Homework Help

Best Lines in HamletWho do you think has the best lines in Hamlet? Despite my affection...

user profile pic

Scott Locklear | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 23, 2007 at 2:23 PM via web

dislike 2 like
Best Lines in Hamlet

Who do you think has the best lines in Hamlet? Despite my affection for the Danish prince, I think I'm going to have to go with Polonius:

Brevity is the soul of wit (act 2, scene 2)

How not to love such words from someone so completely and so comically "self-unaware"?

Tagged with discussion, hamlet, literature

11 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

a-b | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 23, 2007 at 3:28 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

My favorite:

Seems, madam? Nay, it is. I know not “seems” (act 1 scene 2)

the whole passage is great as well. 

user profile pic

jamie-wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 25, 2007 at 8:52 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

It's amazing how much of Shakespeare has entered our everyday speech. From Hamlet, "The lady doth protest too much." (3.2.29)

user profile pic

nedsneebly | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 25, 2007 at 11:20 AM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

one of my favorite lines is " lord we know what we are, but not what we may be."- hamlet

user profile pic

alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted August 25, 2007 at 1:29 PM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

That is a wonderful line, spoken appropriately by Ophelia in Act IV Scene 5

user profile pic

tishmel | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 9, 2007 at 5:53 PM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

My favorite is probably "To thine own self be true"  (Act I, Scene 3).

user profile pic

malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted December 15, 2007 at 8:13 PM (Answer #7)

dislike 0 like

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."  Act I, scene 5

I agree with Jamie - This play is full of lines that are used commonly and alluded to regularly...and half the time people don't even know where they came from!

user profile pic

d2leaperd | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 21, 2008 at 3:35 PM (Answer #8)

dislike 0 like

probably has to be "...let be" simple yet son definite

 

user profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 21, 2008 at 5:55 PM (Answer #9)

dislike 0 like

"What a piece of work is man!" (2.2)

user profile pic

cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted February 21, 2008 at 7:14 PM (Answer #10)

dislike 0 like

Pithy remarks like these two are among my favorites: 

"...one may smile and smile and be a villain" (1.5.109) and "Madness in great ones must not unwatched go" (3.1.104)

user profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 3, 2010 at 4:50 AM (Answer #11)

dislike 0 like

The one I quote most to my students and my children is tishmel's quote - "To thine own self be true", but really there are so many to quote and learn from I think we are spoilt for choice. This quote to me captures the essence of what it is to be human and how we should live.

user profile pic

lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 20, 2010 at 9:21 PM (Answer #12)

dislike 0 like

My favorite : "Thus conscience makes cowards of us all, / And thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought." 

We have all been there!  That is what makes Shakespeare stand the test of time -- that ability to capture truth in two short lines never fails to make me smile!

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes