Funny / Hamlet

  • It depends on the production, but Polonius's death and Hamlet hiding the body has a piquant element of Black Comedy.
    "Good night, mother."
    Exeunt severally; Hamlet dragging in Polonius
  • Followed by Hamlet saying that if they don't find Polonius's body, by next month, going up the stairs to the lobby they'll "nose him".
  • Polonius' death. Upon being slain by Hamlet (read: stabbed through a window curtain), Polonius feels the need to exclaim "O! I am slain!" Something that this made this troper reconsider the play's genre. It just feels like a comedy after that (in most adaptations, if not proven in the text) over-fed, noble man points out his own demise as it's happening. Although to be fair, he would not have been visible to the audience.
  • Polonius going on... and on... and on... and saying "brevity is the soul of wit"... and on...
  • This exchange:
    Hamlet: Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
    Ophelia: No, my lord.
    Hamlet: I mean, my head upon your lap?
    Ophelia: Ay, my lord.
    Hamlet: Do you think I meant country matters?
    • The actor playing Hamlet will often add to the performance by emphasizing the first syllable.
      • "Do you think I mean CUNT... rrrrrrry matters" - David Tennant as Hamlet
      • Plus, it's widely agreed that this was entirely intentional on Shakespeare's part. The man had an absolutely filthy mind.
      • His double entredes just keep coming throughout the scene, and it gets funnier when Ophelia, in spite of herself, gets to liking it, particularly when Hamlet insinuates having sex with her.
    Ophelia: You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
    • Just as good are the following lines: remember that "nothing" was Elizabethan slang for a vagina.
    Ophelia: I think nothing, my lord.
    Hamlet: That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.
    Ophelia: What is, my lord?
    Hamlet: Nothing.
  • Whenever Hamlet is messing with people, especially Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
    • When he calls them sponges
    • Being roundabout and unhelpful as to the location of Polonius' body - "The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing-" *cut off by Guildenstern*
  • The First Quarto note  has a variation on the graveyard scene. Only a few lines after "Alas, Poor Yorick", Hamlet jumps into Ophelia's grave after Laertes, who attacks him:
    Hamlet: I prithee take thy hand from off my throat,
    For there is something in me dangerous
    Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand!
    I loved Ophelia! as dear
    As twenty brothers could. Show me what thou
    Wilt do for her. Wilt fight? Wilt fast? Wilt pray?
    Wilt drink up vessels? Eat a crocodile?
    • The entire graveyard scene given that it is Hamlet and Laertes having what can only be described as an Emo-off.
  • In the 1996 film, a clever rearrangement of blocking and dialogue see Osric following and judging the fencing performances of Hamlet and Laertes while it's painfully obvious to everyone else that they're no longer fencing but actually trying to kill each other.
  • Depending on how it's played, Polonius' escalating frustration with Hamlet's "antic disposition". ("You seek the Lord Hamlet? Well there he is!")
  • Hamlet is just generally underrated where humour is concerned. Hamlet spends much of the first half of the play and some of the second half gleefully and hilariously messing with Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and Claudius.
  • The RSC's version of Hamlet with David Tennant had the point where Hamlet whistles along to the theatre troupe's triumphant fanfare, including a vibrato high note at the end.
    • Also the face he makes for the final 'than death' when Polonius takes his leave.
  • Fortinbras and his army arriving at the castle after Hamlet, Laertes, Claudius, and Gertrude died. As he sees all the dead bodies on the floor, he says: "Where is this sight?", or in plain English, "WTF happened here?"
  • The main gravedigger is a great source of humor, since he is an absolute Deadpan Snarker.
  • The opening scene where the guards see the ghost. As it starts to fade away, one of them tells another to stop it, who responds, "Shall I strike at it with my partisan?"
  • Hamlet telling someone it is cold, then hot, then cold weather again, and the other politely agreeing despite the contradiction.
  • Hamlet's Gentleman Snarker moment here;
    Polonius: My honoured lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
  • Hamlet reflecting on how everyone eventually dies and decays into dirt, eventually coming to the conclusion that Alexander the Great might have become a barrel stopper by now.
    • Also Horatio's reaction to this, initially thinking that Hamlet's gone off on a string of Insane Troll Logic.
  • In that same scene:
    Polonius: What are you reading, my lord?
    Hamlet: Words, words, words.
    Polonius: What is the matternote , my lord?
    Hamlet: What is the matter with what?
    • Some actors have Hamlet give the book a long, careful examination as they say "words, words, words". And then reply with mock alarm when they deliberately misinterpret "what is the matter".
  • Hamlet describing the jawless skull of Yorick as "quite chapfallen".