Quotes needed about honor and loyalty in Shakespeare's Hamlet.I need quotes from at least two different characters. How do the characters define and defend honor? How do they contradict it...

Quotes needed about honor and loyalty in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

I need quotes from at least two different characters. How do the characters define and defend honor? How do they contradict it in their speech, thought, or action?

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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1) Act I, Scene 2

CLAUDIUS: Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe...

Claudius says that out of loyalty and respect to the recently deceased King Hamlet, the "whole kingdom [should] be contracted in one brow of woe.  His words, of course, are contradicted by his actions: he is the one who murdered King Hamlet for his own personal benefit!

2) Act I, Scene 2

HAMLET: Frailty, thy name is woman—
A little month, or ere those shoes were old(150)
With which she follow'd my poor father's body
Like Niobe, all tears—why she, even she—
O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason
Would have mourn'd longer—married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father(155)
Than I to Hercules.

Hamlet feels that it was disloyal of his mother to remarry so soon after the murder of her first husband.

3) Act I, Scene 4

HAMLET: it is a custom
More honour'd in the breach than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel, east and west,
Makes us traduced and tax'd of other nations;(20)
They clepe us drunkards and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and indeed it takes
From our achievements, though perform'd at height...

Hamlet is referring to the Danish royal custom of spending long nights engaged in drinking and dancing.  He feels that it does not bring honor to his country; rather, it makes them "traduced" (slandered) by other nations, and it takes away honor from their other achievements, even though they may have been "performed at height" [done the best].

 
4) ACT I, Scene V

HAMLET: I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,(105)
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter. Yes, by heaven!

Hamlet swears his loyalty to the ghost of his father who has commanded him to kill Claudius.  Hamlet says that he will erase everything from his mind except this command.  Does Hamlet live up to his pledge of loyalty?  Eventually, he does, but most of the play is about his internal struggle to do so.  

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