Famous Hamlet Quotes

"The Lady Doth Protest too Much"

Quote Explanation

In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Gertrude says "The lady doth protest to much" (Act III, Scene II, Line 214). The queen says this too Hamlet, in Elsinore, a hallway in the castle. The queen in the play, like Gertrude, seems too deeply attached to her first husband to ever even consider remarrying; Gertrude, however, after the death of Hamlet's father, has remarried. We don't know whether Gertrude ever made the same sorts of promises to Hamlet's father that the Queen makes to the King (who will soon be murdered) but the irony of her response is clear. The is a common misconception that the word protest meant to rebel in hamlets time, however this is false. To protest, meant to affirm or declare solemnly. The Queen affirms so much, as too lose credibility. Her vows are too elaborate, to artfull, to insistant.