Hamlet quotes what are a number of quotes from 'Hamlet' that support the relevance of learning 'Hamlet'?

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Some of the quotes found in Hamlet are book titles, some are song lyrics, some are quoted at parties when people are attempting to impress each other.  Although other Shakespearean works have contributed well known quotes to the language, I'm guessing Hamlet takes the cake -- maybe because this play was performed more often than the others?

It's not important to learn the quotes; it's important to appreciate them within the context of the play, and understand how he deals with the situation presented to him.


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I always think that there are so many quotes from this play that have entered common parlance and have shown how universal this play is. I think any teenager can identify with Hamlet's thoughts in Act I scene 2:

O that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ’gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!

The idea of self-pity and the world being all too much for us is reflected in this quote together with the futility of existence and a nihilistic approach to life.

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At one point early in Act 5, scene 2, Hamlet actually uses the word "learning" when describing the usefulness of having very clear handwriting.  Here is what he says (speaking to Horatio):

I once did hold it, as our statists do,
A baseness to write fair, and labour'd much
How to forget that learning; but, sir, now
It did me yeoman's service.

In other words, he once considered it petty to write clearly and therefore actually made an effort to make his writing unclear, even though he had learned earlier to write clearly. However, he recently found it helpful (in disposing of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) to write very legibly.

This is a trivial reference to learning, but it seems to be the only time in the play when the word "learning" is actually used.

Hamlet shows a more serious interest in learning when instructing the players about proper ways of acting.

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Are you looking for a quote that demonstrates the importance of Hamlet? Everyone knows the famous "to be or not to be" speech, but if you have not studied the play you may not really understand its significance. It is important to the play, but also says something to us as a human.
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One of my favorite quotes in the play comes in Act 5 when Hamlet tells Horatio that he finally understands that there is "a divinity that shapes our ends rough hew them how we will." I think that is the kind of quote that makes Shakespeare and Hamlet stand the test of time. No one is going to be asked by a ghost to avenge his father's death, but everyone will have a time in his life when he must realize that while he can make choices that will give his life its general shape, but there is a fate, Providence, karma or whatever, that also plays a part, and there is nothing he can do about that except to deal with it when it comes.

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