Hamlet Critic Quotes

All duties seem holy to Hamlet Goethe (Hamlet and Duty)
He has the persuasiveness and physical courage of a ruler, but is morally empty Schofield (Claudius’ morality)
Hamlet is obliged to act on the spur of the moment Coleridge in 1800 (on Hamlet killing Claudius and Polonius)
He loved Gertrude deeply and genuinely Dawson (Claudius’ love for Gertrude)
The key comic element of the play is madness Sir Herbert Tree (Madness and Humour)
a woman of exuberant sexuality, who inspires uxorious passion first in King Hamlet and later in Claudius Bloom (Gertrude’s promiscuity)
Hamlet is haunted, not by a physical fear of dying, but of being dead C.S Lewis (Hamlet’s fear of death)
Ophelia is deprived of thought, sexuality and language Elaine Showalter (Ophelia’s deprivations)
Pleasing men is Gertrude’s main interest Rebecca Smith (Gertrude’s interests)
He is being asked, as a son who (surely) loves his father, to avenge his father’s foul and unnatural murder Gabriel Josipovici (Hamlet avenging his father)
Women are often given the same advice that is given to servants… Chasity, piety, obedience Diana Bornstein (advice given to women)
With the strongest purposes of revenge, he is irresolute and inactive Henry Mackenzie (Hamlet’s purposes of Revenge)
Cold-hearted devil J.H Walter (Polonius)
A man whose moral compass is infinitely wobbly Gabriel Josipovici (Polonius’ moral compass)
Unworthy of a hero Thomas Hamner (Hamlet’s actions in Act 3, scene 3)
He himself is literally no better than the sinner whom he is to punish Kate Flint (Hamlet’s inactivity in Act 3, scene 3)
The violence towards the mother is the effect of the desire for her Jacqueline Rose (Hamlet’s violence towards his mother in Act 3, scene 4)
gives him the licence of a fool to speak cruel truths, transgressing the language of social decorum Kate Flint (Hamlet’s madness)
a poetic and morally sensitive soul crushed by the barbarous task of murder Goethe in 1795 (Hamlet as a tragic hero)
Comedy can be seen as “the grounds from which tragedy develops” Susan Synder (Hamlet comedy and tragedy)
Ghosts of departed persons are not wandering souls of men but the unquiet walks of devil Protestant Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici in 1643
He identified Hamlet’s illness as Melancholy Thomas Bright (1580)
Hamlet’s far fetched scruples are often mere pretexts to cover his want of determination Schlegel (Hamlet’s indecision and masculinity)
Ophelia is portrayed as “an insignificant minor character” Elaine Showalter (Ophelia as a character)
Hamlet is rather an instrument than an agent Samuel Johnson in 1765 (Hamlet’s inactivity)
Hamlet “has no firm belief in himself or anything” Coleridge in early 1800 (Hamlet’s beliefs)
Hamlet is a “vulgar and barbarous drama” Voltaire in 1748 (opinion of Hamlet)
Hamlet is a man incapable of acting because he thinks too much Coleridge in early 1800 (Hamlet’s thinking and action)
Hamlet is a merge of the tragic hero and the clown figure Gabriel Josipovici (Hamlet’s character)
“Hamlet’s suffering and behaviour stem from the fact that he cannot find a play to be part of” Gabriel Josipovici (Hamlet’s dilemma)
Claudius is a “good and gentle King” Wilson Knight in 1930 (on Claudius)
Hamlet only possesses the word of an unreliable ghost and his own instinctive dislike of Gertrude’s second husband as a basis for revenge Anne Barton (Hamlet’s basis for revenge)
Hamlet assumes without any questioning that he ought to avenge his father A.C Bradley in 1904 (Hamlet on avenging his father)
we are never perfectly certain as to just who or what the ghost is John Dover Wilson in 1935 (the origins of the ghost)
the story of moral poisoning Hippolyte Taine in 19th century (moral poisoning)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are “just toadies to the king” John Gielgud (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern)
Ophelia literally has no story without Hamlet Lee Edwards (Ophelia)
Hamlet is a play about a father and a son who were weak because they were undone… by sexually treacherous women Avi Ehrlich in 1977 (female sexuality)
Hamlet “thinks too deeply” Nietzsche in 1872 (Hamlet’s thinking)
(Hamlet is) an element of evil in the state of Denmark Wilson Knight in 1930 (Hamlet)
he is not a monster, he is morally weak Amanda Mabillard (Claudius)
The world of Hamlet is a remarkably enclosed one Alan Gardnier (Hamlet’s world)