Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2 Quotes

‘Rozencrantz and Guildenstern’ Rozencrantz means ‘rosy-wreath’ and Guildenstern ‘Golden-Star’. They are both pretty danish names. The characters are metrically (in terms of syllables and rhythm of verse – ‘meter’) identical and readily transposable (interchangeable).
‘Since nor th’ exterior nor the inward manResembles that it was.’ Claudius: 6-7Hamlet is shown not to resemble a man. He is consistently criticised by Claudius for his lack of masculinity and his dissimilarity to his father. Both outside and inside, Hamlet is not the revenge hero or prince that he should be
‘hath out him So much from th’ understanding of himself’ Claudius: 8-9 Hamlet is not able to understand himself like a child. He is infantilised (also by the presence of childhood friends) and not taken seriously by the court who try to control and restrain him to no avail.
‘two men there are not living To whom he more adheres’ Gertrude: 20-1Gertrude is kind mother trying to act in the best interests of her son, noticing clearly his unhappiness and misery. The reference to men ‘not living’ is interesting, hinting at a relationship between Hamlet and his father’s closeness and Hamlet’s loneliness at losing both a father and a close friend.
‘Extend your time with us awhile,For the supply and profit of our hope’ Gertrude 23-4Money language to describe love and caring. Uncertainty as to the intentions of Gertrude and her perception of love
‘Thanks Rozencrantz and Gentle Guildenstern.”Thanks Guildenstern and gentle Rozencrantz’ King and Queen 33-34The duplication of characters here is shown through this parallel phrasing. The characters are interchangeable and are not two dimensional. They are fickle pawns in the play for the King and Queen.
‘I beseech you instantly to visitMy too much changed son.’ Gertrude 35-6The mother’s caring attitude is shown here. She wishes for the wellbeing of Hamlet.She doesn’t define in which way he is changed – is this the put on madness or the melancholy since his father’s death?
‘I doubt it is no other but the main,His father’s death, and our o’erhasty marriage.’ The only reference busy other characters to the impact of loss and death. The reference to grief is rare from other characters than hamlet. This gives evidence to Gertrude’s deeper understanding of Hamlet’s affection and the impact of a loved one’s death.
‘To define true madness,What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?But let that go’ Polonius 92-4A piece of characterisation of Polonius as an overly spoken, lengthy and bumbling man. Also his explanation is oversimplified and meaningless. If Hamlet seeks the truth then Polonius conceals it and searches for the easy.
‘More matter with less art’ Gertrude 95A witty and sarcastic comment. Somewhat scathing. Unusual for the relatively silent queen
‘Beautified is a vile phrase’ Polonius 111Polonius hates the idea of her daughter being loved by another as it would take the control of her away from him. This almost shows how he despises love and romance.
‘Doubt truth to be a liar’ Polonius 118In Hamlet’s love letter to Ophelia he questions what is a falsehood and what is true. He is innately suspicious, but sees his love as the only sure thing.
‘Whilst this machine is to him’ Polonius 123-4Hamlet considered his body to be a separate entity from his mind, one that he has no control over and is not even human but functions for base purposes, while his mind is wholly detached from it.
‘Hot love on the wing’ Polonius 132Dismisses the intentions and true meaning of Hamlet’s love for Ophelia
‘She should lock herself from his resort, Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.’ Polonius 143-4Polonius guards and traps his daughter rom free action and thinking. She must behave and follow his orders. He is also wholly convinced that his daughter is not good enough for Hamlet, and that the King and queen will disapprove. He sees his role as a father as a protector and a guard. He sees the need for safety.
‘I’ll loose my daughter to him’ Polonius 162Loose sounds like from a leash- very animalistic and dismissing the wishes of Ophelia
‘The poor wretch’ Gertrude 168Wretch – meaning outcast and stranger. Hamlet is a stranger from the court. However the queen seems to say it with empathy- sadly the poor wretch comes reading. She understands hamlet’s sadness better than both.
‘Excellent well, you are a fishmonger’ Hamlet 174 Hamlet plays with the two meanings of fishmonger – seller of fish ( a degrading job title for an important courtier) but also as a pimp- ‘loosing’ Ophelia to him. Criticising the controlling nature of her father.
‘If the sun breed maggots in a dead dog,Being a good kissing carrion’ Hamlet 182-2Context- the sun was supposed to breed maggots in dead flesh. – the carrion is ‘sun kissed’The suggestion is that since Hamlet kissed Ophelia, she may breed- kissing her is removing her purity. A disguising comprising of kissing to rot, this suggests how love is doomed and impossible in the rotten state of Denmark.
‘What do you read my Lord?”Words, words, words’ Hamlet 192Hamlet is being pernicious and inconstant. He enuresis Polonius with a sarcastic comment designed to make him seem volatile and critical
‘Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.’ Polonius 206 He is able to see deeper into hamlet’s acted madness.
‘You cannot sir take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal- except my life, except my life, except my life.’ Hamlet 216-219Hamlet is being unrestrainedly truthful now he has his ‘antic disposition’ on. He is given a mask to speak from behind so will tell the truth.
‘In the secret parts of Fortune? O most true, she is a strumpet.’ Hamlet 237-8Fortune is a woman- strumpet. Sex jokes, for humour. Luck is unfaithful. Madonna ***** complex
‘Denmark’s a prison’ Hamlet 246How Hamlet feels about his surroundings.
‘There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so’ Hamlet 252-3Hamlet philosophising on right and wrong here. Debating whether revenge is right or wrong, the true course of action to take. The continuing debate starts here of what type of guidance to follow. As religious teachings the way to live life? Through philosophy, existentialism and pleasure, duty, custom, personal relationships. The legacy concern can be tied to this.
‘A dream itself is but a shadow’ Hamlet 263Hamlet is plagued by dreams- an insight into his psychologically troubled self.As he cannot rid himself of shadows neither can he rid himself or dreams
‘That this goodly frame the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory’ Hamlet 303-4Hamlet sees no reason to live. The earth is dead. The constant reference to ‘seems’ He doesn’t know what to believe.
‘I am but mad north-north west’ Hamlet 383Insistence that Hamlet’s madness is put on, it changes like the weather,
‘One speech in it I chiefly loved, ’twas ├ćneas’ tale to Dido’ Hamlet 451-2Hamlet’s knowledge of plays and drama is extensive and deep. Words and narrative is his real passion.
‘Study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines,Which I would set down and insert in’t could you not?’ Hamlet 544-6Hamlet is talented with words and uses them as his weapon. He is creative and linguistically – refer to his femininity with language
‘His whole function suiting With forms to his conceit – and all for nothing?’ Hamlet 560-1Hamlet is distracted by his turmoil over lies vs truth. He is unable to believe that the actor can make a better show of grief than he can even though he has real motive. He is questioning custom and appearance of grief
‘Had he the motive and the cue for passion That I have? He would drown the stage in tears,’ Hamlet 556-7Hamlet is detached from the actions of his feelings and thoughts. He is emotionally broken.
‘I am pigeon-livered and lack gall’ Hamlet 582Hamlet insults himself, thinking himself as a coward. Self hatred. He doesn’t have the courage to be a thoughtless masculine revenger
‘Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindlessVillain!’ Hamlet 587-8Hamlet’s principle desire for Claudius is for the King to feel guilt at what he has done. He wants emotional revenge, not just physical revenge. Sibilance of the hissing s sounds, shows how Hamlet despises his uncle.
‘Must like a *****, unpack my heart with words’ Hamlet 592Hamlet sees language as feminine and rejects it. His is confused about his own gender identity
‘For murder though it have no tongue, will speakWith most miraculous organ’ Hamlet 599- 601He wants Claudius to express what he has done. The desire to expose lies and uncover the truth.
‘The spirit I have seen May be a devil and the devil hath powerT’assume a pleasing shape’ Hamlet 506-7Hamlet questions the ghost. Is it his fathers spirit or a devil?He chooses to deliberate in order to uncover more evidence to the truth.
‘The play’s the thing Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King’ Hamlet 611-2Hamlet’s decision. He chooses to wait and see if Claudius will repent. He doesn’t blindingly trust the ghost but instead tests its claim against his own supposition.