|Language from the sequel, Hamlet 2: "Writing is hard."|
"He may not, as unvalu'd persons do/ Carve for himself" (I.iii.19-20)
Laertes is explaining to his sister, Ophelia, that Hamlet is of royal blood and isn't able to choose for himself who he will marry. I like the image of having to carve out a single option from the morass of choices we all face. I'm going to start saying things like, "You may carve out whether you would like a banana or root beer popcicle."
"As I perchance hereafter shall think meet/ To put an antic disposition on," (I.v.171-172)
"To sleep: perchance to dream:" (III.i.65)
Perchance means "maybe." I use this periodically, and I'm certain it just makes me sound pompous. If we all used it once in a while, my own arrogance would seem diminished.
|A wistful sentiment to be used when you want to die.|
"Wherefore should you do this?" (II.i.34)
Wherefore means "why." As in, "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" It's not, "Where are you, Romeo?" It's, "Why are you a Montague?" If we all used wherefore regularly and correctly, I would never again have a student think Juliet is wondering where Romeo went.
"Thus it remains, and the remainder thus./ Perpend." (II.ii.104-105)
Here you have Polonius trying to explain Hamlet's behavior to his mother. The irony is that Polonius just got through saying things like "Brevity is the soul of wit," and he's anything but brief. And then he uses a word like perpend, which is to say, think, consider, ponder. It's funny, see? Or do you need to perpend on it?
"Lord Hamlet is a prince, out of thy star" (II.ii.141)
|Dude, she's outta thy star. Sorry.|
"Good lads, how do ye both?"
"As the indifferent children of the earth." (II.ii.227-229)
Instead of saying, "How are you?" "I am fine," how awesome would it be if we all greeted each other thusly (and just in case you're one to pick on my grammar as I'm evaluating Shakespearean language, I'm well aware that "thusly" isn't officially a word; I use it thusly for comic effect): "Dude, how's it going?" "Meh. As the indifferent children of the earth, I guess."
"O! there has been much throwing about of brains." (II.ii.361-362)
One of the best images I've ever read. There's much to perpend here. It's not an argument unless there's been much throwing about of brains.
"The actors are come hither, my lord"
"Buz, buz!" (II.ii.395-396)
Hamlet waves away the news Polonius brings by declaring, "Buz, buz," as in, "Tell me something I don't know." This could be the new "Talk to the hand," perchance saying it with your fingers of one hand forming a point and waving it about as the flight of a bee.
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." (III.ii.234)
Methinks the best explanation is to see "perchance" above.
"Get me a fellowship/ in a cry of players, sir?" (III.ii.281-282)
|Alas, not this kind of player crying.|
"Alas!/ poor Yorick." (V.i.190-191)
Why don't we use "Alas!" any more as an exclamation? Instead, it's just swear and cuss and vulgarity followed by crudity. Our world could use fewer curses and more Alas-es. And you have to put the back of your hand to your forehead when you say it. It just more expressive that way.
"Dost know this water-fly?" (V.ii.83)
Of all the Shakespearean insults, this is one of my favorites. Not only does Hamlet call Osric an annoying bug, but he's a "water-fly" with an implication that this bug serves no purpose. This could carry a variety of uses. From "You little water-fly. Bring back my hairdryer" said of your younger brother, to "Was that idiot water-fly really your boss?"