Shakespeare Quotes

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below

King:
"My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go."

Hamlet (III, iii, 100-103)

In this pivotal scene the King has directed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to accompany Hamlet to England, thus effectively banishing this troublesome young man. Polonius enters and tells the King that he will conceal himself and spy on the conversation between Hamlet and his mother; and the King then kneels and prays not so much for forgiveness for his "rank" offence in killing his brother, but rather that he will get away with it. Hamlet enters, unseen by the King, and considers killing the King at prayer. He does not, however, fearing that the King will then go to heaven. The King rises from prayer, never having seen Hamlet, and utters the words above, revealing his own knowledge that his prayer is invalid, and consists of words but no true feelings of remorse.

Themes: guilt, repentance and prayer

Speakers: King