Hamlet: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. Polonius to his son Laertes who is departing for France (1.3.84):

    "This above all: to thine own self be true,And it must follow, as the night the day,Thou canst not then be false to any man."
  2. Hamlet's description of the less-than-natural relationship between himself and Claudius (1.2.67):

    "A little more than kin and less than kind."
  3. Ophelia to her brother Laertes who is giving her advice on her relationship with Hamlet (1.3.51):

    "Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,Whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine,Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads And recks not his own rede."
  4. The ghost to Hamlet, describing the true cause of his death (1.5.33):

    "Murder most foul, as in the best it is,But this most foul, strange, and unnatural."
  5. Hamlet to himself (3.1.64):

    "To be or not to be-that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And, by opposing, end them."
  6. The Player King performing the words Hamlet has written for him (3.2.234):

    "Our wills and fates do so contrary run That our devices still are overthrown; Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own."
  7. Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on his madness (2.2.402):

    "I am but mad north-north-west.  When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw."
  8. Marcellus to Horatio after Hamlet follows the ghost (1.4.100):

    "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
  9. Hamlet to Laertes prior to their duel (5.2.252):

    "Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged; His madness is poor Hamlet'