In "Hamlet," what quote shows the difference in the way Hamlet and Ophelia grieve over their fathers' murders?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Strikingly, it would seem that given the way the two fathers' deaths color things, the best quotations to show the differences in how Hamlet and Ophelia deal with their respective losses come not from either of them, but from the king, the queen, and perhaps Horatio. See Act IV, Scene V for examples, such as the following:

Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you.
O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs
All from her father's death. O Gertrude, Gertrude,
When sorrows come, they come not single spies.(80)
But in battalions!

The king is speaking of Ophelia, and recognizes that she feels "deep grief." Her feelings are overt, and each "springs" up from pain. By contrast, Hamlet's grief is so deep that it is more like one of these spies evoked. He is just as disordered, but more hidden, like a spy.


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