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Shakespeare quotes page

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
“Seems,” madam? Nay, it is. I know not “seems.”
‘Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected ‘havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly.

MORE:
“Schijnt” ? Neen, mevrouw, het is. Ik ken geen „schijnt”/
Niet schijnt, Mevrouw, neen is; ik ken niet ‘schijnt’.

Schmidt:
Suspiration=breathing.
Windy suspiration=laboured breathing
Fruitful river in the eye=copious tears
Dejected ‘havior of the visage=Dejected expression

Topics: appearance, emotion and mood

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Horatio
CONTEXT:
Hamlet: What, look’d he frowningly?
Horatio: A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.

MORE:
Uit zijn gelaat Sprak eerder leed, dan boosheid /
Een voorkomen meer smartelijk dan toornig

Nowadays simply “more in sorrow than in anger”
Compleat:
Countenance=Gelaat, gezigt, uitzigt, weezen.
A cheerful countenance=Een bly gelaat.
Out of countenance=Bedeesd, verbaasd, ontsteld

Topics: appearance, still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
How pregnant sometimes his replies are. A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of.

MORE:
Wat zijn zijn antwoorden soms gevat! Een gelukkige eigenschap van de waanzin, waar de redelijkheid niet zo voor­spoedig van bevalt /
Hoe raak zijn soms zijn antwoorden ! Een mooi iets, dat krankzinnigheid dikwijls bereikt, terwijl het bij rede en gezond verstand niet zoo voorspoedig loskomt!

Schmidt:
Pregnant=expert, clever, ingenious, artful
Prosperously = successfully
Compleat:
A pregnant (or subtle) wit=Een schrander vernuft
Pregnant reasons=Krachtige redenen
Negative pregnant=Eene ontkenning, die een stelling insluit ( negative pregnant denial still used in law today)
Prosperously=Voorspoediglyk

Topics: memory

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
Ay, sir, that soaks up the king’s countenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end. He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw, first mouthed to be last swallowed. When he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you and, sponge, you shall be dry again.
ROSENCRANTZ
I understand you not, my lord.
HAMLET
I am glad of it. A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.

MORE:
Een schelmsch gezegde slaapt in ‘t stump’rig. /
De oren van een dwaas zijn doof voor scherts. /
In zotte ooren valt een schalksch gezegde in slaap.

Knavish = sly, villainous

Topics: still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
CLAUDIUS
Take thy fair hour, Laertes. Time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will.—
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son—
HAMLET
A little more than kin and less than kind.

MORE:
Wat meer dan neef, doch niet in ‘t minst uw zoon /
Iets meer dan bloed – en minder geestverwant.


Kin = kindred, family
Kind = generous AND nature, class.
Hamlet’s first words in the play. Claudius is “more than kin” because he is both uncle and stepfather. “Less than kind” can either be taken at face value or “kind” can be taken to mean both generous and class/breeding/nature.
A similar proverb is said to have existed at that time: “The nearer in kin, the less in kindness”, or the less pithy “The greater the kindred is, the less the kindness must be”.
Compleat:
Kin=Maagschap, verwantschap.
Kind=Soort
Elsewhere ‘kin’ is translated as ‘verwant’ and ‘kind’ as welwillend, with no play on words.

Burgersdijk notes:
Wat meer dan neef, doch niet in ‘t minst uw zoon. Meer dan een neef (daar ik uw stiefzoon ben), maar weinig of geenszins met u van een aard, een natuur (niet als een zoon, die naar zijn vader aardt) . In ‘t Engelsch :A little more titan kin, and less than kind. Kind beteekent niet alleen aard” of ,natuur”, maar ook ,,vriendelijk”. Deze woordspeling liet zich niet teruggeven, maar de zin is in de vertaling opgenomen, daar een zoon gehouden is zijn vader lief te hebbeu, wat Hamlet zijn stiefvader niet doet; hierom: „niet in ‘t minst uw zoon”. De vertaling heeft dit voordeel, dat zij volkomen op ‘s konings zeggen terugslaat.

Topics: marriage, relationship, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath sealed thee for herself, for thou hast been—
As one in suffering all that suffers nothing—
A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewards
Hast ta’en with equal thanks. And blessed are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled,
That they are not a pipe for Fortune’s finger
To sound what stop she please.

MORE:
Gezegend, zij wier inborst en verstand zó zijn verweven /
Gezegend hij, Bij wien verstand en hart zoo zijn gepaard /
En wel gelukkig Zijn zij bij wien zich bloed en geest zoo mengen

Schmidt:
Election = preference
Blood=Disposition, temper
Judgment=Faculty of discerning the truth, discernment, good sense, understanding
Commingled= balanced

Topics: still in use, cited in law

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Laertes
CONTEXT:
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.

MORE:
Gods dienende engel zal mijn zuster zijn /
Mijn zuster is een engel voor Gods aanschijn wanneer jij ligt te janken in de hel. /
Een dienende engel zal mijn zuster zijn.

Ministering=caring for (ministrations=provision of care).

Topics: honour, still in use, guilt, regret

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Horatio
CONTEXT:
A mote it is to trouble the mind’s eye.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets

MORE:
Burgersdijk translates this as a spooksel (om ‘s geestesoog te ontrusten), elsewhere translated as a ‘stofje’ om het zielsoog te kwellen

Mote (Moth, moath) = Particle of dust
Palmy = triumphant, flourishing
Squeak and gibber (from jabber) = shriek and gabble
Compleat:
Mote (ook Moat)=Een ziertje, een splintertje
Let me pull the moat out thine eye = Laat toe, dat ik den splinter uit uw oog uitdoe (Matth. 7:4)
Squeak = Gillen. Jabber=kakelen, rabbelen

Burgersijk notes:
Een spooksel is’t. A mote it is. Mote is de nieuwere spelling voor het moth der oude uitgaven; het woord beteekent een „stofjen”, een „atoom”.

Topics: still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Good my lord, will you see the players
well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.

MORE:
Na uw dood waart gij er met een leelijk grafschrift beter aan toe, dan wanneer zij bij uw leven kwaad van u spraken./
Het ware u beter een slecht grafschrift te hebben na uw dood, dan hun slechte getuigenis bij uw leven.

“You were better have”= you would be better to have.
Schmidt:
Bestow= to stow, to lodge, to place

Topics: truth, discovery, intellect, skill/talent

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.

MORE:
Laas, arme Yorick! – Ik heb hem gekend, Horatio /
Ach, arme Yorick ! Ik heb hem gekend, Horatio

One of Shakespeare’s best-known speeches.
Often misquoted as “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well.”

Topics: cited in law, justice, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
All is not well.
I doubt some foul play. Would the night were come!
Till then sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.

MORE:
Iets is mis;
‘k Vermoed iets laags. ‘k Verlang al naar den nacht.

Doubt=suspect
Foul deeds will rise=offences will be discovered
Said to be the first use of foul play
Compleat:
A foul copy (a copy full of insertions under erasements)=Een lordige kopy
A foul action=Een slechte daad
To play foul play=Valsch speelen, bedriegelyk speelen
Foul dealing or practices=Kwaade praktyken
Foul means=Kwaade middelen
Never seek that by foul means which thou canst get by fair=Zoekt nooit langs kwaade wegen dat gy langs de goede niet kunt verkrygen

Topics: suspicion, still in use, invented or popularised, foul play, conspiracy

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Rosencrantz
CONTEXT:
Happily he’s the second time come to them, for they say an old man is twice a child.

MORE:
Men zegt, dat een oud man ten tweede male een kind is /
Men zegt een oud mensch is opnieuw een kind.

Shakespeare’s ‘second childhood’ from the Seven Ages of Man
(Jaques, As You Like It: Infant, Schoolboy, Lover, Soldier, Justice, Pantaloon, Second Childishness).

Topics: truth, discovery, intellect, skill/talent

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
If his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
It is a damnèd ghost that we have seen,
And my imaginations are as foul
As Vulcan’s stithy. Give him heedful note.
For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
And after we will both our judgments join
In censure of his seeming.

MORE:
Let op hem; ik doe het ook; ik houd mijn blik gevestigd op zijn gezicht, en later geven wij ons beider oordeel over zijn gedrag /
Geef zorgvol acht; Ik zal mijn oog vastklinken op zijn aanzicht En later zullen uwe en mijne meening Raad houden saam, hoe hij zich hield. /
Sla goed hem ga; Wat ik mijn blik aan zijn gelaat zal naaglen; En daarna komen wij tot oordeel saâm Om hem te schaten naar den schijn.

Schmidt:
Occulted=committed in secret
Unkennel=to reveal, bring out into the open
Stithy=smithy
Compleat:
Uyt het hok of hol jaagen
Stithy=een Aambeeld als ook een zekere quaal …

Topics: deceit, appearance, honesty, gullibility

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
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 suchlike “as’s” 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 allowed.
MORE:
Zoo waar de vrede met haar arenkrans
Hun beider handen innig saam zou voegen,
En menig ander zwaar „Zoo waar” nog meer, –
Dat hij, na kennismaking van ‘t geschrift,
Fluks, zonder overwegen, zonder dralen,
Ja, zonder biechttijd toe te staan, de brengers
Zou doen onthoofden.

Schmidt:
Conjuration=Obsecration
Compleat:
Conjuration=Zamenzweering, eedgespan, vloekerwantschap, bezweering
To shrive=Biechten

Burgersdijk notes:
Hun beider handen innig saam zou voegen. In ‘t Engelsch: And stand a comma ‘tween their amities. Woorden of zinsdeelen, die alleen door een comma gescheiden zijn, behooren bij elkaar, staan met elkander in nauw verband. Men heeft voor comma ook wel cement of co-mate vermoed. Hoe ‘t zij, de beteekenis is in de vertaling uitgedrukt.
In den volgenden regel staat het woord Ases, meervoudsvorm van het woordeken As; een woordspeling met asses, „ezels”, is bedoeld.
De s van As wordt in Warwickshire steeds hard uitgesproken, en zoo deed Sh. ongetwijfeld ook.

Topics: death

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Horatio
CONTEXT:
And let me speak to th’ yet-unknowing world
How these things came about. So shall you hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Fall’n on th’ inventors’ heads. All this can I
Truly deliver.

MORE:
En eind’lijk van bedoelingen, mislukt, Die haar ontwerpers troffen /
Hoe bij dit einde, ongeslaagde plannen, Hem die ze smeedde, troffen. /
En, aan het eind, mislukte plannen, die neerkwamen op het hoofd der samenzweerders.

Schmidt:
Mistook= Committed an error, misjudged
Purpose=Design, plan, project
Inventor=Contriver, author

Topics: still in use, caution, patience

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Gravedigger
CONTEXT:
GRAVEDIGGER
How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defense?
OTHER
Why, ’tis found so.
GRAVEDIGGER
Give me leave. Here lies the water. Good. Here stands the man. Good. If the man go to this water and drown himself, it is, will he nill he, he goes. Mark you that. But if the water come to him and drown him, he drowns not himself. Argal, he that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.
OTHER
But is this law?
GRAVEDIGGER
Ay, marry, is ’t. Crowner’s quest law.

MORE:
Des daarom, wie niet schuldig is aan zijn eigen good, verkort zijn eigen leven niet. /
Ergel, hij die niet schuldig is aan eigen dood, verkort ook
zijn leven niet.

Cited in Shakespeare’s Legal Maxims (William Lowes Rushton)
CITED IN HONG KONG LAW:
China Light & Power Co. Ltd. and Another v Warner B.G. Banks, Esq Her Majesty’s Coroner of Hong Kong (CACV 55/1994)
“The purposes of ‘Crowner’s quest law’, as the clown calls it in Shakespeare‘s ‘Hamlet’, Act 5, Scene I, are consistently misunderstood by the public and the media”

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
But come—
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd some’er I bear myself—
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on—

MORE:
Hoe vreemd of raar ik me ook gedragen zal,
Wanneer ik goed vind naderhand misschien
Een wonderen gemoedsaard te vertoonen.

Put an antic disposition on=act irrationally.
Compleat:
Disposition (or Inclination)=Genegenheid, Lust
Disposition of mind=Gesteltenis van gemoed
The greatness of his disposition=Zyn grootmoedige, zyn uitmuntende gesteltenis
He put on a smiling countenance=Hij zette een vriendelyk gezigt

Topics: cited in law, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Good night—but go not to mine uncle’s bed.
Assume a virtue if you have it not.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat,
Of habits devil, 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.

MORE:
Meet je een deugd aan, als je er geen hebt. /
Veins deugdzaamheid, als gij haar niet bezit /
Neem u een deugd, zoo gij die niet bezit.

Assume a virtue = pretend to be virtuous, i.e. encouragement here to practice deception.

Topics: free will, identity

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Ay, sir, but “While the grass grows—” The proverb is something musty—O, the recorders! Let me see one.
MORE:
Ja, mijnheer, maar van de lip tot den beker …. het spreekwoord is wat schimmelig. /
Ja, menheer, maar: ‘Eer ‘t gras gewassen is’, – ‘t spreekwoord is eenigszins duf.

Musty=stale
Reference to the proverb, “While the grass grows, the horse starves”.
(Dreams and expectations may be realised too late if you sit and wait for too long.)
Compleat:
Musty=Muf, muffig
Musty (out of humour)=Gemelyk, knorrig

Topics: life, proverbs and idioms, cited in law, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry. Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery,

MORE:
Wees zo kuis als ijs, zo zuiver als sneeuw, gij ontgaat toch de laster niet./
Je moogt zoo koud als ijs zijn, zoo puur als sneeuw, je ontkomt niet aan laster /
Wees zoo kuisch als ijs, zoo rein als sneeuw, aan den laster ontsnapt gij niet !

‘Nunnery’ is translated as hoerenhuis in one Dutch translation – nunnery was Elizabethan slang for house of prostitution. OED interprets nunnery in Hamlet to have the original meaning (convent).
Compleat:
Nunnery=Vrouwen-klooster

Topics: still in use, proverbs and idioms, madness

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you, and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear a halfpenny.

MORE:
Bedelaar die ik Ben: ik heb zelfs gebrek aan dank. Maar ik dank jullie, en geloof me, beste vrienden, die dank is nog geen halve stuiver waard./
Schooier die ik ben, ik ben zelfs arm in dank; toch dank ik u; en zeker, beste vrienden, mijn dank is niet veel waarde, geen halve penning.

Schmidt:
Dear= bearing a high price
Compleat:
Dear-bought experience=Een duurgekogte ondervinding

Topics: honesty, truth, discovery

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Laertes
CONTEXT:
Be wary, then. Best safety lies in fear.
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.

MORE:
Wees op uw hoede; niets zoo veilig als vrees /
Wees waakzaam des: schroom is het beste schild

Youth to itself rebels=The young can lose control.

Topics: still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Beware / Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, Bear ’t that th’ opposèd may beware of thee.

MORE:
Vermijd krakeel en twist; maar, eens er in geraakt, Zorg dat ge ontzien er weder buiten treedt. /
Wacht u in twist te komen; maar in twist geraakt, Maak, dat uw weerpartij zich wacht voor u.

Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare.

Topics: appearance

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
These indeed “seem,”
For they are actions that a man might play.
But I have that within which passeth show,
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.

MORE:
Ik draag iets meer-dan-toonbaar in mijn hart /
Maar meer dan ‘t zichtb’re zit mij diep in ‘t hart.

Trappings=ornamental appendages (from horse furniture).
Actions that a man might play = It has all the hallmarks of acting
For they are actions that a man might play:
Want al dat doen kan best vertooning zijn/Want dit zijn dingen die een mens kan spelen

Topics: still in use, life, death, nature

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
My fate cries out
And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Nemean lion’s nerve.
Still am I called.—Unhand me, gentlemen.
(draws his sword)
By heaven, I’ll make a ghost of him that lets me.
I say, away!—Go on. I’ll follow thee.

MORE:
Bij God, ik maak een spook van wie mij hindert /
Bij God, wie ‘t mij belet, maak ‘k tot een geest.

Let=prevent. (Anglo-Saxon verb ‘lettan’, to prevent. Dutch ‘beletten’.)
Compleat:
To let=beletten, verhinderen.
‘What doth let me why I should no do it’=Wat verhindert my (wat weerhoudt my) dat ik het niet zou doen?

Topics: wisdom, friendship, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
By indirections find directions out.
So by my former lecture and advice
Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?
MORE:
Op averechtsche wijs den rechten weg /
Zo gaan wij, de slimmen en bekwamen, langs kronkelpaden recht op ons doel af.

The effectiveness of indirect questioning (see “your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth”).
Schmidt:
Indirection=oblique course or means
Compleat:
The directing of one’s intentions=Het bestieren van iemands voorneemen

Topics: appearance, deceit

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Ghost
CONTEXT:
But look, amazement on thy mother sits.
O, step between her and her fighting soul.
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
Speak to her, Hamlet.

MORE:
Verwaandheid werkt het sterkst in de zwakste lichamen /
Bij de zwakste werkt de inbeelding het sterkst. /
Verbeelding schokt een zwak gemoed het hevigst. /
Verbeelding werkt in ‘t zwakste lichaam ‘t sterkst.

Schmidt:
Conceit= imagination
Compleat:
To conceit=Zich verbeelden, achten

Topics: fate/destiny, plans/intentions

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
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.

MORE:
Biecht jezelf de hemel in; berouw wat is gebeurd; vermijd wat staat te komen. /
Biecht uw zonden op, berouw wat is geschied, ontwijk wat komt.

Schmidt:=
Rank=Too luxuriant, exuberant, grown to immoderate height
Compleat:
Rank (or fruitful)=Vruchtbaar
Rank (that shoots too many leaves or branches)=Weelig, dat te veel takken of bladen schiet
To grow rank=Al te weelit groeien

Topics: honour, still in use, memory, plans/intentions

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Ophelia
CONTEXT:
OPHELIA
Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty?
HAMLET
Ay, truly, for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness. This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.

MORE:
Kon kuischheid, grins, een beetren omgang hebben? /
Kan schoonheid, mijn heer, in beter gezelschap verkeeren dan van deugd?

Schmidt:
Commerce= intercourse, transaction
Paradox=statement or tenet contrary to received opinion
Compleat=
Commerce=Gemeenschap, onderhandeling, ommegang
I have no manner of commerce with him=Ik houde in ‘t geheel geen gemeenschap met hem.

Topics: honesty

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Gravedigger
CONTEXT:
Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating. And when you are asked this question next, say “A grave-maker.” The houses that he makes last till doomsday. Go, get thee in. Fetch me a stoup of liquor.

MORE:
Knuppel je hersens er niet langer om /
Breek er je kop niet langer mee /
Breek er je kop maar niet meer over

Cudgel thy brains=rack your brains
Compleat:
To cudgel one’s brains about a thing=Zyn hoofd ergens méde breeken. Cudgelled=Geknuppeld

Topics: corruption, lmadness, flattery, appearance

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: Claudius
CONTEXT:
This sudden sending him away must seem
Deliberate pause. Diseases desperate grown,
By desperate appliance are relieved,
Or not at all.

MORE:
Wanhopige ziekten worden door wanhopige middelen genezen, of in het geheel niet genezen. /
Maar, zooals iemand met een gore ziekte, Bevreesd voor ruchtbaarheid, wij lieten juist De kwaal het merg aantasten.

“A desperate disease must have a desperate cure.” Or “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Topics: promise, contract, purpose, negligence

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Ophelia
CONTEXT:
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven
Whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
And recks not his own rede

MORE:
Doe niet als enkle booze leeraars doen, Die wijzen ‘t steile doornenpad ten hemel /
Doe niet, als enk’le zond’ge priesters doen, Mij ‘t steil en doornig pad ten hemel wijzen

Dalliance = frivolity, wasteful activity.
‘Primrose path’ is a metaphor for the easy life, still in use today.
Also used as the title for numerous books, films and albums.
Reck your own rede= practice what you preach
Schmidt:
Puffed = inflated, arrogant.
Libertine = One leading a dissolute life

Topics: wisdom, proverbs and idioms, caution

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Player King
CONTEXT:
For ’tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
The great man down, you mark his favorite flies.
The poor advanced makes friends of enemies.
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend,

MORE:
Het is zelfs de vraag of liefde het lot bestuurt of het lot de liefde. /
Want op de vraag wacht men nog steeds bescheid, Of liefde ‘t lot, dan ‘t lot de lief de leidt? /
Want ‘t is een open vraag, als ‘n lastge som, Of liefde leidt het lot of andersom.

Schmidt:
To advance=To raise to a higher worth and dignity
Compleat:
To advance=Bevorderen, verhoogen voortzetten

Topics: still in use, cited in law

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Let it work,
For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petard. And ’t shall go hard,
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon.

MORE:
t Is wel een pittig spel den werktuigkundige Omhoog te hijschen door zijn eigen springmijn. /
Want ‘t is de kunst om met hun eigen bus Mijnleggers op te blazen.

Meaning that a scheme has backfired.
‘Petard’=small explosive device.
‘Enginer’=an engine or bomb (petard) maker, so ‘hoist with his own petard’ means to have a bomb-maker hoist (blasted into the air) by his own bomb.
Compleat:
To blow up with a petard=Met een petard de poort doen opspringen
Petardier=De geen die de petarden aanzet
CITED IN IRISH LAW:
Curran -v- Bank of Ireland Trust Services Ltd and anor [2016] IEHC 565 (05 October 2016) ’13. In a phrase and applying words which can be attributed to Shakespeare in Hamlet: ” He will be hoisted by his own petard” at trial if the deponents for the defendants are found wanting in their obligations under the rules for discovery and the agreement to make discovery.’
CITED IN US LAW:
In the Matter of Establishment lnspection of Stoddard Lumber Company, 627 F.2d 984,989 (9th Cir. 1980);
In the Matter of Vestavia Associates Limited Partnership, 105 Bankr. 680, 681 (M.b.Fla. 1989);
In Re White Motor Corporation, 65 Bankr. 383, 390 (N.D.Ohio 1986);
Brown v. District of Columbia, 638 F.Supp. 1479, 1491 (D.C. 1986).

Topics: deceit, manipulation, gullibility

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Why, right, you are in the right.
And so, without more circumstance at all,
I hold it fit that we shake hands and part.
You, as your business and desire shall point you—
For every man has business and desire,
Such as it is—and for my own poor part,
Look you, I’ll go pray.

MORE:
Want iedereen heeft werk en heeft een wensch,
Al is ‘t er naar.

REFERENCED IN SCOTTISH LAW: Muat (Surveyor of Taxes) v. Stewart [1890] SLR 27_294 (27 January 1890). “Shakespeare — I think it is in Hamlet—says every man has business of his own such as it is. The business of one man’s life is charity, another religion, a third (and I think Pope says the most numerous) pleasure.”

Topics: language, still in use, cited in law, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Why, let the stricken deer go weep,
The hart ungallèd play.
For some must watch while some must sleep.
So runs the world away.

MORE:
Men kan verheugd zijn of benard, Zo is ’t op aard verdeeld. /
Gewaakt er moet, zal slapen eene: Zoo blijft de wereld aan ‘t rollen. /
Wij komen voor- of achteraan, Zoo is de loop der zaken.

“For some must watch while some must sleep” is still in use today; also the basis for titles of several works.

Topics: appearance, deceit

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin?

MORE:
Want wie verdroeg den hoon en knoet zijns tijds,
Smaad van den trotschaard, ‘t juk van den tiran,
Smart van gesmade min, gedraal van ‘t recht,
Ambt’lijke grofheid en den aanstoot, dien
Gelaten deugd van den onwaard’ge duldt,
Wanneer hij met een simp’len ponjaard zelf
De zaak kon afdoen?

Schmidt:
Contumely=contempt, contemptuous treatment
Quietus=release from life
Insolence of office=pride, overhearing nature
Compleat:
Contumely=Smaad, schamperheid, schimp, laster
CITED IN IRISH LAW:
Adigun -v- The Equality Tribunal [2015] IESC 91 (08 December 2015)
‘Shakespeare has Hamlet bemoan the lack of progress in litigation as part of the ills of life: “the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay, the insolence of office”.’
CITED IN NI LAW:

Boyd v Department for Regional Development [2008] NIQB 107 (8 October 2008)

Topics: satisfaction, honour

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Heaven and earth,
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on, and yet, within a month—
Let me not think on ’t. Frailty, thy name is woman!

MORE:
Zwakheid, uw naam is vrouw!/
Broosheid, uw naam is vrouw!

“The more you get, the more you want”
Hamlet’s first soliloquy (after his mother’s rapid remarriage).
Frailty=weakness (physical and moral)
Compleat:
Frailty=Brosheid
CITED IN US LAW:
Berni v. Leonard, 69 Misc.2d 935,331 N.Y.S.2d 193,194 (N.Y.Sup.Ct. 1972)(Harnett, J.). In an equal opportunity case, the court begins “‘fraility, thy name is woman,’ … sayeth William Shakespeare in the sixteenth century … Not so, say five Nassau County policewomen who demand the opportunity to become police sergeants.”

Topics: appearance, sorrow, grief

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear ’t that th’ opposèd may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear but few thy voice.
Take each man’s censure but reserve thy judgment.

MORE:
Geef elk uw oor, maar enk’len slechts uw oordeel /
Leen iedereen het oor, uw stem slechts enklen

Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (here, for example, Hear much but speak little, 1532,).

Topics: wisdom, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar.

MORE:
Denk nooit hardop, en maak ónklare denking niet tot daden /
Houd uw plannen stil, En voor geen enkel ondoordacht plan uit.

Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (here, for example, Hear much but speak little (1532), First think then speak, (1616)).
Compleat:
To proportion=Evenredig maaken, onderling vergelyken, overeenkomstig maken. Proportioned=overeenkomstig gemaakt, wel geschikt

Topics: integrity, still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God has given you one face and you make yourselves another. You jig and amble, and you lisp, you nickname God’s creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance.

MORE:
God schonk u een aangezicht en gij maakt uzelf een ander

Schmidt:
Paintings=Paint, cosmetics
Jig=To sing in the tune of a jig; To amble=To move affectedly, as in a dance; To lisp= To speak affectedly with a particular articulation.
Compleat:
To paint (to beautify the face, like whores do)=Het aanzigt blanketten, als de hoeren doen
Jig=een zekere dans; Amble=een pas gaan, een tel gaan

Topics: reason, intellect

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Laertes
CONTEXT:
He is justly served.
It is a poison tempered by himself.
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet.
Mine and my father’s death come not upon thee,
Nor thine on me.

MORE:
Zijn verdiende loon. Hij heeft dat gif met eigen hand gemengd. /
Hij krijgt loon naar werk; Het is een gif, zelf door hem klaar gemaakt /
Hij kreeg verdiend zijn loon, Het is een giftdrank door hem zelf gemengd.

Schmidt:
Justly= Conformably to justice, by right, equitably
Served=Treated
Tempered=prepared by himself

Topics: law/legal, relationship, marriage

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Horatio
CONTEXT:
HORATIO
Is ’t not possible to understand in another tongue? You will do ’t, sir, really.
HAMLET
What imports the nomination of this gentleman?
OSRIC
Of Laertes?
HORATIO
His purse is empty already. All ’s golden words are spent.
MORE:
Zijn beurs is al leeg; hij heeft al zijn gouden woorden uitgegeven /
Zijn beurs is reeds leêg; hij gaf al zijn gouden woorden al uit. /
Zijn beurs is al leeg; al zijn gouden woorden zijn uitgegeven.

Schmidt:
Import= Convey, express, mean, signify, show
Nomination=Mention of, reference to
Tongue=Meaning or expression

Topics: life, order/society

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Horatio, I am dead.
Thou livest; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.
MORE:
Horatio, ik ga dood; jij leeft, verklaar jij mij en wat mij dreef aan de onbevredigden. /
‘k Ga dood, Horatio, Jij leeft; verklaar mij en mijn zuivre zaak Aan de onbevredigden.

Schmidt:
Unsatisfied=Not fully informed and settled in opinion
Report me and my cause correctly to the uninformed (“unsatisfied”)

Topics: revenge

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Claudius
CONTEXT:
CLAUDIUS
How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
HAMLET
Not so, my lord. I am too much i’ the sun.

MORE:
Van waar, dat over u steeds wolken hangen?/
Waarom zie ik u steeds in wolkenschauw?

The clouds still hang on you=Why are you so down/out of sorts?
Punning on son/sun.
(Compleat):
A clouded countenance = een beneveld gelaat

Topics: cited in law

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.

MORE:
Ik ben alleen gek noordnoordwest; bij zuidelijker winden kan ik een valk van een reiger onderscheiden /
Ik ben alleen gek bij noord-noordwestenwind; komt hij meer uit ’t zuiden, dan kan ik heel goed een valk van een reiger onderscheiden

To know a hawk from a handsaw is still in use today. Handsaw was a heron [heronshaw]. Why southerly wind? Because with birds loosed in a southerly wind the hunter would be looking away from the sun and able to distinguish between them.
CITED IN US LAW: Judge Easterbrook Wrote that “the longer the time, the more the language changes. Hamlet says to Guildenstern in Act II, scene 2: ‘I am mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.’ He means that he is feigning madness, shown because he can tell one bird from another when he wants. (To Shakespeare, a ‘handsaw’ was a heron – also some scholars believe).”
In the matter of Marie Erickson, 815 F.2d 1090, 1092 (7th Cir. 1987) (Easterbrook, J)

Topics: madness, reason

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Who calls me “villain”? Breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by the nose? Gives me the lie i’ th’ throat
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this?
Ha!
‘Swounds, I should take it, for it cannot be
But I am pigeon-livered and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave’s offal.
MORE:
Dus is ‘t toch waar, Dat ‘k heb een duiven-lever, mis de gal, Die maakt verdrukking bitter /
‘t Is niet anders, Ik heb een duivelever en mis gal, Die hartzeer bitter maakt /
Vervloekt, ik zou ’t verdragen, want ik heb een duivelever, ’k mis de gal die mijn bedruktheid kan verbitteren

Merriam-Webster definition of pigeon-livered:
Applying the belief of the time that the liver and large quantities of yellow bile provided a courageous temperament, the Bard used “pigeon-livered” to describe Hamlet’s lack of gall to seek revenge (with the apparent logic that anyone with a pigeon’s liver would be deficient in the courage-producing bile).
Schmidt:
Pigeon-livered=of too mild a temper
Compleat:
A white livered fellow=Een ongevoelige vent, een nydigaart

Topics: reputation, legacy

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful,ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us.

MORE:
Ik ben erg hoogmoedig, wraakzuchtig en eergierig, en ik heb meer wandaden voor ’t grijpen dan gedachten om ze uit te drukken. /
Ik ben zeer trotsch, wraakgierig, eerzuchtig; met meer slechtigheden op mijn wenken klaar dan ik gedachten heb ze aan te zetten.

At my beck=I can summon; nowadays ‘at my beck and call’.
(Compleat):
Beck=Wenk
He keeps him at his beck=Hy houdt hem op zynen wenk.
To be at one’s beck=Op iemands wenk gereed staan.
Van Looy translation: op mijn wenken klaar

Burgersdijk notes:
Ik ben zeer trotsch enz Men vulle het volgende woord aan en leze: “Ik ben zeer trotsch, wraakzuchtig, eergierig;” enz . Bij den druk bleef toevallig het woord „wraakzuchtig” na de afbreking onvolkomen.

Topics: insult

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Why, even in that was heaven ordinant.
I had my father’s signet in my purse,
Which was the model of that Danish seal.
Folded the writ up in form of th’ other,
Subscribed it, gave ’t th’ impression, placed it safely,
The changeling never known. Now, the next day
Was our sea fight, and what to this was sequent
Thou know’st already.

MORE:
Ik had ‘t signet mijns vaders in mijn beurs, ‘t Welk voorbeeld is geweest voor ‘t Deensche zegel. /
Ik had mijns vaders zegel in mijn beurs, Dat naar dat Deensche zegel was gemaakt;

Cited in Shakespeare’s Legal Maxims (William Lowes Rushton)
Schmidt:
Ordinant= Ordaining, swaying (Ff ordinate)

Topics: honour, dispute

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
O, there be players that I have seen play and heard others praise (and that highly), not to speak it profanely, that, neither having th’ accent of Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of nature’s journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

MORE:
Dat de gedachte bij mij opkwam enkele losse werklui, bij natuur in dienst, hadden menschen gemaakt en hadden ze niet goed gemaakt /
Dat ik wel denken moest of hier soms een van natuurs daglooners menschen had gemaakt en niet goed gemaakt, zoo afgrijselijk bootsten zij de menschheid na.

Schmidt:
To strut=To walk with a proud gait or affected dignity
Journeymen= unskilled workers
Gait=manner
Com,pleat:
To strut out=Opgeblaazen zyn, ‘t hoofd om hoog en den buik uitsteeken
Struttingly=Verwaandelyk, hoogmoediglyk

Topics: appearance, deceit, guilt

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
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

MORE:
Wreed moet ik zijn, om liefderijk te wezen. /
Ik ben slechts wreed uit liefde. /
Wreed moet ik zijn terwille van mijn liefde; slecht is dë aanvang, slechter het verschiet.

Cruel to be kind was invented by Shakespeare and is still in use today.

Topics: understanding

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
I once did hold it, as our statists do,
A baseness to write fair, and labored much
How to forget that learning, but, sir, now
It did me yeoman’s service.

MORE:
Ik meende eens, op ‘t voorbeeld onzer staatsliên, Dat ‘t klerksch was mooi te schrijven /
Ik vond het vroeger, zooals staatslui nog, Een min ding mooi te schrijven /
Ik hield het eens – als onze staatsbestuurders – voor laag om fraai te schrijven.

Yeoman or Yeoman’s service still used today to mean sterling work, good service
Schmidt:
Baseness=That which becomes a low station
Yeoman=A gentleman servant

Topics: life, satisfaction

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Ophelia
CONTEXT:
I shall the 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 puffed and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
And recks not his own rede.

MORE:
Mij zal de leering de ter wijze les Tot wacht des hasten zijn /
Ik zal de werking van uw goede lessen Als ‘n wachter zetten bij mijn hart.

Schmidt:
Watchman=One who is careful, vigilant. Ungracious=Impious, wicked.
Reck=To care for, to mind (heed)
Rede=Counsel
Compleat:
Watchman with a clapper=Klapperman

Topics: proverbs and idioms, perception, judgment

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
I will speak daggers to her but use none.
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites.
How in my words somever she be shent,
To give them seals never, my soul, consent!

MORE:
k Zal dolken spreken, maar ‘k gebruik er geen. /
Wreed wil ik zijn, maar aan mijn inborst tro
uw; met dolken spreken, maar ze niet gebruiken.

Schmidt:
Shent=put to the blush, blamed, reproached, reviled
Somever=soever
Compleat:
Shent=Beschuldigd, bekeeven

Topics: death, misquoted, still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
(points to his head and shoulders)
Take this from this if this be otherwise.
If circumstances lead me, I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.

MORE:
Als mij de feiten leiden, vind ik wel
Waar waarheid schuilt, al zou ze in ‘t middelpunt
Der aarde schuilen /
Is mij het toeval gunstig, vind ik wel Waar hier de waarheid schuilt, al borg zij zich In ‘t hart van ‘t hart der aard

Schmidt:
Centre=The earth, as the supposed centre of the world

Topics: misquoted, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry. Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.

MORE:
Als je met alle geweld trouwen wilt, trouw dan een idioot, want mannen met hersens weten vooruit dat je hun de horens opzet. /
Of, zoo ge dan toch wilt trouwen, trouw met een dwaas; want wijze mannen weten al te wel, wat monsters gij van hen maakt. /
Of, wilt gij met geweld trouwen, trouw een malloot, want wijze mannen weten maar al te goed wat voor monsters gij van hen maakt.

Schmidt:
Plague=Hence it almost seems that, in some expressions, the word has quite passed into the sense of curse: “I’ll give thee this p. for thy dowry”
Calumny= Slander
Compleat:
Calumny=Een lastering, klad

Topics: loyalty

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Horatio
CONTEXT:
HORATIO
If your mind dislike anything, obey it. I will forestall their repair hither and say you are not fit.
HAMLET
Not a whit. We defy augury. There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is ’t to leave betimes? Let be.

MORE:
Als uw innerlijk zich ergens tegen verzet, gehoorzaam het dan. /
Als uw gemoed met jets geen vrede heeft, geef er gehoor
aan. /
Als uw gemoed van iets afkeerig mocht zijn, luister er naar.

Not a whit: not at all
Schmidt:
Forestall=Anticipate, to be beforehand with, to prevent
Repair hither=arrival
Augury=Art of prophesying
Compleat:
Forestall=Voor-inneemen, onderscheppen, verrassen, voor-opkoopen
Augury=Wichlery, vogelwaarzeggery

Topics: guilt, conscience

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
My father—methinks I see my father.
HORATIO
Where, my lord?
HAMLET
In my mind’s eye, Horatio.

MORE:
In mijn geestes oog, Horatio /
In ‘t oog mijns geestes, Horatio

“In my mind’s eye” is still in use today, as it was coined by Shakespeare.
However, the idea of a mental creation goes back at least as far as Chaucer in ‘The Man of Law’s Tale’:
“It were with thilke eyen of his mynde, With whiche men seen, after that they been blynde.”

Topics: reputation

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:

In the corrupted currents of this world
offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law. But ’tis not so above.
There is no shuffling.

MORE:
In de verdorvenheid van deze wereld kan ’t recht door de vergulde hand der misdaad opzijgeschoven worden, en de wet
met bloedgeld worden omgekocht/
In den verdorven stroom der wereld kan Zonde’s vergulde hand het recht wegduwen; En vaak gezien werd, dat de schandprijs zelf Omkocht de wet. /
In ‘t boos gedwarrel dezer wereld schuive Der wandaad gulden hand het recht op zij; Gewis, de vrucht der misdaad koopt wel vaak De wetten om;/
In den verdorven loop van ‘s werelds taken Duwt misdaads gouden hand soms ‘t recht op zij En dikwijls ziet men, dat de booze buit De straffen afkoopt.

Schmidt:
Currents=course
Gilded=supplied with money (here: stolen)
Shove=To push or drive by main force
Shuffle=To practise shifts, to play tricks
Compleat:
Gild=Schuld
To shuffle=Door malkanderen schieten, omwegen zoeken,
To shuffle off a business=Een zaak afschuiven
To shift or shuffle off a fault to another=De schuld op een ander werpen
To shuffle (to dodge)=Slinksche wegen inslaan, listen gebruiken, niet oprecht zyn

Topics: insult, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
It is a custom
More honored in the breach than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel east and west
Makes us traduced and taxed of other nations.

MORE:
Het is een gebruik, meer eervol voor die het schendt, dan voor die het volgt /
Is ‘t een zede, Meer eerbiedwaard, als men haar schendt, dan volgt. /
Is het een zede Eervoller om te laten dan te volgen.

Misquoted in that the meaning has moved nowadays to regretting the falling out of use of a custom or tradition, i.e. a custom more often ignored and observed; whereas Hamlet meant the opposite: if his uncle’s drinking and making promises is a tradition, it is one they can well do without.
CITED IN US LAW
The above point is made by Judge Posner, who wrote that a reader frequently thinks that this means custom that is not observed, which is what the expression viewed in isolation seems plainly to mean. “But if you go back to the passage in Hamlet from which the expression comes (Act I, Sc. iv, lines 8-20), you will see that the custom referred to is that of getting drunk on festive occasions. The point is general: context, in the broadest sense, is the key to understanding language”. (Alliance to End Repression v United States Department of Justice, 742 F 2d 1007, 1013 (7th Cir. 1983)(Posner, J);
U.S. v. Smith, 812 F.2d 161, 167 (4th Cir. 1987);
Calley v. Callaway, 382 F.Supp. 650, 666 (M.D.Ga. 1974);
Arthur v. Nyquist, 415 F.Supp. 904, 959 (W.D.N.Y. 1976);
State v. Griffin, 347 So.2d 692, 694 (Fla. Ct. App. 1977).

Topics: secrecy

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Within a month,
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her gallèd eyes,
She married. O most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good,
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue

MORE:
t Is niet en ‘t kan niet leiden tot jets goeds.

Nowadays: ‘No good can come of it’ or ‘Nothing good will come of this”.
Unrighteous tears=insincere, false tears.
Galled eyes=Irritated, swollen eyes
Compleat:
To gall=Tergen, verbitteren. Galled=kwaad, vel afgeschaafd, gequeld
Righteous=Gerechtvaardigd

Some Dutch translations:
Eer nog het zout van meest geveinsde tranen Haar rood gezwollen oog verlaten had
Nog voor het zout van haar geveinsde tranen haar roodgewreven ogen had verlaten

Topics: emotion and mood

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o’erdoing Termagant. It out-Herods Herod. Pray you, avoid it.

MORE:
Ik zou zoo’n kerel gegeeseld willen hebben, enkel en alleen omdat hij Tergament overdrijft en nog erger Herodest dan Herodes. /
Ik zou zoo’n kerel gegeeseld willen hebben voor zijn overdrijving van Termagant ; ‘t is erger den Herodes uithangen dan Herodes doet.

Over the top, usually in evil or extravagance: “to be more outrageous than the most outrageous”
Schmidt:
Periwig-pated=Wearing a periwig
Robustious=Violent, boisterous
Compleat:
Periwig=Paruik. Perwig=Een Pruyk, Perruyk
Robusteous=Sterk, grof, kloek van lyf en leden

Topics: cited in law, invented or popularised

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Hear you, sir.
What is the reason that you use me thus?
I loved you ever. But it is no matter.
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew and dog will have his day.

MORE:
Of Hercules al raast en tiert, of treurt, De poes miauwt, een hond, die krijgt zijn beurt. /
Al deed hier Hercules al wat hij kan, De kat zou mauwen en de bond ging an.

CITED IN US LAW:
City of Columbus v. Becher, 115 Ohio App. 239, 240, 184 N.E.2d 617,618. In a case involving a dog control ordinance (1961)(McLaughlin, J.);

Topics: sorrow, grief, appearance

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged.
His madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy.
Sir, in this audience,
Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts
That I have shot mine arrow o’er the house
And hurt my brother.

MORE:
Laat mijn ontkenning van opzetlijk kwaad Me ontheffen in uw ridderziel tot op: Dat ik mijn pijl schoot over ‘t huis en trof
Mijn broeder. /
Laat mijn ontkenning hier van kwaad bedoelen Mijn vrijspraak zijn in uw grootmoedig denken, Dat ik mijn pijl heb over ‘t huis geschoten En trof mijn broeder.

Cited in Shakespeare’s Legal Maxims (William Lowes Rushton)
Schmidt:
Disclaiming= disavowal
To purpose= plan, design
Compleat:
To disclaim=Otkennen, verzaaken, afstaan
To purpose=Voornemen, voor hebben

Topics: excess, emotion and mood

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Lord Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.
Lord Polonius: What is the matter, my lord?
Hamlet: Between who?
Lord Polonius: I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

MORE:
Woorden, woorden, woorden.

Topics: life, age/experience

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.5
SPEAKER: Ophelia
CONTEXT:
Well, God’ield you! They say the owl was a baker’s daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at your table.
MORE:
Wij weten wat we zijn, maar wij weten niet wat we misschien zullen worden /
Ach, heer, wij weten wel wat we zijn, maar niet wat we nog worden kunnen.

God yield you= God bless you
The legend had been often used to enkindle kind feelings for the poor and unfortunate. The story, which is current to-day among the nursery tales of Gloucestershire, relates that the Savior in disguise entered a baker’s shop, asking for some bread; and, when the baker charitably put a large piece of dough into the oven to bake for Him, his daughter rebuked him, and for her unkindness was changed into an owl.

Burgersdijk notes:
Men zegt, dat de uil een bakkersdochter geweest is. Ophelia denkt aan een oude legende, die in Glocestershire algemeen in omloop was: de Heiland vroeg eens een bakkersvrouw om brood, wat zij hem ook dadelijk wilde
bakken. De dochter vond, dat hare moeder er te veel deeg voor gebruikte en nam het grootste deel er van weg. Toen zwol het overschot plotseling allergeweldigst op, zoodat de dochter, in haar verbazing, kreten uitte, niet ongelijk aan uilengeschreenw, waarop de Heiland haar in een uil veranderde. Vandaar Ophelia’s zeggen: „wij weten niet, wat wij kunnen worden .” Dit verhaal werd aan kinderen gedaan, om hun barmhartigheid in te prenten.

Topics: mercy, offence

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Claudius
CONTEXT:
POLONIUS
We heard it all.—My lord, do as you please.
But, if you hold it fit, after the play
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
To show his grief. Let her be round with him,
And I’ll be placed, so please you, in the ear
Of all their conference. If she find him not,
To England send him or confine him where
Your wisdom best shall think.
CLAUDIUS
It shall be so.
Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.
MORE:
Uw raad staat me aan; ‘n Hooggeplaatste en gek mag vrij niet gaan /
Dat zal ik, want de waanzin van vorstenzonen eist een wakend oog. /
‘t Zij zoo. Onderwijl Waanzin bij grooten eischt een oog in ‘t zeil.

Schmidt:
Round=roundly, straightforwardly and without much ceremony:
Compleat:
To have a round delivery (or clear utterance)=Glad ter taal zyn
Round about=Rondt-om

Topics: still in use, honour, reputation

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Ghost
CONTEXT:
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combinèd locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fearful porpentine.

MORE:
Uw saamgestrengde lokken scheiden zou En ieder haar recht overeind doen staan /
Je haren zouden overeind gaan staan als stekels van een gemelijke egel

The phrase making your hair stand on end is first found in Hamlet.
Compleat:
To stand up an (sic) end=Ryzen, over end staan
His hair stand up an (sic) end=De haairen ryzen hem te berg

Topics: misquoted, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
HAMLET: Farewell, dear mother.
KING: Thy loving father, Hamlet.
HAMLET: My mother : father and mother is man
and wife;/ Man and wife is one flesh ; and so, my mother

MORE:
Mijn moeder: vader en moeder is man en vrouw; man en vrouw is één vleesch; alzoo, mijn moeder vleesch; alzoo, mijn moeder.

Cited in Shakespeare’s Legal Maxims (William Lowes Rushton)

Topics: corruption, law/legal, justice

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Gertrude
CONTEXT:
GERTRUDE
More matter, with less art.
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..

MORE:
Meer zaaks met minder woordkunst! /
Zaakrijker, minder kunst /
Meer inhoud, minder franje!

More substance, less rhetoric
Schmidt:
Art= Synonymous to cunning, artifice, craft
Compleat:
Art (cunning or industry)=Behendigheid, Schranderheid, Naarstigheid

Topics: honour

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Ghost
CONTEXT:
GHOST
Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
HAMLET
Murder?
GHOST
Murder most foul, as in the best it is.
But this most foul, strange and unnatural.

MORE:
Zeer lage moord, genomen op zijn best, Maar hier, zeer laag, vreemd en onnatuurlijk./
Meest lagen moord, en elke moord is laag, Maar deze is laag, barbaarsch en onnatuurlijk.

“Murder most foul” has been used for various titles, including a Dylan song, book and a (Marple) film.’Unnatural’ in the sense that it is against both natural and moral laws and he is not the rightful heir to the throne.
Compleat:
A foul copy (a copy full of insertions under erasements)=Een lordige kopy
A foul action=Een slechte daad
To play foul play=Valsch speelen, bedriegelyk speelen
Foul dealing or practices=Kwaade praktyken
Foul means=Kwaade middelen
Never seek that by foul means which thou canst get by fair=Zoekt nooit langs kwaade wegen dat gy langs de goede niet kunt verkrygen

Topics: cited in law, business

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Claudius
CONTEXT:
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

MORE:
Mijn woord stijgt op, mijn ziel blijft lager dwalen;
Het zielloos woord zal nooit den hemel halen. /
Mijn woord wiekt op en mijn gedachten zijgen: Ledige woorden nooit ten hemel stijgen. /
Mijn woord heeft vleugels, maar ontbeert de zin, en ’t holle woord wiekt nooit de hemel in.

CITED IN US LAW:
Inappropriately cited (See William Domnarski Shakespeare in the Law) in People v. Langston, 131 Cal. App.3d 7 (1982)(Brown, J.)

Topics: language, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry

MORE:
Geen borger zult gij zijn, ook niet een leener /
Leen niet aan en leen niet van; je verliest wat je leent en een vriend.

Husbandry=economy, thrift
Compleat:
Borrower=Ontleener, inleener, borger.
Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (in this case, for example, Who lends to a friend loses double, c1594).
CITED IN US LAW:
Williams v. Public Finance Corporation, 598 F.2d 349, 359 (5th Cir. 1979);
Browner v. District of Columbia, 549 A.2d 1107 (D.C. 1988);
Metropolitan Life lnsurance Company v. Promenade. Towers Mutual Housing Corporation, 84 Md. App. 702, 705,581 A.2d 846, 848 (1990).
CITED IN EU LAW: LOKHIN v. RUSSIA – 47152/06 (Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) : Court (Grand Chamber)) [2016] ECHR 300 (23 March 2016)/[2016] ECHR 300
Judge Motoc: “As Shakespeare said in the words of Hamlet: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend”. I find that our Court is in exactly the situation described by Hamlet.”

Topics: caution, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Francisco
CONTEXT:
FRANCISCO
Not a mouse stirring.
BARNARDO
Well, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.

MORE:
Geen muis bewoog zich/
Geen muis verroerde

From the poem ‘A visit from St Nicholas’, first published 1823:
Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” (Anon)

Topics: concern

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Horatio
CONTEXT:
Now cracks a noble heart.—Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!—
Why does the drum come hither?

MORE:
Nu breekt een edel hart./
Goê-nacht, mijn prins /
Slaap zacht, mijn prins; mogen de engelen u ter ruste zingen! / Goenacht, mijn prins !
En eng’lenscharen zingen U in uw rust!

Topics: revenge

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
O God, Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me! If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart
Absent thee from felicity a while,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain
To tell my story.

MORE:
Horatio, ach, wat een gewonde naam, Wat ongekende dingen laat ik achter! /
Mijn God, Horatio, wat een wonde naam zal ik achterlaten, als dit niet ontvouwd wordt! /
O God, Horatio, wat geschonden naam, Als alles onbekend blijft, last ik achter!

Schmidt:
Wound (in a moral sense) , e.g. “thou wrongest his honour, woundest his princely name”.
Name=renown, honour

Burgersdijk notes:
Zoo wjjk nog niet naar zaal’ger oord, maar lijd Een poos nog ‘s werelds smart.
In ‘t Engelsch
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain.
Zoo, in ‘s werelds booze lucht met moeite ademhalend, heeft Hamlet moeten leven. W}j vinden in deze weinige woorden tot Horatio weder uitgedrukt, wat Hamlet in zijne eerste alleenspraak, nog voor de geest hem verschenen was, van de wereld en al haar woeling gezegd heeft. Dit gevoel, dat de wereld boos is en de macht harer boosheid te groot, dan dat hij in staat is den stroom van het kwade te keeren, dit gevoel, zoo roerend geuit in die andere alleenspraak, waarin hij ‘s werelds ellenden en zijne machteloosheid om ze te bekampen, schildert, dit is het, wat Hamlet vervult, de oorzaak is zjjner droefgeestigheid en bitterheid, hem de eenvoudige wraakoefening, die toch de boosheid der wereld niet verkeeren zou, onmogelijk maakt, en eerst in het laatste oogenblik de straf aan den gekroonden booswicht laat voltrekken. Dit is het, wat Hamlet tot eene zoo hoogst tragische figuur maakt en dit stuk van den dichter tot eene schepping, in welker geheimenissen de denkende mensch steeds dieper en dieper tracht door te dringen.

Topics: plans/intentions

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
What devil was ’t
That thus hath cozened 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?

MORE:
Schaamte, waar is uw blos? / O, schaamte, waar ‘s uw blos? / Schaamt’, waar is uw blos?

Schmidt:
Cozen=deceive/delude
Hoodman-blind=blind man’s bluff.
Compleat:
Cozen=Bedriegen

Topics: appearance, caution, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Claudius
CONTEXT:
O, my offence is rank. It smells to heaven.
It hath the primal eldest curse upon ’t,
A brother’s murder.

MORE:
Laag is mijn misdrijf, o het schreit ten hemel /
O, mijn vergrijp is vuil, het stinkt ten hemel /
O, mijn misdrijf is walglijk, ‘t stinkt ten hemel.

Schmidt:
Rank: foul-smelling, offensive (still in use today colloquially)
Compleat:
A rank smell=een vunzige reuk

Topics: invented or popularised, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Gertrude
CONTEXT:
GERTRUDE
O, speak to me no more!
These words like daggers enter in my ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet.
HAMLET
A murderer 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!
HAMLET
A king of shreds and patches

MORE:
O, zeg niets meer. Die woorden slaan als dolken in mijn oren / Uw woord dringt als een dolksteek in mijn oor. / O, spreek niet meer tot mij! Als dolken gaan je woorden in mijn ooren.

Schmidt:
Cutpurse=thief
Tithe=Levy of a tenth part
A king of shreds and patches=Nowadays also a “thing of shreds and patches”

Topics: misquoted, still in use, cited in law

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God, God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on ’t, ah fie! ‘Tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed.

MORE:
O, mocht dit te té aangevochten vleesch wegsmelten /
O, dat dit te té vaste vleesch wou smelten

Other versions:solid flesh or sallied flesh.
Unprofitable=Futile, pointless.
Stale=vapid, tasteless
Compleat:
Sullied=Bemorst, vuil gemaakt, bezoedeld.

Topics: still in use, invented or popularised, imagination

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Guildenstern
CONTEXT:
ROSENCRANTZ
Faith, there has been much to do on both sides, and the nation holds it no sin to tar them to controversy. There was, for a while, no money bid for argument unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question.
HAMLET
Is ’t possible?
GUILDENSTERN
O, there has been much throwing about of brains.

MORE:
O, er is veel talent versmeten /
O, daar zijn heel wat hersenen voor gebroken /
O, er is heel wat geestkracht aan verspild.

Schmidt:
Much throwing about of brains=there has been much satirical controversy
A dry brain= a dull brain, incapable of thinking
CITED IN US LAW:
People v. Langston, 131 Cal. App.3d 7 (1982)(Brown, J.).

Topics: love, reason

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Ophelia
CONTEXT:
O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!
The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword,
Th’ expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th’ observed of all observers, quite, quite down!

MORE:
O, wat een edele geest is hier verscheurd! /
O, wat een eedle geest ging hier te loor!

Noble=Magnanimous, elevated, dignified, generous
Expectancy=Hope
Glass= Mirror, reflection
Compleat:
Nobly (or generously)=Edemoediglyk
Expectance. To be an expectation of something=Iets verwagten, ergens op hoopen

Topics: honesty, virtue

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Ophelia
CONTEXT:
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatched form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy. O, woe is me,
T’ have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

MORE:
O, wee mij, die gezien heeft wat ik zag, zie wat ik zie! / Wee, wee, o, die Zag wat ik heb gezien, ziet wat ik zie.

Woe is me’ wasn’t a Shakespeare invention – there are several instances the Bible (‘woe unto me’ in Job, ‘woe is me’ in Psalms, Isiah and Jeremiah)
Schmidt:
Sovereign= Supreme, paramount, excellent: “That noble and most sovereign reason”
Blasted=Blighted
Ecstasy=Madness
Onions:
Blown=Blossomed (in the full bloom of youth)
Compleat:
Extasy=Verrukking, opgetoogenheid, vertrekking van zinnen
To blast one’s reputation=Iemands goeden naam bezwalken

Topics: law/legal, cited in law

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Player King
CONTEXT:
Our wills and fates do so contrary run
That our devices still are overthrown.
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
So think thou wilt no second husband wed,
But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.

MORE:
Ons willen is zoo strijdig met ons lot /
Ons lot en willen zoo contrarie gaan

Schmidt:
Devices=contrivance, conceit, stratagem
Compleat:
Device (contrivance or invention)=Uitvinding, vinding
Device (cunning trick)=Een listige streek

Topics: deceit, virtue

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: First Player
CONTEXT:
Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune! All you gods
In general synod take away her power,
Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
As low as to the fiends!

MORE:
Weg, weg, gij slet Fortuna! /
Weg, lichtekooi, Fortuin!

Fortune (i.e., chance, luck) was often called a strumpet, because of the indiscriminae granting of her favours, regardless of worth.
Schmidt:
Strumpet=prostitute
Fortune=the power supposed to distribute the lots of life according to her humour
Compleat:
Fortune (a heathen-ish goddess)=’t Fortuin

Topics: cited in law, madness, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Ghost
CONTEXT:
GHOST
Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.
HAMLET
Speak. I am bound to hear.
GHOST
So art thou to revenge when thou shalt hear.

MORE:
Erbarm u niet, maar leen uw ernstig hooren
Aan ‘t geen ik ga ontvouwen .

CITED IN US LAW:
Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254, 257, 572 N.Y.S.2d 672 (1991)

Topics: appearance, madness

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Player King
CONTEXT:
I do believe you think what now you speak,
But what we do determine oft we break.
Purpose is but the slave to memory,
Of violent birth, but poor validity,
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
MORE:
Al te vaak verbreekt men zijn beloften. Beloften zijn slechts slaven van ‘t geheugen; in aanleg sterk, doch later krachteloos. /
‘t Plan is de slaaf slechts der herinnering

Schmidt:
Validity= Strength, efficacy
Compleat:
Validity=Krachtigheid, bondigheid

Topics: deceit, suspicion, guilt, discovery

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Ophelia
CONTEXT:
My honored lord, you know right well you did,
And with them, words of so sweet breath composed
As made the things more rich. Their perfume lost,
Take these again, for to the noble mind
Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

MORE:
Overvloedige gaven worden armzalig als gevers liefdeloos blijken. /
Neem ze terug : voor hem, die edel denkt, Is ‘t rijkste poover, als een nurk het schenkt. /
Want voor hen die edel denken, Wordt arm het rijkst geschenk, als hartloos zijn die ‘t schenken.

The phrase “Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind” was coined by Shakespeare and is still in use today.

Topics: appearance, marriage, vanity

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honor’s at the stake.

MORE:
Waarlijk hoogstaan doet Niet hij, die opbruist zonder hooge reden

Schmidt:
Straw=Emblem of weakness and insignificance
Compleat:
A straw man (an insignificant fellow)=Een stroo man, een zwak, kragteloos man

Burgersdijk notes:
Het waarlijk groot zjjn Is niet, zich enkel voor iets groots te roeren. In ‘t Engelsch :
Rightly to be great Is not to stir without great argument.
Men kan twijfelen, of de ontkenning ‘not’ behoort hij ‘is’, zoodat men achter ‘not’ eene komma plaatsen moet, of wel bij het volgende ‘to stir’. In het eerste geval is het volgende ‘but’ juist gekozen, in het tweede iets minder goed. Wenscht men ondertusschen, wat mij thans verkieslijker voorkomt, de tweede opvatting, dan luide de vertaling: Echt groot zijn is, Zich niet dan voor een machtig doel te roeren, Maar enz.
Capell en Delius rekenen, dat ‘not’ zoowel bij ‘is’ als bij ‘to stir’ behoort, dus eigenlijk voor ‘not not’ staat:
Het waarlijk groot zijn bestaat niet daarin, dat men niet dan om eene groote oorzaak in beweging
komt, maar” enz.

Topics: offence, guilt, conscience

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
What day is day, night 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. . . .

MORE:
Beknoptheid is het kenmerk van verstand./
Wijl de ziel van wijsheid kortheid is /
Sinds bondigheid de ziel is van ‘t vernuft

The irony being that Polonius is a blowhard.
Wit=acumen, keen intelligence.
Soul=quintessence
Compleat:
“Een man van goed verstand”
CITED IN EU LAW: Telefonica SA and Telefonica de Espana v Commission (Advocate General’s Opinion) [2013] EUECJ C-295/12
Opinion of Advocate General Wathelet delivered on 26 September 2013.: ‘It is true that ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ (Shakespeare in Hamlet, 1602), but unlimited jurisdiction requires more than wit’.
CITED IN US LAW:
Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District v. Simpson, 730 S.W.2d 939, 942 (Ky. 1987)(“Shakespeare described …. This may be true in many situations, hut the majority opinion in this case is not one of them.”);
State v. Eichstedt, 20 Conn. App. 395, 401, 567 A.2d 1237 (1989)(“there must be sufficient
amplification to make an intelligent argument. The briefs fail in this regard.”);
Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Commission v. W-W Associates, Inc., 152 Ind. App. 622,284 N.E.2d
534,536 (1972)(“and while we find no humor in entering judgment against ABC before
its time limit bad lapsed within which to answer, we can be brief.”)

Topics: courage, revenge

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting
That would not let me sleep. Methought I lay
Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly—
And praised be rashness for it: let us know
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well
When our deep plots do pall, and that should teach us.
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will,

MORE:
Mijnheer, er was in mij een soort van strijd, Die mij niet slapen liet /
Er was een soort van tweestrijd in mijn ziel, Die ‘s nachts mij wakker hield /
Er woedde in mijn hart een soort van strijd, die mij geen slaap liet /
Daar een godheid is die vormt ons doelen, ‘t Ruw-weg door ons gehouwene.

Onions:
Bilboes=shackles used for mutinous sailors
CITED IN HOUSE OF LORDS: The Hon. W. C. Yelverton, Major in H.M. Royal Artillery v. Maria Theresa Longworth, or Yelverton [1864] UKHL 4_Macqueen_745 (3 June 1864)

Topics: invented or popularised, death, nature

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.5
SPEAKER: Gertrude
CONTEXT:
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.
MORE:
Zoo vol natuurlijke argwaan is de schuld, Onthulling vreezend, zij zichtzelf onthult. /
De reedlooze argwaan is bij schuld zoo groot, Dat met haar doodsangst schuld zich zelve doodt. /
Onze zonden slaan ons met vrees, en vrees beweegt de schuld tot zelfonthulling voor zij wordt onthuld.

Schmidt:
Each toy= the slightest thing
Prologue= to preface

Topics: virtue, excess

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Marcellus
CONTEXT:
HORATIO
Have after. To what issue will this come
MARCELLUS
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
HORATIO
Heaven will direct it.

MORE:
Er is rottigheid in de Deense staat /
Er is iets rot in ‘t rijk van Denemarken.

Often used in English to refer to a situation involving corruption.
Schmidt:
Direct=To lead, to guide, to regulate, to advise

CITED IN US LAW:
U.S. v. Moreno, 815 F.2d 725, 758 (1st C1r. 1987); Hupp v. Gray, 500 F.2d 993,996 (7th Cir. 1974); Washington Scientific Industries, Inc. v. Shiley Laboratories, 390 F.Supp. 988,993 (D.Puerto Rico 1974); State v. DeJesus, 10 Conn. App. 591, 524 A.2d 1156, 1162 (1987).
CITED IN E&W LAW: Compound Photonics Group Ltd, Re [2021] EWHC 787 (Ch) (31 March 2021) /[2021] EWHC 787 (Ch)

Topics: honesty, still in use, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. 

MORE:
Zeg die regels zoals ik ze je voorgezegd heb: luchtig, langs je neus weg. /
Spreek de zinnen, als ‘t u blieft, zooals ik ze u voorzei, luchtigjes van de tong /
Zeg de toespraak, ik bid u, gelijk ik het voordeed, trippelend op de tong.

Shakespeare had also used “trippingly” in a Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon 5.1), but this is the first time that it referred to speech.
Nowadays: “tripping off the tongue”, or words that “trip off the tongue”.
Compleat:
Trippen = to step softly and as it were a tiptoe.
Trippelen=To trip it, to trip along, to mince it..
Een trippelende gang=a mincing gate (sic).

Topics: legacy, memory, reputation

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature.
MORE:
Regel je gebaar naar je woord, je woord naar je gebaar /
Laat het gebaar passen bij het woord, het woord bij het gebaar

Schmidt:
Tame=Metaphorically, either in a good sense, == free from passion, mild, gentle, meek; or in a bad sense, == heartless, spiritless, insensible, dull
Compleat:
Tame (to humble or conquer)=Vernederen, overwinnen.
Tamely (with submission)=Met onderwerping

Topics: intellect, fate/destiny, free will

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Gertrude
CONTEXT:
Sweets to the sweet. Farewell! (scatters flowers)
I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet’s wife. I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid, And not have strewed thy grave.

MORE:
Dit lieflijks voor de lieflijke. /
De liefste ‘t liefelijkst.

Not used to refer to sweets as we do now, but something delightful or charming, here flowers on Ophelia’s grave.
(Also used as a song title by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman (Sweets for my Sweet), first released by the Drifters.)

Topics: language, cited in law, honesty

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Beware of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear ’t that th’ opposèd may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear but few thy voice.
Take each man’s censure but reserve thy judgment.

MORE:
Luister naar ieders kritiek, maar behoud uw eigen oordeel. /
Hoor ieder aan, maar schort uw meening op.

Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (in this case, for example, A man should hear all parts ere he judge any (1546)).

Schmidt:
Censure=judgement, opinion.

Topics: learning/education, wisdom

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Fie on ’t, ah fie! ‘Tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely. That it should come to this.

MORE:
Dat het zoo moest komen! /
Dat het daartoe moest komen.

Shakespeare’s first use of ‘that it should come to this’. It appears again (in slightly different variations) in several other plays: Julius Caesar (“Has it come to this?); Antony and Cleopatria (“Oh, is ’t come to this?”); Othello (“Is ’t come to this? Well, well.”).

Topics: still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat,
Of habits devil, 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.

MORE:
Dat monster, sleur, dat alle zinnen doodt, Die duivel van ons doen, is engel hierin/
Gewoonte, dat monster, dat alle redelijkheid verslindt. /
Dat monster, sleur, de vraat van elk besef, Aller gewoonten duivel, is hierin Een engel.

Schmidt:
Custom=Habit, regular practice
Eat=To devour, to consume, to waste, to destroy

Topics: cited in law, secrecy

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!
My tables!—Meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.
At least I’m sure it may be so in Denmark.

MORE:
O, schurk, glimlachende schurk, verdoemde schurk! /
Schurk, schurk ! O, lachende en vervloekte schurk!

Schmidt:
Pernicious= Mischievous, malicious, wicked
Compleat:
Pernicious=Schadelyk, verderflyk
A pernicious counsel=Een schadelyke, snoode raad
A pernicious doctrine=Een schadelijke stokregel, verderflyke leer

Topics: secrecy

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.7
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
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..

MORE:
Wat men wil doen, Moet men bij ‘t willen doen ; de wil verandert /
Wat wij wilden doen, Wij zouden ‘t, wilden we altijd; want dit ‘wilden’ Is wissselziek, kent kansen, evenveel Als daar zijn handen, tongen, toevals-zaken;

Schmidt:
Abatement= diminution, debilitation
Compleat:
Abatement=Afslag, afkorting, ontheffing

Topics: imagination, madness

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man

MORE:
Kleed u zo kostbaar als uw beurs het lijdt, maar gekk’lijk nooit, wel rijk, nooit overladen, want aan de kleren kent men vaak de man

Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (here, for example, Apparel (clothes) makes the man, c1500, Let every man cut his coat according to his cloth).
The apparel oft proclaims the man is still in use today.
De kleren maken de man, also a Dutch proverb in the 16th century (‘de cleederen maken den man, diese heeft doese aen’), is still in use in Dutch.

Topics: wisdom, proverbs and idioms, money, cited in law

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil: and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps,
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me.

MORE:
Mocht eens de duivel zijn, en die heeft macht Aantreklijk zich te tooien /
Kon best een duivel zijn en die heeft macht
Een hupschen stal te kiezen /

Schmidt:
To abuse= to deceive

Topics: language, learning/education

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Gertrude
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
Madam, how like you this play?
GERTRUDE
The lady protests too much, methinks.
HAMLET
O, but she’ll keep her word.
CLAUDIUS
Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in ’t?

MORE:
De dame verzekert te veel, dunkt me. /
De dame, dunkt mij, protesteert te gul. /
Ik vind dat de koningin veel te veel belooft.

Often misquoted starting with “methinks”. Also because in Shakespeare’s time the word ‘protest’ meant a solemn declaration (Asseveration), so in Hamlet this implied that the Queen was too excessive to be believable. Modern usage: for overly emphatic objections or denials.
CITED IN US LAW:
Harris v. Reeves, 946 F.2d 214, 226 (3d Cir. 1991)(dissent);
Collazo v. Estelle. 940 F.2d 411,434 (9th Cir. 1991)(dissent);
Jenkins v. State of Missouri, 807 F.2d 657, 667 (8th Cir. 1986)(complaining of dissenter);
Rosen v. Aristocrat Angus Ranch, 639 F.2d 8~1 87 (2d Cir. 1980);
U.S. v. Chaffen, 587 F.2d 920, 923 (8th Cir. 1978);
Refco, Inc. v. Troika Investment Limited, 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9508, at 32 (N.D.Ill.);
Hudson v. Heckler, Secretary of Health and Human Services, 101 F.R.D. 349, 354 lN.D.Ind. 1984); VanHuss v. Associated Milk Producers, Inc., 415 F.Supp. 356, 361 N.D.Tex. 1976);
McCormick v. Carnett-Partsnett System, Ine., 396 F.Supp. 251, 255 M.D.Fla.1975);
Jackson v. State, 452P.2d 104 (Alaska 1982);
Meyering v. General Motors Corporation, 232 Cal. App.3d 1163, 275 Cal. Rptr. 346 (1990);
People v. Santey, 220 Cal. App.3d 651, 661, 270 Cal. Rptr. 53 (1990);
Ogozalek v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, 22 Conn. Sup. 100, 163 A.2d 114 (Super.Ct. 1960);
Kunz v. Utah Power & Light Company, 117 Idaho 901, 908, 792 P.2d 926 (1990);
Jolley v. Puregro, 94 Idaho 702, 496 P.2d 939 (1972);
Benson v. Custer, 236 lowa 345, 17 N.W.2d 889, 895 (1945);
Parish v. Casner, 282 S.W.2d 392 (Mo. 1926).

Topics: proverbs and idioms, plans/intentions, disappointment

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
OSRIC
The carriages, sir, are the hangers.
HAMLET
The phrase would be more germane to the matter if we could carry cannon by our sides. I would it might be hangers till then. But, on: six Barbary horses against six French swords, their assigns, and three liberal-conceited carriages—that’s the French bet against the Danish. Why is this “impawned,” as you call it?

MORE:
Het woord zou beter passen bij de zaak, als wij een deur aan den gordel konden dragen; tot het zoover is, wou ik wel, dat het bij hangsels bleef.
Nowadays: Germane to the matter/subject/case
Schmidt:
Hangers=Part of the sword belt
Liberal-conceited (or ‘of very liberal conceit’ as in Love’s Labour’s Lost)=Satisfactory to the judgment or the taste
Compleat:
The only translation of Germane is ‘A cousin germane’=Een volle neef
Cannon=Kanon, Veldstuk
Liberal=Mild, milddaadig, goedertieren, gulhartig, openhartig. Conceit=Waan, bevatting, opvatting, meening.
A Pretty conceit=een aardige verbeelding. I am out of conceit with it=Ik laat my daar niet meer aan gelegen zyn, myn zin is ‘er af.

Topics: misquoted, still in use, friendship

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
We shall know by this fellow. The players cannot keep counsel. They’ll tell all.
OPHELIA
Will he tell us what this show meant?
HAMLET
Ay, or any show that you will show him. Be not you ashamed to show, he’ll not shame to tell you what it means.

MORE:
Wij zullen het van dezen man hooren, de tooneelspelers
kunnen niets geheim houden, zij vertellen alles. /
Wij zullen het van dezen kerel wel te weten komen. Tooneelspelers kunnen niets voor zich houden; zij willen alles vertolken.

CITED IN US LAW: Re. the definition of “counsel”: In re. Atwell, 140 F.368 (WDNC 1905)

Topics: love, fate/destiny

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Horatio
CONTEXT:
HORATIO
If your mind dislike anything, obey it. I will forestall their repair hither and say you are not fit.
HAMLET
Not a whit. We defy augury. There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is ’t to leave betimes? Let be.

MORE:
Als uw innerlijk zich ergens tegen verzet, gehoorzaam het dan. /
Als uw gemoed met jets geen vrede heeft, geef er gehoor
aan. /
Als uw gemoed van iets afkeerig mocht zijn, luister er naar.

Not a whit: not at all
Schmidt:
Forestall=Anticipate, to be beforehand with, to prevent
Repair hither=arrival
Augury=Art of prophesying
Compleat:
Forestall=Voor-inneemen, onderscheppen, verrassen, voor-opkoopen
Augury=Wichlery, vogelwaarzeggery

Topics: sorrow, grief

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
He has my dying voice.
So tell him, with th’ occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited. The rest is silence.

MORE:

De rest is stilte. /
De rest is zwijgen!

Misquoted, in that it is slightly altered to “The rest is science”
Schmidt:
Occurrent=Incident, event
Voice=vote, nomination
Compleat:
Voice=Stem, recht van stemmen

Topics: law/legal, cited in law, death, guilt

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Rest, rest, perturbèd spirit!—So, gentlemen,
With all my love I do commend me to you,
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
May do, to express his love and friending to you,
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together,
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let’s go together

MORE:
De tijd is ziek. Vervloekt, moet ik het wezen,
Wiens taak het is dien zieke te genezen!

Time is out of joint=Things are not as they should be
De tijd is uit zyn voegen (Burgersdijk: De tijd sprong uit den band)
Schmidt:
Time=The present state of things; circumstances
Compleat:
Times (with relation to the state of things , manners or government)=Tyden
If the times turn=Als de tijden veranderen

Topics: invented or popularised, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Guildenstern
CONTEXT:
Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

MORE:
Die droomen juist zijn eerzucht; want het wezen van den eerzuchtige is slechts de schaduw van een droom. /
Welk gedroom is eerzucht inderdaad; het wezenlijke zijn van den eerzuchtige is louter de schaduw van een droom.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

MORE:
Er is meer tussen hemel en aarde dan uw filosofie vermoedt /
Er is op aarde en in den hemel meer, Dan waar uw schoolsche kennisleer van droomt /
Daar is meer in de hemel en op aarde, vriend Horatio, dan waarvan uw wijsheid droomt.

Perhaps one of the most widely debated quotations from Hamlet.
Often misquoted as “between heaven and earth”.

Topics: still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Gravedigger
CONTEXT:
Why, there thou sayst. And the more pity that great folk should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves more than their even Christian. Come, my spade. There is no ancient gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers. They hold up Adam’s profession.

MORE:
Kom, schoppie, er is geen ouwere adel dan tuinlieden, dood­ gravers en grafmakers. /
Er bestaat geen oudere adel dan die van tuinlui, sloot-en doodgravers. /
De oudste grondheeren zijn tuinlui, aardwerkers en doodgravers.

Schmidt:
Countenance=Authority, credit, patronage
Compleat:
Countenance=Gelaat, gezigt, uytzigt, weezen, bescherming

Topics: error, guilt, conscience

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.

MORE:
Er is geen goed of slecht, maar het denken maakt het ervan/
Niets is op zichzelf goed of kwaad, maar onze gedachten maken het zo. /
Er is goed noch kwaad, dat niet door het denken wordt tot stand gebracht.

CITED IN US LAW:
Emle Industries, Inc. v. Glen Raven Mills, 478 F.2d 562, 57 (2d Cir. 1973)(Kaufman, J.);
First Wisconsin Mortgage Trust v. First Wisconsin Corporation, 584 F.2d 201, 220 (7th Cir. 1978);
In Re Taylor Coal Company, 401 So.2d 1, 9 (Ala. 1981);
Brown v. District of Columbia Board of Zoning Adjustment, 413 A.2d 1276 (D.C. 1980);
State v. Clinton Falls Nursery Company, 181 Minn. 427, 2.32 N.W.2d 737 (1930).

Topics: dispute, cited in law

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Not a whit. We defy augury. There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is ’t to leave betimes? Let be.

MORE:
Geen mus valt ter aarde, of het is voorbeschikt. /
Er is een bizondere voorzienigheid in den val van een musch /
Wij tarten voorgevoelens; daar bestaat eene bizondere voorzienigheid voor een musch die valt.

The sparrow here is an allusion to book of Matthew
Commentators quote Matthew’s Gospel: “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”

Topics: intellect, insult

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Rashly
And praised be rashness for it: let us know
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well
When our deep plots do pall, and that should teach us
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will

MORE:
Er is een godheid die verkneedt en vormt, wat wij slechts ruw ontwerpen. /
Dit bewijst dat er een godheid is die vorm verleent aan wat wij ruw ontwerpen /
Er is een godsmacht, die ‘t bestek bepaalt, Hoe we ook in ‘t ruwe ons best doen.

Schmidt:
Indiscretion= Want of wisdom, want of judgment
Compleat:
To pall=Verslaan, verschaalen

Topics: invented or popularised, still in use, cited in law, revenge

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
For the satirical rogue says here that old men have gray beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams.

MORE:
Het mangelt hen volop aan verstand dat zij een overvloedig verstandsgemis aan erg zwakke dijen paren

Schmidt:
Satirical= full of bitter mockery
Rogue, a term of reproach=rascal, knave
Compleat:
Rogue (or rascal)=Schurk, Schobbejak
The poignancy of a satire=De scherpheid van een schimpdicht

Topics: fate/destiny, plans/intentions

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Had I but time — as this fell sergeant, Death
Is strict in his arrest.

MORE:
Dit vel sergeant, dood, is streng in zijn arrestatie /
De barse wachter dood geeft mij geen uitste /
Die gramme schout, de dood, Maakt korte wetten.

Schmidt:
Fell=strong; cruel, vicious, intense. As the meaning of ‘fel’ in Dutch.
I have seen this translated into Dutch as “viel sergeant”

Topics: still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Gertrude
CONTEXT:
GERTRUDE
This the very coinage of your brain.
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
HAMLET
Ecstasy?
My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time
And makes as healthful music. It is not madness
That I have uttered. Bring me to the test,
And I the matter will reword, which madness
Would gambol from.

MORE:
Het is niets anders dan een hersenschim.Waanzin is sterk in het bezweren van onstoffelijke dingen. /
Dat is een zuiver maaksel van uw hersens, Een schepping zonder houvast, overspanning Is daar een meester in. /
Dit is de muntslag van uw eigen brein, Die lichaamlooze schepping [is] de waanzin!

Ecstasy=Madness
CITED IN US LAW:
Claim of misdiagnosis in McArdle v. Tronetti, 769 F.Supp. 188, 189 (W.D.Pa. 1991)(Mencer,J.)
CITED IN ENGLISH LAW:
Shakespeare entered the English law reports in 1827. Considering the concept of madness and with sensibilities characteristic of the period, Nichol J asked: “What says the great poet of Nature and master of the passions upon the subject? What is one of the tests of madness that he suggests? Hamlet, being charged with ‘coinage of the brain,’ answers: ‘It is not madness That I have uttered; bring me to the test And I the matter will reword which madness cannot’.” (See Groom and Evans v Thomas and Thomas (1829) 162 ER 914.)
https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/quote-or-not-quote-…

Topics: cited in law, intellect, understanding

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
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-hatched, unfledged comrade. Beware / Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear ’t that th’ opposèd may beware of thee.

MORE:
Hebt gij een vriend beproeft en trouw bevonden, zo klem hem aan uw ziel met stalen band /
Hebt gij een vriend en is diens keus beproefd, Klamp hem met stalen hoepels aan uw ziel.

Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (in this case, for example, Keep well thy friends when thou hast gotten them, (1580). Try your friends before you trust, (c1536), Give not thy right hand to every man (c1535) Have but few friends though much acquaintance, (c1535)).
Adoption=receiving or choosing some something as one’s own. Grapple=close fight. Unfledged=new, young, unripe.
Compleat:
Adopt=Aannemen. He adopt his brother’s works=Hy neemt zyns broeders werken voor de zyne aan.

Topics: caution, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Claudius
CONTEXT:
Though inclination be as sharp as will,
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect.

MORE:
Al zou mijn aandrift brandend zijn, als lust /
Schoon hier de wil is even fel als neiging /
Al sporen wens en wil mij even scherp.

Schmidt:
Inclination=Propensity
Will=Intention, desire
Double business=duplicity
Compleat:
Inclination=Neiging, geneigdheid, genegenheid, trek, zucht
A double dealer=Een valsche handelaar, bedrieger

Topics: skill/talent, learning/education

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the which one must in your allowance o’erweigh a whole theatre of others.

MORE:

Wordt dit overdreven, of geschiedt het lamzalig, a
laat het den onkundige lachen, het kan slechts den deskundige verdriet doen, /
Nu dit overdreven of te slap er uitgekomen, kan, ofschoon het alle onkundigen aan het lachen zal maken, niet anders dan ergernis bezorgen aan de lieden van oordeel,

CITED IN US LAW:
Shaw v. Eastbome Productions, Ine., 919 F.2d 1353, 1360 (9th Cir. 1990)(Alarcon, J.).

Topics: life, still in use, status, order/society, status

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
Slanders, sir. For the satirical rogue says here that old men have gray beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams—all which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for yourself, sir, should be old as I am, if like a crab you could go backward.
POLONIUS
(aside) Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.—(to HAMLET) Will you walk out of the air, my lord?

MORE:
Al is dit waanzin, er zit toch methode in. /
Al is ‘t krankzinnigheid, er zit methode in. /
Al moge dit gekkepraat zijn, toch is er orde in.

Schmidt:
Slander= Defamation, calumny
Satirical= full of bitter mockery
Rogue, a term of reproach=rascal, knave
Compleat:
Rogue (or rascal)=Schurk, Schobbejak
The poignancy of a satire=De scherpheid van een schimpdicht
Method in his madness coined by Shakespeare and still in (frequent) use today.

Topics: cited in law, proverbs and idioms, still in use, language, madness

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

MORE:
t Geweten des maakt ieder onzer laf /
Dus maakt bewustzijn bloodaards van ons allen /
Zo maakt bespiegeling lafaards van ons allen

The phrases”Conscience does make cowards of us all” and “enterprises of great pith and moment” were both invented by Shakespeare and are still in use today.
Schmidt:
Enterprise= Attempt, undertaking
Pith (also pitch)= Strength, force; at first undertaken with great energy
Moment=Important, of momentous significance
Current (fig.)=flow, action (turn awry=diverted)
Compleat:
Pith==Pit. Pithly=Sterk, krachtig, nnadrukkelyk. A pithy sentence+Een pit-spreuk
Moment=gewicht, belang. Of great moment=Van groot gewicht. Of no moment=Van geen belang.
CITED IN US LAW:
State v. Patterson, 516 S.W.2d 571, 574 (Mo. Ct. App. 1974) (“Despite his protestations of justification the statement, in its entirety and each of its parts taken in context, evinces a consciousness of guilt. As Shakespeare says … The statement was incriminating and admissible”).

Burgersdijk notes:
Zoo maakt het peinzen enz. In ‘t Engelsch: Thus conscience does make etc. Hier wordt conscience gebezigd in den zin van het Latijnsche conscientia, „bewustzijn van zichzelf”, ,denkvermogen”, niet in dien van ,geweten”, veeleer ais consciousness, inmost thoughts.

Topics: invented or popularised, revenge, ambition

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Thus has he—and many more of the same bevy that I know the drossy age dotes on—only got the tune of the time and outward habit of encounter, a kind of yeasty collection, which carries them through and through the most fond and winnowed opinions; and do but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out.
MORE:
Zoo heeft hij, – en velen van denzelfden zwerm, waar, zooals ik zie, deze beuzelachtige eeuw op verzot is, – zich alleen den modetoon en den uiterlijken vorm van den omgang eigen gemaakt, een soort van gistend mengsel, dat hen door de meest dwaze en de meest verfijnde denkbeelden heen sleept; doch blaas er slechts op om het to onderzoeken, en het schuim slaat veer.

Schmidt:
Bevy=Troop, flock
Drossy=Futile, frivolous
Fond=Slight, trifling, trivial, not worth considering, nugatory
Tune=Note, air, melody (tone)
Winnowed=Sifted, tried. Winnowed opinions: probably truisms
Onions:
Outward habit of encounter= Style or manner of address, behaviour
Yeasty (yesty)=Foamy, frothy (superficial knowledge)

Burgersdijk notes:
Door de meest dwaze en de meest verfijnde denkbeelden. In ‘t Engelsch: through the most fond and winnowed opinions. Op deze wijze zijn fond en winnowed natuurljjk tegen elkaar overgesteld. Maar men heeft ook vermoed,
dat voor fond gelezen moet worden fand, d. i. fann’d, zoodat er sprake zou zijn van ,gezifte en gebuilde” denkbeelden of beoordeelingen, d. i . die van de menschen der fijnste qualiteit, met andere woorden die der fijne wereld, die der hovelingen. De gissing geeft een uitmuntenden zin en is waarschijnlijk juist.
De quarto van 1604 heeft niet fond, maar prophane.

Topics: status, fate/destiny

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world

MORE:
Dit is het spookuur /
‘t is nu het echte kolleuur van den nacht /
Nu heeft de nacht haar spookuur ingezet

The expression “witching hour” came much later, probably in the 18th century.

Topics: nature, appearance, insult, intellect

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
Then I would you were so honest a man.
POLONIUS
Honest, my lord?
HAMLET
Ay, sir. To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

MORE:
Een eerlijk man te zijn in deze wereld, betekent één uit duizenden te zijn. /
Ja! Mijnheer, zooals ‘t op aarde toegaat, vindt men Op de tien duizend maar één eerlijk mensch /
Ja, menheer; fatsoenlijk zijn, in ‘t verloop dezer wereld, beduidt een man te zijn, uitgepikt uit tienduizend.

Topics: deceit, appearance, manipulation

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

MORE:
Various translations. including:
Te zijn of niet te zijn, dat is de kwestie/
Zijn of niet zijn, daar komt het hier op neêr /
Te zijn of niet te zijn, daar gaat het om/
Zijn of niet zijn; dat is de vraag /
Leven, of niet ?.. .. Dit is het, waar ‘t om gaat

Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliliquy.
CITED IN EU LAW:
Opinion of A-G Bobek delivered on 7 September 2017(1) in Case C‑298/16.
“To be or not to be within the scope of EU law, that is indeed the question (again)”.
CITED IN US LAW:
Slip Opinion US Supreme Court Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court et al.
Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Montana No. 19–368. Argued October 7, 2020—Decided March 25, 202: “Really, their strategy was to do business without being seen to do business. Id., at 438 (“No longer is the foreign corporation confronted with the problem ‘to be or not to be’—it can both be and not be!”).”
Wetzel v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 508 F.2d 239, 248 (3d Cir. 1975) cert. denied, 421 U.S. 1011 (1976):
“Whether (b)(2) or not (b)(2) is indeed the question.”

Topics: insult, still in use, wisdom

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
To die: to sleep;
No more; and, by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub

MORE:
Doodgaan, gaan slapen, slapen, wie weet dromen… Daar zit de knoop /
Sterven? Slapen! Droomen misschien ? Daar ligt de zorg’lijkheid

There’s the rub has seen many different translations over the centuries.
Also from the To be or not to be soliliquy
The rub=the obstacle, reason why a situation is difficult
Compleat:
beletsel, binderpaal
CITED IN US LAW:
In the Matter of Franklin D. Anderson, 132 Bankr. 657, 660 (M.D.Fla. 1991); Yoshisato v. Superior Court of Orange County, 3 Cal. App. 4th 1070 284 Cal. Rptr. 182 (1991);
A.C. lsrael Commodity Co., Inc. v. Banco do Brasil, S.A., 50 Misc.2d 362,365,270 N.Y.S.2d 283,286 (N.Y.Sup.ct. 1966);
Moore v. Regents of the University of Califomia, 51 Cal.3d 120, 150, 793 P.2d
479 (1990)(Arabian, J.).

Burgerdijk notes:
Ja, dit stremt. In ‘t Engelsch: Ay, there’s the rub. “Rub” is een hindernis, een hinderpaal; het woord wordt bij het kegelen gebruikt, als de bal in zijn loop belemmerd wordt .

Topics: madness, order/society

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
But to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born,

MORE:
Schoon ik hier thuis behoor /
Al ben ik er van kindsbeen af vertrouwd mee

Meaning “with a natural skill/the traditional skill/heritage”.
Often misquoted as “To the manor born” (as in the TV series), meaning to be born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth.

Topics: fate/destiny

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
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.

MORE:
Wees eerlijk tegenover jezelf /
Wees voor u zelf waarachtig /
Blijf aan jezelf getrouw

Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (here, for example, After night comes the day, c1475)
To thine own self be true. Current meaning=be honest with yourself
Wees eerlijk tegenover jezelf dan kun je tegen niemand oneerlijk zijn, dat staat als een paal boven water.

Topics: appearance, still in use, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Horatio
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
To what base uses we may return, Horatio.
Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it stopping a bunghole?
HORATIO
‘Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.

MORE:
t Zou al te fijn uitgesponnen zijn het zoo uit te spinnen /
Het lijkt me al te spitsvondig, de dingen zo te beschouwen. /
‘t Ware al te weetgierig beschouwen, het te beschouwen zóó.

Onions:
Uses=Habitual practice, custom
Curiously=Fastidioulsy, delicately, minutely
Compleat:
Curious=Aardig, keurlyk, keurig, nieuwsgierig, weetgierig, net, kurieus
Curious meat=Keurlyke spyze
He is too curious=Hy is al te nieuwsgierig, hy is al te naauwkeurig
Curiously=Keuriglyk, netjes

Topics: reputation, honour

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Gravedigger
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?
GRAVEDIGGER
Why, because he was mad. He shall recover his wits there, or, if he do not, it’s no great matter there.
HAMLET
Why?
GRAVEDIGGER
‘Twill not be seen in him there. There the men are as mad as he.

MORE:
Het zal niet in hem opvallen daar; daar zijn de menschen even gek als hij. /
Hij mot daar z’n verstand terugkrijgen, en krijgt ie ’t niet terug, dan komp ’t er daar nog niet veel op an.

Kin = kindred, family
Kind = generous AND nature, class.
Hamlet’s first words in the play. Claudius is “more than kin” because he is both uncle and stepfather. “Less than kind” can either be taken at face value or “kind” can be taken to mean both generous

Topics: good and bad, conscience, custom

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
God’s bodykins, man, much better. Use every man after his desert, and who should ’scape whipping? 
Use them after your own honor and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in.

MORE:
Zoo ge ieder mensch naar zijn verdienste woudt behandelen, wie ontkomt dan de zweep? Behandel ze overeenkomstig uw eigen eer een waardigheid/
Als ge iedereen naar verdiensten behandelt, wie ontkomt dan een pak slaag? Behandel hen overeenkomstig uw eigen stand en waardigheid

Schmidt:
Desért=that which is due to a person; that which entitles to a reward, or demands a punishment
Compleat:
Desert (from to deserve)=Verdienste, verdiende loon

Topics: ambition

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
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.

MORE:
In deze ontaarde tijden moet de deugd vaak aan de ondeugd vergiffenis vragen. /
In deze tijd van logge slemplust moet, De deugd zelfs de ondeugd om verschoning smeken /
Maar in een tijd zo vadsig van genot moet deugd voor ondeugd op de knieën vallen en smeken om haar goed te mogen doen.

Schmidt:
Pursy=(i) fat/corpulent/flabby or (ii) pampered/excessive wealth/Decadent
Fatness=Fullness of flesh, grossness, gross and dull sensuality
Curb=beg/stoop
Woo=seek permission

Topics: guilt, honour, pity

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all. Believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where’s your father?

MORE:
Wij zijn aartsschavuiten; geloof niemand van ons. Ga je weg naar een klooster./
Wij zijn allemaal deugnieten, geloof niemand van ons. Ga uws weegs naar een klooster!

Interestingly, ‘nunnery’ is translated as hoerenhuis in one Dutch translation – nunnery was Elizabethan slang for house of prostitution. OED interprets nunnery in Hamlet to have the original meaning (convent).

Topics: madness, caution

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
We are oft to blame in this,
‘Tis too much proved, that with devotion’s visage
And pious action we do sugar o’er
The devil himself

MORE:
Vaak zijn wij te laken dat wij met devoot gelaat en vroom gebaar de duivel zelf verbloemen./
Soms, doen wij berispelijk, – Te vaak ‘t vertoond werd, dat met vroom gelaat En heilge handling we oversuikeren Den duivel zelf.

Schmidt:
Sugar (over)= To sweeten (in a metaphorical sense), to embellish, to colour
Compleat:
To sugar=Zoet maken.
Sugared words=Gesuikerede woorden

Topics: love, reason, madness, appearance

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
How absolute the knave is! We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us. By the Lord, Horatio, these three years I have taken a note of it. The age is grown so picked that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier he galls his kibe.—How long hast thou been a grave-maker?

MORE:
We moeten ons zeer duidelijk uitdrukken of dubbelzinnigheid zal ons de das omdoen. /
Wat is de man precies ! We moeten wiskundig juist spreken of een dubbelzinnigheid last het ons of leggen.

Schmidt:
Absolute=Literal.
Speak by the card=With the utmost preciseness
Age=A generation of men, a particular period of time, as distinguished from others
Picked=Refined, exquisite, fastidious
To gall=To hurt by touching roughly
Kibe= A chap or sore in the heel
Compleat:
Absolute=Volslagen, volstrekt, volkomen, onafhangklyk, onverbonden
To gall=’t Vel afgeschaafd
Kibe=Een Kakhiel, winterhiel

Topics: madness, reason, cited in law

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty!

MORE:
Welk een werkstuk is de mensch! Hoe edel in rede! /
Wat een werkstuk is de mens! Hoe edel van geest, hoe oneindig rijk aan vermogens

Schmidt:
Faculty= Power, ability
Compleat:
Faculty (power or virtue)=Vermogen, deugd
Faculty (or talent)=Begaaftheid, talent

Topics: cited in law, good and bad, reputation, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Give me your pardon, sir. I’ve done you wrong.
But pardon ’t, as you are a gentleman.
This presence knows,
And you must needs have heard, how I am punished
With sore distraction. What I have done,
That might your nature, honor, and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was ’t Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away,
And when he’s not himself does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not. Hamlet denies it.

MORE:

Wat ‘k heb gedaan, Wat uw natuur, uw eer, voorbeeldigheid, Aandeed zoo ruw, verklaar ik hier voor gek. /
Wat uw gemoedsaard, eer en tegenspraak Ruw wakker riep, verklaar ik hier voor waanzin.

Cited in Shakespeare’s Legal Maxims (William Lowes Rushton)
Schmidt:
Distraction= Derangement of the mind, madness

CITED IN EU LAW:
KHAN v. GERMANY – 38030/12 – Chamber Judgment [2015] ECHR 411 (23 April 2015)
ACHOUR v. FRANCE – 67335/01 [2006] ECHR 268 (29 March 2006)
‘Mental illness (insanity) on the other hand severs the connection between the personality (being, status) and the act. This is why Shakespeare makes Hamlet say:
“If Hamlet in his madnesse did amisse,
That was not Hamlet, but his madnes did it,
and all the wrong I e’re did to Leartes,
I here proclaim was madnes.” [Hamlet (Quarto 1) V.2]It is therefore clear that in the final analysis substantive criminal law aims all its criteria for responsibility, as well as all its sanctions, not in rem but ad hominem and in personam.’

Topics: poverty and wealth, business, skill/talent

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
MORE:
Wat is een mensch, Wiens hoogste goed en markt zijns levens gaat Om slaap en voedsel slechts? /
Wat man is dat, Wiens hoogste goed en tijdsbesteding enkel Maar slapen is en eten?

Schmidt:
To inform against=to communicate by way of accusation, to denounce
To spur (figurative)=to incite, to impel
Compleat:
To inform against=Iemand verklikken, of beklappen
to spur on=Aanspooren, noopen, aandryven
To spur one a question ( to start him a question in haste)=Een onverwagte, schielyke vraag doen

Topics: plans/intentions, guilt

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. No, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

MORE:
En toch, voor mij, wat is ze mij, deze quintessence van stof?

Quintesssence in Shakespeare’s time meant the ‘fifth’ or pure essence ( also ‘quintessential’)

Topics: wisdom, intellect, insult, age/experience

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Player King
CONTEXT:
What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy.

MORE:
Wat wij onszelf hartstochtelijk beloofden,Verwaait zodra die hartstocht is gedoofd. /
Wat door onszelf hartstochtlijk werd bedoeld, Te loor gaat als de hartstocht is verkoeld. /
Als hij vol ijver tot een daad besluit, Wordt deze onnuttig, heeft die ijver uit.

Schmidt:
Enacture=Action, representation (Ff enactors)
Compleat:
To enact=Vaststellen, bezluiten.
Enacter=Een vaststeller, wetmaaker

Topics: language

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.5
SPEAKER: Claudius
CONTEXT:
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.
MORE:
Als zorgen komen, komen ze niet als enkele verspieders, maar bij troepen tegelijk. /
Als smarten komen, komen ze als verspreide Verkenners niet, maar in bataljons. /
Als zorgen komen, komt niet de enk’le spie, Maar dichte drommen.

“Not in single spies, but in battalions” still in use today

Topics: deceit, appearance, virtue

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.

MORE:
Als we eindelijk schoven af ons aardsch gewurm /
Als we aan ‘t rumoer des levens zijn ontglipt want wat wij in die doodsslaap, bevrijd van aardse onrust, dromen kunnen moet ons doen aarzelen.

Also from the To be or not to be soliliquy. Mortal coil (coyle old spelling meaning chaos, confusion).
To give pause still current (hesitate before taking action, consider)
Compleat:
Coil=Geraas, getier
To pause upon=Ergens op peinzen, over peinzen

Topics: sorrow, madness, intellect

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and, by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub.

MORE:
Wat noobler is, van het verbolgen lot De porren en de prikken te verkroppen, Of ‘t zwaard te heffen tegen zorgenzeeën En pal staand te verscheiden? /
Zou het eedler wezen in den geest te lijden De keilen en schichten van een schimpend lot, Of zich te waapnen tegen ‘n zee van troeblen, En ze in opstand te enden?

The thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to is often misquoted as ‘the thousand ills that flesh is heir to’
Schmidt:
Shock=Violent collision, conflict, encounter
Onions:
Heir=A person to whom something (e.g. fate, sorrow) is bound to fall due
CITED IN LAW:
In a direct quotation (or borrowed eloquence), Lord Bingham in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights: “The Convention is concerned with rights and freedoms which are of real importance in a modern democracy governed by the rule of law. It does not, as is sometimes mistakenly thought, offer relief from ‘The heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.’” (See Brown v Stott [2001] 2 All ER 97.)

Topics: still in use, sorrow, madness

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillities, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? Why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel and will not tell him of his action of battery?

MORE:
Waarom zou er dat geen [schedel] zijn van een rechtsgeleerde? Waar zitten nu zijn uitpluizerijen, zijn spitsvondigheden, zijn bij-aldien’s, zijn rechtsgronden, zijn streken? /
Waarom kan dat niet de doodskop van een advokaat zijn? Waar zijn zijn fijne onderscheidingen nu, zijn spitsvondigheden, zijn gewijsden, zijn titels en zijn streken?

Schmidt:
Quidditites=Equivocations, subtleties, cavils
Quillities (or quillets)=Sly tricks in argument, subtleties, cavilling, chicanery
Rude=Ill-mannered, coarse, uncivil

Topics: dignity, deceit

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Claudius
CONTEXT:
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
Th’ imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Have we—as ’twere with a defeated joy,
With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole—
Taken to wife.

MORE:
Met één oog schreiend en één lachend oog,
Met jubel bij lijkdienst en klacht bij bruiloft

Sometimes sister=former sister-in-law
Jointress=Dowager
Auspicious= Happy, joyful
Dropping=Tearful, mournful
Dirge=Funeral song.
Dole=Sorrow, grief
Compleat:
Auspicious=Gelukkig, voorspoedig, gunstig.
Dropping=Druipende. Doleful=Jammerlyk, beklaaglyk, droevig.
A doleful voice=Een naare stem. A doleful story=Een droevige vertelling.
Dirge=Lykzang.
Other Dutch interpretations:
Een heilspellend en een tranend oog, / met één stralend oog en ’t andere vol tranen,
Met lijkstoetsjubel en met bruiloftsrouw / monter in rouw en somber bij de bruiloft

Topics: regret, emotion and mood

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Yea, from the table of my memory
I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past
That youth and observation copied there,
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmixed with baser matter

MORE:
Ja, van de tafels van mijn heug’nis zal ‘k Wegwisschen alle dwaze beuz’larij /
Ja, van ‘t tablet van mijn geheugen zal Ik wisschen alle onnoozelheden weg.

Schmidt:
Fond=Slight, trifling, trivial, not worth considering, nugatory
Saw=A moral saying, a maxim, a sentence
Base= Of low station, of mean account, i.e. base metal
Compleat:
An old saw (for an old saying)=Een oud zeggen
Base (or inferior) court=Een ondergeschikt Hof, een minder Rechtbank
Fond=Zot, dwaas, ongerymt

Topics: cited in law, pity, revenge

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth.
And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
With windlasses and with assays of bias,
By indirections find directions out.
So by my former lecture and advice
Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?

MORE:
Uw leugenig lokaas vangt dien waren karper /
Met kunstaas haalt men echte karpers op

Schmidt:
Indirection= oblique course or means
Windlasses=Roundabout ways
Bias (in a bad sense)=that which is from the straight line, indirect ways, shifts
Compleat:
To bias=Overhellen, doen overzwaaijen
Windlass=Een katrel met verscheidene schyven, een windaas

Topics: fate/destiny, time

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