Famous Quote by William Shakespeare

"We know what we are, but know not what we may be."

Analysis

In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ophelia response "We know what we are, but know not what we may be," to Claudius statement of how do you do in act 4 scene 5. This occurred when Ophelia entered the court and seems made. It happened in the court. Ophelia replies this comment for she is upset about her father's death. To her, her father's death was both unexpected and tragic, therefore, she feels like she has lost complete control over her future. For this, she states she can only respond for her present being. The tone of the quote is negation The tome advance the plot for it foreshadows her own death. The quote means, "we know what we are, but not what we may become." The deeper underlying meaning is that one can only speak in the present tense for one does not know what will happen in the future for reason beyond one's control.