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Re: "Thou does protest too much!"

Posted by ESC on April 09, 2005

In Reply to: "Thou does protest too much!" posted by Brent on April 09, 2005

: Does anyone know where this phrase came from? Am I right in thinking it was from Margaret Thatcher perhaps implying guilt to the party the phrase was reffered.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

--From Hamlet (III, ii, 239)

Queen Gertrude speaks these famous words to her son, Prince Hamlet, while watching a play at court. Gertrude does not realize that Hamlet has staged this play to trap her and her new husband, King Claudius, whom Hamlet suspects of having murdered his father. She also does not realize that the lady who "doth protest too much" is actually herself, as the Player King and Queen represent King Hamlet and Queen Gertrude. The former will be poisoned (in this play within the play) by the king's brother, as in reality (Hamlet suspects) Claudius killed King Hamlet. Gertrude's statement is in response to the play-Queen's repetitive statements of loyalty to and love of her first husband.

From allshakespeare.com