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53 Hamlet Quotes About Life and Death

Published on December 26, 2019 7:00 AM EST
50 Hamlet Quotes About Life and Death

These Hamlet quotes encapsulate the meaning of this profound work of literature.

Hamlet is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays. It’s so impactful that it’s actually influenced major parts of pop culture, such as The Lion King. So many people studied Hamlet in school, and for a lot of them, the story stuck. 

50 Hamlet Quotes About Life and Death

Why is Hamlet such an important play?

As both a piece of literature and a theatrical piece, Hamlet teaches us about love, loss, and life through the unique story of the character, Hamlet. It’s a play full of wisdom and life lessons, which are some of the reasons it’s so often taught in schools still today.

These Hamlet quotes will bring you through the ups and downs of the story, leading you through life and its complications, love, and face to face with death itself.

We also have a collection of quotes from The Fault in Our Stars and these Macbeth quotes about power and ambition. Be sure to check them out once you’re done reading the quotes below.

Hamlet Quotes About the Complexities of Life

1.) “There is neither good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Hamlet

2.) “To be, or not to be: that is the question.” – Hamlet

3.) “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” – Hamlet

4.) “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” – Hamlet

5.) “Brevity is the soul of wit.” – Hamlet

6.) “This above all: to thine own self be true.” – Hamlet

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7.) “Our wills and fates do so contrary run.” – Hamlet

8.) “When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions!” – Hamlet

9.) “Sweets to the sweet.” – Hamlet

10.) “I must be cruel only to be kind; thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.” – Hamlet

11.) “So full of artless jealousy is guilt, it spills itself in fearing to be spilt.” – Hamlet

12.) “To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.” – Hamlet

13.) “The rest, is silence.” – Hamlet

14.) “O God, I could be bound in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams.” – Hamlet

15.) “Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting that would not let me sleep.” – Hamlet

16.) “You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal: except my life, except my life, except my life.” – Hamlet

17.) “But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.” – Hamlet

18.) “Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in’s own house.” – Hamlet

19.) “A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.” – Hamlet

Hamlet Quotes About Love

20.) “Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth be a liar; But never doubt I love.” – Hamlet

21.) “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love, make up my sum.” – Hamlet

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22.) “A little more than kin, a little less than kind.” – Hamlet

23.) “Remember me.” – Hamlet

24.) “Where love is great, the littles doubts are fear; Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.” – Hamlet

25.) “I must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words.” – Hamlet

26.) “This is the very ecstasy of love, whose violent property ordoes itself and leads the will to desperate undertakings.” – Hamlet

27.) “She is so conjunctive to my life and soul.” – Hamlet

28.) “I shall speak daggers to her, but I will use none.” – Hamlet

Also check out these memorable Othello quotes from the famous William Shakespeare play.

Hamlet Quotes About Death

29.) “To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to, ‘tis a consummation devoutly to be wish’d.” – Hamlet

30.) “To die, to sleep—to sleep perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub, for in this sleep of death what dreams may come.” – Hamlet

31.) “Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” – Hamlet

32.) “The Devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape.” – Hamlet

33.) “Thou know’st ‘tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity.” – Hamlet

34.) “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.” – Hamlet

35.) “There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow.” – Hamlet

36.) “Death, the undiscovere’d country, from whose bourn no traveler returns.” – Hamlet

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37.) “No, no, he is dead, Go to thy death bed: He will never come again.” – Hamlet

38.) “He is dead and gone, lady, he is dead and gone; At his head a grass-green turf, at his heels a stone.” – Hamlet

Wise Hamlet Quotes

39.) “Listen to many, speak to few.” – Hamlet

40.) “One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.” – Hamlet

41.) “Conscience doth make cowards of us all.” – Hamlet

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

43.) “God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another.” – Hamlet

44.) “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.” – Hamlet

45.) “If we are true to ourselves, we can not be false to anyone.” – Hamlet

46.) “Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.” – Hamlet

47.) “Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice; Take each man’s censure but reserve thy judgment.” – Hamlet

48.) “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.” – Hamlet

49.) “Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.” – Hamlet

50.) “A knavish speech sleeps in a fool’s ear.” – Hamlet

51.) “More matter with less art.” – Hamlet

52.) “Give thy thoughts no tongue.” – Hamlet

53.) “If your mind dislike anything obey it.” – Hamlet

What have you learned from these Hamlet quotes

Hamlet is one of the most influential pieces of literature in the world, and these Hamlet quotes highlight the most important qualities of this play, from life to death. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is truly a work of art, and is still read widely among students and avid readers today. 

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What can we learn from Hamlet? Hamlet is still one of Shakespeare’s most quoted works, weaving its way into our lives, whether we know it or not. It’s a play about life and a play about death. A complex story of love and life’s great mysteries, and its wisdom is one to be shared for generations.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these memorable Hamlet quotes? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

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