Hamlet Lies and Deceit Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line) according to the Norton edition
Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of
me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know
my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my
mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to
the top of my compass: and there is much music,
excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot
you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am
easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what
instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you
cannot play upon me.
When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern try to get Hamlet to confide in them, Hamlet is super ticked off. He compares deception to playing a musical instrument to mock his frenemies for not being skilled enough to "play" him. Oh, and guess what? Their deception ends up getting them killed, too.
An earnest conjuration from the king,
As England was his faithful tributary,
As love between them like the palm might flourish,
As peace should stiff her wheaten garland wear
And stand a comma 'tween their amities,
And many such-like 'As'es of great charge,
That, on the view and knowing of these contents,
Without debatement further, more or less,
He should the bearers put to sudden death,
Not shriving-time allow'd.
So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't.
Hamlet is patting himself on the back pretty strenuously about how he got revenge on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern by sending them to their deaths. Totally fair, he says: they deceived him, so they get what they deserve.