Shakespeare Quotes

Thrift, thrift, Horatio

Thrift, thrift, Horatio

Horatio:
My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
Hamlet:
I prithee do not mock me, fellow studient,
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
Horatio:
Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
Hamlet:
Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funeral bak'd-meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

Hamlet isn't the only one who has noticed how hastily his mother has remarried after her husband's death [see FRAILTY, THY NAME IS WOMAN]. Horatio, a fellow "studient" (student) at the University of Wittenberg, agrees that the wedding followed "hard upon" the funeral. Hamlet's "Thrift, thrift, Horatio," adopted into modern English as a sort of recommendation, is actually an ironic condemnation. With the usual dose of black humor, he explains the hastiness of the marriage as an attempt to economize: the leftovers from the funeral (the "bak'd-meats") could be served cold at the wedding feast. What state these meats would be in after almost a month is left to our imagination.

Themes: anger, family, melancholy

Speakers: Hamlet, Horatio