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Shakespeare Quick Quotes

For this relief much thanks; 'tis bitter cold
And I am sick at heart.
- Hamlet (1.1.10), Francisco to Barnardo

Note - Francisco is a minor character in the play, and this is his most significant line. Francisco's lament that he is "sick at heart" acts in concert with Marcellus's "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" (1.4) to provide an account of a diseased country. Their comments set the gloomy mood of a neglected populace and substantiate Hamlet's suspicions about Claudius's corruption. For more please see the commentary for Something is rotten in the state of Denmark (1.4.90).

How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Shakespeare Quick Quotes: I am sick at heart.. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2010. < >.


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The Play History of Hamlet

The first recorded production of Hamlet was by the Chamberlain's Men in 1600 or 1601, so it is likely that Shakespeare composed the play in early 1600. According to contemporary references, Hamlet became an instant hit, and the great Shakespearean actor, Richard Burbage, received much acclaim in the lead role. Hamlet's popularity grew steadily until the closing of the theatres by the puritanical government (1642-1660). During that time it was performed as an abridged playlet at taverns and inns, along with all the other great dramas that suffered at the hands of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England. After the theatres re-opened, Hamlet was brought back to the stage by author and entrepreneur, William Davenant, and the play's popularity has been constant ever since. More facts...


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Did You Know? ... The first quarto of Hamlet was published by London booksellers Nicholas Ling and John Trundell. Four more quarto versions followed, and the play was also included in the First Folio of 1623. Please click here to learn more about the Bad Quarto of Hamlet.


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