Best Lines in HamletWho 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...

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"?

11 Answers | Add Yours

lmetcalf's profile pic

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

Posted on

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!

accessteacher's profile pic

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

Posted on

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.

cybil's profile pic

cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

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)

malibrarian's profile pic

malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

"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!

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

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

tishmel's profile pic

tishmel | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted on

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

nedsneebly's profile pic

nedsneebly | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

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

We’ve answered 318,980 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question