Hamlet Quotes

Quotes are golden words uttered by characters in a literary piece. Hamlet is considered a masterpiece on this account that it has hundreds of golden quotes. Hamlet’s famous quotes, or quotations are used in every part of the world for different situations, characters and contexts. There are countless quotes used for different purposes. Here is a bunch of Hamlet quotes discussed below.

Famous Quotes from Hamlet

Quote #1

A little more than kin, and less than kind.

(Act I, Scene II).

Hamlet says this in response to King Claudius’ question that he should not feel sorrow for so long over the death of his father. He is also telling Hamlet that he is his kin and next heir to the throne. However, Hamlet is very sarcastic to King Claudius implying that he is more than a kin to him now. He means that he is now his son, as the king has married his widowed mother after his father’s assassination. These words are important, as they show Hamlet’s loathing for the king.

Quote #2

Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

(Act I, Scene, III).

These words have been uttered by Polonius, a famous character in Hamlet who is close to King Claudius. His son Laertes is leaving for France. He is advising his son how to live a good life by not lending and borrowing. He is also telling him the harms of borrowing and its impacts on the life of a person. These words are significant, as they give philosophy of living a good and stable social life.

Quote #3

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

(Act II, Scene, II).

Hamlet speaks these golden words to his former classmates. King Claudius has appointed them to spy on him to know his thoughts about the murder of his father. When they question him about his bad temper and sorrowful expressions, he says that the thinking makes a thing bad or good. In fact, he refers to Denmark which seems to him bad but to his friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, good. These words are significant in that they show the depth of Hamlet’s thinking and the universality of his utterances.

Quote #4

What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!

(Act II, Scene, II).

Hamlet utters these lines in his first soliloquy. He is philosophizing his thoughts about the creature, man. He is saying that man is the “paragon of animals” and crown of all creation. In fact, it is his sense of wonder over the creature, man, as how man seems to be noble and how his faculties have blessed him to be at the top of other creatures.

Quote #5

The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.

(Act II, Scene II).

Hamlet utters these words to catch the king if his conscience is alive to the actions of the play. Here play means the play staged in Hamlet, the play. Hamlet has arranged a play on the subject of the killing of a king. He speaks these words to Horatio, his friend, to inform him that his objective in getting the play staged is to catch the king. He wants to see whether the king shows any sign of remorse or prick of conscience for the murder.

Quote #6

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

(Act III, Scene II).

Queen Gertrude, the mother of Hamlet, utters these lines when she wants to ask about the protests of the female character of the play staged within Hamlet. She points out the overacting of that character. However, it also shows that she seems to show her own guilt, as she knows that King Claudius has killed her husband. Hamlet wants to verify this by staging that play. However, it does not appear certain to him, the reason of his morose temper.

Quote #7

To be, or not to be: that is the question.

(Act III, Scene I).

This is one of the best quotations of all times. It is also considered the best combination of words used in different contexts. These are the words from second soliloquy of Hamlet occurring in the third act. In this soliloquy, he faces the metaphysical dilemma of man’s life. This dilemma is whether he should choose to end his life, or face the sufferings and injustice.

Quote #8

Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?

(Act III, Scene II).

Hamlet speaks these sarcastic words to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern whom King Claudius has appointed to spy on Hamlet. However, Hamlet is alive to all these things. He instantly senses their purpose. He wants to warn them through these sarcastic words that they should none play games with him to know his thinking. He also wants to alert them that he knows their real role.

Quote #9

I will speak daggers to her, but use none.

(Act III, Scene II).

Hamlet uses these words expressing his purpose of speaking to his mother. He means that he would taunt her for her hasty marriage with his uncle, King Claudius. The words used here in metaphorical sense convey his purpose of attacking his mother on emotional front. He is of the view that he should make his mother realize what she has done.

Quote #10

Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince; / And flights of angels sing thee to they rest!

(Act V, Scene II)

Horatio speaks these lines by the end of the play in the last scene. Hamlet is dying after injured in the duel with Laertes. These words a tribute to Hamlet’s nobility and his sense of purpose. Despite philosophical in nature and a true skeptic, expresses his believe in Hamlet’s good intentions. These two lines show that Hamlet’s goodness becomes apparent in the end.