Marcellus said that in Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet' in act I, scene IV.
In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, we hear the following conversation between Horatio and Marcellus:Horatio: He waxes desperate with imaginationMarcellus: Let's follow. 'Tis not fit thus to obey himHoratio: Have after. To what issue will this come?Marcellus: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.Horatio: Heaven will direct it.This is one time when the popular misquotation-"Something's rotten in Denmark"-is a real improvement on the original. But you ought to be careful around purists, who will also remember that the minor character Marcellus, and not Hamlet, is the one who coins the phrase. There's a reason he says "state of Denmark" rather than just Denmark: the fish is rotting from the head down-all is not well at the top of the political hierarchy.There have been some hair-raising goings-on outside the castle at Elsinore. As the terrified Horatio and Marcellus look on, the ghost of the recently deceased king appears to Prince Hamlet. The spirit beckons Hamlet offstage, and the frenzied prince follows after, ordering the witnesses to stay put. They quickly decide to tag along anyway-it's not "fit" to obey someone who is in such a desperate state. In this confused exchange, Marcellus's famous non sequitur sustains the foreboding mood of the disjointed and mysterious action. And it reinforces the point and tone of some of Hamlet's earlier remarks-for example, that Denmark is "an unweeded garden" of "things rank and gross in nature" (Act 1, scene 2). When his father's ghost tells him his chilling tale in scene 5, the prince will realize just how rotten things really are in Denmark.
the 'smell' is alluding to something wrong, not an actual odor- Ex- when you smell something fishy going on- it doesn't actually mean you smell flounder Hamlet quotes- "There is something rotten in the state of Denmark" "The old chief will wear his feathers, ride his pony and eat his corn when you smell the flowers that they put on your grave"
Marcellus says that there is something rotten in the state of Denmark while Hamlet leaves to meet the ghost dragging the dead body of Polonius with him. Gertrude watches him leave as she reports that Ophelia has just died. But perhaps it would be clearer if we knew which of the three scene 4s in Hamlet we were talking about.
Are you looking for phrases or just individual words? Phrases include: To thine own self be true ..with bated breath There is something rotten in the state of Denmark. To be or not to be-that is the question. Neither a borrower or a lender be Sweets for the sweet Not a mouse stirring ..a foregone conclusion I am sure there is more, that's all I can think of at the moment.
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