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Hamlet Family Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line) according to the Norton edition

Quote #7

[…] and there put on him
What forgeries you please—marry, none so rank
As may dishonor him, take heed of that,
But, sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips
As are companions noted and most known
To youth and liberty.

In a long tradition of helicopter parenting, Polonius spies on his kid while he's away at college. And he's not the only one. Claudius, Hamlet's step-father / uncle, also goes to great lengths to find out what Hamlet's up to and even tries to have him murdered. We know that Hamlet idealizes his own father, but we wonder —if Old Hamlet were still alive, would he be any better than Claudius and Polonius?

Quote #8

O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon 't,
A brother's murder.

As King Claudius prays, he acknowledges that, by murdering his brother, Old Hamlet, he has brought upon himself the first ("primal") and oldest ("eldest") "curse," which is a reference to the biblical story of Cain, who committed the first murder when he killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4.10-12). Apparently, family feuds go way back. Way back.

Quote #9

Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

Mother, you have my father much offended.

This is basically Hamlet saying, "Ugh, mom. It's not like he's my real dad"—only classier.

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