• Julius Caesar
  • The Handmaid's Tale

Please wait while we process your payment

Reset Password

Your password reset email should arrive shortly..

If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.

Something went wrong

Log in or create account.

By signing up you agree to our terms and privacy policy .

Don’t have an account? Subscribe now

Create Your Account

Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial

Already have an account? Log in

Choose Your Plan

$4.99 /month + tax

$24.99 /year + tax

Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!

Purchasing SparkNotes PLUS for a group?

Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!

$24.99 $18.74   / subscription + tax

Subtotal $37.48 + tax

Save 25% on 2-49 accounts

Save 30% on 50-99 accounts

Want 100 or more? Contact us for a customized plan.

Payment Details

Payment Summary

SparkNotes Plus


You'll be billed after your free trial ends.

7-Day Free Trial

Not Applicable

Renews March 19, 2023 March 12, 2023

Discounts (applied to next billing)

SNPLUSROCKS20  |  20% Discount

This is not a valid promo code.

Discount Code (one code per order)

SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at [email protected] . Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.

For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!

You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.

Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.

Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.

Your PLUS subscription has expired

William Shakespeare

Unlock your FREE SparkNotes PLUS trial!

Unlock your free trial.

Act III, scene i

To be or not to be—that is the question (III.i.)
Get thee to a nunnery! Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? (III.i.)
I have heard of your paintings well enough. God hath given you one face and you make yourselves another. (III.i.)

Hamlet SparkNotes Literature Guide

Ace your assignments with our guide to Hamlet ! 

Popular pages: Hamlet

No fear hamlet no fear, full play analysis summary, character list characters, themes literary devices, madness quotes, take a study break.

hamlet madness quotes act 3

QUIZ: Is This a Taylor Swift Lyric or a Quote by Edgar Allan Poe?

hamlet madness quotes act 3

The 7 Most Embarrassing Proposals in Literature

hamlet madness quotes act 3

The 6 Best and Worst TV Show Adaptations of Books

hamlet madness quotes act 3

QUIZ: Which Greek God Are You?

hamlet madness quotes act 3

Recent searches (0)


15 Hamlet Madness Quotes

Kidadl Team

Kidadl Team mailto: [email protected]

on 09 March 2021

on 1 March 2023

9 mins to read

Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Published on Mar 09, 2021

Kidadl Article Fact-checking Standards

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.


Get Inspiration For Education!

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

Why Hamlet Madness Quotes?

Hamlet is one of the most impactful characters of William Shakespeare, represented as a tragic hero. The character appears in the play, 'The Tragedie Of Hamlet, Prince Of Denmarke'. It is also the longest play written by Shakespeare between 1599-1601 and first performed on stage between 1601-1602. It is Shakespeare's longest play, with 29,551 words, written in Early Modern English. Apart from the remarkable characters and a gripping story, Shakespeare holds onto his audience with impactful dialogue. The line from Hamlet, "To be, or not to be, that is the question" has remained a favorite saying for people through centuries. The concept of madness is a dominant theme in Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet'. The playwright emphasizes madness by adding elements of death, deceit, despair, conspiracy, and ghost. Trials and tribulations faced by some lead characters drive the play's plot. As the story advances, the decisions and actions of significant characters lead them into madness and their ultimate demise. Shakespeare also explores the different forms of madness through the psyche of his characters. While Hamlet's madness is driven by vengeance, Ophelia's madness results from grief. The madness behind Claudius and Gertrude's nature is due to greed and love, respectively. The play portrays the volatility of human emotions and the impossibility of assurance. Overbearing emotions and uncertainty drive the tragic protagonist and others in his life into madness. This article presents some 'Hamlet' quotes about madness to help you understand its portrayal in the play.

Quotes From Hamlet About Madness

Hamlet states several times that his actions are driven by madness

1. "How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself - 

As I perchance hereafter shall think meet

To put an antic disposition on -" - Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5

The conversation takes place in a remote part of the castle where Hamlet visits the Ghost of his father. The Ghost reveals to Hamlet that his uncle Claudius murdered his father, and Hamlet must avenge his death. Hamlet plans to put on a mask of madness to spy on Claudius and determine if the Ghost is right. Ironically Hamlet already exhibits strange behavior. He repeatedly asks his allies, Horatio and Marcellus, to swear secrecy about the Ghost and his plan. Hamlet slowly starts to blur the line between madness and sanity, unable to distinguish reality from pretense. The incident showcases Hamlet's descent into madness as his world turns upside down.       

2. "What I have done

That might your nature, honor, and exception

Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness." - Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2

The conversation occurs between Laertes and Hamlet in the castle hall. They face each other in a fencing bout arranged by the king, Claudius. Here, Hamlet tries to clarify Laertes' perception of him as a murderer. Hamlet is quite philosophical as he addresses himself in the third person. He denies being a culprit but instead claims his madness to be the reason for his actions.   

3. "I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw." - Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

In this scene, Hamlet is speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in a room within the castle. Hamlet defines his madness as a form of entertainment. He explains that he only goes through occasional bouts of madness, similar to the sporadic, sudden winds from north-north-west. In the second half of the quote, Hamlet uses the proverbial expression of the hawk and the handsaw, intending to warn his companions that he is quite aware and in his senses most of the time. He can still distinguish between what is familiar and uncommon, between a friend and a foe.  

4. "If't be so,

Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;

His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy." - Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2

Here, Hamlet tries to confront Laertes before facing him in a fencing match arranged by king Claudius. Hamlet explains his actions in the third person. He denies his involvement in doing any wrong to Laertes. Instead, he explains his madness to be the reason that led him to stab Laertes' father, Polonius. Hamlet implies that both of them were wronged by his madness and the reason behind it.

5. "The spirit that I have seen

May be the devil, and the devil hath power

T' assume a pleasing shape;" - Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

The line is from one of Hamlet's soliloquies, where he contemplates his descent into madness and wrongdoings. He understands that the Ghost he saw could also be the devil in the pleasing appearance of his father. Hamlet accepts that he is sad and melancholy, which can drive him into madness. He plans to ensure the Ghost's revelations are indeed valid before giving in to the mad thought of avenging his father.   

6. "If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away,

And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,

Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it." - Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2

This conversation takes place between Hamlet and Laertes in the castle hall. Through these lines, Hamlet tries to explain his condition to Laertes. He reasons that his madness makes him a different person, a person he does not claim himself to be, like this madness had created a different version of Hamlet altogether. And when this 'persona' takes over to commit wrongdoings, Hamlet himself falls victim to them. The person that wronged Laertes was never the Hamlet he knew to begin with. Hamlet accepts that madness has taken over him and denies being responsible for Polonius' death. Hamlet adds that his actions resulted from madness. 

Quotes From Other Characters About Madness

References to madness are also made by other characters in the play

7. "Poor Ophelia

Divided from herself and her fair judgment,

Without the which we are pictures or mere beasts." - King Claudius, Act 4, Scene 5

Here, Claudius talks about Ophelia's condition with his wife, Gertrude. Ophelia has been grieving the death of her father, Polonius. She loves Hamlet, who left for England, leaving her without any support. Claudius believes this grief led to Ophelia's sudden mad behavior as she roams around the castle singing peculiar songs.  

8. "And there assume some other horrible form

Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,

And draw you into madness?" - Horatio, Act 1, Scene 4

The line by Horatio is directed to Hamlet when the latter decides to follow the Ghost elsewhere. Horatio warns Hamlet by claiming that the Ghost only tempts him to be drawn to madness. Horatio believes the Ghost might lead Hamlet to dangerous situations he cannot turn back from. By the end of the play, readers realize the irony behind Horatio's speculation as Hamlet gives into his mad intentions of revenge.  

9. "It shall be so.

Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go." - King Claudius, Act 3, Scene 1

In this scene, Claudius is speaking to his chamberlain Polonius in a room in the castle. Claudius is concerned about the reason behind Hamlet's mad behavior. He is assured that Hamlet's madness is not due to love and plans to send him to England. Claudius knows that Hamlet has allies and holds a position of power. Thus, Claudius must control Hamlet's unpredictable behavior to secure his position as king firmly.  

Quotes About Hamlet's Madness

10. "He is far gone, far gone. And truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love; very near this." - Polonius (aside), Act 2, Scene 2

In this conversation, Polonius is speaking to himself about the strange transformation of Hamlet. Polonius believes that madness has struck Hamlet severely, resulting from the latter's love for Ophelia. Hamlet seems to have mistaken Polonious for a fishmonger. Thus, Polonius determines that Hamlet's madness has made him lose his awareness of the world.   

11. "Your noble son is mad.

Mad call I it; for to define true madness,

What is't but to be nothing else but mad?" - Polonius, Act 2, Scene 2

In this scene, Polonius informs Gertrude and Claudius about Hamlet going mad. Although Polonius does not intend to hurt the house's reputation, he has no other way to present the information. He presents letters before the king and queen that Hamlet wrote to Polonius's daughter Ophelia. The letters indicate that Hamlet's madness results from his love for Ophelia.

12. "Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz.

And I beseech you instantly to visit

My too much changed son." - Queen Gertrude, Act 2, Scene 2

In this scene, Gertrude and Claudius discuss Hamlet's transformation with his friends Guildenstern and Rosencrantz. The majesties request Hamlet's friends to spend time with him to help bring him back to his senses. Claudius and Gertrude believe the two can find the unknown reason behind Hamlet's madness. In this line, Gertrude thanks Guildenstern and Rosencrantz for lending a helping hand to try to bring her son back from madness.  

13. "Mad as the sea and wind, when both contend

Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit

Behind the arras hearing something stir,

Whips out his rapier," - Queen Gertrude, Act 4, Scene 1

The conversation occurs between Gertrude and Claudius in a room within the castle. Gertrude informs that Hamlet has become truly mad. She personifies Hamlet's madness as a windstorm over the sea. Gertrude adds that her son's madness led him to stab Polonius, the father of Hamlet's lover Ophelia, to his unfortunate death.

14. "Mad let us grant him then. And now remains

That we find out the cause of this effect,

Or rather say, the cause of this defect,

For this effect defective comes by cause." - Polonius, Act 2, Scene 2

Here, Polonius is speaking to Gertrude and Claudius about Hamlet becoming mad. He ensures the king and queen that his information is an unfortunate fact. Polonius adds that they must devise a plan to find the reason for Hamlet's madness. Polonius also interprets Hamlet's mad behavior as a defect resulting from a specific cause.  

15. "Though this be madness, yet there is a method in't.-" - Polonius (aside), Act 2, Scene 2

In this scene, Polonius speaks to himself about Hamlet's strange behavior. Even though Hamlet is believed to have descended into madness, there seems to be something controlled in the uncontrollable. When inquired by Polonius, Hamlet replies that he was reading about slanders against older men. Hearing the reply, Polonius realizes that Hamlet's madness is unexpectedly quite methodical. The incident makes him sure about the reason he thinks is leading Hamlet to the depths of madness.

You Might Also Like 

 'Taming Of The Shrew' quotes  

 'King Lear' quotes

'Twelfth Night' quotes  

'The Tempest' quotes . 


The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Read The Disclaimer

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Was this article helpful?

How can we improve it? How helpful was it?

Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to us via this website may be placed by us on servers located in countries outside the EU if you do not agree to such placement, do not provide the information.

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.

hamlet madness quotes act 3

You might also like

Power quotes are all about finding strength.

38+ Quotes On Power From Shakespeare And Literature

There are very few animals that are mysterious yet beautiful like the wolf.

51 Book Quotes About Wolves From Throughout Literature

Quotes by Nikita Gill are from uplifting poems for women and poetry about strong women.

Top 100 Nikita Gill Quotes From The Famous Instapoet

Famous quotes about poetry are insightful.

51+ Quotes About Poetry And The Power Of Expression

Share this article with friends and family.


Get inspiration for your Days Out with kids

hamlet madness quotes act 3

We’ll send you tons of inspiration to help you find a hidden gem in your local area or plan a big day out.

hamlet madness quotes act 3

Welcome to Kidadl!

hamlet madness quotes act 3

Check your inbox for your latest news from us. You have subscribed to:

Remember that you can always manage your preferences or unsubscribe through the link at the foot of each newsletter.

Hamlet Quotes Act 3

Profile Picture

Students also viewed

Act 3 hamlet quotes.

Profile Picture

Hamlet Act 4

Sets found in the same folder, hamlet quotes act 2, hamlet quotes act 1, hamlet quotes act 5, hamlet quotes act 4, other sets by this creator, opinion piece phrases (revision) 7 may 2020, french new aural vocab 30/4/20, french journal intime 4, coronavirus french vocab, verified questions.

What events led to the purchase of the Louisiana Territory?

Write in the blank whether the sentence is simple or compound. _____ The grandfather clock chimed the hour.

Which of the following is not an element of setting shared by both passages? A. workers B. rivers C. canals D. chimneys E. smoke

Identify what type of pronoun is in italics. Write per.—personal, pos.—possessive, ref.—reflexive, and int.—intensive. Then write S S S if the pronoun is singular and P l Pl Pl . if it is plural. We planned to build it ourselves.

Recommended textbook solutions

Literature and Composition: Reading, Writing,Thinking 1st Edition by Carol Jago, Lawrence Scanlon, Renee H. Shea, Robin Dissin Aufses

Literature and Composition: Reading, Writing,Thinking

Technical Writing for Success 3rd Edition by Darlene Smith-Worthington, Sue Jefferson

Technical Writing for Success

The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric 2nd Edition by Lawrence Scanlon, Renee H. Shea, Robin Dissin Aufses

The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric

Technical Writing for Success 3rd Edition by Darlene Smith-Worthington, Sue Jefferson

Other Quizlet sets

Topic 1: introduction to economics.

Profile Picture

MBU 1100 Final Exam

Econ macro exam 1.

Important Quotes from Hamlet: Madness & Corruption Explored

hamlet madness quotes act 3

Upon reading Hamlet, you may have found a few quotes inexplicable or less crucial than they are. Indeed, Shakespeare paid close attention to phrasing and wording, so plenty of lines in the play have a double meaning. That’s why our experts collected and explained the most vital and/or ambiguous Hamlet quotes.

If you’re looking for Hamlet important quotes, you’re in the right place! In this article, you’ll find famous Hamlet quotes about madness, corruption, insanity, uncertainty, revenge, and other issues. The quotes are classified by act. Note that in other articles of this guide you can find the play’s summary, character analysis, and all the themes explained. All the links are located at the end of this page.

🏰 Hamlet Act 1 Quotes 

“ O most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not nor it cannot come to good But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue. “ Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 2

This is one of the most critical of Hamlet’s madness quotes in the play. He proclaims these words after getting to know about Gertrude’s marriage with Claudius. Being too concerned about his mother’s decision to marry his uncle, Prince gets furious.

The main reason for Hamlet’s concerns is Gertrude’s instant engagement after her husband’s demise. Prince accuses his mother of not being loyal to Old Hamlet and not murmuring enough. His despair peaks when he starts perceiving all women as deceptive and two-faced creatures who cannot be trusted.

In addition to being worried about Gertrude’s quick remarriage, Hamlet also accuses her of committing incest . And, in fact, he has a right to do so!

In Shakespeare’s time, incest had a different meaning. It did not include only marrying your blood members of a family. Having any sexual relationships with in-law relatives was also considered incest. Gertrude and Claudius break the church’s laws of affinity by marrying each other. Hence, Hamlet’s frustration results from his mother’s quick remarriage and her involvement in incest.

“ All that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity. “ Gertrude, Act 1 Scene 2

As Prince gets furious because of his mother’s quick marriage with Claudius, Gertrude tries to justify her actions. She claims that death is inevitable. So, it is essential to accept this fact.

After Old Hamlet’s demise, Gertrude quickly gets into a relationship with Claudius. She agrees that life is harsh sometimes. However, we need to move forward, overcoming all the obstacles on our way.

In the play, Gertrude takes an uncertain position. On the one hand, it seems that she is an unfaithful wife since she moves on after Old Hamlet’s death too quickly. On the other hand, marriage with Claudius opens a lot of opportunities for the Queen.

Since women’s status in society in Shakspeare’s time was insignificant, Gertrude would suffer a lot from being without a man’s protection. Hence, marriage with Claudius provides her with social security and appropriate status in society.

Did marrying Claudius was Gertrude’s only option? Probably, yes. Thus, moving on too quickly after Old Hamlet’s death was a necessity for her.

“ Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. “ Marcellus, Act 1 Scene 4

These words of Marcellus set the general tone of the play. After Old Hamlet’s death, a new ruler, Claudius, takes the throne. But is he an indeed wise monarch? Or maybe he is a great manipulator who only pretends to be a caring King while searching for benefits only for himself? He definitely fits the second characteristic.

Thus, as soon as Claudius becomes the new King of Denmark, the entire state immediately starts decaying.

Let’s explore the following Hamlet’s corruption quote in the context of the play. Marcellus says this phrase after he notices the Ghost of the dead King. Yet, the spirit is only a visible symptom of Denmark’s decay . If we dig deeper, we will understand that the whole state is suffering from Claudius’s villainy. People are manipulating others and spying upon each other. Everyone’s becoming the victim of corruption and deception.

Thus, this quote about decay accurately reflects the depressive and pessimistic atmosphere of the play.

“ Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. “ The Ghost, Act 1 Scene 5

The Ghost does not say too much in the play. It only speaks when it stays one on one with Prince, to whom addressed this quote. Therefore, every Ghost’s phrase has value.

This quote of the Ghost reflects the general theme of revenge in the tragedy. The spirit orders Hamlet to avenge Claudius for his merciless murder. However, Prince hesitates. Should he believe the Ghost? Or should he make sure of Claudius’s villainy himself? Therefore, the quote is the root of Hamlet’s indecisiveness that progresses as the play unfolds.

“ There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio Than are dreamt of in your philosophy .” Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 5

Prince said these words during one of his conversations with Horatio. Here Hamlet claims that people must believe in what they see with their eyes.

When the news about the Ghost appeared, Prince did not believe in its existence. However, once he saw it himself, he changed his mind. Hamlet realized that the Ghost is the evidence of the afterlife, so it would be unreasonable to deny its existence.

If we explore the following quote from a broader perspective, we can connect it to skepticism. Being skeptical about something doesn’t mean denying everything if there is no proof. In fact, skepticism should provoke the desire to explore the things around and seek new experiences. Only by being curious, people have an opportunity to expand their horizons. In the other case, skepticism will have a destructive effect on human growth and development.

🃏 Hamlet Act 2 Quotes 

“ Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief: your noble son is mad. “ Polonius, Act 2 Scene 2

This phrase “brevity is the soul of wit” became a proverb after Shakspeare used it in Hamlet .

In general, it highlights the importance of being clear and concise while conveying a message. A long, nonsense chattering will never attract the listener’s attention. Therefore, while sharing a crucial piece of information, it is essential to be brief and straightforward.

In the context of the play, Polonius was sharing the news about Hamlet’s madness. Trying to be as convincing as possible, he does not prepare long speeches. He just states the fact: “your noble son is mad.” And people believe him. So, Polonius’s quote about madness starts the spreading of fake information about Hamlet’s insanity.

💀 Hamlet Act 3 Quotes 

“ To be, or not to be – that is the 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. To die- to sleep- No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to. “ Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1

Hamlet’s monologue “To be or not to be” is one of the most dramatic parts of the play. Being too overwhelmed with the recent events, Prince questions the essence of life. He even thinks of committing suicide to escape from problems.

From the very beginning of the soliloquy, it seems like Hamlet is in favor of death. He believes that demise will end all his internal and external sufferings. However, as Hamlet dives deeper into the topic, he realizes that death is not a solution. People do not know what the afterlife brings. The fear of uncertainty after death results in plenty of Hamlet’s doubts. The quote also reflects his indecisiveness that becomes more vivid as the play unfolds.

By the end of the play, Hamlet’s hesitation gains destructive nature. His inner suffering makes him commit impulsive and thoughtless actions that lead to fatal consequences.

“ Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind. “ Ophelia, Act 3 Scene 1

The romantic relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet is very uncertain and full of controversies. They are in love with each other. Yet, due to unfavorable circumstances, they are forced to stay apart from each other.

Ophelia’s father, Polonius, uses his daughter for his evil manipulations. He commands her to initiate a conversation with Hamlet and turn all his gifts back. Therefore, the readers aren’t sure whether Ophelia’s phrase is her sincere words. Why would she call Hamlet unkind if she loves him? Perhaps it was Polonius who prepared the speech for his daughter?

Overall, the quote means that even expensive gifts have no value if they were presented by a person who later turns out to be harsh and rude. In the case of Hamlet and Ophelia, it is difficult to identify whether they are indeed cruel towards each other. We can only assume that both of them become the victims of deception and manipulation. Therefore, they are forced to hide their feelings and mistreat each other by saying harsh words.

“ God has given you one face and you make yourselves another. You jig and amble, and you lisp, you nickname God’s creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I’ll no more on ’t. It hath made me mad. “ Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1

Hamlet proclaims this furious speech after Ophelia returns him all his gifts back. In fact, this is one of the most dynamic madness quotes in the play. Here, Prince openly expresses his open hatred toward women, accusing them of being two-faced and deceitful.

If we explore the situation from Hamlet’s perspective, we can understand his motifs. He is disgusted by Gertrude’s quick remarriage with Claudius. He claims that his mother betrayed his father by replacing him so fast after his demise. Being too frustrated by Gertrude’s choice, Hamlet starts overgeneralizing women. He assumes that all of them are unfaithful and dishonest.

What makes this quote more dramatic is the fact that Prince says these words to Ophelia. She is an innocent lady who became the victim of Polonius’s manipulation and Hamlet’s prejudices. His accusations are completely unreasonable. Yet, being a woman in Shakspeare’s time, she did not have much power to resist Hamlet.

“ Oh, my offence is rank. It smells to Heaven. It hath the primal eldest curse upon ’t, A brother’s murder. “ Claudius, Act 3 Scene 3

Claudius says these words while praying in a chapel after he saw the troupe’s performance that revealed his guilt. The King realizes the deepness of his crime, yet he is not sorry. He is afraid of taking responsibility for this murder.

The quote is linked to the Biblical story about Cain, who murdered his brother Abel. Knowing Cain’s guilt, God curses him. Drawing a parallel between this Biblical story and his life, Claudius realizes that the situations are very similar. Therefore, he becomes scared of God’s punishment. He desperately tries to get rid of his sins, praying in the chapel.

“ O Hamlet, speak no more: Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul; And there I see such black and grained spots As will not leave their tinct. “ Gertrude, Act 3 Scene 4

Gertrude addresses these words to Hamlet while they are having a private conversation in her bedroom. Prince accuses her of marrying Claudius, who murdered Old Hamlet. Under pressure, Gertrude finally admits her mistake.

However, there is a question of which fault the Queen realizes. Does she admit that marrying Claudius that quickly was a thoughtless decision? Or does she truly understand that Claudius is a murderer? Shakspeare leaves this question hidden by a veil. So, we, as readers, can only make our assumptions regarding this issue.

“ Do not forget. This visitation Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose. But look, amazement on thy mother sits. O, step between her and her fighting soul. Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works. Speak to her, Hamlet. “ The Ghost, Act 3 Scene 4

The Ghost appears in Act 3 in Gertrude’s room and speaks to Hamlet. This revenge quote reveals that the spirit still cares for his wife, despite all Prince’s accusations.

The Ghost reminds Hamlet of his main aim – to seek vengeance. By appearing this time, the spirit suggests Prince stop wasting time on offenses and pushes him for revenge.

Observing Prince’s behavior, Gertrude starts questioning her son’s sanity. She does not see and hear the Ghost, so Hamlet’s actions seem very weird to her.

🖤 Hamlet Act 4 Quotes 

“ 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 the chamber door. Let in the maid that out a maid Never departed more. “ Ophelia, Act 4 Scene 5

This is one of the most dynamic of Ophelia’s madness quotes in the play. The storyline has an impressive number of challenges upon Ophelia’s slender shoulders.

Being too pressured by the suffering caused to her by Hamlet, Claudius, and Polonius, Ophelia weakens throughout the play. As the action unfolds, the readers can notice her insanity. This quote reflects Ophelia’s concerns about her maiden’s honor.

Polonius and Laertes stress the importance of protecting Ophelia’s virginity several times. But is she a virgin indeed? Judging from Ophelia’s relationship with Hamlet, we can assume that they had an intimate connection. After Polonius forbid his daughter to communicate with Prince, Hamlet insults Ophelia. As a result, the lady feels unwanted and cheap.

Father’s death, Hamlet’s involvement in it, and constant insults become too challenging for Ophelia. She starts losing her mind and ends up singing this song that represents her broken heart and lost virtue.

“ When sorrows come, they come not single spies But in battalions. “ Claudius, Act 4 Scene 5

Claudius’s words can resonate in the hearts of many people. Saying this, Hamlet’s antagonist quotes a well-known proverb: misfortune never comes singly.

Does not it seem like the whole world turns against us once we get in trouble? Claudius ascertains the veracity of this belief after Gertrude shares that Hamlet has gone nuts and killed Polonius. The King is afraid that his nephew’s shaky mental state and inadequate behavior may interfere with him ruling the country.

This possible and unfortunate outcome for him urges Claudius to take a more proactive approach. He decides to send his nephew out of Denmark.

️ ⚔️ Hamlet Act 5 Quotes 

“ Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe, Should patch a wall t’ expel the winter’s flaw! “ Hamlet, Act 5 Scene 1

As we all have probably understood, Hamlet heavily explores themes of death, fate, and free will. He utters these words when he finally concludes that life is an extremely short term-concept. We, humans, come out of the dust of the earth and someday return to it.

The dilemma of life’s value accompanies Hamlet throughout the play. It keeps him reminiscing about it till his very death. He cannot comprehend how humble and honorable people can be killed at the hands of foul and hypocritical ones. He constantly questions if it is even worth trying to resist the fate plans if all people sooner or later end up just breathless bodies of flesh and bones.

Hamlet’s philosophical reflections unleash a discussion that may interest people till the end of time. Yet, they constrain the actions he takes.

“ I am justly killed with mine own treachery. “ Laertes, Act 5 Scene 2

This quote is of special significance. Laertes de-facto acknowledges guilt for his dishonorable plans regarding Hamlet’s slaughter.

Laertes gets stabbed with his own poisoned rapier. It is relatively ironic, considering that the poison was intended for Hamlet. Being pissed off with the cut he received from Laertes, Hamlet takes the sword from him and sticks it in his opponent. In the end, all the guilty and at least somehow involved in treason get their rightful retribution.

Nevertheless, the fact that Laertes has the courage to confess demonstrates that he is not entirely corrupted. It was the bloodthirsty desire to avenge his father that blindfolded his sanity.

“ I do prophesy th’ election lights On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice…the rest is silence “ Hamlet, Act 5 Scene 2

“The rest is silence” are the last words that Hamlet said before his death. This line is so iconic that it has become a catchphrase often used to define a fatal end.

Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2 fulfills the promise of the hero set in the beginning. After all, such a pitiful outcome was intended already in the first scenes. Hamlet considered dying whether through committing suicide or at the hands of ill-wishes. Hamlet dies from the poisoned rapier that Laertes struck him with. The final line embodies his readiness to go aloft.

The word rest stands for death, to which Hamlet finally resigns himself. The way he calls death, silence sounds both nihilistic but promising. It is nihilistic because Hamlet denies the potential afterlife (in short and simple, heaven or hell) that he may pursue. It is promising because the character eventually finds peace after the hard times of insecurity and suffering.

“ Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!… “ Horatio, Act 5 Scene 2

This quote is Horatio’s farewell tribute to Hamlet. In the turmoil of Fontibras’ invasion, a lot of people, including Prince, perish. He dies in the arms of his only devoted friend.

Horatio mourns the approaching death and wishes him to have an enchanted afterlife with angels signing to him there. From these words, it becomes clear that he sees Hamlet not only as a full-fledged heir to the throne or a rebel head. Horatio views him as a flesh and blood man that succumbed to the brutality of the situation. He sings the last lullaby that should immerse his dear friend in eternal sleep.

These specific lines convey the apotheosis of the tragedy developed in the play. Hamlet dies, unable to inherit the throne or continue a regular life on the other side of the veil. He cannot even tell the story of his suffering life to the greater audience. Hamlet assigns Horatio to complete this mission. This element differs the Shakespearean tragedy from the Greek tragedies where heroes oftentimes stay alive but writhe in agony to the end of their days.

Thanks for reading the article! We hope our explanations cleared up a few things about Hamlet . If you’re looking for more info about the play, check other articles below.

🎓 References

Study Guide Menu

IvyPanda. (2022, March 19). Important Quotes.

IvyPanda. (2022, March 19). Important Quotes. Retrieved from

"Important Quotes." IvyPanda , 19 Mar. 2022,

1. IvyPanda . "Important Quotes." March 19, 2022.


IvyPanda . "Important Quotes." March 19, 2022.

IvyPanda . 2022. "Important Quotes." March 19, 2022.

IvyPanda . (2022) 'Important Quotes'. 19 March.

Website navigation

The Folger Shakespeare

Download Hamlet

Last updated: Tue, Jun 02, 2020

Navigate this work

Act 3, scene 3.

Claudius orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to take Hamlet to England. Polonius tells Claudius of his plans to spy on Hamlet’s conversation with Gertrude. Left alone, Claudius reveals his remorse for killing his brother, and he tries to pray. Hamlet comes upon him kneeling and draws his sword, but then stops to think that if he kills Claudius at prayer, Claudius will go to heaven. Hamlet decides to kill Claudius when the king is committing a sin so that Claudius will instead go to hell. After Hamlet leaves, Claudius rises, saying that he has been unable to pray.

Stay connected

Find out what’s on, read our latest stories, and learn how you can get involved.

Half Million Quotes

William Shakespeare Quotes

I essentially am not in madness, But mad in craft.

– William Shakespeare

Q&A SummaryStory

Hamlet act 3 quotes, you might also like, hamlet – act 1, scene 3, hamlet quotations, hamlet quotes, romeo and juliet quotes, macbeth quiz.

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.    -- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021 Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

We're sorry, this computer has been flagged for suspicious activity.

If you are a member, we ask that you confirm your identity by entering in your email.

You will then be sent a link via email to verify your account.

If you are not a member or are having any other problems, please contact customer support.

Thank you for your cooperation


  1. “Though this be madness, yet there is a method in't.”

    hamlet madness quotes act 3

  2. Hamlet Madness Quotes. QuotesGram

    hamlet madness quotes act 3

  3. Hamlet Madness Quotes. QuotesGram

    hamlet madness quotes act 3

  4. Hamlet Madness Quotes. QuotesGram

    hamlet madness quotes act 3

  5. Hamlet Madness Quotes. QuotesGram

    hamlet madness quotes act 3

  6. “Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.”

    hamlet madness quotes act 3


  1. Hamlet Act 4

  2. Hamlet: Act 5 Scene 2

  3. Quotes self confidence #21 #shorts #quotes #dalecarnegie #motivation #inspiration #youtubeshorts

  4. Monday Madness

  5. Hamlet Act 1 Project

  6. Hamlet: Act 1 Scene 2


  1. Hamlet Quotes: Madness

    Never Hamlet. If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away, And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes, Then Hamlet does it not. Hamlet denies it. Who does it, then? His madness. (V.ii.203-7) Just before they begin their fencing match, Hamlet acknowledges the pain he has caused Laertes.

  2. Hamlet Quotes: Act III, scene i

    How does Hamlet's view of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern change? Quotes Important Quotes Explained By Theme Madness Performance Decomposition and Decay Doubt Misogyny Plotting, spying, and stratagems By Section Act I, scene i Act I, scene ii Act I, scenes iii - iv Act I, scene v - Act II, scene i Act II, scene ii Act III, scene i Act III, scene ii

  3. Hamlet Madness Quotes by William Shakespeare

    Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4. Hamlet engages with the Ghost for a second time in the Queen's chamber. But Gertrude believes that Hamlet is in a state of madness, he is hallucinating and imagining the presence of the Ghost, which she cannot see. So is the Ghost real, or a figment of Hamlet's imagination?

  4. Hamlet Act III Quotes Flashcards

    "Give me that man that is not passion's slave, and I will wear him in my heart's core, ay in my heart of heart, as I do thee." Claudius: he wants the play to stop, he is secretly feeling guilty for murdering King Hamlet "Give me some light. Away!" Hamlet to Horatio: Hamlet trusts the ghosts' word now because of Claudius' reaction

  5. 15 Hamlet Madness Quotes

    Hamlet slowly starts to blur the line between madness and sanity, unable to distinguish reality from pretense. The incident showcases Hamlet's descent into madness as his world turns upside down. 2. "What I have done That might your nature, honor, and exception Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness." - Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2

  6. Hamlet Quotes Act 3 Flashcards

    Hamlet says that fear about what comes after death makes the brave into cowards. He says that overthinking stops people from taking actions which they should carry out right away. Act III scene i: Hamlet: "I did love you once", "I loved you not" Hamlet acts crazy, contradicting himself about wether or not he ever loved Ophelia.

  7. Important Quotes from Hamlet: Madness & Corruption Explored

    Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1 Hamlet's monologue "To be or not to be" is one of the most dramatic parts of the play. Being too overwhelmed with the recent events, Prince questions the essence of life. He even thinks of committing suicide to escape from problems. From the very beginning of the soliloquy, it seems like Hamlet is in favor of death.

  8. Hamlet

    Hamlet hopes that when the players stage The Murder of Gonzago for the court, he can determine whether Claudius is guilty of King Hamlet's death. Act 3, scene 1 After Rosencrantz and Guildenstern report their failure to find the cause of Hamlet's madness, Polonius places Ophelia where he and Claudius may secretly observe a meeting between ...

  9. I essentially am not in madness, But mad in craft.

    I essentially am not in madness, But mad in craft. - William Shakespeare Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4. Hamlet claims to his mother that he is not mad, but feigning madness. But we could be listening to the ramblings of a lost and confused mind, caught up in a maelstrom of emotions.

  10. Hamlet Act 3 Quotes

    Hamlet. Who was Hamlet saying "To be or not to be, that is the question" too? himself. "To be or not to be, that is the question" (3) Hamlet is contemplating suicide and whether it is better to suffer the hardships of life or to kill yourself and face whatever comes after death. This is the real reason that hamlet is not killing Claudius.

  11. Hamlet Act 3 Quotes

    Hamlet Act 3 Quotes. But with a crafty madness, keeps aloof when we would bring him on to some confession of his true state. Guildenstern, to the king they were unable to determine if Hamlet was mad (scene 1) ... Gertrude to Hamlet, What evil act have I done! O Hamlet, speak no more. Thou turn'st my very eyes into my soul.

  12. Hamlet Navigator: Hamlet: His "Madness"

    He has good reason to think that Hamlet knows that he killed King Hamlet. He wants to get rid of Hamlet, and Hamlet's "madness" provides a good excuse. [Scene Summary] "Alas, he's mad!" (3.4.105), says the Queen when Hamlet speaks to the Ghost, whom she cannot see. Later in the scene Hamlet denies that he is mad and sarcastically urges his ...

  13. PDF Act 3

    Read the following quotes from Act III and determine if Hamlet is indeed mad or just pretending to be: ... _____ "I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft" (Hamlet 3:4:187-188). Answer all questions in ... In Act III, Hamlet delivers his most memorable soliloquy where he discusses life anddeath

  14. Hamlet Madness Quotes

    Horatio and Madness. The first mention of the word 'madness' occurs in Act I, Scene IV, and the line is spoken by Hamlet's best friend, Horatio: 'What if it (the ghost of Hamlet's father) tempts ...