I had just started studying "Hamlet" when I came across this verse:

Last night of all, When yond same star that’s westward from the pole.....

Most of the online interpretation- providing sources(like Litcharts and spark notes) imply that the "of all" is redundant since they just interpret the first verse to mean only "last night". The meaning of "of all" in modern English doesn't seem to fit here. But I'm still curious whether it is of any significance (such as laying emphasis) in that verse or not.

1 Answer 1


You've really answered your own question by pointing out that the Spark Notes, which are really a modern English translation of the original text, omit these words.

Evidently "last night of all" in Early Modern English (the language of Shakespeare) means "last night" in modern English.

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