius; pretending to be mad; basically called him a poor commoner
“O Jephtah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hast thou!?”
Said by Hamlet to Polonius; Jephtah was compelled to sacrifice his daughter; another comment on Polonius’s daughter, Ophelia
When Roscius was an actor in Rome –“
Said by Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but loud enough for Polonius to hear; he said this for Polonius because he knew that Polonius was about to tell him about the players; basically implying that Polonius carries old news
“I doubt it is no other but the main, His father’s death, and our o’erhasty marriage.”
Said by Gertrude to Claudius; Polonius claims to know the real reason behind Hamlet’s strange behavior (heartbroken over Ophelia) but Gertrude believes it’s simply because of his father’s death and how quickly Gertrude and Claudius got married.
“The play’s the thing Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.”
Said by Hamlet to himself; part of a soliloquy; he believes that his plan with the players and the play will reveal that the ghost told the truth and that Claudius did have something to do with his father’s death.
“Am I a coward?”
Said by Hamlet during a soliloquy; he is feeling guilty because he really hasn’t done anything yet to get revenge for his father’s death
“Better to have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live”
Said by Hamlet to Polonius; he said that it’s better to have bad things said about you when you’re dead rather than when you’re alive

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