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Hamlet Quotes (Grades 11-12)

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Hamlet Quotes

1. 
"What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals and yet,
to me, what is this quintessence of dust?"

a) Who said it?

b) To whom was it said?

c) In what way is Hamlet being verbally ironic and why?












2. 
Who is speaking? To whom is he, or she, speaking? What does it mean?

"The serpent that did sting thy father's life
Now wears his crown."










3. 
Explain the quote below. What "custom" does Hamlet mean? What is the situation and what
does Hamlet mean by the last line--"......More honour'd in the breach than the observance."

Here's the situation. Hamlet is with Horatio, and they are watching a party of heavy drinking and rowdy behavior.

"But to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honour'd in the breach than the observance."



4. 
Who said it? To whom was he/she speaking? Describe the irony of the quote.

"Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief."










5. 
Who said it? To whom, if anyone, was he/she speaking? What does this quote mean?


"There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will."
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet 5.2










6. 
Who said it? What was the situation? Where did it happen? What is the significance of this quote to the play?

"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now; your gambols, your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?"
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet 5.1










7. 
Who said it. To whom did he/she say it? Explain the quote.

"Lord! we know what we are, but know not what we may be."
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 4.5










8. 
Who said it? What was the situation? Where did it happen? What is the significance of this quote to the play?

"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hathborne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be yourgibes now; your gambols, your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set thetable on a roar?"










9. 
Who said it? To whom was he speaking? Was Hamlet being verbally ironic(sarcastic), or was Hamlet being sincere? What evidence from the play do you have for your opinion?


"What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!"

"Hamlet", Act 2 scene 2










10. 
Who said it? To whom was the character speaking? Explain the quote.


"The serpent that did sting thy father's life
Now wears his crown."








11. 
Who said it? To whom, and what were the circumstances? Explain what it means.


"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"








12. 
Who said it? What did he mean by it (why was he saying it?)? To whom was he referring in this quote?

"Frailty, thy name is woman!"



13. 
Who said it? To whom was the quote directed? What does it mean?

"Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:
Take each mans censure, but reserve thy judgment."








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