Speeches (Lines) for Gertrude
in "Hamlet"

Total: 69

---
# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,2,270

Hamlet. Not so, my lord. I am too much i' th' sun.

Gertrude. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust.
Thou know'st 'tis common. All that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.


2

I,2,277

Hamlet. Ay, madam, it is common.

Gertrude. If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?


3

I,2,321

Claudius. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
To give these mourning duties to your father;
But you must know, your father lost a father;
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
In filial obligation for some term
To do obsequious sorrow. But to persever
In obstinate condolement is a course
Of impious stubbornness. 'Tis unmanly grief;
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschool'd;
For what we know must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we in our peevish opposition
Take it to heart? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd, whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse till he that died to-day,
'This must be so.' We pray you throw to earth
This unprevailing woe, and think of us
As of a father; for let the world take note
You are the most immediate to our throne,
And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest father bears his son
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire;
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.

Gertrude. Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet.
I pray thee stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.


4

II,2,1102

Claudius. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Moreover that we much did long to see you,
The need we have to use you did provoke
Our hasty sending. Something have you heard
Of Hamlet's transformation. So I call it,
Sith nor th' exterior nor the inward man
Resembles that it was. What it should be,
More than his father's death, that thus hath put him
So much from th' understanding of himself,
I cannot dream of. I entreat you both
That, being of so young days brought up with him,
And since so neighbour'd to his youth and haviour,
That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
Some little time; so by your companies
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
So much as from occasion you may glean,
Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus
That, open'd, lies within our remedy.

Gertrude. Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of you,
And sure I am two men there are not living
To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
To show us so much gentry and good will
As to expend your time with us awhile
For the supply and profit of our hope,
Your visitation shall receive such thanks
As fits a king's remembrance.


5

II,2,1119

Claudius. Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.

Gertrude. Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz.
And I beseech you instantly to visit
My too much changed son.- Go, some of you,
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.


6

II,2,1125

Guildenstern. Heavens make our presence and our practices
Pleasant and helpful to him!

Gertrude. Ay, amen!


7

II,2,1145

Claudius. Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.
[Exit Polonius.]
He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found
The head and source of all your son's distemper.

Gertrude. I doubt it is no other but the main,
His father's death and our o'erhasty marriage.


8

II,2,1190

Polonius. This business is well ended.
My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night is night, and time is time.
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. Your noble son is mad.
Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
What is't but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.

Gertrude. More matter, with less art.


9

II,2,1210

Polonius. Madam, I swear I use no art at all.
That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true 'tis pity;
And pity 'tis 'tis true. A foolish figure!
But farewell it, for I will use no art.
Mad let us grant him then. And now remains
That we find out the cause of this effect-
Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
For this effect defective comes by cause.
Thus it remains, and the remainder thus.
Perpend.
I have a daughter (have while she is mine),
Who in her duty and obedience, mark,
Hath given me this. Now gather, and surmise.
[Reads] the letter.]
'To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia,'-
That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; 'beautified' is a vile phrase.
But you shall hear. Thus:
[Reads.]
'In her excellent white bosom, these, &c.'

Gertrude. Came this from Hamlet to her?


10

II,2,1251

Claudius. Do you think 'tis this?

Gertrude. it may be, very like.


11

II,2,1263

Polonius. You know sometimes he walks for hours together
Here in the lobby.

Gertrude. So he does indeed.


12

II,2,1272

(stage directions). Enter Hamlet, reading on a book.

Gertrude. But look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.


13

III,1,1693

Guildenstern. Nor do we find him forward to be sounded,
But with a crafty madness keeps aloof
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state.

Gertrude. Did he receive you well?


14

III,1,1698

Rosencrantz. Niggard of question, but of our demands
Most free in his reply.

Gertrude. Did you assay him
To any pastime?


15

III,1,1725

Claudius. Sweet Gertrude, leave us too;
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Affront Ophelia.
Her father and myself (lawful espials)
Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing unseen,
We may of their encounter frankly judge
And gather by him, as he is behav'd,
If't be th' affliction of his love, or no,
That thus he suffers for.

Gertrude. I shall obey you;
And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildness. So shall I hope your virtues
Will bring him to his wonted way again,
To both your honours.


16

III,2,1989

Rosencrantz. Ay, my lord. They stay upon your patience.

Gertrude. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.


17

III,2,2125

Hamlet. Madam, how like you this play?

Gertrude. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.


18

III,2,2154

Hamlet. What, frighted with false fire?

Gertrude. How fares my lord?


19

III,4,2389

Hamlet. [within] Mother, mother, mother!

Gertrude. I'll warrant you; fear me not. Withdraw; I hear him coming.


20

III,4,2393

Hamlet. Now, mother, what's the matter?

Gertrude. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.


21

III,4,2395

Hamlet. Mother, you have my father much offended.

Gertrude. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.


22

III,4,2397

Hamlet. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.

Gertrude. Why, how now, Hamlet?


23

III,4,2399

Hamlet. What's the matter now?

Gertrude. Have you forgot me?


24

III,4,2403

Hamlet. No, by the rood, not so!
You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife,
And (would it were not so!) you are my mother.

Gertrude. Nay, then I'll set those to you that can speak.


25

III,4,2407

Hamlet. Come, come, and sit you down. You shall not budge;
You go not till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you.

Gertrude. What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murther me?
Help, help, ho!


26

III,4,2413

Polonius. [behind] O, I am slain!

Gertrude. O me, what hast thou done?


27

III,4,2415

Hamlet. Nay, I know not. Is it the King?

Gertrude. O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!


28

III,4,2418

Hamlet. A bloody deed- almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

Gertrude. As kill a king?


29

III,4,2429

Hamlet. Ay, lady, it was my word.
[Lifts up the arras and sees Polonius.]
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune.
Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.
Leave wringing of your hands. Peace! sit you down
And let me wring your heart; for so I shall
If it be made of penetrable stuff;
If damned custom have not braz'd it so
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.

Gertrude. What have I done that thou dar'st wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?


30

III,4,2443

Hamlet. Such an act
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths. O, such a deed
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words! Heaven's face doth glow;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.

Gertrude. Ah me, what act,
That roars so loud and thunders in the index?


31

III,4,2481

Hamlet. Look here upon th's picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow;
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
A station like the herald Mercury
New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill:
A combination and a form indeed
Where every god did seem to set his seal
To give the world assurance of a man.
This was your husband. Look you now what follows.
Here is your husband, like a mildew'd ear
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor? Ha! have you eyes
You cannot call it love; for at your age
The heyday in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waits upon the judgment; and what judgment
Would step from this to this? Sense sure you have,
Else could you not have motion; but sure that sense
Is apoplex'd; for madness would not err,
Nor sense to ecstacy was ne'er so thrall'd
But it reserv'd some quantity of choice
To serve in such a difference. What devil was't
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.
O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax
And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.

Gertrude. O Hamlet, speak no more!
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and grained spots
As will not leave their tinct.


32

III,4,2489

Hamlet. Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty!

Gertrude. O, speak to me no more!
These words like daggers enter in mine ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet!


33

III,4,2498

Hamlet. A murtherer and a villain!
A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord; a vice of kings;
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole
And put it in his pocket!

Gertrude. No more!


34

III,4,2503

Hamlet. A king of shreds and patches!-
Save me and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards! What would your gracious figure?

Gertrude. Alas, he's mad!


35

III,4,2515

Hamlet. How is it with you, lady?

Gertrude. Alas, how is't with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with th' encorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
And, as the sleeping soldiers in th' alarm,
Your bedded hairs, like life in excrements,
Start up and stand an end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience! Whereon do you look?


36

III,4,2530

Hamlet. On him, on him! Look you how pale he glares!
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.- Do not look upon me,
Lest with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects. Then what I have to do
Will want true colour- tears perchance for blood.

Gertrude. To whom do you speak this?


37

III,4,2532

Hamlet. Do you see nothing there?

Gertrude. Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.


38

III,4,2534

Hamlet. Nor did you nothing hear?

Gertrude. No, nothing but ourselves.


39

III,4,2539

(stage directions). Exit Ghost.

Gertrude. This is the very coinage of your brain.
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.


40

III,4,2559

Hamlet. Ecstasy?
My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time
And makes as healthful music. It is not madness
That I have utt'red. Bring me to the test,
And I the matter will reword; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul
That not your trespass but my madness speaks.
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;
Repent what's past; avoid what is to come;
And do not spread the compost on the weeds
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue;
For in the fatness of these pursy times
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg-
Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.

Gertrude. O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.


41

III,4,2584

Hamlet. O, throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half,
Good night- but go not to my uncle's bed.
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits evil, is angel yet in this,
That to the use of actions fair and good
He likewise gives a frock or livery,
That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night,
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence; the next more easy;
For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
And either [master] the devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency. Once more, good night;
And when you are desirous to be blest,
I'll blessing beg of you.- For this same lord,
I do repent; but heaven hath pleas'd it so,
To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their scourge and minister.
I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gave him. So again, good night.
I must be cruel, only to be kind;
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.
One word more, good lady.

Gertrude. What shall I do?


42

III,4,2601

Hamlet. Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
Let the bloat King tempt you again to bed;
Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his mouse;
And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses,
Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him know;
For who that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib
Such dear concernings hide? Who would do so?
No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
Unpeg the basket on the house's top,
Let the birds fly, and like the famous ape,
To try conclusions, in the basket creep
And break your own neck down.

Gertrude. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou hast said to me.


43

III,4,2605

Hamlet. I must to England; you know that?

Gertrude. Alack,
I had forgot! 'Tis so concluded on.


44

IV,1,2629

Claudius. There's matter in these sighs. These profound heaves
You must translate; 'tis fit we understand them.
Where is your son?

Gertrude. Bestow this place on us a little while.
[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
Ah, mine own lord, what have I seen to-night!


45

IV,1,2633

Claudius. What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?

Gertrude. Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries 'A rat, a rat!'
And in this brainish apprehension kills
The unseen good old man.


46

IV,1,2651

Claudius. O heavy deed!
It had been so with us, had we been there.
His liberty is full of threats to all-
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answer'd?
It will be laid to us, whose providence
Should have kept short, restrain'd, and out of haunt
This mad young man. But so much was our love
We would not understand what was most fit,
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?

Gertrude. To draw apart the body he hath kill'd;
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore
Among a mineral of metals base,
Shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done.


47

IV,5,2857

(stage directions). Enter Horatio, Queen, and a Gentleman.

Gertrude. I will not speak with her.


48

IV,5,2860

Gentleman. She is importunate, indeed distract.
Her mood will needs be pitied.

Gertrude. What would she have?


49

IV,5,2873

Horatio. 'Twere good she were spoken with; for she may strew
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.

Gertrude. Let her come in.
[Exit Gentleman.]
[Aside] To my sick soul (as sin's true nature is)
Each toy seems Prologue to some great amiss.
So full of artless jealousy is guilt
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.


50

IV,5,2881

Ophelia. Where is the beauteous Majesty of Denmark?

Gertrude. How now, Ophelia?


51

IV,5,2887

Ophelia. [sings]
How should I your true-love know
From another one?
By his cockle bat and' staff
And his sandal shoon.

Gertrude. Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?


52

IV,5,2894

Ophelia. Say you? Nay, pray You mark.
(Sings) He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,
At his heels a stone.
O, ho!

Gertrude. Nay, but Ophelia-


53

IV,5,2898

(stage directions). Enter King.

Gertrude. Alas, look here, my lord!


54

IV,5,2958

Claudius. Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you.
[Exit Horatio.]
O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs
All from her father's death. O Gertrude, Gertrude,
When sorrows come, they come not single spies.
But in battalions! First, her father slain;
Next, your son gone, and he most violent author
Of his own just remove; the people muddied,
Thick and and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers
For good Polonius' death, and we have done but greenly
In hugger-mugger to inter him; poor Ophelia
Divided from herself and her fair judgment,
Without the which we are pictures or mere beasts;
Last, and as much containing as all these,
Her brother is in secret come from France;
Feeds on his wonder, keeps, himself in clouds,
And wants not buzzers to infect his ear
With pestilent speeches of his father's death,
Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd,
Will nothing stick our person to arraign
In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this,
Like to a murd'ring piece, in many places
Give me superfluous death. A noise within.

Gertrude. Alack, what noise is this?


55

IV,5,2974

(stage directions). A noise within.

Gertrude. How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs!


56

IV,5,2985

Laertes. I thank you. Keep the door. [Exeunt his Followers.]
O thou vile king,
Give me my father!

Gertrude. Calmly, good Laertes.


57

IV,5,3000

Claudius. Dead.

Gertrude. But not by him!


58

IV,7,3312

Claudius. Let's further think of this,
Weigh what convenience both of time and means
May fit us to our shape. If this should fall,
And that our drift look through our bad performance.
'Twere better not assay'd. Therefore this project
Should have a back or second, that might hold
If this did blast in proof. Soft! let me see.
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings-
I ha't!
When in your motion you are hot and dry-
As make your bouts more violent to that end-
And that he calls for drink, I'll have prepar'd him
A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
Our purpose may hold there.- But stay, what noise,
[Enter Queen.]
How now, sweet queen?

Gertrude. One woe doth tread upon another's heel,
So fast they follow. Your sister's drown'd, Laertes.


59

IV,7,3315

Laertes. Drown'd! O, where?

Gertrude. There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them.
There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clamb'ring to hang, an envious sliver broke,
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.


60

IV,7,3334

Laertes. Alas, then she is drown'd?

Gertrude. Drown'd, drown'd.


61

V,1,3578

Hamlet. What, the fair Ophelia?

Gertrude. Sweets to the sweet! Farewell.
[Scatters flowers.]
I hop'd thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;
I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid,
And not have strew'd thy grave.


62

V,1,3606

Claudius. Pluck them asunder.

Gertrude. Hamlet, Hamlet!


63

V,1,3612

Hamlet. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme
Until my eyelids will no longer wag.

Gertrude. O my son, what theme?


64

V,1,3617

Claudius. O, he is mad, Laertes.

Gertrude. For love of God, forbear him!


65

V,1,3629

Hamlet. 'Swounds, show me what thou't do.
Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't tear thyself?
Woo't drink up esill? eat a crocodile?
I'll do't. Dost thou come here to whine?
To outface me with leaping in her grave?
Be buried quick with her, and so will I.
And if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us, till our ground,
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth,
I'll rant as well as thou.

Gertrude. This is mere madness;
And thus a while the fit will work on him.
Anon, as patient as the female dove
When that her golden couplets are disclos'd,
His silence will sit drooping.


66

V,2,3938

Claudius. Our son shall win.

Gertrude. He's fat, and scant of breath.
Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows.
The Queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.


67

V,2,3943

Claudius. Gertrude, do not drink.

Gertrude. I will, my lord; I pray you pardon me. Drinks.


68

V,2,3946

Hamlet. I dare not drink yet, madam; by-and-by.

Gertrude. Come, let me wipe thy face.


69

V,2,3965

Claudius. She sounds to see them bleed.

Gertrude. No, no! the drink, the drink! O my dear Hamlet!
The drink, the drink! I am poison'd. [Dies.]


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