"time's out of joint"


Hamlet and his father's ghost
Public DomainHamlet and his father's ghost

Reference to a famous quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act I, scene v, lines 188-189. At the conclusion of the scene with the ghost of his father, Hamlet says to his friends, “The time is out of joint -- O cursèd spite / That ever I was born to set it right!” Hamlet is referring to time as if it were a patient with a broken limb, and he the physician that must treat it by setting it in a cast.

This picture, which shows Hamlet's friends restraining him as he talks with the ghost of his father, is another by Henry Fuseli (1741-1825).