Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #10

Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my tears: but yet
It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will: when these are gone,
The woman will be out. Adieu, my lord:
I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze,
But that this folly douts it.
(4.7.17)

When Laertes learns that Ophelia has drowned, he associates his watery tears with the "too much water" Ophelia has inside her. But grief doesn't appear to be very manly —he says that as soon as his tears dry up "the woman will be out" of him. Does that mean Hamlet has been acting like a woman this whole play? And is that maybe one reason he seems to have such a bee in his bonnet about them?

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