To Quote The Great Bard

What’s your favorite quote from Hamlet?  Cite and explain.  The best bars will win a pair of Nutty Bars.


Act 3, Scene 4, Line 118

“Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.”  — Ghost

The second to last line spoken by the Ghost, who the audience assumes is the murdered father of Hamlet — the former King — traditionally serves as a warning to Hamlet to spare his mother.  At the core of the quote lies the word “conceit,” which can refer to imagination, design, or pride.  Throughout the story of Hamlet, Shakespeare uses wordplay to twist the concept of “conception.”  Hamlet speaks of pregnancy both literally and figuratively.  After all, to conceive is to create, and for one to be conceited he or she must have created a larger than life image of one’s self.  Do the physically weak compensate with strong imaginations?  What does this say about Shakespeare — for what lack of physical strength was he compensating?  Maybe only an entrepreneurial bard can truly capture the essence of what it is like to be a king, for if one is a king they may lack the imagination to express such character, especially to the common man through arts and entertainment.


Shakespeare Insult Kit

Combine one word from each of the three columns below, prefaced with “Thou”:

Column 1	    Column 2            Column 3 

artless             base-court          apple-john
bawdy               bat-fowling         baggage
beslubbering        beef-witted         barnacle
bootless            beetle-headed       bladder
churlish            boil-brained        boar-pig
cockered            clapper-clawed      bugbear
clouted             clay-brained        bum-bailey
craven              common-kissing      canker-blossom
currish             crook-pated         clack-dish
dankish             dismal-dreaming     clotpole
dissembling         dizzy-eyed          coxcomb
droning             doghearted          codpiece
errant              dread-bolted        death-token
fawning             earth-vexing        dewberry
fobbing             elf-skinned         flap-dragon
froward             fat-kidneyed        flax-wench
frothy              fen-sucked          flirt-gill
gleeking            flap-mouthed        foot-licker
goatish             fly-bitten          fustilarian
gorbellied          folly-fallen        giglet
impertinent         fool-born           gudgeon
infectious          full-gorged         haggard
jarring             guts-griping        harpy
loggerheaded        half-faced          hedge-pig
lumpish             hasty-witted        horn-beast
mammering           hedge-born          hugger-mugger
mangled             hell-hated          joithead
mewling             idle-headed         lewdster
paunchy             ill-breeding        lout
pribbling           ill-nurtured        maggot-pie
puking              knotty-pated        malt-worm
puny                milk-livered        mammet
qualling            motley-minded       measle
rank                onion-eyed          minnow
reeky               plume-plucked       miscreant
roguish             pottle-deep         moldwarp
ruttish             pox-marked          mumble-news
saucy               reeling-ripe        nut-hook
spleeny             rough-hewn          pigeon-egg
spongy              rude-growing        pignut
surly               rump-fed            puttock
tottering           shard-borne         pumpion
unmuzzled           sheep-biting        ratsbane
vain                spur-galled         scut
venomed             swag-bellied        skainsmate
villainous          tardy-gaited        strumpet
warped              tickle-brained      varlot
wayward             toad-spotted        vassal
weedy               unchin-snouted      whey-face
yeasty              weather-bitten      wagtail

28 thoughts on “To Quote The Great Bard

    1. I think this quote means that you must be true to yourself and that you should be true to yourself night and day and that no man can bring you down.


  1. My favorite quote from Hamlet is in Act one Scene two and it’s line 76 in the book. Hamlet is explaining why he is wearing black to his mother because he is still grieving his fathers death. He states wearing black is not the only sign he is showing of mourning but ge expresses other signs such as crying and the expression on his face. This is my favorite quote because it shows how his fathers death effected him.


  2. – “Good night sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest” -Act V Scene 2 Line 367-369

    I chose this quote out of Hamlet because I have it tattooed on my rib cage because of the personal meaning it has to me. When my grandpa passed away one of his friend from the FMA wrote an article about him with this quote at the bottom. My grandpa wasnt a prince, but to me and many other people he definitely was equivalent to one, he was a very wise man and always strived for what he wanted.


  3. Act 3 scene 1 line 110. Ophelia ” Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty?” Ophelia is questioning if honesty is better then her beauty. This speaks volumes to me because you hear a lot of stories on the internet on how the girl lied and she provoked him in some way to take advantage of her when she did nothing but she just didn’t speak the truth of her intentions or feelings.


  4. Act 3 scene 2, line 272 in the book hamlet says “why, let the stricken deer go weep”. This is basically saying to me in other words don’t start something and not finish it completely.


  5. Act 4 ,scene 1, line 55
    My favorite quote by Hamlet is explaining how.Mother.father and mother is man and wife, Man and wife is one flesh.


  6. To be or not to be-that is question: Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them.


  7. “this above all: to thine own self be true.”
    (Act 1, Scene 3)

    simple put Polonius is telling his son “be yourself.” in the play Polonius is also telling laertes to be a gentleman and not “false to any man”. This adds irony to the story as neither Polonius nor Laertes heads Polonius’s advice and die because of it.


  8. “A dream itself is but a shadow”
    Act 2, scene 2, line 263
    “A dream itself is but a shadow” this quote from Hamlet really speaks to us. We believe that he’s trying to say that shadows and dreams are one in the same. That although you can see them, they’re not really there. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your dreams won’t come true, it just means that they’re not happening right now, that you, yourself, has to make it/them happen.


  9. “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”


    Explaination: The words he speaks to heaven mean nothing and what he really wants to say, his thoughts, are going nowhere and are stuck inside him. However maybe his thoughts are the only things going to heaven, and the words he speaks have no value.


  10. “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)

    Polonius is giving laertesthat advice that lending money is bad cause they probs won’t pay you back, also borrowing money is Bad cause it is impolite.


  11. “Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.”

    Polonius is giving his son advice before returning to Paris. He is really saying loaning money to others is dangerous. Most people don’t pay you back and you loose friends. Also it’s considered impolite to borrow money and shows you live outside of your comfort zone


  12. Act 3 Scene 4: ” A bloody deed-almost as bad, good mother, As kill as king and marry with his brother”
    We picked this quote because it’s where Hamlet starts to really tell his mother what happened to his father. It also shows Hamlet’s feelings about his mother and her decision. He basically is calling her a whore so that makes it funny.


  13. Act III, Scene 2
    Lines 360—370
    Context: Hamlet asks Guildenstern if he could play the pipe, and he cannot.

    “It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages
    with your fingers and thumb, give it breathe with
    your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent
    music. Look you, these are the stops.”

    I really, really love this quote because we as the audience know that Guildenstern and Rosencrantz are both spies, and lying can be the worst possible thing to do, especially since those two were dear friends of Hamlet before.
    Hamlet is comparing the pipe to lying. Basically, he is saying that you can play the pipe with your mouth easily, and with the stops on the pipe, and no matter how skilled you are, you can produce beautiful music.
    Lying does not require any skill, only knowing people’s weaknesses (or as Hamlet says, his ‘stops’), and a mouth to speak.


  14. “Which dreams, indeed, are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.”
    For our quote Guildenstern and Hamlet are having a conversation about hamlet “counting himself a king of infinite space”. Guildenstern says to Hamlet that aims of ambitions are even less realistic than dreams. So therefore don’t ponder on it.


  15. “If we are true to ourselves, we can not be false to anyone.”

    “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”


  16. ” For nature, crescent, does not grow alone In threws and bulk, but as this temple waxes, The inward service of the mind and soul grows wide withal”


  17. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    This quote means much more than just what it may first seem to say. Basically what Hamlet is trying to tell Horatio is that there are more things in this world than just those things that Horatio believes. Just because Horatio does not believe what is happening is really happening at the moment does not mean that it is really happening and can hurt others. Hamlet also feels that what he wants to do is the right thing and that Horatio should not just put it off because he thinks it is not the right thing to do.


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