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These lines from the play, Scene by Scene, demonstrate the existence of the Heart Motif, and indicate its significance. I categorize the Heart concept as it appears in the play as a Motif, rather than a Theme, because it is more for communication of ideas than for character motivation. There is a way the Heart Motif proves to be of astounding importance, but its importance is not found in any particular line.

Scene 1

Scene 1#009   And I am sick at heart. - Francisco means he is despondent, but if one happened to take the phrase "sick at heart" literally it would mean heart disease, as in the case of a man who has had a heart attack.

Scene 2

Scene 2#003   To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom - Claudius is speaking of grief over the death of his brother, King Hamlet. Bear our hearts means being heavy-hearted.

Scene 2#047   The head is not more native to the heart, - The head is not more attached to the heart, is one reading.

Scene 2#098   A heart unfortified, a mind impatient, - A person with a fortified heart would be a "hard hearted" person. Claudius is indirectly praising that.

Scene 2#103   Take it to heart? Fie, 'tis a fault to Heaven, - Take to heart = feel deeply.

Scene 2#126   Sits smiling to my heart, in grace whereof, = Claudius says his heart is happy.

Scene 2#161   But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue.

Scene 3

Scene 3#034   Or loose your heart, or your chaste treasure open

Scene 3#049   As watchman to my heart; but, good my brother,

Scene 4


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