Speeches (Lines) for Laertes
in "Hamlet"

Total: 62

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

1

I,2,252

Claudius. We doubt it nothing. Heartily farewell.
[Exeunt Voltemand and Cornelius.]
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
You told us of some suit. What is't, Laertes?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane
And lose your voice. What wouldst thou beg, Laertes,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes?

Laertes. My dread lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France;
From whence though willingly I came to Denmark
To show my duty in your coronation,
Yet now I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.


2

I,3,482

(stage directions). Enter Laertes and Ophelia.

Laertes. My necessaries are embark'd. Farewell.
And, sister, as the winds give benefit
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,
But let me hear from you.


3

I,3,487

Ophelia. Do you doubt that?

Laertes. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour,
Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood;
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent- sweet, not lasting;
The perfume and suppliance of a minute;
No more.


4

I,3,494

Ophelia. No more but so?

Laertes. Think it no more.
For nature crescent does not grow alone
In thews and bulk; but as this temple waxes,
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now,
And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch
The virtue of his will; but you must fear,
His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own;
For he himself is subject to his birth.
He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself, for on his choice depends
The safety and health of this whole state,
And therefore must his choice be circumscrib'd
Unto the voice and yielding of that body
Whereof he is the head. Then if he says he loves you,
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it
As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying deed; which is no further
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain
If with too credent ear you list his songs,
Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open
To his unmast'red importunity.
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister,
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Out of the shot and danger of desire.
The chariest maid is prodigal enough
If she unmask her beauty to the moon.
Virtue itself scopes not calumnious strokes.
The canker galls the infants of the spring
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd,
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary then; best safety lies in fear.
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.


5

I,3,536

Ophelia. I shall th' effect of this good lesson keep
As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,
Do not as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
And recks not his own rede.

Laertes. O, fear me not!
[Enter Polonius. ]
I stay too long. But here my father comes.
A double blessing is a double grace;
Occasion smiles upon a second leave.


6

I,3,568

Polonius. Yet here, Laertes? Aboard, aboard, for shame!
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
And you are stay'd for. There- my blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar:
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are most select and generous, chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all- to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell. My blessing season this in thee!

Laertes. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.


7

I,3,570

Polonius. The time invites you. Go, your servants tend.

Laertes. Farewell, Ophelia, and remember well
What I have said to you.


8

I,3,574

Ophelia. 'Tis in my memory lock'd,
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.

Laertes. Farewell. Exit.


9

IV,5,2978

(stage directions). Enter Laertes with others.

Laertes. Where is this king?- Sirs, staid you all without.


10

IV,5,2980

All. No, let's come in!

Laertes. I pray you give me leave.


11

IV,5,2982

All. We will, we will!

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


12

IV,5,2986

Gertrude. Calmly, good Laertes.

Laertes. That drop of blood that's calm proclaims me bastard;
Cries cuckold to my father; brands the harlot
Even here between the chaste unsmirched brows
Of my true mother.


13

IV,5,2998

Claudius. What is the cause, Laertes,
That thy rebellion looks so giantlike?
Let him go, Gertrude. Do not fear our person.
There's such divinity doth hedge a king
That treason can but peep to what it would,
Acts little of his will. Tell me, Laertes,
Why thou art thus incens'd. Let him go, Gertrude.
Speak, man.

Laertes. Where is my father?


14

IV,5,3002

Claudius. Let him demand his fill.

Laertes. How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with:
To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil
Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!
I dare damnation. To this point I stand,
That both the world, I give to negligence,
Let come what comes; only I'll be reveng'd
Most throughly for my father.


15

IV,5,3010

Claudius. Who shall stay you?

Laertes. My will, not all the world!
And for my means, I'll husband them so well
They shall go far with little.


16

IV,5,3018

Claudius. Good Laertes,
If you desire to know the certainty
Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge
That sweepstake you will draw both friend and foe,
Winner and loser?

Laertes. None but his enemies.


17

IV,5,3020

Claudius. Will you know them then?

Laertes. To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms
And, like the kind life-rend'ring pelican,
Repast them with my blood.


18

IV,5,3030

(stage directions). A noise within: 'Let her come in.'

Laertes. How now? What noise is that?
[Enter Ophelia. ]
O heat, dry up my brains! Tears seven times salt
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight
Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May!
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!
O heavens! is't possible a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love, and where 'tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.


19

IV,5,3047

Ophelia. [sings]
They bore him barefac'd on the bier
(Hey non nony, nony, hey nony)
And in his grave rain'd many a tear.
Fare you well, my dove!

Laertes. Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
It could not move thus.


20

IV,5,3052

Ophelia. You must sing 'A-down a-down, and you call him a-down-a.' O,
how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole his
master's daughter.

Laertes. This nothing's more than matter.


21

IV,5,3055

Ophelia. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love,
remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts.

Laertes. A document in madness! Thoughts and remembrance fitted.


22

IV,5,3062

Ophelia. There's fennel for you, and columbines. There's rue for you,
and here's some for me. We may call it herb of grace o' Sundays.
O, you must wear your rue with a difference! There's a daisy. I
would give you some violets, but they wither'd all when my father
died. They say he made a good end.
[Sings] For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.

Laertes. Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
She turns to favour and to prettiness.


23

IV,5,3077

(stage directions). Exit.

Laertes. Do you see this, O God?


24

IV,5,3089

Claudius. Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will,
And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me.
If by direct or by collateral hand
They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in satisfaction; but if not,
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content.

Laertes. Let this be so.
His means of death, his obscure funeral-
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
No noble rite nor formal ostentation,-
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call't in question.


25

IV,7,3136

Claudius. Now must your conscience my acquittance seal,
And You must put me in your heart for friend,
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he which hath your noble father slain
Pursued my life.

Laertes. It well appears. But tell me
Why you proceeded not against these feats
So crimeful and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, wisdom, all things else,
You mainly were stirr'd up.


26

IV,7,3157

Claudius. O, for two special reasons,
Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd,
But yet to me they are strong. The Queen his mother
Lives almost by his looks; and for myself,-
My virtue or my plague, be it either which,-
She's so conjunctive to my life and soul
That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,
I could not but by her. The other motive
Why to a public count I might not go
Is the great love the general gender bear him,
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Convert his gives to graces; so that my arrows,
Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind,
Would have reverted to my bow again,
And not where I had aim'd them.

Laertes. And so have I a noble father lost;
A sister driven into desp'rate terms,
Whose worth, if praises may go back again,
Stood challenger on mount of all the age
For her perfections. But my revenge will come.


27

IV,7,3185

Claudius. Laertes, you shall hear them.
Leave us.
[Exit Messenger.]
[Reads]'High and Mighty,-You shall know I am set naked on your
kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your kingly eyes;
when I shall (first asking your pardon thereunto) recount the
occasion of my sudden and more strange return. 'HAMLET.'
What should this mean? Are all the rest come back?
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?

Laertes. Know you the hand?


28

IV,7,3189

Claudius. 'Tis Hamlet's character. 'Naked!'
And in a postscript here, he says 'alone.'
Can you advise me?

Laertes. I am lost in it, my lord. But let him come!
It warms the very sickness in my heart
That I shall live and tell him to his teeth,
'Thus didest thou.'


29

IV,7,3196

Claudius. If it be so, Laertes
(As how should it be so? how otherwise?),
Will you be rul'd by me?

Laertes. Ay my lord,
So you will not o'errule me to a peace.


30

IV,7,3206

Claudius. To thine own peace. If he be now return'd
As checking at his voyage, and that he means
No more to undertake it, I will work him
To exploit now ripe in my device,
Under the which he shall not choose but fall;
And for his death no wind shall breathe
But even his mother shall uncharge the practice
And call it accident.

Laertes. My lord, I will be rul'd;
The rather, if you could devise it so
That I might be the organ.


31

IV,7,3216

Claudius. It falls right.
You have been talk'd of since your travel much,
And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality
Wherein they say you shine, Your sum of parts
Did not together pluck such envy from him
As did that one; and that, in my regard,
Of the unworthiest siege.

Laertes. What part is that, my lord?


32

IV,7,3231

Claudius. A very riband in the cap of youth-
Yet needfull too; for youth no less becomes
The light and careless livery that it wears
Than settled age his sables and his weeds,
Importing health and graveness. Two months since
Here was a gentleman of Normandy.
I have seen myself, and serv'd against, the French,
And they can well on horseback; but this gallant
Had witchcraft in't. He grew unto his seat,
And to such wondrous doing brought his horse
As had he been incorps'd and demi-natur'd
With the brave beast. So far he topp'd my thought
That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
Come short of what he did.

Laertes. A Norman was't?


33

IV,7,3233

Claudius. A Norman.

Laertes. Upon my life, Lamound.


34

IV,7,3235

Claudius. The very same.

Laertes. I know him well. He is the broach indeed
And gem of all the nation.


35

IV,7,3249

Claudius. He made confession of you;
And gave you such a masterly report
For art and exercise in your defence,
And for your rapier most especially,
That he cried out 'twould be a sight indeed
If one could match you. The scrimers of their nation
He swore had neither motion, guard, nor eye,
If you oppos'd them. Sir, this report of his
Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy
That he could nothing do but wish and beg
Your sudden coming o'er to play with you.
Now, out of this-

Laertes. What out of this, my lord?


36

IV,7,3253

Claudius. Laertes, was your father dear to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart,'

Laertes. Why ask you this?


37

IV,7,3271

Claudius. Not that I think you did not love your father;
But that I know love is begun by time,
And that I see, in passages of proof,
Time qualifies the spark and fire of it.
There lives within the very flame of love
A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it;
And nothing is at a like goodness still;
For goodness, growing to a plurisy,
Dies in his own too-much. That we would do,
We should do when we would; for this 'would' changes,
And hath abatements and delays as many
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this 'should' is like a spendthrift sigh,
That hurts by easing. But to the quick o' th' ulcer!
Hamlet comes back. What would you undertake
To show yourself your father's son in deed
More than in words?

Laertes. To cut his throat i' th' church!


38

IV,7,3285

Claudius. No place indeed should murther sanctuarize;
Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes,
Will you do this? Keep close within your chamber.
Hamlet return'd shall know you are come home.
We'll put on those shall praise your excellence
And set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gave you; bring you in fine together
And wager on your heads. He, being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils; so that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated, and, in a pass of practice,
Requite him for your father.

Laertes. I will do't!
And for that purpose I'll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death
This is but scratch'd withal. I'll touch my point
With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
It may be death.


39

IV,7,3314

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

Laertes. Drown'd! O, where?


40

IV,7,3333

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.

Laertes. Alas, then she is drown'd?


41

IV,7,3335

Gertrude. Drown'd, drown'd.

Laertes. 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. Exit.


42

V,1,3554

(stage directions). [Retires with Horatio.]

Laertes. What ceremony else?


43

V,1,3557

Hamlet. That is Laertes,
A very noble youth. Mark.

Laertes. What ceremony else?


44

V,1,3567

Priest. Her obsequies have been as far enlarg'd
As we have warranty. Her death was doubtful;
And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodg'd
Till the last trumpet. For charitable prayers,
Shards, flints, and pebbles should be thrown on her.
Yet here she is allow'd her virgin rites,
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of bell and burial.

Laertes. Must there no more be done?


45

V,1,3572

Priest. No more be done.
We should profane the service of the dead
To sing a requiem and such rest to her
As to peace-parted souls.

Laertes. Lay her i' th' earth;
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
A minist'ring angel shall my sister be
When thou liest howling.


46

V,1,3583

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.

Laertes. O, treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
Depriv'd thee of! Hold off the earth awhile,
Till I have caught her once more in mine arms.
[Leaps in the grave.]
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead
Till of this flat a mountain you have made
T' o'ertop old Pelion or the skyish head
Of blue Olympus.


47

V,1,3598

Hamlet. [comes forward] What is he whose grief
Bears such an emphasis? whose phrase of sorrow
Conjures the wand'ring stars, and makes them stand
Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
Hamlet the Dane. [Leaps in after Laertes.]

Laertes. The devil take thy soul!


48

V,2,3882

Hamlet. Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong;
But pardon't, as you are a gentleman.
This presence knows,
And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd
With sore distraction. What I have done
That might your nature, honour, and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himself be taken away,
And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
Who does it, then? His madness. If't be so,
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.
Sir, in this audience,
Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts
That I have shot my arrow o'er the house
And hurt my brother.

Laertes. I am satisfied in nature,
Whose motive in this case should stir me most
To my revenge. But in my terms of honour
I stand aloof, and will no reconcilement
Till by some elder masters of known honour
I have a voice and precedent of peace
To keep my name ungor'd. But till that time
I do receive your offer'd love like love,
And will not wrong it.


49

V,2,3894

Hamlet. I embrace it freely,
And will this brother's wager frankly play.
Give us the foils. Come on.

Laertes. Come, one for me.


50

V,2,3898

Hamlet. I'll be your foil, Laertes. In mine ignorance
Your skill shall, like a star i' th' darkest night,
Stick fiery off indeed.

Laertes. You mock me, sir.


51

V,2,3906

Claudius. I do not fear it, I have seen you both;
But since he is better'd, we have therefore odds.

Laertes. This is too heavy; let me see another.


52

V,2,3924

Hamlet. Come on, sir.

Laertes. Come, my lord. They play.


53

V,2,3926

Hamlet. One.

Laertes. No.


54

V,2,3929

Osric. A hit, a very palpable hit.

Laertes. Well, again!


55

V,2,3936

Hamlet. I'll play this bout first; set it by awhile.
Come. [They play.] Another hit. What say you?

Laertes. A touch, a touch; I do confess't.


56

V,2,3947

Gertrude. Come, let me wipe thy face.

Laertes. My lord, I'll hit him now.


57

V,2,3949

Claudius. I do not think't.

Laertes. [aside] And yet it is almost against my conscience.


58

V,2,3953

Hamlet. Come for the third, Laertes! You but dally.
Pray you pass with your best violence;
I am afeard you make a wanton of me.

Laertes. Say you so? Come on. Play.


59

V,2,3955

Osric. Nothing neither way.

Laertes. Have at you now!


60

V,2,3962

Osric. How is't, Laertes?

Laertes. Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric.I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery.


61

V,2,3970

(stage directions). [Laertes falls.]

Laertes. It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain;
No medicine in the world can do thee good.
In thee there is not half an hour of life.
The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,
Unbated and envenom'd. The foul practice
Hath turn'd itself on me. Lo, here I lie,
Never to rise again. Thy mother's poison'd.
I can no more. The King, the King's to blame.


62

V,2,3985

Hamlet. Here, thou incestuous, murd'rous, damned Dane,
Drink off this potion! Is thy union here?
Follow my mother. King dies.

Laertes. He is justly serv'd.
It is a poison temper'd by himself.
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet.
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee,
Nor thine on me! Dies.


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