Hamlet Act V Quotes Notes

Act V, scene i

Hamlet (to Horatio):

  1. 224-228: Here comes the King, / The Queen, and courtiers. Who is this they follow? / And with such maimèd [diminished] rites? This doth betoken / The corse they follow did with desp‘rate hand / Fordo its own life.
  • C: H has just returned to Denmark and sees people coming to the cemetery
  • E: C, G, L, and priest carry the coffin to the cemetery and are about to bury O


Doctor (to mourners):

  1. 234-237: Her death was doubtful [suspicious], / And, but that great command o‘ersways the order, / She should in ground unsanctified been lodged / Till the last trumpet.
  • C: L demands a better burial for O
  • E: C used his power as king to make the church allow O to be buried in the church cemetery even though she committed suicide and broke Christian rules


Hamlet (to all):

  1. 285-287: I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers / Could not with all their quantity of love / Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?
  • C: H jumps into the grave
  • E: H expresses his sorrow for O’s death


Act V, scene ii

Hamlet (to Horatio):

  1. 11-12: There‘s a divinity that shapes our ends, / Rough-hew them how we will
  • C: H explains to Horatio what happened to him on his way to England
  • E: H tells Horatio that he has accepted his fate and trusts his fate


Osric (to Hamlet):

  1. 178-180: The King, sir, hath laid, sir, that in a dozen / passes between yourself and him, he shall not / exceed you three hits.
  • C: Osric comes to inform H that C has organized a friendly fencing match between H and L
  • E: The fencing match is part of L and C’s plan to take revenge for P and kill H


Horatio (to Hamlet):

  1. 223: You will lose my lord.
  2. 231-232: If your mind dislike anything, obey it. I will / forestall their repair hither and say you are not fit.

Hamlet (to Horatio):

  1. 233-237: There is a / special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be / now, tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be / now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The / readiness is all.
  • C: Horatio tries to convince H not to fight
  • E: H reaffirms his trust in fate and how he believes he is ready to fight L because he is resigned to his fate


Claudius (to all):

  1. 291-293: And in the cup an union [a large pearl] shall he throw, / Richer than that which four successive kings / In Denmark‘s crown have worn.
  • C: C drops a poisoned pearl into a cup of wine
  • E: C’s plan to kill H if L cannot


Gertrude (to Hamlet):

  1. 315: The Queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
  • C: G takes the cup of wine
  • E: G drinks the wine


Laertes (to Hamlet):

  1. 330: Have at you now!
  • C: L hits H
  • E: L is the weaker fencer and takes advantage of a break to cut H with his poisoned sword


Horatio (in exclamation):

  1. 334: They bleed on both sides.
  • C: H has just cut L with L’s poisoned sword and are in the middle of a brawl
  • E: Both men are poisoned and will eventually die


Laertes (to Hamlet):

  1. 337: I am justly killed with mine own treachery.
  • C: L is dying
  • E: L confesses his deceitful plan


Queen Gertrude (to Hamlet):

  1. 341: The drink, the drink! I am poisoned.
  • C: G collapses
  • E: G is dying


Laertes (to Hamlet):

  1. 351: The King, the King‘s to blame.
  • C: L accuses C
  • E: L knowing that he will die, confesses everything and tells H that C is responsible for the poison


Hamlet (to Claudius):

  1. 352-353: The point envenomed too! Then, venom, to thy / work.
  2. 357: Drink off this potion. Is thy union here?
  • C: H sees G has died and has stabbed C
  • E: H forces C to drink his poisoned wine


Laertes (to Hamlet):

  1. 361-363: Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet. / Mine and my father‘s death come not upon thee, / Nor thine on me.
  • C: L is dying
  • E: L asks H’s forgiveness and offers H his forgiveness so both men can die with clean consciences


Hamlet (to Horatio):

  1. 370-372: Horatio, I am dead. / Thou livest; report me and my cause aright / To the unsatisfied.
  • C: H is dying
  • E: Horatio wants to die but H stops him and tells him to tell others his story


Horatio (to Hamlet):

  1. 375: Here‘s yet some liquor left.
  • C: Horatio wants to drink the remaining poisoned wine
  • E: E: Horatio wants to die but H stops him and tells him to tell others his story


Horatio (to Fortinbras):

  1. 422-428: So shall you hear / Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, / Of accidental judgements, casual slaughters, / Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause, / And, in this upshot, purposes mistook / Fall‘n on th‘ inventors‘ heads. All this can I / Truly deliver.
  • C: F enters and sees the carnage
  • E: Horatio tells F that he will tell him about all that had happened and how C, G, L, and H died


Fortinbras (to Horatio):

  1. 431-433: For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune. / I have some rights of memory in this kingdom, / Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
  • C: F assumes the throne
  • E: F becomes the next king of Denmark with H’s approval and vote

Act IV Quotes Notes

Hamlet Quotes & Notes Act IV


Act IV, scene i

Claudius (to R & G):

  1. 34-37: Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain, / And from his mother‘s closet hath he dragged him. / Go seek him out, speak fair, and bring the body / Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this.
  • C: C has just discovered that H killed P by accident
  • E: C tells R&G to find P’s body and bring it to the chapel so it can be buried properly


Act IV, scene ii

Hamlet (to Rosencrantz):

  1. 12-13: Besides, … [being questioned by] a sponge, what / … [reply] should be made by the son of a king?
  2. 15-16: [You are] … [a sponge] that soaks up the King‘s countenance [favorable looks], / his rewards, his authorities.
  • C: H has hid P’s body
  • E: H chides R for being a sponge and not a good friend. He is disappointed with his friend for betraying him for money and power from C.


Act IV, scene iii

  1. 19-22: King: Now, Hamlet, where‘s Polonius?

Hamlet: At supper.

King: At supper where?

Hamlet: Not where he eats, but where he is eaten.

  • C: C demands to know where P’s body is
  • E: H jokes with C and speaks in puns about where he has hidden P’s body. H’s madness irritates C more.


  1. 34-39: King: Where is Polonius?

Hamlet: In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger find him not there, seek him i‘ th‘ other place yourself. But if, indeed, you find him not within a month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.

  • C: C continues to demand to know where H has hid the body (same conversation as above).
  • E: H continues with his jokes. He tells C that if he cannot find P in a few days, he will be able to smell him as the body decays. H’s madness and disrespectful attitude galvanizes C to send H away.


Claudius (to Hamlet):

  1. 46-48: The bark is ready, and the wind at help, / Th‘ associates tend [wait for you], and everything is bent [ready] / For England.
  • C: C bids H farewell before H leaves
  • E: H leaves for England with R&G


Claudius (to himself):

  1. 60-69: And England, … / … thou mayst not [lightly / regard my royal command], / which imports at full, / By letters congruing to that effect, / The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England, / For like the hectic [continual fever] in my blood he rages, / And thou must cure me.
  • C: C speaks in a soliloquy after H and R&G leave for England
  • E: C has a secret plan. Instead of paying tribute, C has written a letter that H will give to the king of England requesting England pay its homage to Denmark by killing H immediately when they receive C’s letter.


Act IV, scene iv

Fortinbras (to Captain):

  1. 1-4: Go, Captain, from me greet the Danish king. / Tell him that by his license Fortinbras / Craves the conveyance of a promised march / Over his kingdom.
  • C: F is marching through Denmark to Poland
  • E: F tells the captain that he wants to meet C to thank him for letting him march through Denmark


Fortinbras‘ Captain (to Hamlet):

  1. 18-19: We go to gain a little patch of ground / That hath in it no profit but the name.
  • C: H talks to F’s army captain
  • E: H finds out that F’s army is fighting for a piece of land that no one wants. H is impressed by F’s ambition and is further discouraged at his own lack of motivation to take revenge.


Hamlet (soliloquy):

  1. 46-47: Examples gross as earth exhort me: / Witness this army of such mass and charge …
  • C: H is alone. R&G are in front of him. H reflects on his meeting with F’s army.
  • E: H is upset with himself for being so weak and unable to take revenge and kill a guilty person when F will willingly kill innocent people for a piece of land that no one wants.


  1. 56-62: How stand I, then, / That have a father killed, a mother stained, / Excitements of my reason and my blood, / And let all sleep, while to my shame I see / The imminent death of twenty thousand men / That for a

fantasy and trick of fame / Go to their graves like beds ….

  • C: H continues to berate himself for his inaction.
  • E: H has all the reasons for revenge but cannot act. He lacks F’s ambition and is jealous that F can march 20,000 men to death but he cannot kill one person.


Act IV, scene v

Gentlemen (to Gertrude):

  1. 7: her speech is nothing, …
  • C: something is wrong with O
  • E: O has gone mad and speaks gibberish after P died


Horatio (to Gertrude):

  1. 14: ‘Twere good she were spoken with …
  • C: H thinks G should talk to O and calm her down
  • E: H pities O and wants G to talk to her


Ophelia (sings):

  1. 29-32: He is dead and gone, lady, / He is dead and gone; / At his head a grass- green turf, / At his heels a stone.
  • C: O has gone mad
  • E: O sings songs about death that sound like she is mourning her father’s death


  1. 48-66: Tomorrow is Saint Valentine‘s day,

All in the morning betime,

And I a maid at your window,

To be your Valentine.

Then up he rose and donned his clothes

And dupped [opened] the chamber door,

Let in the maid, that out a maid

Never departed more.

By [Jesus] …, and by Saint Charity,

Alack and fie for shame,

Young men will do‘t, if they come to‘t;

By [God…] they are to blame.

Quoth she  Before you tumbled me,

You promised me to wed.‘

He answers:

So would I‘a done, by yonder sun,

An [If] thou hadst not come to my bed.‘

  • C: one of the songs O sings
  • E: the song is very sad and talks about how a girl fell in love with a man. They sleep together because he promises to marry her but after they have sex, he runs away and leaves the girl. The song suggests that something similar happened to her and H.


Claudius (to Gertrude):

  1. 78-79: When sorrows come, they come not single spies, / But in battalions
  • C: C comments on O’s madness
  • E: Tragedy often occurs in groups rather than one at a time


Laertes (to Claudius):

  1. 134-140: How came he dead? … / To hell, allegiance! … / To this point I stand, / That both worlds I give to negligence, / Let come what comes, only I‘ll be revenged / Most thoroughly for my father.
  • C: L returns from France to avenge P
  • E: L wants C to tell him who killed his father


Claudius (to Laertes):

  1. 154-157: That I am guiltless of your father‘s death / And am most sensible in grief for it, / It shall as level to your judgement [ap]‘pear / As the day does to your eye.
  • C: C answers L
  • E: C tells L that he is sad for P’s death but that he did not kill P.


Laertes (about Ophelia):

  1. 192-193: ―Thought [Melancholy] and afflictions, passion [suffering], hell itself / She turns to favor and to prettiness.
  • C: L sees O singing songs in her madness.
  • E: L thinks sadness has turned O insane.


Act IV, scene vi

Horatio (reading a letter from Hamlet):

  1. 15-19: Ere we were two days / old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave / us chase / … and in the grapple I boarded them.
  • C: Horatio receives a letter from H
  • E: H tells Horatio that they were attacked by pirates and H escaped


Horatio (reading a letter from Hamlet):

  1. 23-29: [Come] thou to me with as must speed as thou wouldst fly death. … These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England; of them I have much to tell thee.
  • C: Horatio continues to read H’s letter
  • E: H is returning to Denmark; R&G are continuing on their way to England


Act IV, scene vii

Claudius (in response to Laertes‘ question as to why Claudius has not punished Hamlet for the death of Polonius):

  1. 11-12: The Queen his mother / Lives almost by his looks …
  • C: L wants to know why C didn’t punish H.
  • E: C explains why he couldn’t punish H. G loves H too much and would die if anything happened to H.


  1. 16-21: The other motive / Why to a public count I might not go / Is the great love the general gender [the common people] bear him, / Who, … / Convert his gyves [transform his shackles] to graces ….
  • C: L wants to know why C didn’t punish H.
  • E: C couldn’t punish H for killing P because the people love H. They would revolt if anything happened to him.


Claudius (reading a letter from Hamlet):

  1. 43-47: High and mighty, you shall know I am set naked [defenseless] on your kingdom. Tomorrow I shall beg leave to see your kingly eyes, when I shall … thereunto recount the occasion of my sudden and more strange return.
  • C: H writes a letter to C. C reads the letter.
  • E: H tells C he is returning to Denmark and would like to talk to him tomorrow.


Laertes (to Claudius):

  1. 140-147: I bought an unction [poison] of a mounteback [doctor] / So mortal [deadly…] / … I‘ll touch my point / With this contagion, that, if I gall [scratch] him slightly, / It may be death.
  • C: C and L discuss revenge on H.
  • E: L will poison the sword he uses in a fencing match with H so that H will die from poison.


Claudius (to Laertes):

  1. 155-161: When in your motion you are hot and dry / (As make your bouts more violent to that end) / And he calls for drink, I‘ll have prepared him / A chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping, / If he by chance escape your venomed stuck [thrust of your sword], / Our purpose may hold there.
  • C: C and L discuss revenge on H.
  • E: C will put a poisoned pearl into a cup of wine that H will drink during the match and die from poison.


Gertrude (to Laertes):

  1. 172-175: There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds / Clamb‘ring to hang, an envious sliver broke, / When down her weedy trophies and herself / Fell in the weeping brook.
  2. 175-183: Her clothes spread wide, / And mermaid-like awhile they bore her up, / Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds, / As one incapable of [understanding] her own distress…/ But long it could not be / Till that her garments, heavy with their drink, / Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay / To muddy death.
  • C: News comes that O has died.
  • E: O walked into a river and her clothes got soaked. She slowly sank and drowned. O didn’t seem to mind or notice that she was drowning.

Schedule of Classes May 25 – June 15

**Bring me a USB if you want an audiobook version of the play


May 25: OMAM Essay/ Finish Act I


May 30: Act I review / Act II

June 1: Act II review / Act III


**Act III notes and review POSTED ON BLOG

June 6: Act I-II Quiz + Paragraph/watch and read Act IV

Homework: Act IV quotes notes

June 8: Act IV notes and review / Act V

Homework: Prepare for Hamlet discussion and final essay; check blog for Act V answers (I will post them on Friday)


June 13: Hamlet Discussion / In-Class Hamlet Essay

June 15: Final Mock Exam (In-Class Provincial Exam); Report cards will be emailed to you one week after the end of classes


June 23: English 12 Provincial Exam (if you did not sign up and would like to, please come see me ASAP)

May 23 Discussion Questions

Tonight’s discussion questions. We will discuss these questions in the first half of the class before the break. Please refer to the Provincial Exam Key Words (from April 19) for clarification if you are unsure what the question words (in capitals) mean. See you all tonight.

1. DISCUSS three symbols in the novel and how they help develop the theme of the novel.

2. TO WHAT EXTENT does Steinbeck successfully help readers “understand… and resol[ve]… fear” (Nobel Acceptance Speech para. 10) in order to “expose… [humanity’s] grievous faults and failures… [and] dredg[e] up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement” (Nobel Acceptance Speech para. 11) in Of Mice and Men?

 3. DESCRIBE Steinbeck’s celebration of “man’s proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit – for gallantry in defeat – for courage, compassion, love” (Nobel Acceptance Speech para. 12) in Of Mice and Men. How and why do the characters in the novel demonstrate the qualities of greatness of heart and spirit, courage, compassion, and love? 

4. EVALUATE Steinbeck’s belief in the “perfectibility of man” (Nobel Acceptance Speech para. 14) in Of Mice and Men. When and how are people perfectible in the novel?

April 27 – Shape of the Day

  1. Personal Essay (6:30-break time)
  2. OMAM Literature Circle Meeting #1 (Orientation and Discussion for Chapter 1)

Schedule of Literature Circle Discussion Group Roles: Lit Circle Groups

Literature Circle Role Sheets Lit Circle Role Sheets

Literature Circle Discussion Questions Lit Circle Discussion Questions

Looking Forward/Homework:

  1. Literature Circle Meeting #2 (Ch. 2): May 2
  2. Literature Circle Meeting #3 (Ch. 3): May 4
  3. Literature Circle Meeting #4 (Ch. 4): May 9
  4. Literature Circle Meeting #5 (Ch. 5): May 11
  5. Literature Circle Meeting #6 (Ch. 6): May 16
  6. In-Class Final: May 18