No Fear Shakespeare Hamlet Pdf Download

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Brief introduction:

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is the. HAMLET, Prince of Denmark, son of the late King Hamlet and Queen Gertrude QUEEN GERTRUDE, widow of King Hamlet, now married to Claudius. It harrows me with fear and wonder. It would be spoke to. Speak to it, Horatio.

No Fear Shakespeare Hamlet Pdf

This SparkNote delivers knowledge on The Tempest that you wont find in other study guides:Summaries of every chapter with thorough Analysis.Explanation of the key Themes, Motifs, and Symbols including:—Water and Drowning—Mysterious Noises—The Game...

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Publication date
Jul 03, 2003
Age range
18+ Years
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Some brief overview of this book

This SparkNote delivers knowledge on The Tempest that you wont find in other study guides:

Summaries of every chapter with thorough Analysis.

Explanation of the key Themes, Motifs, and Symbols including:

—Water and Drowning

—Mysterious Noises

Don't Fear Shakespeare Hamlet

—The Game of Chess

—Prosperos Books

—The Illusion of Justice

—Distinguishing Men from Monsters

—The Allure of Ruling a Colony

—Masters and Servants

Detailed Character Analysis of Prospero, Miranda and Caliban.

Identification and discussion of Important Quotations.

A summary of Key Facts, a 25-question review Quiz, and Study Questions and Essay Topics to help you prepare for papers and tests.

Presents the original text of Shakespeares play side by side with a modern version, with marginal notes and explanations and full descriptions of each character.

No Fear Shakespeare Hamlet Pdf Download

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A few words about book author

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Academic Programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Executive Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, Chair of the Folger Institute, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeares Romances and of essays on Shakespeares plays and on the editing of the plays.

Miranda and Caliban.

Identification and discussion of Important Quotations.

A summary of Key Facts, a 25-question review Quiz, and Study Questions and Essay Topics to help you prepare for papers and tests.

Presents the original text of Shakespeares play side by side with a modern version, with marginal notes and explanations and full descriptions of each character.

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CHARACTERSHamlet The prince of Denmark, and a student at the University of Wittenberg. At the beginning of the play, Hamlets father, King Hamlet, has recently died, and his mother, Queen Gertrude, has married the new king, Hamlets uncle Claudius. Hamlet is melancholy, bitter, and cynical, full of hatred for his uncle and disgust at his mother for marrying him. When the ghost of Hamlets father appears and claims to have been murdered by Claudius, Hamlet becomes obsessed with avenging his fathers death but keeps thinking of reasons why he should wait before killing Claudiusthen chastizes himself for failing to act boldly. Hamlet is a character of contradictions. He admires characters like Fortinbras and the Player King, who behave passionately and even violently for no good reason, but is himself thoughtful, reflective, and philosophical. At times Hamlet is indecisive and hesitant, but at other times he is prone to rash and impulsive acts of violence. Claudius The king of Denmark, Hamlets uncle. The villain of the play, Claudius is a calculating, ambitious politician, adept at manipulating others for his own ends and willing to execute, assassinate, or murder to stay in power. He doesnt understand Hamlet or Hamlets motives, but he is quick to perceive Hamlet as a threat and take decisive action against him. Claudius does occasionally show signs of remorse and human feelinghis affection for Gertrude, for instance, seems sincere. Gertrude The queen of Denmark, Hamlets mother, recently married to Claudius. We never get to observe Gertrude on her own, so we know much more about how Hamlet feels about her than about how she sees herself. She seems clearly to love Hamlet, but Hamlet sees her as a weak, even depraved, woman motivated wholly by lust. Hamlet has such strong feelings about her sex life that he becomes momentarily distracted from his revenge quest, urging her toward a life of chastity. Polonius The Lord Chamberlain of Claudiuss court, and the father of Laertes and Ophelia. Polonius has good intentions, but he tends to be somewhat conniving and underhanded. He frequently leaps to the wrong conclusions, and his speeches are comically pompous and long-winded. He is completely incapable of figuring out what Hamlet is up to. Horatio Hamlets close friend, who studied with the prince at the University of Wittenberg. Hamlet trusts Horatio above any of the other characters, valuing him for his even temper and equanimity qualities that Hamlet seems to despise in himself. Horatio is loyal and helpful to Hamlet throughout the play. After Hamlets death, Horatio remains alive to tell Hamlets story. Ophelia Poloniuss daughter, a beautiful young woman with whom Hamlet has been in love. A sweet and innocent young girl, Ophelia dutifully strives to obey her father and her brother, Laertes, allowing Polonius to use her in his scheme to spy on Hamlet. When her father dies, her sanity unravels, and in her madness she paints a scathing picture of young men as sexually exploitative and unfaithful, and her mad speeches about flowers conceal implied condemnations of Claudius and Gertrude.Laertes Poloniuss son and Ophelias brother, a young man who spends much of the play in France. Passionate and quick to action, Laertes is a foil for the reflective and agonized Hamlet. Fortinbras The young prince of Norway, whose father the king (also named Fortinbras) was killed by Hamlets father (also named Hamlet). Now Fortinbras wishes to attack Denmark to avenge his fathers honor, making him another foil for Prince Hamlet. Hamlet admires Fortinbras for his willingness to fight for no good reason. The Ghost The specter of Hamlets recently deceased father. The ghost, who claims to have been murdered by Claudius, calls upon Hamlet to avenge him. However, it is not entirely certain whether the ghost is what it appears to be. Hamlet speculates that the ghost might be a devil sent to deceive him and tempt him into murder, and the question of what the ghost is or where it comes from is never definitively resolved. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Two slightly bumbling courtiers, former friends of Hamlet from Wittenberg, who are summoned by Claudius and Gertrude to discover the cause of Hamlets strange behavior. Osric The foolish courtier who summons Hamlet to his duel with Laertes. His speeches are pretentious and difficult to understand. Voltimand and Cornelius Courtiers whom Claudius sends to Norway to persuade the king to prevent Fortinbras from attacking. Marcellus and Barnardo The officers who first see the ghost walking the ramparts of Elsinore and who summon Horatio to witness it. Marcellus is present when Hamlet first encounters the ghost. Francisco A soldier and guardsman at Elsinore. Reynaldo Poloniuss servant, sent to France by Polonius to check up on and spy on Laertes.Original TextAct 1, Scene 1 Enter BARNARDO and FRANCISCO, two sentinels BARNARDO Whos there? FRANCISCO Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself. BARNARDO Long live the king! FRANCISCO Barnardo? BARNARDO He. FRANCISCO You come most carefully upon your hour. BARNARDO 5 'Tis now struck twelve. Get thee to bed, Francisco. FRANCISCO For this relief much thanks. 'Tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart. BARNARDO Have you had quiet guard? FRANCISCO Not a mouse stirring. BARNARDO Well, good night. If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, 10 The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.Modern TextBARNARDO and FRANCISCO, two watchmen, enter. BARNARDO Whos there? FRANCISCO No, who are you? Stop and identify yourself. BARNARDO Long live the king! FRANCISCO Is that Barnardo? BARNARDO Yes, its me. FRANCISCO Youve come right on time. BARNARDO The clocks just striking twelve. Go home to bed, Francisco. FRANCISCO Thanks for letting me go. Its bitterly cold out, and Im depressed. BARNARDO Has it been a quiet night? FRANCISCO I havent even heard a mouse squeak. BARNARDO Well, good night. If you happen to see Horatio and Marcellus, who are supposed to stand guard with me tonight, tell them to hurry.FRANCISCO I think I hear them.Stand, ho! Whos there? Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS HORATIO Friends to this ground. MARCELLUS And liegemen to the Dane. FRANCISCO Give you good night. MARCELLUS O, farewell, honest soldier. Who hath relieved you? FRANCISCO Barnardo has my place. Give you good night. Exit FRANCISCO MARCELLUS 15 Holla, Barnardo. BARNARDO Say what, is Horatio there? HORATIO A piece of him. BARNARDO Welcome, Horatio.Welcome, good Marcellus. MARCELLUS What, has this thing appeared again tonight? BARNARDO 20 I have seen nothing. MARCELLUSFRANCISCO I think I hear them. Stop! Whos there? MARCELLUS and HORATIO enter. HORATIO Friends of this country. MARCELLUS And servants of the Danish king. FRANCISCO Good night to you both. MARCELLUS Good-bye. Whos taken over the watch for you? FRANCISCO Barnardos taken my place. Good night. FRANCISCO exits. MARCELLUS Hello, Barnardo. BARNARDO Hello. Is Horatio here too? HORATIO More or less. BARNARDO Welcome, Horatio. Welcome, Marcellus. MARCELLUS So, tell us, did you see that thing again tonight? BARNARDO I havent seen anything. MARCELLUSHoratio says tis but our fantasy And will not let belief take hold of him Touching this dreaded sight twice seen of us. 25 Therefore I have entreated him along With us to watch the minutes of this night, That if again this apparition come He may approve our eyes and speak to it. HORATIO Tush, tush, twill not appear. Act 1, Scene 1, Page 3 Original Text BARNARDO Sit down a while And let us once again assail your ears, 30 That are so fortified against our story, What we have two nights seen. HORATIO Well, sit we down, And let us hear Barnardo speak of this. BARNARDO Last night of all, When yond same star thats westward from 35 the pole Had made his course t' illume that part of heaven Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself, The bell then beating one Enter GHOST MARCELLUS Peace, break thee off. Look where it comes again! BARNARDOHoratio says were imagining it, and wont let himself believe anything about this horrible thing that weve seen twice now. Thats why Ive begged him to come on our shift tonight, so that if the ghost appears he can see what we see and speak to it. HORATIO Oh, nonsense. Its not going to appear.Modern Text BARNARDO Sit down for a while, and well tell you again the story you dont want to believe, about what weve seen two nights now. HORATIO Well, lets sit down and listen to Barnardo tell us. BARNARDO Last night, when that star to the west of the North Star had traveled across the night sky to that point where its shining now, at one o'clock, Marcellus and IThe GHOST enters. MARCELLUS Quiet, shut up! Its come again. BARNARDOIn the same figure like the king thats dead. MARCELLUS 40 (to HORATIO) Thou art a scholar. Speak to it, Horatio. BARNARDO Looks it not like the king? Mark it, Horatio. HORATIO Most like. It harrows me with fear and wonder. BARNARDO It would be spoke to. MARCELLUS Question it, Horatio. HORATIO What art thou that usurpst this time of 45 night Together with that fair and warlike form In which the majesty of buried Denmark Did sometimes march? By heaven, I charge thee, speak. MARCELLUS It is offended. BARNARDO See, it stalks away. HORATIO Stay! Speak, speak! I charge thee, speak! Exit GHOST MARCELLUS 50 'Tis gone and will not answer. BARNARDO How now, Horatio? You tremble and look pale.Looking just like the dead king. MARCELLUS (to HORATIO) Youre well-educated, Horatio. Say something to it. BARNARDO Doesnt he look like the king, Horatio? HORATIO Very much so. Its terrifying. BARNARDO It wants us to speak to it. MARCELLUS Ask it something, Horatio. HORATIO What are you, that you walk out so late at night, looking like the dead king of Denmark when he dressed for battle? By God, I order you to speak.MARCELLUS It looks like youve offended it. BARNARDO Look, its going away. HORATIO Stay! Speak! Speak! I order you, speak! The GHOST exits. MARCELLUS Its gone. It wont answer now. BARNARDO Whats going on, Horatio? Youre pale and trembling. You agree now that wereIs not this something more than fantasy? What think you on t? HORATIO Before my God, I might not this believe 55 Without the sensible and true avouch Of mine own eyes. MARCELLUS Is it not like the king? HORATIO As thou art to thyself. Such was the very armour he had on 60 When he the ambitious Norway combated. So frowned he once when, in an angry parle, He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice. 'Tis strange. MARCELLUS Thus twice before, and jump at this dead 65 hour, With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch. HORATIO In what particular thought to work I know not, But in the gross and scope of mine opinion This bodes some strange eruption to our state. MARCELLUS Good now, sit down and tell me, he that 70 knows, Why this same strict and most observant watch So nightly toils the subject of the land, And why such daily cast of brazen cannon 75 And foreign mart for implements of war,not imagining this, dont you? What do you think about it? HORATIO I swear to God, if I hadnt seen this with my own eyes Id never believe it. MARCELLUS Doesnt it look like the king? HORATIO Yes, as much as you look like yourself. The king was wearing exactly this armor when he fought the king of Norway. And the ghost frowned just like the king did once when he attacked the Poles, traveling on the ice in sleds. Its weird. MARCELLUS Its happened like this twice before, always at this exact time. He stalks by us at our post like a warrior. HORATIO I dont know exactly how to explain this, but I have a general feeling this means bad news for our country.MARCELLUS All right, lets sit down and discuss that question. Somebody tell me why this strict schedule of guards has been imposed, and why so many bronze cannons are being manufactured in Denmark, and so many weapons bought from abroad, and why the shipbuildersWhy such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task Does not divide the Sunday from the week. What might be toward, that this sweaty haste Doth make the night joint laborer with the day? Who is t that can inform me? HORATIO That can I. At least, the whisper goes so: our last king, 80 Whose image even but now appeared to us, Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway, Thereto pricked on by a most emulate pride, 85 Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet (For so this side of our known world esteemed him) Did slay this Fortinbras, who by a sealed 90 compact Well ratified by law and heraldry, Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands Which he stood seized of to the conqueror, Against the which a moiety competent 95 Was gagd by our king, which had returned To the inheritance of Fortinbras Had he been vanquisher, as, by the same covenant And carriage of the article designed, 100 His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras, Of unimprovd mettle hot and full, Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there Sharked up a list of lawless resolutes,are so busy they dont even rest on Sunday. Is something about to happen that warrants working this night and day? Who can explain this to me?HORATIO I can. Or at least I can describe the rumors. As you know, our late king, whom we just now saw as a ghost, was the great rival of Fortinbras, king of Norway. Fortinbras dared him to battle. In that fight, our courageous Hamlet (or at least thats how we thought of him) killed old King Fortinbras, whoon the basis of a valid legal document surrendered all his territories, along with his life, to his conqueror. If our king had lost, he would have had to do the same. But now old Fortinbrass young son, also called Fortinbrashe is bold, but unprovenhas gathered a bunch of thugs from the lawless outskirts of the country. For some food, theyre eager to take on the tough enterprise of securing the lands the elder Fortinbras lost.For food and diet, to some enterprise That hath a stomach in t, which is no other As it doth well appear unto our state But to recover of us, by strong hand And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands So by his father lost. And this, I take it, 105 Is the main motive of our preparations, The source of this our watch, and the chief head Of this posthaste and rummage in the land. BARNARDO I think it be no other but e'en so. Well may it sort that this portentous figure Comes armd through our watch so like 110 the king That was and is the question of these wars. HORATIO A mote it is to trouble the minds eye. In the most high and palmy state of Rome, A little ere the mightiest Julius fell, The graves stood tenantless and the 115 sheeted dead Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood, 120 Disasters in the sun, and the moist star Upon whose influence Neptunes empire stands Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse. And even the like precurse of feared events, As far as I understand, thats why were posted here tonight and why theres such a commotion in Denmark lately.BARNARDO I think thats exactly rightthat explains why the ghost of the late king would haunt us now, since he caused these wars. HORATIO The ghost is definitely something to worry about. In the high and mighty Roman Empire, just before the emperor Julius Caesar was assassinated, corpses rose out of their graves and ran through the streets of Rome speaking gibberish. There were shooting stars, and blood mixed in with the morning dew, and threatening signs on the face of the sun. The moon, which controls the tides of the sea, was so eclipsed it almost went completely out. And weve had similar omens of terrible things to come, as if heaven and earth have joined together to warn us whats going to happen.As harbingers preceding still the fates And prologue to the omen coming on, Have heaven and earth together demonstrated Unto our climatures and countrymen. Enter GHOST 125 But soft, behold! Lo, where it comes again. Ill cross it though it blast me.Stay, illusion! GHOST spreads his arms If thou hast any sound or use of voice, Speak to me. If there be any good thing to be done 130 That may to thee do ease and grace to me, Speak to me. If thou art privy to thy countrys fate, Which happily foreknowing may avoid, Oh, speak! 135 Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life Extorted treasure in the womb of earth, For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death, Speak of it. Stay and speak! The cock crows Stop it, Marcellus. MARCELLUS Shall I strike at it with my partisan? HORATIO 140 Do, if it will not stand. BARNARDO 'Tis here. HORATIO The GHOST enters. Wait, look! It has come again. Ill meet it if its the last thing I do. Stay here, you hallucination! The GHOST spreads his arms. If you have a voice or can make sounds, speak to me. If theres any good deed I can do that will bring you peace and me honor, speak to me. If you have some secret knowledge of your countrys sad fate which might be avoided if we knew about itthen, please, speak. Or if youve got some buried treasure somewhere, which they say often makes ghosts restless, then tell us about it. Stay and speak! A rooster crows. Keep it from leaving, Marcellus. MARCELLUS Should I strike it with my spear? HORATIO Yes, if it doesnt stand still. BARNARDO Its over here. HORATIO'Tis here. Exit GHOST MARCELLUS 'Tis gone. We do it wrong, being so majestical, To offer it the show of violence, For it is, as the air, invulnerable, 145 And our vain blows malicious mockery. BARNARDO It was about to speak when the cock crew. HORATIO And then it started like a guilty thing Upon a fearful summons. I have heard The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn, 150 Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat Awake the god of day, and, at his warning, Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air, Th' extravagant and erring spirit hies 155 To his confine, and of the truth herein This present object made probation. MARCELLUS It faded on the crowing of the cock. Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes Wherein our Saviours birth is celebrated, 160 The bird of dawning singeth all night long. And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad. The nights are wholesome. Then no planets strike, No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,There it is. The GHOST exits. MARCELLUS Its gone. We were wrong to threaten it with violence, since it looks so much like a king. Besides, we cant hurt it anymore than we can hurt the air. Our attack was stupid, futile, and wicked. BARNARDO It was about to say something when the rooster crowed. HORATIO And then it acted startled, like a guilty person caught by the law. Ive heard that the rooster awakens the god of day with its trumpetlike crowing, and makes all wandering ghosts, wherever they are, hurry back to their hiding places. Weve just seen proof of that.MARCELLUS Yes, it faded away when the rooster crowed. Some people say that just before Christmas the rooster crows all night long, so that no ghost dares go wandering, and the night is safe. The planets have no sway over us, fairies' spells dont work, and witches cant bewitch us. Thats how holy that night is.So hallowed and so gracious is that time. HORATIO So have I heard and do in part believe it. 165 But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill. Break we our watch up, and by my advice, Let us impart what we have seen tonight 170 Unto young Hamlet, for, upon my life, This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him. Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it, As needful in our loves, fitting our duty? MARCELLUS Lets do t, I pray, and I this morning know Where we shall find him most conveniently. Exeunt Act 1, Scene 2 Enter CLAUDIUS, king of Denmark; GERTRUDEthe queen; HAMLET; POLONIUS; his sonLAERTES; and his daughter OPHELIA; LORDSattendant CLAUDIUS Though yet of Hamlet our dear brothers death The memory be green, and that it us befitted To bear our hearts in grief and our whole 5 kingdom To be contracted in one brow of woe, Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature That we with wisest sorrow think on him CLAUDIUS, the king of Denmark, enters, along with GERTRUDE the queen, HAMLET,POLONIUS, POLONIUS s son LAERTES and daughter OPHELIA, and LORDS who wait on the king. CLAUDIUS Although I still have fresh memories of my brother the elder Hamlets death, and though it was proper to mourn him throughout our kingdom, life still goes onI think its wise to mourn him while also thinking about my own well being. Therefore, Ive married my former sister-in-law, the queen, with mixed feelings of happiness and sadness. I know that in marrying Gertrude Im only doing what all They exit. MARCELLUS Lets do it. I know where well find him this morning. HORATIO Yes, Ive heard the same thing and sort of believe it. But look, morning is breaking beyond that hill in the east, turning the sky red. Lets interrupt our watch and go tell young Hamlet what weve seen tonight. Im sure this ghost thats so silent with us will speak to him. Dont you agree that we owe it to him to tell him about this, out of duty and love?Together with remembrance of ourselves. 10 Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen, Th' imperial jointress to this warlike state, Have weas twere with a defeated joy, With an auspicious and a dropping eye, 15 With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole Taken to wife. Nor have we herein barred Your better wisdoms, which have freely 20 gone With this affair along. For all, our thanks. Now follows that you know. Young Fortinbras, Holding a weak supposal of our worth 25 Or thinking by our late dear brothers death Our state to be disjoint and out of frame, Colleagud with the dream of his advantage, He hath not failed to pester us with message Importing the surrender of those lands Lost by his father, with all bonds of law, To our most valiant brother. So much for him. Enter VOLTEMAND and CORNELIUS Now for ourself and for this time of meeting Thus much the business is: we have here writ To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras Who, impotent and bedrid, scarcely hears 30 Of this his nephews purposeto suppress His further gait herein, in that the levies, The lists, and full proportions are all made Out of his subject; and we here dispatch You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltemand,of you have wisely advised all alongfor which I thank you. Now, down to business. You all know whats happening. Young Fortinbras, underestimating my strength or imagining that the death of the king has thrown my country into turmoil, dreams of getting the better of me, and never stops pestering me with demands that I surrender the territory his father lost to the elder Hamlet, my dead brother-in-law. So much for Fortinbras.VOLTEMAND and CORNELIUS enter. Now, heres what needs to be done. Ive written to Fortinbrass uncle, the present head of Norway, an old bedridden man who knows next to nothing about his nephews plans. Ive told the uncle to stop those plans, which he has the power to do, since all the troops assembled by young Fortinbras are Norwegian, and thus under the uncles control. Im giving the job of35 For bearers of this greeting to old Norway, Giving to you no further personal power To business with the king more than the scope Of these dilated articles allow. (gives them a paper) Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty. CORNELIUS, VOLTEMAND 40 In that and all things will we show our duty. CLAUDIUS We doubt it nothing. Heartily farewell. Exeunt VOLTEMAND and CORNELIUS And now, Laertes, whats the news with you? You told us of some suit. What is t, Laertes? You cannot speak of reason to the Dane 45 And lose your voice. What wouldst thou beg, Laertes, That shall not be my offer, not thy asking? The head is not more native to the heart, The hand more instrumental to the mouth, 50 Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father. What wouldst thou have, Laertes? LAERTES My dread lord, Your leave and favor to return to France, From whence though willingly I came to Denmark To show my duty in your coronation, 55 Yet now, I must confess, that duty done, My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.delivering this letter to you, good Cornelius, and you, Voltemand. Your business in Norway will be limited to this task. (he gives them a paper) Now goodbye. Show your loyalty by leaving quickly, rather than with elaborate speeches. CORNELIUS, VOLTEMAND Well do our duty to you in that and everything else. CLAUDIUS I have no doubt you will. Good-bye. CORNELIUS and VOLTEMAND exit. And now, Laertes, what do you have to tell me? You have a favor you to ask of me. What is it, Laertes? Youll never waste your words when talking to the king of Denmark. What could you ever ask for that I wouldnt give you? Your father and the Danish throne are as close as the mind and the heart, or the hand and the mouth. What would you like, Laertes? LAERTES My lord, I want your permission to go back to France, which I left to come to Denmark for your coronation. I confess, my thoughts are on France, now that my duty is done. Please, let me go.CLAUDIUS Have you your fathers leave? What says Polonius? POLONIUS He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave 60 By laborsome petition, and at last Upon his will I sealed my hard consent. I do beseech you, give him leave to go. CLAUDIUS Take thy fair hour, Laertes. Time be thine, And thy best graces spend it at thy will. But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my sonCLAUDIUS Do you have your fathers permission? What does Polonius say? POLONIUS My son has worn me down by asking me so many times. In the end I grudgingly consented. I beg you, let him go.CLAUDIUS In that case, leave when you like, Laertes, and spend your time however you wish. I hereby grant your request, and hope you have a good time. And now, Hamlet, my nephew and my son HAMLET (speaking so no one else can hear) Too many family ties there for me. CLAUDIUS Why are you still so gloomy, with a cloud hanging over you? HAMLET Its not true, sir. Your son is out in the sun. GERTRUDE My dear Hamlet, stop wearing these black clothes, and be friendly to the king. You cant spend your whole life with your eyes to the ground remembering your noble father. It happens all the time, what lives must die eventually, passing to eternity. HAMLET Yes, mother, it happens all the time.HAMLET 65 (aside) A little more than kin and less than kind. CLAUDIUS How is it that the clouds still hang on you? HAMLET Not so, my lord. I am too much i' the sun. GERTRUDE Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off, And let thine eye look like a friend on 70 Denmark. Do not forever with thy vaild lids Seek for thy noble father in the dust. Thou knowst tis common. All that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity. HAMLET Ay, madam, it is common.GERTRUDE If it be, 75 Why seems it so particular with thee? HAMLET Seems, madam? Nay, it is. I know not seems. 'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother, Nor customary suits of solemn black, 80 Nor windy suspiration of forced breath, No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage, Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief, 85 That can denote me truly. These indeed seem, For they are actions that a man might play. But I have that within which passeth show, These but the trappings and the suits of woe. CLAUDIUS 'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet, To give these mourning duties to your 90 father. But you must know your father lost a father, That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound In filial obligation for some term 95 To do obsequious sorrow. But to persever In obstinate condolement is a course Of impious stubbornness. 'Tis unmanly grief. It shows a will most incorrect to heaven, 100 A heart unfortified, a mind impatient, An understanding simple and unschooled.GERTRUDE So why does it seem so particular to you?HAMLET Seem, mother? No, it is. I dont know what you mean by seem. Neither my black clothes, my dear mother, nor my heavy sighs, nor my weeping, nor my downcast eyes, nor any other display of grief can show what I really feel. Its true that all these things seem like grief, since a person could use them to fake grief if he wanted to. But Ive got more real grief inside me that you could ever see on the surface. These clothes are just a hint of it.CLAUDIUS Hamlet, you are so sweet and such a good son to mourn your father like this. But you have to remember, that your father lost his father, who lost his father before him, and every time, each son has had to mourn his father for a certain period. But overdoing it is just stubborn. Its not manly. Its not what God wants, and it betrays a vulnerable heart and an ignorant and weak mind. Since we know that everyone must die sooner or later, why should we take it to heart? Youre committing a crime against heaven, against the dead, and against nature. And its irration-al, sinceFor what we know must be and is as common As any the most vulgar thing to sense, 105 Why should we in our peevish opposition Take it to heart? Fie! 'Tis a fault to heaven, A fault against the dead, a fault to nature, To reason most absurd, whose common theme Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried, From the first corse till he that died today, This must be so. We pray you, throw to earth This unprevailing woe, and think of us As of a father. For let the world take note, You are the most immediate to our throne, 110 And with no less nobility of love Than that which dearest father bears his son Do I impart toward you. For your intent In going back to school in Wittenberg, 115 It is most retrograde to our desire. And we beseech you, bend you to remain Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye, Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son. GERTRUDE Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet. I pray thee, stay with us. Go not to Wittenberg. HAMLET 120 I shall in all my best obey you, madam. CLAUDIUS Why, tis a loving and a fair reply. Be as ourself in Denmark.Madam, come. This gentle and unforced accord of Hamletthe truth is that all fathers must die. Please give up this useless mourning of yours and start thinking of me as your new father.Because everyone knows that you are the man closest to this throne, and I love you just as much as any father loves his son. And your plans for going back to Wittenberg are not what I want. Im asking you now to stay here in my company as the number-one member of my court, my nephew and now my son too. GERTRUDE Please answer my prayers, Hamlet, and stay with us. Dont go back to Wittenberg. HAMLET Ill obey you as well as I can, ma'am. CLAUDIUS Thats the right answerit shows your love. Stay in Denmark like us.My dear wife, come. Hamlets agreeing toSits smiling to my heart, in grace whereof 125 No jocund health that Denmark drinks today But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell, And the kings rouse the heavens shall bruit again, Respeaking earthly thunder. Come away. Flourish. Exeunt all but HAMLETstay makes me happy, and every merry toast Ill drink today will be heard as far as the clouds overhead. My drinking will be echoed in the heavens. Lets go.Trumpets play. Everyone except HAMLET exits. HAMLET Ah, I wish my dirty flesh could melt away into a vapor, or that God had not made a law against suicide. Oh God, God! How tired, stale, and pointless life is to me. Damn it! Its like a garden that no ones taking care of, and thats growing wild. Only nasty weeds grow in it now. I cant believe its come to this. My fathers only been dead for two monthsno, not even two. Such an excellent king, as superior to my uncle as a god is to a beast, and so loving toward my mother that he kept the wind from blowing too hard on her face.HAMLET Oh, that this too, too sullied flesh would 130 melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, Or that the Everlasting had not fixed His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God, God! 135 How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fie on t, ah fie! 'Tis an unweeded garden That grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature 140 Possess it merely. That it should come to this. But two months deadnay, not so much, not two. So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr. So loving to my mother That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly.Heaven and earth, 145 Must I remember? Why, she would hang on himOh God, do I have to remember that? She would hang on to him, and the more she was with him the more she wanted to be with him; she couldnt get enough of him. Yet even so, within a month of my fathers death (I dontAs if increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on, and yet, within a month 150 Let me not think on t. Frailty, thy name is woman! A little month, or ere those shoes were old With which she followed my poor fathers body, 155 Like Niobe, all tears. Why she, even she O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason Would have mourned longer!married with my uncle, My fathers brother, but no more like my father Than I to Hercules. Within a month, Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her galld eyes, She married. O most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not nor it cannot come to good, But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue. Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BARNARDO HORATIO 160 Hail to your lordship. HAMLET I am glad to see you well. Horatio? Or I do forget myself? HORATIO The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever. HAMLETeven want to think about it. Oh women! You are so weak!), even before she had broken in the shoes she wore to his funeral, crying like crazyeven an animal would have mourned its mate longer than she did!there she was marrying my uncle, my fathers brother, whos about as much like my father as Im like Hercules. Less than a month after my fathers death, even before the tears on her cheeks had dried, she remarried. Oh, so quick to jump into a bed of incest! Thats not good, and no good can come of it either. But my heart must break in silence, since I cant mention my feelings aloud.HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BARNARDOenter. HORATIO Hello, sir. HAMLET Nice to see you again, Horatiothat is your name, right? HORATIO Thats me, sir. Still your respectful servant. HAMLETSir, my good friend, Ill change that name with you. 165 And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio? Marcellus! MARCELLUS My good lord. HAMLET (to MARCELLUS) I am very glad to see you.(toBARNARDO) Good even, sir. (to HORATIO) But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg? HORATIO A truant disposition, good my lord. HAMLET I would not hear your enemy say so, 170 Nor shall you do mine ear that violence, To make it truster of your own report Against yourself. I know you are no truant. But what is your affair in Elsinore? Well teach you to drink deep ere you depart. HORATIO 175 My lord, I came to see your fathers funeral. HAMLET I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow student. I think it was to see my mothers wedding. HORATIO Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon. HAMLET Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The funeral baked 180 meatsNot my servant, but my friend. Ill change that name for you. But what are you doing so far from Wittenberg, Horatio? Oh, Marcellus? MARCELLUS Hello, sir. HAMLET (to MARCELLUS) So nice to see you.(toBARNARDO) Hello, sir.(to HORATIO)But what are you doing away from Wittenberg, Horatio? HORATIO I felt like skipping school, sir. HAMLET I wouldnt allow your enemies to say that, and I wont believe it from you. I know youd never skip school. What are you doing here in Elsinore? Ill teach you to drink hard by the time you leave.HORATIO Sir, we came to see your fathers funeral. HAMLET Please, dont make fun of me. I think you came to see my mothers wedding instead. HORATIO Well, sir, its true it came soon after. HAMLET It was all about saving a few bucks, Horatio. The leftovers from the funeralDid coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio. My fathermethinks I see my father. HORATIO Where, my lord? HAMLET In my minds eye, Horatio. HORATIO 185 I saw him once. He was a goodly king. HAMLET He was a man. Take him for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again. HORATIO My lord, I think I saw him yesternight. HAMLET Saw who? HORATIO 190 My lord, the king your father. HAMLET The king my father?! HORATIO Season your admiration for a while With an attent ear, till I may deliver, Upon the witness of these gentlemen, 195 This marvel to you. HAMLET For Gods love, let me hear. HORATIO Two nights together had these gentlemen,dinner made a convenient wedding banquet. Oh, Id rather have met my fiercest enemy in heaven, Horatio, than have lived through that terrible day! My fatherI think I see my father. HORATIO Where, sir? HAMLET In my imagination, Horatio. HORATIO I saw him once. He was an admirable king. HAMLET He was a great human being. He was perfect in everything. Ill never see the likes of him again. HORATIO Sir, I think I saw him last night. HAMLET Saw who? HORATIO Your father, sir. The dead king. HAMLET The king my father?! HORATIO Dont get too excited yet, sir. Just listen carefully while I tell you the amazing thing I saw, with these gentlemen as witnesses. HAMLET For Gods sake, let me hear it. HORATIO After midnight, for two nights running,Marcellus and Barnardo, on their watch, In the dead waste and middle of the night, Been thus encountered: a figure like your 200 father, Armed at point exactly, cap--pie, Appears before them and with solemn march Goes slow and stately by them. Thrice he 205 walked By their oppressed and fear-surprisd eyes Within his truncheons length, whilst they, distilled Almost to jelly with the act of fear, 210 Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me In dreadful secrecy impart they did, And I with them the third night kept the watch, Whereas they had delivered, both in time, Form of the thing, each word made true and good The apparition comes. I knew your father. These hands are not more like. HAMLET But where was this? MARCELLUS My lord, upon the platform where we watch. HAMLET Did you not speak to it? HORATIO My lord, I did, 215 But answer made it none. Yet once methoughtthese two guards, Marcellus and Barnardo, saw a figure that looked very much like your father, in full armor from head to toe. It just appeared before them and marched past them with slow dignity three times, a staffs distance from their amazed eyes, while they turned, quaking with fear and too shocked to speak. They told me all about this, so on the third night I agreed to come stand guard with them, to see for myself. It happened again, just as they had described. I knew your father. This ghost looked as much like him as my two hands are like each other.HAMLET But where did this happen? MARCELLUS On the platform where we stand guard, sir. HAMLET Didnt you talk to it? HORATIO I did, sir, but it didnt answer me. It raised its head once as if it was about to speak, but just then the rooster startedIt lifted up its head and did address Itself to motion, like as it would speak. But even then the morning cock crew loud, 220 And at the sound it shrunk in haste away And vanished from our sight. HAMLET 'Tis very strange. HORATIO As I do live, my honored lord, tis true. And we did think it writ down in our duty To let you know of it. HAMLET Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me. 225 Hold you the watch tonight? MARCELLUS, BARNARDO We do, my lord. HAMLET Armed, say you? MARCELLUS, BARNARDO Armed, my lord. HAMLET From top to toe? MARCELLUS, BARNARDO My lord, from head to foot. HAMLET Then saw you not his face? HORATIO Oh yes, my lord. He wore his beaver up. HAMLET What, looked he frowningly? HORATIO A countenance more In sorrow than in anger.crowing, and the ghost vanished from sight.HAMLET Thats very strange. HORATIO I swear to God its true, sir. We thought you ought to know about it. HAMLET Yes, I should know, but it disturbs me. Are you on duty again tonight? MARCELLUS, BARNARDO Yes, sir. HAMLET It was armed, you say? MARCELLUS, BARNARDO Armed, sir. HAMLET From head to toe? MARCELLUS, BARNARDO Yes, from top to bottom, sir. HAMLET So you couldnt see his face, then? HORATIO Oh, yes, we could, sir. He had his helmet visor up. HAMLET Was he frowning? HORATIO He looked more sad than angry.230 HAMLET Pale or red? HORATIO Nay, very pale. HAMLET And fixed his eyes upon you? HORATIO Most constantly. HAMLET I would I had been there. HORATIO It would have much amazed you. HAMLET 235 Very like. Stayed it long? HORATIO While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred. MARCELLUS, BARNARDO Longer, longer. HORATIO Not when I saw t. HAMLET His beard was grizzled, no? HORATIO 240 It was, as I have seen it in his life, A sable silvered. HAMLET I will watch tonight. Perchance 'Twill walk again. HORATIO I warrant it will. HAMLET Was he pale or flushed and red-faced? HORATIO Very pale, sir. HAMLET Did he stare at you? HORATIO The whole time. HAMLET I wish Id been there. HORATIO You would have been very shocked. HAMLET Im sure I would have. Did it stay a long time? HORATIO About as long as it would take someone to count slowly to a hundred. MARCELLUS, BARNARDO No, longer than that. HORATIO Not the time I saw it. HAMLET His beard was gray, right? HORATIO It was just like in real life, dark brown with silver whiskers in it. HAMLET Ill stand guard with you tonight. Maybe itll come again. HORATIO I bet it will.HAMLET If it assume my noble fathers person, Ill speak to it, though Hell itself should 245 gape And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all, If you have hitherto concealed this sight, Let it be tenable in your silence still. And whatsoever else shall hap tonight, 250 Give it an understanding, but no tongue. I will requite your loves. So fare you well. Upon the platform, twixt eleven and twelve, Ill visit you. HORATIO, MARCELLUS, BARNARDO Our duty to your honor. HAMLET Your loves, as mine to you. Farewell. Exeunt all but HAMLET My fathers spirit in arms. All is not well. 255 I doubt some foul play. Would the night were come! Till then sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to mens eyes. Exit Act 1, Scene 3 Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA, his sisterHAMLET If it looks like my good father, Ill speak to it, even if Hell itself opens up and tells me to be quiet. I ask you, if youve kept this a secret, keep doing so. Whatever happens tonight, dont talk about it. Ill return the favor. So goodbye for now. Ill see you on the guards' platform between eleven and twelve tonight.HORATIO, MARCELLUS, BARNARDO Well do our duty to you, sir. HAMLET Give me your love instead, as I give you mine. Good-bye. Everyone except HAMLET exits. My fathers ghostarmed! Somethings wrong. I suspect some foul play. I wish the night were here already! Until then, I have to remain calm. Bad deeds will be revealed, no matter how people try to hide them. HAMLET exits.LAERTES and his sister OPHELIA enter. LAERTES My belongings are on the ship already.LAERTES My necessaries are embarked. Farewell.And, sister, as the winds give benefit And convey is assistant, do not sleep, But let me hear from you. OPHELIA Do you doubt that? LAERTES 5 For Hamlet and the trifling of his favor, Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood, A violet in the youth of primy nature, Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, The perfume and suppliance of a minute. 10 No more. OPHELIA No more but so? LAERTES Think it no more. For nature, crescent, does not grow alone In thews and bulk, but, as this temple waxes, The inward service of the mind and soul 15 Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now, And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch The virtue of his will, but you must fear. His greatness weighed, his will is not his 20 own, For he himself is subject to his birth. He may not, as unvalued persons do, Carve for himself, for on his choice depends The safety and health of this whole state. And therefore must his choice be circumscribed Unto the voice and yielding of that body Whereof he is the head. Then if he says heGood-bye. And, my dear sister, as long as the winds are blowing and ships are sailing, let me hear from youwrite. OPHELIA Do you doubt Ill write? LAERTES As for Hamlet and his attentions to you, just consider it a big flirtation, the temporary phase of a hot-blooded youth. It wont last. Its sweet, but his affection will fade after a minute. Not a second more. OPHELIA No more than a minute? LAERTES Try to think of it like that, anyway. When a youth grows into a man, he doesnt just get bigger in his bodyhis responsibilities grow too. He may love you now, and may have only the best intentions, but you have to be on your guard. Remember that he belongs to the royal family, and his intentions dont matter that muchhes a slave to his family obligations. He cant simply make personal choices for himself the way common people can, since the whole country depends on what he does. His choice has to agree with what the nation wants.loves you, 25 It fits your wisdom so far to believe it As he in his particular act and place May give his saying deed, which is no further Than the main voice of Denmark goes 30 withal. Then weigh what loss your honor may sustain If with too credent ear you list his songs, Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure 35 open To his unmastered importunity. Fear it, Ophelia. Fear it, my dear sister, And keep you in the rear of your affection, Out of the shot and danger of desire. 40 The chariest maid is prodigal enough If she unmask her beauty to the moon. Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes. The canker galls the infants of the spring Too oft before their buttons be disclosed. And in the morn and liquid dew of youth, Contagious blastments are most imminent. Be wary, then. Best safety lies in fear. Youth to itself rebels, though none else near. OPHELIA 45 I shall the effect of this good lesson keep As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother, Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to 50 heaven Whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine, OPHELIA Ill keep your words of wisdom close to my heart. But, my dear brother, dont be like a bad priest who fails to practice what he preaches, showing me the steep and narrow way to heaven while you frolic on the primrose path of sin. So if he says he loves you, you should be wise enough to see that his words only mean as much as the state of Denmark allows them to mean. Then think about how shameful it would be for you to give in to his seductive talk and surrender your treasure chest to his greedy hands. Watch out, Ophelia. Just keep your love under control, and dont let yourself become a target of his lust. Simply exposing your beauty to the moon at night is risky enoughyou dont have to expose yourself to him. Even good girls sometimes get a bad reputation. Worms ruin flowers before they blossom. Baby blooms are most susceptible to disease. So be careful. Fear will keep you safe. Young people often lose their self-control even without any help from others.Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads And recks not his own rede. LAERTES O, fear me not. Enter POLONIUS I stay too long. But here my father comes. A double blessing is a double grace. Occasion smiles upon a second leave. POLONIUS 55 Yet here, Laertes? Aboard, aboard, for shame! The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail And you are stayed for. There, my blessing with thee. 60 And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar. 65 Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel, But do not dull thy palm with entertainment 70 Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, Bear t that th' opposd may beware of thee. Give every man thy ear but few thy voice. 75 Take each mans censure but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not expressed in fancyrich, not gaudy, LAERTES Dont worry, I wont. POLONIUS enters. Ive been here too long. And here comes father. What good luck, to have him bless my leaving not once but twice. POLONIUS Youre still here? Shame on youget on board! The wind is filling your ships sail, and theyre waiting for you. Here, I give you my blessing again. And just try to remember a few rules of life. Dont say what youre thinking, and dont be too quick to act on what you think. Be friendly to people but dont overdo it. Once youve tested out your friends and found them trustworthy, hold onto them. But dont waste your time shaking hands with every new guy you meet. Dont be quick to pick a fight, but once youre in one, hold your own. Listen to many people, but talk to few. Hear everyones opinion, but reserve your judgment. Spend all you can afford on clothes, but make sure theyre quality, not flashy, since clothes make the manwhich is doubly true in France. Dont borrow money and dont lend it, since when you lend to a friend, you often lose the friendship as well as the money, and borrowing turns a person into a spendthrift. And, above all, be true to80 For the apparel oft proclaims the man, And they in France of the best rank and station Are of a most select and generous chief in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be, For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell. My blessing season this in thee. LAERTES Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord. POLONIUS The time invites you. Go. Your servants tend. LAERTES Farewell, Ophelia, and remember well 85 What I have said to you. OPHELIA 'Tis in my memory locked, And you yourself shall keep the key of it. LAERTES Farewell. Exit LAERTES POLONIUS What is t, Ophelia, he hath said to you? OPHELIA So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet. POLONIUS 90 Marry, well bethought. 'Tis told me he hath very oft of lateyourself. Then you wont be false to anybody else. Good-bye, son. I hope my blessing will help you absorb what Ive said.LAERTES I humbly say good-bye to you, father. POLONIUS Now go, the time is right. Your servants are waiting. LAERTES Good-bye, Ophelia. Remember what Ive told you. OPHELIA Its locked away in my memory, and youve got the key. LAERTES Good-bye. LAERTES exits. POLONIUS What did he tell you, Ophelia? OPHELIA Something about Hamlet. POLONIUS A good thing he did, by God. Ive heard Hamlets been spending a lot of timeGiven private time to you, and you yourself Have of your audience been most free and 95 bounteous. If it be so as so tis put on me And that in way of cautionI must tell you, You do not understand yourself so clearly As it behooves my daughter and your honor. What is between you? Give me up the truth. OPHELIA He hath, my lord, of late made many 100 tenders Of his affection to me. POLONIUS Affection! Pooh, you speak like a green girl, Unsifted in such perilous circumstance. Do you believe his tenders, as you call them? OPHELIA I do not know, my lord, what I should think. POLONIUS 105 Marry, Ill teach you. Think yourself a baby That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay, Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly, Ornot to crack the wind of the poor phrase, Running it thusyoull tender me a fool.alone with you recently, and youve made yourself quite available to him. If things are the way people tell me they areand theyre only telling me this to warn methen I have to say, youre not conducting yourself with the selfrestraint a daughter of mine should show. Whats going on between you two? Tell me the truth.OPHELIA Hes offered me a lot of affection lately.POLONIUS Affection! Thats nothing! Youre talking like some innocent girl who doesnt understand the ways of the world. Do you believe his offers, as you call them? OPHELIA I dont know what to believe, father. POLONIUS Then Ill tell you. Believe that you are a foolish little baby for believing these offers are something real. Offer yourself more respect, ornot to beat this word to deathyoull offer me the chance to be a laughing-stock.OPHELIA 110 My lord, he hath importuned me with love In honorable fashion. POLONIUS Ay, fashion you may call it. Go to, go to. OPHELIA And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord, With almost all the holy vows of heaven. POLONIUS 115 Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know, When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul Lends the tongue vows. These blazes, 120 daughter, Giving more light than heat, extinct in both Even in their promise as it is a-making, You must not take for fire. From this time Be somewhat scanter of your maiden 125 presence. Set your entreatments at a higher rate Than a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet, Believe so much in him that he is young, 130 And with a larger tether may he walk Than may be given you. In few, Ophelia, Do not believe his vows, for they are brokers Not of that dye which their investments 135 show, But mere implorators of unholy suits, Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds, The better to beguile. This is for all:OPHELIA Father, hes always talked about love in an honorable fashion POLONIUS Yes, fashion is just the worda passing whim. Go on. OPHELIA And hes made the holiest vows to me, to back up what he says. POLONIUS These vows are just traps for stupid birds. I know when a man is on fire, hell swear anything. But when a hearts on fire, it gives out more light than heat, and the fire will be out even before hes done making his promises. Dont mistake that for true love. From now on, spend a little less time with him and talk to him less. Make yourself a precious commodity. Remember that Hamlet is young and has a lot more freedom to fool around than you do. In short, Ophelia, dont believe his love vows, since theyre like flashy pimps who wear nice clothes to lead a woman into filthy acts. To put it plainly, dont waste your time with Hamlet. Do as I say. Now come along.I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth, Have you so slander any moment leisure, As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet. Look to t, I charge you. Come your ways. OPHELIA I shall obey, my lord. Exeunt Act 1, Scene 4 Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, and MARCELLUS HAMLET The air bites shrewdly. It is very cold. HORATIO It is a nipping and an eager air. HAMLET What hour now? HORATIO I think it lacks of twelve. MARCELLUS 5 No, it is struck. HORATIO Indeed? I heard it not. It then draws near the season Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk. A flourish of trumpets and two pieces of ordnance goes off What does this mean, my lord? HAMLET The king doth wake tonight and takes his HAMLET, HORATIO, and MARCELLUS enter. HAMLET The air is biting cold. HORATIO Yes, its definitely nippy. HAMLET What time is it? HORATIO A little before twelve, I think. MARCELLUS No, its just after twelve; I heard the clock strike. HORATIO Really? I didnt hear it. So its nearly the time when the ghost likes to appear. Trumpets play offstage and two cannons are fired. What does that mean, sir? HAMLET The king is staying up all night drinking OPHELIA Ill do as you say, father. They exit.10 rouse, Keeps wassail and the swaggering upspring reels, And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down, The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out The triumph of his pledge. HORATIO Is it a custom? HAMLET 15 Ay, marry, is t. But to my mind, though I am native here And to the manner born, it is a custom More honored in the breach than the observance. 20 This heavy-headed revel east and west Makes us traduced and taxed of other nations. They clepe us drunkards and with swinish phrase Soil our addition. And indeed it takes From our achievements, though performed 25 at height, The pith and marrow of our attribute. So oft it chances in particular men That for some vicious mole of nature in them 30 As in their birth (wherein they are not guilty, Since nature cannot choose his origin), By the o'ergrowth of some complexion, Oft breaking down the pales and forts of 35 reason, Or by some habit that too much o'erleavens The form of plausive mannersthat theseand dancing. As he guzzles down his German wine, the musicians make a ruckus to celebrate his draining another cup.HORATIO Is that a tradition? HAMLET Yes, it is. But though I was born here and should consider that tradition part of my own heritage, I think it would be better to ignore it than practice it. Other countries criticize us for our loud partying.They call us drunks and insult our noble titles. And our drunkenness does detract from our achievements, as great as they are, and lessens our reputations. Its just like what happens to certain people who have some birth defect (which they are not responsible for, since nobody chooses how hes born), or some weird habit or compulsion that changes them completely. It happens sometimes that one little defect in these people, as wonderful and talented as they may be, will make them look completely bad to other people. A tiny spot of evil casts doubt on their good qualities and ruins their, Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect, 40 Being natures livery or fortunes star, Their virtues else (be they as pure as grace, As infinite as man may undergo) Shall in the general censure take corruption From that particular fault. The dram of evil Doth all the noble substance of a doubt To his own scandal. Enter GHOST HORATIO Look, my lord, it comes! HAMLET Angels and ministers of grace defend us! Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned, Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts 45 from hell, Be thy intents wicked or charitable, Thou comest in such a questionable shape That I will speak to thee. Ill call thee Hamlet, 50 King, Father, royal Dane. O, answer me! Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death, Have burst their cerements; why the sepulcher, Wherein we saw thee quietly interred, Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws To cast thee up again. What may this mean, 55 That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon, Making night hideous and we fools of nature, where we quietly buried you, has opened up its heavy marble jaws to spit you out again. What could it mean that you have put on your armor again, you corpse, and have come back to look at the moon, making the night terrifying and stirring us humans with supernatural fears? Why? What do you want from us? What The GHOST enters. HORATIO Look, sirhere it comes! HAMLET Oh angels, protect us! Whether youre a good spirit or a cursed demon, whether you bring heavenly breezes or blasts of hell fire, whether your intentions are good or evil, you look so strange I want to talk to you. Ill call you Hamlet Senior, King, Father, royal Dane. Answer me! Dont drive me crazy with curiosity, but tell me why your churchburied bones have burst out of their coffin, and why your tomb,60 So horridly to shake our disposition With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls? Say why is this? Wherefore? What should we do? GHOST beckons HAMLETshould we do?The GHOST motions for HAMLET to come with it. HORATIO It wants you to go off with it, as if it wants to tell you something alone. MARCELLUS Look how politely its pointing you to a place thats farther away. But dont go.HORATIO It beckons you to go away with it, As if it some impartment did desire To you alone. MARCELLUS Look, with what courteous action It waves you to a more removd ground. 65 But do not go with it. HORATIO No, by no means. HAMLET It will not speak. Then I will follow it. HORATIO Do not, my lord. HAMLET Why, what should be the fear? I do not set my life in a pins fee, And for my soulwhat can it do to that, 70 Being a thing immortal as itself? It waves me forth again. Ill follow it. HORATIO What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord, Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff That beetles o'er his base into the sea, 75 And there assume some other horrible form, Which might deprive your sovereignty ofHORATIO Definitely not. HAMLET Its not going to speak, so Ill follow it. HORATIO Dont do it, sir. HAMLET Why, whats the danger? I dont value my life one bit. And as for my soul, how can the ghost endanger that, since its as immortal as the ghost is? Look, its waving me over again. Ill follow it. HORATIO What if it tempts you to jump into the sea, sir? Or to the terrifying cliff that overhangs the water, where it takes on some other horrible form that drives you insane. Think aboutreason And draw you into madness? Think of it. The very place puts toys of desperation, 80 Without more motive, into every brain That looks so many fathoms to the sea And hears it roar beneath. HAMLET It waves me still. Go on. Ill follow thee. MARCELLUS You shall not go, my lord. MARCELLUS and HORATIO try to hold HAMLETback HAMLET Hold off your hands. HORATIO 85 Be ruled. You shall not go. HAMLET My fate cries out And makes each petty artery in this body As hardy as the Nemean lions nerve. Still am I called.Unhand me, gentlemen. (draws his sword) 90 By heaven, Ill make a ghost of him that lets me. I say, away!Go on. Ill follow thee. Exeunt GHOST and HAMLET HORATIO He waxes desperate with imagination. MARCELLUS Lets follow. 'Tis not fit thus to obey him. HORATIOit. The edge of the sea makes people feel despair even at the best of times. All they have to do is look into its depths and hear it roar far below.HAMLET Its still waving to me. Go ahead, Ill follow. MARCELLUS Youre not going, sir. MARCELLUS and HORATIO try to holdHAMLET back. HAMLET Let go of me. HORATIO Calm down. Youre not going anywhere. HAMLET Its my fate calling me. Every nerve in my body is now as tough as steel. The ghost is still waving me over. Let me go, gentlemen. (he draws his sword) I swear, if anyone holds me back, Ill make a ghost of him! I say, get away! Go ahead, Ill follow you. The GHOST and HAMLET exit. HORATIO His imagination is making him crazy. MARCELLUS Lets follow them. Its not right to obey his orders to let him go alone. HORATIOHave after. To what issue will this come? MARCELLUS 95 Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. HORATIO Heaven will direct it. MARCELLUS Nay, lets follow him. Exeunt Act 1, Scene 5 Enter GHOST and HAMLET HAMLET Where wilt thou lead me? Speak, Ill go no further. GHOST Mark me. HAMLET I will. GHOST My hour is almost come When I to sulfurous and tormenting flames Must render up myself. HAMLET Alas, poor ghost! GHOST 5 Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing To what I shall unfold. HAMLET Speak. I am bound to hear. GHOSTGo ahead and follow him. But what does all this mean, where will it all end? MARCELLUS It means that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. HORATIO If thats true, we should let God take care of it. MARCELLUS No, lets follow him. They exit.The GHOST and HAMLET enter. HAMLET Where are you taking me? Speak. Im not going any farther. GHOST Listen to me. HAMLET I will. GHOST The hour has almost come when I have to return to the horrible flames of purgatory. HAMLET Ah, poor ghost! GHOST Dont pity me. Just listen carefully to what I have to tell you. HAMLET Speak. Im ready to hear you. GHOSTSo art thou to revenge when thou shalt hear. HAMLET What? GHOST I am thy fathers spirit, 10 Doomed for a certain term to walk the night And for the day confined to fast in fires, Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature 15 Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid To tell the secrets of my prison house, I could a tale unfold whose lightest word Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, Thy knotted and combind locks to part 20 And each particular hair to stand on end, Like quills upon the fearful porpentine. But this eternal blazon must not be To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list! If thou didst ever thy dear father love HAMLET O God! GHOST 25 Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. HAMLET Murder? GHOST Murder most foul, as in the best it is. But this most foul, strange and unnatural.You must be ready for revenge, too, when you hear me out. HAMLET What? GHOST Im the ghost of your father, doomed for a certain period of time to walk the earth at night, while during the day Im trapped in the fires of purgatory until Ive done penance for my past sins. If I werent forbidden to tell you the secrets of purgatory, I could tell you stories that would slice through your soul, freeze your blood,make your eyes jump out of their sockets, and your hair stand on end like porcupine quills. But mortals like you arent allowed to hear this description of the afterlife. Listen, listen! If you ever loved your poor dear fatherHAMLET Oh God! GHOST Take revenge for his horrible murder, that crime against nature. HAMLET Murder? GHOST His most horrible murder. Murders always horrible, but this one wasespecially horrible, weird, and unnatural. HAMLET Haste me to know t, that I, with wings as 30 swift As meditation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge. GHOST I find thee apt, And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf, 35 Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear. 'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard, A serpent stung me. So the whole ear of Denmark 40 Is by a forgd process of my death Rankly abused. But know, thou noble youth, The serpent that did sting thy fathers life Now wears his crown. HAMLET O my prophetic soul! My uncle? GHOST Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts 45 O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power So to seduce!won to his shameful lust The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen. O Hamlet, what a falling off was there! 50 From me, whose love was of that dignity That it went hand in hand even with the vow HAMLET Hurry and tell me about it, so I can take revenge right away, faster than a person falls in love. GHOST Im glad youre eager. Youd have to be as lazy as a weed on the shores of Lethe not to get riled up here. Now listen, Hamlet. Everyone was told that a poisonous snake bit me when I was sleeping in the orchard. But in fact, thats a lie thats fooled everyone in Denmark. You should know, my noble son, the real snake that stung your father is now wearing his crown.HAMLET I knew it! My uncle? GHOST Yes, that incestuous, adulterous animal. With his clever words and fancy gifts, he seduced my seemingly virtuous queen, persuading her to give in to his lust. They were evil words and gifts to seduce her like that! Oh, Hamlet, how far she fell! She went from me, who loved her with the dignity and devotion that suits a legitimate marriage, to a wretch whose natural gifts were poor compared to mine. But just as you cant corrupt aI made to her in marriage, and to decline Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were 55 poor To those of mine. But virtue, as it never will be moved, Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven, 60 So lust, though to a radiant angel linked, Will sate itself in a celestial bed And prey on garbage. But soft! Methinks I scent the morning air. Brief let me be. Sleeping within my 65 orchard, My custom always of the afternoon, Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial, And in the porches of my ears did pour 70 The leperous distilment, whose effect Holds such an enmity with blood of man That swift as quicksilver it courses through The natural gates and alleys of the body And with a sudden vigor doth posset 75 And curd, like eager droppings into milk, The thin and wholesome blood. So did it mine. And a most instant tetter barked about, Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust All my smooth body. Thus was I, sleeping, by a brothers hand Of life, of crown, of queen at once dispatched, Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin, Unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled. No reckoning made, but sent to my accounttruly virtuous person no matter how you try, the opposite is also true: a lustful person like her can satisfy herself in a heavenly union and then move on to garbage. But hang on, I think I smell the morning air. So let me be brief here. Your uncle snuck up to me while I was sleeping in the orchard, as I always used to do in the afternoon, and poured a vial of henbane poison into my earthat poison that moves like quicksilver through the veins and curdles the blood, which is just what it did to me. I broke out in a scaly rash that covered my smooth body with a revolting crust. And thats how my brother robbed me of my life, my crown, and my queen all at once. He cut me off in the middle of a sinful life.I had no chance to repent my sins or receive last rites. Oh, its horrible, horrible, so horrible! If you are human,80 With all my imperfections on my head. Oh, horrible, oh, horrible, most horrible! If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not. Let not the royal bed of Denmark be A couch for luxury and damnd incest. 85 But howsoever thou pursuest this act, Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven 90 And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once. The glowworm shows the matin to be near, And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire. Adieu, adieu, adieu. Remember me. Exit HAMLET O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else? And shall I couple hell? Oh, fie! Hold, 95 hold, my heart, And you, my sinews, grow not instant old, But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee! Ay, thou poor ghost, whiles memory holds a seat 100 In this distracted globe. Remember thee! Yea, from the table of my memory Ill wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past 105 That youth and observation copied there, And thy commandment all alone shall livedont stand for it. Dont let the Danish kings bed be a nest of incest. But however you go about your revenge, dont corrupt your mind or do any harm to your mother. Leave her to God and her own guilt. Now, good-bye. The glowworms light is beginning to fade, so morning is near. Good-bye, goodbye, good-bye. Remember me.The GHOST exits. HAMLET Ah, all you up in heaven! And earth! What else? Shall I include hell as well? Damn it! Keep beating, my heart, and muscles, dont grow old yetkeep me standing. Remember you! Yes, you poor ghost, as long as I have any power of memory in this distracted head. Remember you! Yes, Ill wipe my mind clean of all trivial facts and memories and preserve only your commandment there. Yes, by God! Oh, you evil woman! Oh, you villain, villain, you damned, smiling villain! Wheres my notebook?Its a good idea for me to write down that one can smile andWithin the book and volume of my brain, Unmixed with baser matter. Yes, by heaven! 110 O most pernicious woman! O villain, villain, smiling, damnd villain! My tables!Meet it is I set it down That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain. At least Im sure it may be so in Denmark. (writes) So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word. It is Adieu, adieu. Remember me. I have sworn t. Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS HORATIO My lord, my lord! MARCELLUS Lord Hamlet HORATIO 115 Heaven secure him! HAMLET So be it. HORATIO Illo, ho, ho, my lord! HAMLET Hillo, ho, ho, boy. Come, bird, come. MARCELLUS How is t, my noble lord? HORATIO What news, my lord? HAMLET 120 Oh, wonderful! HORATIOsmile, and be a villain. At least its possible in Denmark. (he writes) So, uncle, there you are. Now its time to deal with the vow I made to my father.He said, Remember me. I swore I would. MARCELLUS and HORATIO enter. HORATIO Sir, sir! MARCELLUS Lord Hamlet. HORATIO Please let him be all right! HAMLET Im all right. HORATIO Oh-ho-ho, sir! HAMLET Oh-ho-ho, kid! Come here. MARCELLUS So how did it go, sir? HORATIO What happened, sir? HAMLET It was incredible! HORATIOGood my lord, tell it. HAMLET No. Youll reveal it. HORATIO Not I, my lord, by heaven. MARCELLUS Nor I, my lord. HAMLET How say you, then? Would heart of man 125 once think it? But youll be secret? HORATIO, MARCELLUS Ay, by heaven, my lord. HAMLET Theres ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark But hes an arrant knave. HORATIO There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave To tell us this. HAMLET Why, right, you are in the right. 130 And so, without more circumstance at all, I hold it fit that we shake hands and part. You, as your business and desire shall point you For every man has business and desire, 135 Such as it isand for my own poor part, Look you, Ill go pray. HORATIO These are but wild and whirling words, my lord. HAMLETOh, please, tell us, sir. HAMLET No, youll talk. HORATIO I swear I wont, sir. MARCELLUS I wont either, sir. HAMLET Okay. But you promise you can keep a secret? HORATIO, MARCELLUS Yes, I swear. HAMLET Any villain in Denmark is going to be, well, a villain. HORATIO You dont need a ghost returning from the grave to tell you that, sir. HAMLET Yes, youre absolutely right. So, without further ado, the best thing to do now is probably just to shake hands and go our separate ways. You go and take care of your business (since everybody has some business to take care of, whatever it is worth), and Ill go and pray. HORATIO Youre talking in such a crazy way, sir. HAMLETIm sorry they offend you, heartily. Yes faith, heartily. HORATIO Theres no offense, my lord. HAMLET Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio, 140 And much offense too. Touching this vision here, It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you. For your desire to know what is between us, 145 O'ermaster t as you may. And now, good friends, As you are friends, scholars and soldiers, Give me one poor request. HORATIO What is t, my lord? We will. HAMLET Never make known what you have seen tonight. HORATIO, MARCELLUS My lord, we will not. HAMLET Nay, but swear t. HORATIO In faith, my lord, not I. MARCELLUS Nor I, my lord, in faith. HAMLET Upon my sword. MARCELLUS We have sworn, my lord, already. HAMLETIm sorry if I offended you; yes, very sorry. HORATIO Oh, dont worry about it, sir. No offense taken. HAMLET Ah, but there is, Horatio, theres a lot of offense. As for this ghost we just saw, hes a real one, I can tell you that much. But regarding what happened between us, dont askI cant tell you. And now, my friends, my courageous and educated friends, do me one small favor.HORATIO What is it, sir? Of course we will. HAMLET Dont ever tell anyone what youve seen tonight. HORATIO, MARCELLUS We wont, sir. HAMLET No, you have to swear it. HORATIO I swear to God I wont. MARCELLUS Me too, I wont, I swear to God. HAMLET Swear by my sword. MARCELLUS But we already swore, sir. HAMLET150 Indeed, upon my sword, indeed. GHOST (cries under the stage) Swear! HAMLET Ha, ha, boy! Sayst thou so? Art thou there, truepenny? Come on, you hear this fellow in the cellarage. Consent to swear. HORATIO 155 Propose the oath, my lord. HAMLET Never to speak of this that you have seen. Swear by my sword. GHOST (beneath) Swear.Yes, but swear by my sword this time. GHOST (calls out from under the stage) Swear! HAMLET Ha ha, is that what you say, kid? Are you down there, my man?Come on, you hear this guy down in the basement. Agree to swear. HORATIO Tell us what to swear, sir. HAMLET You swear never to mention what youve seen. Swear by my sword. GHOST (from under the stage) Swear. HAMLET Youre everywhere, arent you? Maybe we should move. Come over here, gentlemen, and put your hands on my sword again. Swear by my sword youll never mention what youve heard. GHOST (from under the stage) Swear by his sword. HAMLET You said it right, old mole. Youre pretty busy down there in the dirt, arent you? What a tunneler! Lets move again, my friends. HORATIO My God, this is unbelievably strange.HAMLET Hic et ubique? Then well shift our ground. 160 Come hither, gentlemen, And lay your hands again upon my sword. Swear by my sword Never to speak of this that you have heard. GHOST (beneath) Swear by his sword. HAMLET Well said, old mole! Canst work i' th' earth 165 so fast? A worthy pioneer! Once more remove, good friends. HORATIO O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!HAMLET And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, 170 Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come, Here, as before, never, so help you mercy, How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself 175 (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet To put an antic disposition on), That you, at such times seeing me, never shall With arms encumbered thus, or this 180 headshake, Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase, As Well, well, we know, or We could an if we would, Or If we list to speak, or There be an if they might, Or such ambiguous giving outto note That you know aught of me. This not to do, So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear. GHOST (beneath) Swear! HAMLET Rest, rest, perturbd spirit!So, 185 gentlemen, With all my love I do commend me to you, And what so poor a man as Hamlet is May do, to express his love and friending to you,HAMLET Then give it a nice welcome, as you would give to any stranger. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than youve even dreamed of. But now listen to me. No matter how strangely I act (since I may find it appropriate to act a little crazy in the near future), you must never, ever let onwith a gesture of your hands or a certain expression on your facethat you know anything about what happened to me here tonight. You must never say anything like, Ah, yes, just as we suspected, or We could tell you a thing or two about him, or anything like that. Swear you wont.GHOST (from under the stage) Swear. HAMLET Okay, then, unhappy ghost, you can rest now. So, gentlemen, I thank you heartily and with all my love, and Ill repay you however I can some day. Lets go back to court together, but shhh, please. No talking about this.190 God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together, And still your fingers on your lips, I pray. The time is out of joint. O cursd spite, That ever I was born to set it right! Nay, come, lets go together. Exeunt Act 2, Scene 1 Enter POLONIUS with his man REYNALDO POLONIUS Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo. REYNALDO I will, my lord. POLONIUS You shall do marvelous wisely, good Reynaldo, 5 Before you visit him, to make inquire Of his behavior. REYNALDO My lord, I did intend it. POLONIUS Marry, well said, very well said. Look you, sir, Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris, And how, and who, what means, and where 10 they keep What company at what expense; and finding By this encompassment and drift of question 15 That they do know my son, come you moreThere is so much out of whack in these times. And damn the fact that Im supposed to fix it! Come on, lets go.They exit.POLONIUS enters with his servant REYNALDO. POLONIUS Give him this money and these letters, Reynaldo. REYNALDO I will, sir. POLONIUS It would be wonderfully wise of you, my dear Reynaldo, to ask around about his behavior a little before you visit him. REYNALDO Thats what I thought too, sir. POLONIUS Excellent, very good. Ask around and find out what Danish people are in Pariswho they are, where they live and how much money they have, who their friends are. And if you find out in this general sort of questioning that they happen to know my son, youll find out much more than if you asked specific questions about him. Just tell them you vaguely know Laertes, say somethingnearer Than your particular demands will touch it. Take you, as twere, some distant knowledge of him, As thus: I know his father and his friends, And, in part, him. Do you mark this, Reynaldo? REYNALDO Ay, very well, my lord. POLONIUS And in part him, but, you may say, not well. But, if t be he I mean, hes very wild. 20 Addicted so and so. And there put on him What forgeries you please. Marry, none so rank As may dishonor him. Take heed of that. But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips As are companions noted and most known To youth and liberty. REYNALDO As gaming, my lord? POLONIUS 25 Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, Quarreling, drabbingyou may go so far. REYNALDO My lord, that would dishonor him! POLONIUS 'Faith, no, as you may season it in the charge. 30 You must not put another scandal on him That he is open to incontinency. Thats not my meaning. But breathe hislike, Im a friend of his father and I sort of know him, or whatever. Do you get what Im saying, Reynaldo?REYNALDO Yes, very well, sir. POLONIUS You should say, I sort of know him, but not well. Is it the same Laertes whos a wild party animal? Isnt he the one whos always, and so on. Then just make up whatever you wantof course, nothing so bad that it would shame him. I mean make up any stories thatsound like your average young guy, the kind of trouble they get into. REYNALDO Like gambling, sir? POLONIUS Thats right, or drinking, swearing, fistfighting, visiting prostitutesthat kind of thing. REYNALDO But that would ruin his reputation! POLONIUS Oh no, not if you say it right. I dont want you to say hes a sex fiend, thats not what I mean. Just mention his faults lightly, so they make him seem like a free spirit whos gone a little too far.faults so quaintly That they may seem the taints of liberty, 35 The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind, A savageness in unreclaimd blood, Of general assault. REYNALDO But, my good lord POLONIUS Wherefore should you do this? REYNALDO Ay, my lord. I would know that. POLONIUS Marry, sir, heres my drift: (And I believe it is a fetch of wit) 40 You, laying these slight sullies on my son As twere a thing a little soiled i' th' working Mark you, your party in converse, him you would sound, 45 Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured He closes with you in this consequence: Good sir or so, or Friend, or Gentleman, According to the phrase or the addition Of man and country. REYNALDO Very good, my lord. POLONIUS And then, sir, does he this, he does What was I about to say? By the mass, I was about to say something. Where did I leave? REYNALDO REYNALDO Yes, sir. POLONIUS And then hell hell wait, what was I about to say? Good God, I was about to say something. What was I saying? REYNALDO REYNALDO But, sir POLONIUS Why should you do this, you want to know? REYNALDO Yes, sir. Id like to know. POLONIUS Well, heres what Im thinking. (Im quite proud of myself for coming up with this.) As you talk with someone and hint about my sons faults and little sins, youll watch his reaction, and if hes ever seen Laertes do any of these things, it will only be natural for him to agree with you, at which point hell call you sir, or my good friend, depending on who the person is, where he comes from, and so on.At closes in the consequence, at friend, Or so and gentleman. POLONIUS At closes in the consequence. Ay, marry. 55 He closes thus: I know the gentleman. I saw him yesterdayor t' other day, Or then, or then, with such or suchand, as you say, There was he gaming, there o'ertook ins 60 rouse, There falling out at tennis, or, perchance, I saw him enter such a house of sale Videlicet a brothel, or so forth. See you now, 65 Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth. And thus do we of wisdom and of reach, With windlasses and with assays of bias, By indirections find directions out. So by my former lecture and advice Shall you my son. You have me, have you not? REYNALDO My lord, I have. POLONIUS God be wi' you. Fare you well. REYNALDO Good my lord. POLONIUS 70 Observe his inclination in yourself. REYNALDO I shall, my lord. POLONIUSAt, It will be natural for him to agree with you hell call you sir, friend, et cetera. POLONIUS It will be natural for him to agree with you. Ah, yes, thats right. If he agrees hell say something like this: Yes, I know the gentleman youre referring to. I just saw him yesterday, or the other day, or whenever it is, you know, and there he was gambling, or there he was, totally wasted, or fighting with somebody about a tennis match, or going into a house of ill reputethat means a whorehouse, you knowor whatever. Make sure your little lie brings out the truth. Were doing this wisely and intelligently, indirectly, finding out things by roundabout means. Thats how youll find out what my son is up to in Paris. You get my point, dont you? REYNALDO Yes, I do, sir. POLONIUS God bless you. Have a safe trip. REYNALDO Thank you, sir. POLONIUS Dont forget to see what hes up to with your own eyes. Dont trust gossip. REYNALDO I will, sir. POLONIUSAnd let him ply his music. REYNALDO Well, my lord. POLONIUS Farewell. Exit REYNALDO Enter OPHELIA How now, Ophelia? Whats the matter? OPHELIA 75 O my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted! POLONIUS With what, i' th' name of God? OPHELIA My lord, as I was sewing in my closet, Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced; No hat upon his head; his stockings fouled, 80 Ungartered, and down-gyvd to his ankle; Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other; And with a look so piteous in purport As if he had been loosd out of hell To speak of horrorshe comes before me. POLONIUS 85 Mad for thy love? OPHELIA My lord, I do not know. But truly, I do fear it. POLONIUS What said he? OPHELIA He took me by the wrist and held me hard.And I hope hes studying his music like hes supposed to. REYNALDO Got it, sir. POLONIUS Good-bye. REYNALDO exits. OPHELIA enters. Ophelia, whats the matter? OPHELIA Oh, father, father, Ive just had such a scare! POLONIUS From what, in Gods name? OPHELIA Father, I was up in my room sewing when Hamlet came in with no hat on his head, his shirt unbuttoned, and his stockings dirty, undone, and down around his ankles. He was pale as his undershirt, and his knees were knocking together. He looked so out of sorts, as if hed just come back from hell. He came up to me. POLONIUS Is he crazy with love for you? OPHELIA Im not sure, but Im afraid he might be. POLONIUS What did he say? OPHELIA He grabbed me by the wrist and held meThen goes he to the length of all his arm, And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow, 90 He falls to such perusal of my face As he would draw it. Long stayed he so. At last, a little shaking of mine arm And thrice his head thus waving up and down, 95 He raised a sigh so piteous and profound As it did seem to shatter all his bulk And end his being. That done, he lets me go, And, with his head over his shoulder 100 turned, He seemed to find his way without his eyes, For out o' doors he went without their helps, And to the last bended their light on me. POLONIUS Come, go with me. I will go seek the king. This is the very ecstasy of love, Whose violent property fordoes itself And leads the will to desperate 105 undertakings As oft as any passion under heaven That does afflict our natures. I am sorry. What, have you given him any hard words of late? OPHELIA No, my good lord. But as you did command 110 I did repel his fetters and denied His access to me. POLONIUS That hath made him mad.hard, then backed away an arms length and just looked at me, staring at me like an artist about to paint my picture. He stayed like that a long time. Finally, after shaking my arm a little, and jerking his head up and down three times, he sighed like it was his last breath. After that he let me go. He left the room with his head turned back on me, finding his way out without looking, since his eyes were on me the whole time.POLONIUS Come with me. Ill go tell the king about this. This is definitely lovecraziness. Love is such a violent emotion that it makes people selfdestruct, as much as any strong emotion. Im so sorry. Did you tell him anything that might have hurt his feelings lately? OPHELIA No, father, but I did what you told me to do and sent back his letters and wouldnt let him visit me. POLONIUS Thats what made him crazy. I regretI am sorry that with better heed and judgment I had not quoted him. I feared he did but trifle 115 And meant to wreck thee. But beshrew my jealousy! By heaven, it is as proper to our age To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions As it is common for the younger sort 120 To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king. This must be known, which, being kept close, might move More grief to hide than hate to utter love. Come. Exeunt Act 2, Scene 2 Flourish. Enter King CLAUDIUS and QueenGERTRUDE, ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN, and attendantsnot observing him more closely before I told you to do that. I thought he was just toying with you and meant to ruin your reputation. Damn my suspicious thoughts! Its as common for us old people to assume we know more than we do as for young people to be too wild and crazy. Come on, lets go see the king. Weve got to discuss this matter, which could cause more trouble if we keep it secret than if we discuss it openly.They exit.Trumpets play. CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDEe nter with ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENS TERN, and attendants. CLAUDIUS Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Ive wanted to see you for a long time now, but I sent for you so hastily because I need your help right away. Youve probably heard about the change thats come over Hamletthats the only word for it, since inside and out hes different from what he was before. I cant imagine whats made him so unlike himself,CLAUDIUS Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Moreover that we much did long to see you, The need we have to use you did provoke 5 Our hasty sending. Something have you heard Of Hamlets transformationso call it Since nor th' exterior nor the inward man Resembles that it was. What it should be, More than his fathers death, that thus hath 10 put himSo much from th' understanding of himself, I cannot dream of. I entreat you both That, being of so young days brought up with him 15 And since so neighbored to his youth and 'havior, That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court Some little time so by your companies To draw him on to pleasures and to gather, So much as from occasion you may glean, Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus That, opened, lies within our remedy. GERTRUDE Good gentlemen, he hath much talked of you. 20 And sure I am two men there are not living To whom he more adheres. If it will please you To show us so much gentry and good will As to expend your time with us awhile 25 For the supply and profit of our hope, Your visitation shall receive such thanks As fits a kings remembrance. ROSENCRANTZ Both your majesties Might, by the sovereign power you have of us, Put your dread pleasures more into command Than to entreaty. GUILDENSTERN But we both obey 30 And here give up ourselves, in the full bent, To lay our service freely at your feet To be commanded. CLAUDIUSother than his fathers death. Since you both grew up with him and are so familiar with his personality and behavior, Im asking you to stay a while at court and spend some time with him. See if you can get Hamlet to have some fun, and find out if theres anything in particular thats bothering him, so we can set about trying to fix it.GERTRUDE Gentlemen, Hamlets talked a lot about you, and I know there are no two men alive hes fonder of. If youll be so good as to spend some time with us and help us out, youll be thanked on a royal scale.ROSENCRANTZ Both you and the king might have ordered us to execute your command, instead of asking us so politely. GUILDENSTERN But well obey. Our services are entirely at your command.CLAUDIUSThanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern. GERTRUDE Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz. 35 And I beseech you instantly to visit My too much changd son. Go, some of you, And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.Thanks, Rosencrantz and worthy Guildenstern. GERTRUDE Thanks, Guildenstern and worthy Rosencrantz. I beg you to pay a visit right away to my son, whos changed too much. Servants, take these gentlemen to see Hamlet.GUILDENSTERN Heavens make our presence and our practices Pleasant and helpful to him! GERTRUDE Ay, amen! Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENS TERN, escorted by attendantsGUILDENSTERN I hope to God we can make him happy and do him some good! GERTRUDE Amen to that! ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDEN STERN exit, escorted by attendants. POLONIUS enters. POLONIUS The ambassadors are back from Norway, sir. CLAUDIUS Once again you bring good news. POLONIUS Do I, sir? I assure your majesty Im only doing my duty both to my God and my good king. And I believeunless this brain of mine is not so politically cunning as it used to be that Ive found out why Hamlets gone crazy. CLAUDIUS Tell me! I want very much to find out.Enter POLONIUS POLONIUS 40 Th' ambassadors from Norway, my good lord, Are joyfully returned. CLAUDIUS Thou still hast been the father of good news. POLONIUS Have I, my lord? I assure my good liege, I hold my duty as I hold my soul, 45 Both to my God and to my gracious king. And I do thinkor else this brain of mine Hunts not the trail of policy so sure As it hath used to dothat I have found The very cause of Hamlets lunacy. CLAUDIUS 50 Oh, speak of that. That do I long to hear.POLONIUS Give first admittance to th' ambassadors. My news shall be the fruit to that great feast. CLAUDIUS Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in. Exit POLONIUS He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found 55 The head and source of all your sons distemper. GERTRUDE I doubt it is no other but the main: His fathers death and our o'erhasty marriage. Enter POLONIUS with ambassadors VOLTEMANDand CORNELI US CLAUDIUS Well, we shall sift him.Welcome, my good friends! Say, Voltemand, what from our brother Norway? VOLTEMAND 60 Most fair return of greetings and desires. Upon our first, he sent out to suppress His nephews levies, which to him appeared To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack, But, better looked into, he truly found 65 It was against your highness. Whereat grieved That so his sickness, age, and impotence Was falsely borne in handsends out arrests On Fortinbras, which he, in brief, obeys, 70 Receives rebuke from Norway, and in fine Makes vow before his uncle never more To give th' assay of arms against yourPOLONIUS All right, but first let the ambassadors speak. Then you can hear my news, as dessert. CLAUDIUS Then be so kind as to show them in. POLONIUS exits. Gertrude, he says hes found out the reason for your sons insanity. GERTRUDE I doubt its anything but the obvious reason: his fathers dying and our quick marriage. POLONIUS enters with the ambassadorsVOLTEMAND and CORNEL IUS. CLAUDIUS Well, well get to the bottom of it. Welcome, my good friends. Tell me, Voltemand, whats the news from the king of Norway? VOLTEMAND Greetings to you too, your Highness. As soon as we raised the matter, the king sent out messengers to stop his nephews war preparations, which he originally thought were directed against Poland but learned on closer examination were directed against you. He was very upset that Fortinbras had taken advantage of his being old and sick to deceive him, and he ordered Fortinbrass arrest. Fortinbras swore never to threaten Denmark again.majesty. Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy, 75 Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee And his commission to employ those soldiers, So levied as before, against the Polack, With an entreaty, herein further shown, That it might please you to give quiet pass Through your dominions for this enterprise, On such regards of safety and allowance As therein are set down. (gives CLAUDIUS a document CLAUDIUS It likes us well, And at our more considered time well read, Answer, and think upon this business. Meantime we thank you for your well-took labor. Go to your rest. At night well feast together. Most welcome home! Exeunt VOLTEMAND and CORNELIUS VOLTEMAND and CORNELIUS exit . POLONIUS Well, that turned out well in the end. Sir and madam, to make grand speeches about what majesty is, what service is, or why day is day, night is night, and time is time is just a waste of a lot of day, night, and time. Therefore, since the essence of wisdom is not talking too much, Ill get right to the point here. Your son is crazy. Crazy Im calling CLAUDIUS I like this news, and when I have time Ill read this and think about how to reply. Meanwhile, thank you for your efforts. Go relax now. Tonight well have dinner. Welcome back! The old king was so overjoyed by this promise that he gave young Fortinbras an annual income of three thousand crowns and permission to lead his soldiers into Poland, asking you officially in this letter to allow his troops to pass through your kingdom on their way to Poland. Hes assuring you of your safety. (he givesCLAUDIUS a document808590POLONIUS This business is well ended. My liege and madam, to expostulate What majesty should be, what duty is, Why day is day, night night, and time is time, Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time. Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit And tediousness the limbs and outward95flourishes, I will be brief: your noble son is mad. Mad call I it, for, to define true madness, What is t but to be nothing else but mad? But let that go. GERTRUDE More matter, with less art. POLONIUS Madam, I swear I use no art at all. That he is mad, tis true. Tis true, tis pity, And pity tis tis truea foolish figure, But farewell it, for I will use no art. Mad let us grant him then. And now remainsit, since how can you say what craziness is except to say that its craziness? But thats another story.GERTRUDE Please, stick to the point. POLONIUS Madam, Im doing nothing but sticking to the point. Its true hes crazy, and its a shame its true, and its truly a shame hes crazybut now I sound foolish, so Ill get right to the point. Now, if we agree Hamlets crazy, then the next step is to figure out the cause of this effect of craziness, or I suppose I should say the cause of this defect, since this defective effect is caused by something. This is what we must do, and thats exactly what needs to be done. Think about it. I have a daughter (I have her until she gets married) whos given me this letter, considering it her duty. Listen and think about this: (he reads a letter) To the heavenly idol of my soul, the most beautified OpheliaBy the way, beautified sounds bad, it sounds awful, it sounds crude, its a terrible use of the word. But Ill go on: (he reads the letter) In her excellent white bosom, et cetera, et ceterayou dont need to hear all this stuff GERTRUDE100105That we find out the cause of this effect, Or rather say, the cause of this defect, For this effect defective comes by cause. Thus it remains, and the remainder thus. Perpend. I have a daughterhave while she is mine Who in her duty and obedience, mark, Hath given me this. Now gather and surmise. (reads a letter) To the celestial and my souls idol, the most beautified OpheliaThats an ill phrase, a vile phrase. Beautified is a vile phrase. But you shall hear. Thus: (reads the letter)In her excellent white bosom, these, etc.110GERTRUDECame this from Hamlet to her? POLONIUS Good madam, stay a while. I will be faithful. (reads the letter) Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love. O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers. I have not art to reckon my groans, but that I love thee best, oh, 115 most best, believe it. Adieu. Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him, Hamlet. This in obedience hath my daughter shown me, And more above, hath his solicitings, As they fell out by time, by means, and place, All given to mine ear.Hamlet wrote this letter to Ophelia? POLONIUS Madam, please be patient. Ill read it to you. (he reads the letter) You may wonder if the stars are fire, You may wonder if the sun moves across the sky. You may wonder if the truth is a liar, But never wonder if I love. Oh, Ophelia, Im bad at poetry. I cant put my feelings into verse, but please believe I love you best, oh, best of all. Believe it. Yours forever, my dearest one, as long as I livestill chugging along, Hamlet. Dutifully and obediently my daughter showed me this letter, and more like it. Shes told me all about how Hamlet has been courting herall the details of where, and what he said, and when. CLAUDIUS And how did she react to all this? POLONIUS Sir, what is your opinion of me? CLAUDIUS I know you are loyal and honorable. POLONIUS I would like to prove to you that I am. But what would you have thought of me if I had kept quiet when I foundCLAUDIUS But how hath she received his love? 120 POLONIUS What do you think of me? CLAUDIUS As of a man faithful and honorable. POLONIUS I would fain prove so. But what might you think, When I had seen this hot love on the125wing As I perceived it, I must tell you that, Before my daughter told mewhat might you, Or my dear majesty your queen here, think, If I had played the desk or table-book, Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb, Or looked upon this love with idle sight? What might you think? No, I went round to work, And my young mistress thus I did bespeak: Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy star. This must not be. And then I prescripts gave her, That she should lock herself from his resort, Admit no messengers, receive no tokens. Which done, she took the fruits of my advice; And he, repelleda short tale to make Fell into a sadness, then into a fast, Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness, Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension, Into the madness wherein now he raves And all we mourn for. CLAUDIUS (to GERTRUDE ) Do you think tis this?out about this hot little love (which I noticed even before my daughter told me about it)? My dear queen, what would you have thought of me if I had turned a blind eye to what was happening between Hamlet and my daughter? No, I had to do something. And so I said to my daughter: Lord Hamlet is a prince, hes out of your league. You have to end this. And then I gave her orders to stay away from him, and not to accept any messages or little gifts from him. She did what I said. When she rejected Hamlet, he became sad, and stopped eating, stopped sleeping, got weak, got dizzy, and as a result lost his mind. And thats why hes crazy now, and all of us feel sorry for him.130135140CLAUDIUS (to GERTRUDE) Do you think thats why Hamlets crazy?GERTRUDE It may be, very like. POLONIUS Hath there been such a timeI would fain know that That I have positively said, 'Tis so, When it proved otherwise? CLAUDIUS Not that I know. POLONIUS (points to his head and shoulders) Take this from this if this be otherwise. If circumstances lead me, I will find Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed Within the center. CLAUDIUS How may we try it further? POLONIUS You know sometimes he walks four hours together Here in the lobby. GERTRUDE So he does indeed. POLONIUS At such a time Ill loose my daughter to him. (to CLAUDIUS) Be you and I behind an arras then, Mark the encounter. If he love her not And be not from his reason fall'n thereon, Let me be no assistant for a state But keep a farm and carters.GERTRUDE It may be, it certainly may be. POLONIUS Has there ever been a timeId really like to knowwhen Ive definitely said something was true, and it turned out not to be true? CLAUDIUS Not that I know of. POLONIUS (pointing to his head and shoulders) Chop my head off if Im wrong. Ill follow the clues and uncover the truth, even if its at the very center of the earth. CLAUDIUS What can we do to find out if its true? POLONIUS Well, you know he sometimes walks here in the lobby for four hours at a time. GERTRUDE Yes, he does. POLONIUS When hes there next time, Ill send my daughter to see him. (to CLAUDIUS) You and I will hide behind the arras and watch what happens. If it turns out that Hamlets not in love after all, and hasnt gone mad from love, then you can fire me from my court job and Ill go work on a farm.145150155CLAUDIUS We will try it. Enter HAMLET, reading on a book GERTRUDE But look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading. POLONIUS Away, I do beseech you, both away. Ill board him presently. O, give me leave. Exeunt CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDE How does my good Lord Hamlet? HAMLET Well, God-'a'-mercy. 165 POLONIUS Do you know me, my lord? HAMLET Excellent well. You are a fishmonger. POLONIUS Not I, my lord. HAMLET Then I would you were so honest a man. POLONIUS Honest, my lord? HAMLET 170 Ay, sir. To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. POLONIUS Thats very true, my lord. HAMLET For if the sun breed maggots in a deadCLAUDIUS Well try what you suggest. HAMLET enters, reading a book. GERTRUDE Look how sadly hes coming in, reading his book. POLONIUS Please go away, both of you. Ill speak to him now. Oh, please let me. CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDE exit. How are you, Hamlet? HAMLET Fine, thank you. POLONIUS Do you know who I am? HAMLET Of course. You sell fish. POLONIUS No, not me, sir. HAMLET In that case I wish you were as good a man as a fish seller. POLONIUS Good, sir? HAMLET Yes, sir. Only one man in ten thousand is good in this world. POLONIUS Thats definitely true, my lord. HAMLET Since if the sun breeds maggots on a160dog, being a good kissing carrion Have you a daughter? POLONIUS 175 I have, my lord. HAMLET Let her not walk i' th' sun. Conception is a blessing, but, as your daughter may conceiveFriend, look to t. POLONIUS (aside) How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter. Yet he knew me not at first. He said I was a fishmonger. He is far gone, far gone. And truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love, very near this. Ill speak to him again. (to HAMLET)What do you read, my lord?dead dog, kissing the corpseby the way, do you have a daughter? POLONIUS I do indeed, my lord. HAMLET Then by all means never let her walk in public. Procreation is a good thing, but if your daughter gets pregnant look out, friend. POLONIUS (to himself) Now, what does he mean by that? Still harping on my daughter. But he didnt recognize me at first. He mistook me for a fish seller. Hes far gone. But when I was young I went crazy for love too, almost as bad as this. Ill talk to him again. (to HAMLET) What are you reading, your highness? HAMLET A lot of words. POLONIUS And what is the subject? HAMLET Between whom? POLONIUS I mean, what do the words say? HAMLET Oh, just lies, sir. The sly writer says here that old men have gray beards, their faces are wrinkled, their eyes full of gunk, and that they have no wisdom and weak thighs. Of course I believe it all, but I dont think its good manners to write it down, since youHAMLET Words, words, words. POLONIUS What is the matter, my lord? HAMLET 185 Between who? POLONIUS I mean, the matter that you read, my lord. HAMLET Slanders, sir. For the satirical rogue says here that old men have gray beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hamsallwhich, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for yourself, sir, should be old as I am, if like a crab you could go backward. 195 POLONIUS (aside) Though this be madness, yet there is method in t.(to HAMLET) Will you walk out of the air, my lord? HAMLET Into my grave. POLONIUS Indeed, that is out of the air. (aside) How pregnant sometimes his replies are. A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter. (to HAMLET) My honorable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you. 205 HAMLET You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal except my life, except my life, except my life. POLONIUS Fare you well, my lord. HAMLET (aside) These tedious old fools! Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDEN STERN POLONIUS You go to seek the Lord Hamlet. Thereyourself, sir, would grow as old as I am, if you could only travel backward like a crab.POLONIUS (to himself) Theres a method to his madness.(to HAMLET) Will you step outside, my lord? HAMLET Into my grave. POLONIUS Well, thats certainly out of this world, all right. (to himself) His answers are so full of meaning sometimes! He has a way with words, as crazy people often do, and that sane people dont have a talent for. Ill leave him now and arrange a meeting between him and my daughter. (toHAMLET) My lord, Ill take my leave of you now. HAMLET You cant take anything from me that I care less aboutexcept my life, except my life, except my life. POLONIUS Good-bye, my lord. HAMLET (to himself) These boring old fools! ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN e nter. POLONIUS Youre looking for Lord Hamlet. Hes right210he is. ROSENCRANTZ God save you, sir! Exit POLONIUS GUILDENSTERN My honored lord! ROSENCRANTZ My most dear lord! HAMLET My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do you both? ROSENCRANTZ As the indifferent children of the earth. GUILDENSTERN Happy, in that we are not overhappy. On Fortunes cap we are not the very button. HAMLET Nor the soles of her shoes? ROSENCRANTZ Neither, my lord. HAMLET Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favors? GUILDENSTERN Faith, her privates we. HAMLET In the secret parts of Fortune? Oh, most true. She is a strumpet. What news?over there. ROSENCRANTZ Thank you, sir. POLONIUS exits. GUILDENSTERN My lord! ROSENCRANTZ My dear sir! HAMLET Ah, my good old friends! How are you, Guildenstern? And Rosencrantz! Boys, how are you both doing? ROSENCRANTZ Oh, as well as anybody. GUILDENSTERN Happy that were not too happy, lucky in being not too lucky. Were not exactly at the top of our luck. HAMLET But youre not down and out, either, are you? ROSENCRANTZ No, were just somewhere in the middle, my lord. HAMLET So youre around Lady Lucks waist? GUILDENSTERN Yes, were the privates in her army. HAMLET Ha, ha, so youve gotten into her private parts? Of courseLady Luck is such a slut. Anyway, whats up?215220ROSENCRANTZ None, my lord, but that the worlds grown honest. HAMLET Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune that she sends you to prison hither? GUILDENSTERN Prison, my lord? HAMLET Denmarks a prison. ROSENCRANTZ Then is the world one. HAMLET A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o' th' worst. ROSENCRANTZ We think not so, my lord. HAMLET Why, then, tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.ROSENCRANTZ Not much, my lord. Just that the worlds become honest. HAMLET In that case, the end of the world is approaching. But youre wrong. Let me ask you a particular question. What crimes have you committed to be sent here to this prison? GUILDENSTERN Prison, my lord? HAMLET Denmarks a prison. ROSENCRANTZ Then I guess the whole world is one. HAMLET Yes, quite a large one, with many cells and dungeons, Denmark being one of the worst. ROSENCRANTZ We dont think so, my lord. HAMLET Well, then it isnt one to you, since nothing is really good or bad in itselfits all what a person thinks about it. And to me, Denmark is a prison.ROSENCRANTZ Why then, your ambition makes it one. 'Tis too narrow for your mind. HAMLET O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space,ROSENCRANTZ That must be because youre so ambitious. Its too small for your large mind. HAMLET Small? No, I could live in a walnut shell and feel like the king of thewere it not that I have bad dreams. GUILDENSTERN Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream. 245 HAMLET A dream itself is but a shadow. ROSENCRANTZ Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality that it is but a shadows shadow. HAMLET Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and outstretched heroes the beggars' shadows. Shall we to th' court? For by my fay, I cannot reason. ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN Well wait upon you.universe. The real problem is that I have bad dreams. GUILDENSTERN Dreams are a sign of ambition, since ambition is nothing more than the shadow of a dream. HAMLET But a dream itself is just a shadow. ROSENCRANTZ Exactly. In fact, I consider ambition to be so light and airy that its only the shadow of a shadow. HAMLET Then I guess beggars are the ones with bodies, while ambitious kings and heroes are just the shadows of beggars. Should we go inside? I seem to be losing my mind a bit. ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN Were at your service, whatever you say. HAMLET No, no, I wont class you with my servants, sinceto be frank with you my servants are terrible. But tell me as my friends, what are you doing here at Elsinore? ROSENCRANTZ Visiting you, my lord. Theres no other reason.HAMLET No such matter. I will not sort you with the rest of my servants, for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended. But in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore? ROSENCRANTZ To visit you, my lord, no other occasion.HAMLET Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you, and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, come, deal justly with me. Come, come. Nay, speak. GUILDENSTERN What should we say, my lord? HAMLET Why, any thing, but to th' purpose. You were sent for, and there is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to color. I know the good king and queen have sent for you. ROSENCRANTZ To what end, my lord? HAMLET That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our everpreserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal: be even and direct with me whether you were sent for or no. ROSENCRANTZ (to GUILDENSTERN) What say you? HAMLET (aside) Nay, then, I have an eye of youIf you love me, hold not off. GUILDENSTERN My lord, we were sent for. HAMLETHAMLET Well, then, I thank you, though Im such a beggar that even my thanks are not worth much. Did someone tell you to visit me? Or was it just your whim, on your own initiative? Come on, tell me the truth.GUILDENSTERN What should we say, my lord? HAMLET Anything you like, as long as it answers my question. You were sent for. Youve got a guilty look on your faces, which youre too honest to disguise. I know the king and queen sent for you. ROSENCRANTZ Why would they do that, my lord? HAMLET Thats what I want you to tell me. Let me remind you of our old friendship, our youth spent together, the duties of our love for each other, and whatever else will make you answer me straight.ROSENCRANTZ (to GUILDENSTERN) What do you think? HAMLET (to himself) Ive got my eye on you. (toGUILDENSTERN) If you care about me, youll be honest with me. GUILDENSTERN My lord, we were sent for. HAMLETI will tell you why. So shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no feather. I have of latebut wherefore I know notlost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises, and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the airlook you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden firewhy, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. No, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so. ROSENCRANTZ My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts. HAMLET Why did you laugh then, when I said man delights not me? ROSENCRANTZ To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what Lenten entertainment the players shall receive from you. We coted them on the way, and hither are theyIll tell you whyso you wont have to tell me and give away any secrets you have with the king and queen. Recently, though I dont know why, Ive lost all sense of fun, stopped exercisingthe whole world feels sterile and empty. This beautiful canopy we call the sky this majestic roof decorated with golden sunlightwhy, its nothing more to me than disease-filled air. What a perfect invention a human is, how noble in his capacity to reason, how unlimited in thinking, how admirable in his shape and movement, how angelic in action, how godlike in understanding! Theres nothing more beautiful. We surpass all other animals. And yet to me, what are we but dust? Men dont interest me. Nowomen neither, but youre smiling, so you must think they do.ROSENCRANTZ My lord, I wasnt thinking anything like that. HAMLET So why did you laugh when I said that men dont interest me? ROSENCRANTZ I was just thinking that if people dont interest you, youll be pretty bored by the actors on their way here. We crossed paths with a drama companycoming to offer you service. HAMLET He that plays the king shall be welcome. His majesty shall have tribute of me. The adventurous knight shall use his foil and target, the lover shall not sigh gratis, the humorous man shall end his part in peace, the clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickle o' th' sear, and the lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt for t. What players are they? ROSENCRANTZ Even those you were wont to take delight in, the tragedians of the city. HAMLET How chances it they travel? Their residence, both in reputation and profit, was better both ways. ROSENCRANTZ I think their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation. HAMLET Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? Are they so followed? 315 ROSENCRANTZ No, indeed are they not. HAMLET How comes it? Do they grow rusty? ROSENCRANTZ Nay, their endeavor keeps in the wonted pace. But there is, sir, an eyrie ofjust a while ago, and theyre coming to entertain you. HAMLET The one who plays the part of the king will be particularly welcome. Ill treat him like a real king. The adventurous knight will wave around his sword and shield, the lover will be rewarded for his sighs, the crazy character can rant all he wants, the clown will make everybody laugh, and the lady character can say whatevers on her mind, or Ill stop the play. Which troupe is it? ROSENCRANTZ The tragic actors from the city, the ones you used to enjoy so much. HAMLET What are they doing on the road? They made more money and got more attention in the city. ROSENCRANTZ But things have changed there, and its easier for them on the road now. HAMLET Are they as popular as they used to be when I lived in the city? Do they attract big audiences? ROSENCRANTZ No, not like before. HAMLET Why? Are they getting rusty? ROSENCRANTZ No, theyre busy and as excellent as ever. The problem is that they have to300children, little eyases, that cry out on the top of question and are most tyrannically clapped for t. These are now the fashion, and so berattle the common stagesso they call themthat many wearing rapiers are afraid of goose quills and dare scarce come thither. HAMLET What, are they children? Who maintains 'em? How are they escoted? Will they pursue the quality no longer than they can sing? Will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common players (as it is most like if their means are no better), their writers do them wrong to make them exclaim against their own succession? ROSENCRANTZ Faith, there has been much to do on both sides, and the nation holds it no sin to tar them to controversy. There was, for a while, no money bid for argument unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question. HAMLET Is t possible? GUILDENSTERN Oh, there has been much throwing about of brains. 335 HAMLET Do the boys carry it away? ROSENCRANTZ Ay, that they do, my lord. Hercules and his load too.compete with a group of children who yell out their lines and receive outrageous applause for it. These child actors are now in fashion, and theyve so overtaken the public theaters that society types hardly come at all, theyre so afraid of being mocked by the playwrights who write for the boys. HAMLET What, you mean kid actors? Who takes care of them? Who pays their way? Will they stop working when their voices mature? Arent the playwrights hurting them by making them upstage adult actors, which they are going to grow up and become? (Unless, of course, they have trust funds.) ROSENCRANTZ Theres been a whole debate on the topic. For a while, no play was sold to the theaters without a big fight between the childrens playwright and the actors playing adult roles. HAMLET Are you kidding? GUILDENSTERN Oh, theres been a lot of quarreling. HAMLET And the boys are winning so far? ROSENCRANTZ Yes, they are, my lordlittle boys are carrying the whole theater on theirbacks, like Hercules carried the world. HAMLET It is not very strange. For my uncle is King of Denmark, and those that would make mouths at him while my father lived give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats apiece for his picture in little. 'Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out. HAMLET Actually, its not so unusual when you think about it. My uncle is king of Denmark, and the same people who made fun of him while my father was still alive are now rushing to pay twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats apiece for miniature portraits of him. Theres something downright unnatural about it, if a philosopher stopped to think about it. Trumpets play offstage, announcing the arrival of the PLAYERS . GUILDENSTERN The actors are here. HAMLET Gentlemen, welcome to Elsinore. Dont be shyshake hands with me. If Im going to welcome you I have to go through all these polite customs, dont I? And if we dont shake hands, when I act all nice to the players it will seem like Im happier to see them than you. You are very welcome here. But still, my uncle-father and aunt-mother have got the wrong idea. GUILDENSTERN In what sense, my lord? HAMLET Im only crazy sometimes. At other times, I know whats what. POLONIUS enters.Flourish for the PLAYERS withinGUILDENSTERN There are the players. HAMLET Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands, come then. Th' appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony. Let me comply with you in this garblest my extent to the players, which, I tell you, must show fairly outwards, should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are welcome. But my uncle-father and auntmother are deceived. 350 GUILDENSTERN In what, my dear lord? HAMLET I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw. Enter POLONIUSPOLONIUS Well be with you, gentlemen. HAMLET Hark you, Guildenstern, and you tooat each ear a hearer. (indicates POLONIUS )That great baby you see there is not yet out of his swaddling-clouts ROSENCRANTZ Happily hes the second time come to them, for they say an old man is twice a child. HAMLET (aside to ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTE RN ) I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players. Mark it. (to POLONIUS) You say right, sir. O' Monday morning, twas so indeed. POLONIUS My lord, I have news to tell you. HAMLET My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor in Rome 365 POLONIUS The actors are come hither, my lord. HAMLET Buzz, buzz. POLONIUS Upon my honor HAMLET Then came each actor on his ass POLONIUS The best actors in the world, either forPOLONIUS Gentlemen, I hope you are well. HAMLET Listen, Guildenstern, and you too, Rosencrantzlisten as close as you can! (he gestures toward POLONIUS )This big baby is still in diapers. ROSENCRANTZ Yes, the second time around, since, as they say, old people become children again. HAMLET (whispering to ROSENCRANTZ andGUILDENSTERN) I bet hes coming to tell me about the actors; just watch. (to POLONIUS)Youre right, sir, that happened on Monday morning. POLONIUS My lord, I have news for you. HAMLET My lord, I have news for you. When Roscius was an actor in ancient Rome POLONIUS The actors have arrived, my lord. HAMLET Yawn, snore. POLONIUS I swear HAMLET each actor arrived on his ass. POLONIUS They are the best actors in the world,tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comicalhistorical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited. Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the liberty, these are the only men.either fortragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historicalpastoral, tragical-historical, tragicalcomical-historical, one-act plays, or long poems. The tragic playwright Seneca is not too heavy for them to handle nor is the comic writer Plautus too light. For formal plays or freer dramas, these are the best actors around. HAMLET Oh, Jephthah, judge of ancient Israel, what a treasure you had! POLONIUS What treasure did he have, my lord? HAMLET Well, (sings) One fine daughter, and no more, Whom he loved more than anything. POLONIUS (to himself) Still talking about my daughter, I see. HAMLET Arent I right, Jephthah, old man? POLONIUS If youre calling me Jephthah, my lord, I do have a daughter I love more than anything, yes. HAMLET No, thats not logical. POLONIUS What is logical, then, my lord? HAMLETHAMLET 375 O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou! POLONIUS What a treasure had he, my lord? HAMLET Why, One fair daughter and no more, The which he lovd passing well. POLONIUS (aside) Still on my daughter. HAMLET Am I not i' th' right, old Jephthah? POLONIUS If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter that I love passing well. HAMLET Nay, that follows not. POLONIUS What follows, then, my lord? HAMLETWhy, As by lot, God wot, and then, you know, It came to pass, as most like it was The first row of the pious chanson will show you more, for look where my abridgement comes. Enter the PLAYERS You are welcome, masters, welcome, all!I am glad to see thee well. Welcome, good friends.O old friend? Why, thy face is valenced since I saw thee last. Comest thou to beard me in Denmark?What, my young lady and mistress! By 'r Lady, your ladyship is nearer to heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine. Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring. Masters, you are all welcome. Well e'en to t like French falconers, fly at any thing we see. Well have a speech straight. Come, give us a taste of your quality. Come, a passionate speech.Why, As if by chance, God knows, and then, you know, It happened, as youd expect If you want to know more, you can refer to the popular song, because now I have to stop. The PLAYERS enter. Welcome, welcome to all of you. (he turns to one of the actors)Oh, you, Im glad to see you.(turns back to all of them)Welcome, my good friends. (turns to another actor)Oh, its you! Youve grown a beard since I saw you last. Are you going to put a beard on me too? (turns to an actor dressed as a woman) Well hello, my young lady friend. Youve grown as much as the height of a pair of platform shoes at least! I hope your voice hasnt changed yet. (to the whole company) All of you are most welcome here. Well get right to business. First, a speech. Come on, give us a little speech to whet our appetites. A passionate speech, please. FIRST PLAYER Which speech, my lord? HAMLET I heard you recite a speech for me once that was never acted out, or if it was, it was performed only once, since the play was not popularlike caviar for a slob who couldnt appreciate it. But the critics and I found it to be an excellentFIRST PLAYER What speech, my good lord? HAMLET I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was never acted. Or, if it was, not above 405 once, for the play, I remember, pleased not the million. 'Twas caviary to the general. But it wasas I received it, and others, whose judgments in such matterscried in the top of minean excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as cunning. I remember, one said there were no sallets in the lines to make the matter savory, nor 415 no matter in the phrase that might indict the author of affectation, but called it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more handsome than fine. One speech in it I chiefly loved. 420 'Twas Aeneas' tale to Dido and thereabout of it, especially where he speaks of Priams slaughter. If it live in your >memory, begin at this lineLet me see, let me see 425 The rugged Pyrrhus, like th' Hyrcanian beast It is not so. It begins with Pyrrhus The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms, Black as his purpose, did the night resemble When he lay couchd in the ominous horse, Hath now this dread and black complexion smeared With heraldry more dismal. Head to foot Now is he total gules, horridly tricked With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, Baked and impasted with the parching streets, That lend a tyrannous and damnd light To their lords murder. Roasted in wrath and fire, And thus o'ersizd with coagulate gore, With eyes like carbuncles, the hellishplay, with well-ordered scenes that were clever but not fancy. I remember one critic said there was no vulgar language to spice up the dialogue, and showing off on playwrights part. That critic called it an excellent play, containing things to reflect upon as well as sweet music to enjoy. I loved one speech in particular. It was when Aeneas told Dido about Priams murder. If you happen to remember this scene, begin at linelet me see, how does it go? The rugged Pyrrhus, strong as a tiger No, thats wrong; it begins like this: Savage Pyrrhus, whose black armor was As dark plans, and was like the night When he crouched inside the Trojan Horse, Has now smeared his dark armor With something worse. From head to foot Hes now covered in red, decorated horribly With the blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons. The blood is baked to a paste by fires he set in the streets, Fires that lend a terrible light to his horrible murders. Boiling with anger and fire, And coated thick with hard-baked blood,Pyrrhus Old grandsire Priam seeks. So, proceed you. POLONIUS 'Fore God, my lord, well spoken, with good accent and good discretion. FIRST PLAYER Anon he finds him Striking too short at Greeks. His antique sword, Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls, 435 Repugnant to command. Unequal matched, Pyrrhus at Priam drives, in rage strikes wide, But with the whiff and wind of his fell 440 sword The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium, Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top Stoops to his base, and with a hideous crash Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear. For, lo, his sword, Which was declining on the milky head Of reverend Priam, seemed i' th' air to stick. So as a painted tyrant Pyrrhus stood, And, like a neutral to his will and matter, 445 Did nothing. But as we often see against some storm A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,His eyes glowing like rubies, the hellish Pyrrhus Goes looking for grandfather Priam. Sir, take it from there. POLONIUS My God, that was well done, my lord, with the right accent and a good ear. FIRST PLAYER Soon he finds Priam Failing in his battle against the Greeks. His old sword, Which Priam cannot wield anymore, lies where it fell. An unfair opponent, Pyrrhus rushes at Priam, and in his rage he misses;But the wind created by his sword is enough to make The weakened old man fall. Just then the city of Ilium, As if feeling this fatal blow to its ruler,The bold winds speechless, and the orb 450 below As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder Doth rend the region. So, after Pyrrhus' pause, 455 Arousd vengeance sets him new a-work. And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall On Marss armor forged for proof eterne With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword 460 Now falls on Priam. Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune! All you gods In general synod take away her power, Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel, And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven, As low as to the fiends!Collapses in flames, and the crash Captures Pyrrhuss attention. His sword, Which was falling onto Priams whitehaired head Seemed to hang in the air. Pyrrhus stood there like a man in a painting, Doing nothing. But just as a raging thunderstorm Is often interrupted by a moments silence, And then soon after the region is split apart by dreadful thunderclaps, In the same way, after Pyrrhus paused, His newly awakened fury set him to work again. When the Cyclopses were making unbreakable armor For the god of war, their hammers never fell So mercilessly as Pyrrhuss bloody sword Now falls on Priam. Get out of here, Lady Luck, you whore! All you gods Should come together to rob her of her powers, Break all the spokes on her wheel of fortune, And send it rolling down the hills of heaven Into the depths of hell.POLONIUS This is too long.POLONIUS This speech is going on too long.HAMLET It shall to the barbers, with your beard. Prithee, say on. Hes for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps. Say on. Come to Hecuba.HAMLET Well have the barber trim it later, along with your beard. Please, continue, players. This old man only likes the dancing or the sex scenes; he sleeps through all the rest. Go on, come to the part about Hecuba. FIRST PLAYER But whoah, the sadnesshad seen the muffled queen HAMLET The muffled queen? POLONIUS Thats good. The muffled queen is good. FIRST PLAYER Running back and forth, spraying the flames with her tears, a cloth on that head where a crown had recently sat and a blanket instead of a robe wrapped around her body, which has withered from childbearing: anyone seeing her in such a state, no matter how spiteful he was, would have cursed Lady Luck for bringing her down like that. If the gods had seen her while she watched Pyrrhus chopping her husband into bits, the terrible cry she uttered would have made all the eyes in heaven burn with hot tearsunless the gods dont care at all about human affairs.FIRST PLAYER 465 But who, ah woe, who had seen the mobld queen HAMLET The mobld queen? POLONIUS Thats good. Mobld queen is good. FIRST PLAYER Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames 470 With bisson rheum, a clout upon that head Where late the diadem stood, and for a robe, About her lank and all o'erteemd loins, A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up 475 Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steeped, 'Gainst fortunes state would treason have pronounced. But if the gods themselves did see her then 480 When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport In mincing with his sword her husbands limbs, The instant burst of clamor that she made, (Unless things mortal move them not at all) Would have made milch the burning eyesof heaven, And passion in the gods. POLONIUS Look whe'e he has not turned his color and has tears in s eyes.Prithee, no more. HAMLET (to FIRST PLAYER) 'Tis well. Ill have thee speak out the rest soon. (to POLONIUS) Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live. POLONIUS 490 My lord, I will use them according to their desert. HAMLET Gods bodykins, man, much better. Use every man after his desert, and who should scape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in. POLONIUS 495 Come, sirs. HAMLET Follow him, friends. Well hear a play tomorrow. (toFIRST PLAYER) Dost thou hear me, old friend? Can you play The Murder of Gonzago? POLONIUS Look how flushed the actor is, with tears in his eyes. All right, thats enough, please. HAMLET (to FIRST PLAYER) Very fine. Ill have you perform the rest of it soon. (to POLONIUS)My lord, will you make sure the actors are made comfortable? Make sure youre good to them, since what they say about us later will go down in history. Itd be better to have a bad epitaph on our graves than to have their ill will while were alive. POLONIUS My lord, I will give them all they deserve. HAMLET Good heavens, man, give them more than that! If you pay everyone what they deserve, would anyone ever escape a whipping? Treat them with honor and dignity. The less they deserve, the more your generosity is worth. Lead them inside. POLONIUS Come, everyone. HAMLET Follow him, friends. Well watch a whole play tomorrow. (to FIRST PLAYER) My friend, can you perform The Murder of Gonzago?FIRST PLAYER Ay, my lord. HAMLET Well ha t tomorrow night. You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines which I would set down and insert in t, could you not? FIRST PLAYER Ay, my lord. HAMLET Very well. Follow that lord, and look you mock him not. Exeunt POLONIUS and the PLAYERS My good friends, Ill leave you till night. You are welcome to Elsinore. ROSENCRANTZ Good my lord. HAMLET Ay, so. Good-bye to you. Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDEN STERN Now I am alone. Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! 510 Is it not monstrous that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, Could force his soul so to his own conceit That from her working all his visage wanned, 515 Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect, A broken voice, and his whole function suiting With forms to his conceit? And all for nothingFIRST PLAYER Yes, my lord. HAMLET Then well see that tomorrow night. By the way, if I were to compose an extra speech of twelve to sixteen lines and stick it into the play, you could learn it by heart for tomorrow, right? FIRST PLAYER Yes, my lord. HAMLET Very well. Follow that gentleman now, and be careful not to make fun of him. POLONIUS and the PLAYERS exit. My good friends, Ill see you tomorrow. Welcome to Elsinore. ROSENCRANTZ Yes, my lord. HAMLET Ah yes, good-bye to you both. ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN exit. Now Im alone. Oh, what a mean low-life I am! Its awful that this actor could force his soul to feel made-up feelings in a work of make-believe. He grew pale, shed real tears, became overwhelmed, his voice breaking with feeling and his whole being, even, meeting the needs of his actand all for nothing. For Hecuba!520 For Hecuba! Whats Hecuba to him or he to Hecuba That he should weep for her? What would he do Had he the motive and the cue for passion That I have? He would drown the stage with tears And cleave the general ear with horrid speech, Make mad the guilty and appall the free, Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed 525 The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I, A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, And can say nothingno, not for a king, 530 Upon whose property and most dear life A damned defeat was made. Am I a coward? Who calls me villain? Breaks my pate across? 535 Plucks off my beard and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by the nose? Gives me the lie i' th' throat As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this? 540 Ha! 'Swounds, I should take it, for it cannot be But I am pigeon-livered and lack gall To make oppression bitter, or ere this I should have fatted all the region kites 545 With this slaves offal. Bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain! O vengeance! What is Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, that he would weep for her? Just imagine what he would do if he had the cause for feeling that I do. He would drown the stage with his tears and burst the audiences ears with his terrible words, drive the guilty spectators crazy, terrify the innocent ones, confuse the ignorant ones, and astound absolutely everyones eyes and ears. But what do I, a grim and uncourageous rascal, do? Mope around like a dreamer, not even bothering with plans for revenge, and I can say nothingnothing at allon behalf of a king whose dear life was stolen. Am I a coward? Is there anyone out there wholl call me villain and slap me hard? Pull off my beard? Pinch my nose? Call me the worst liar? By God, if someone would do that to me, Id take it, because Im a lily-livered manotherwise, I wouldve fattened up the local vultures with the intestines of that low-life king a long time ago. Bloody, inhuman villain! Remorseless,550 Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave, That I, the son of a dear father murdered, Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with 555 words And fall a-cursing like a very drab, A scullion! Fie upon t, foh! About, my brain.Hum, I have heard That guilty creatures sitting at a play 560 Have, by the very cunning of the scene, Been struck so to the soul that presently They have proclaimed their malefactions. For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak With most miraculous organ. Ill have these players Play something like the murder of my father Before mine uncle. Ill observe his looks. Ill tent him to the quick. If he do blench, I know my course. The spirit that I have seen May be the devil, and the devil hath power T' assume a pleasing shape. Yea, and perhaps Out of my weakness and my melancholy, 565 As he is very potent with such spirits, Abuses me to damn me. Ill have grounds More relative than this. The plays the thing Wherein Ill catch the conscience of the king.treacherous, sex-obsessed, unnatural villain! Ah, revenge! What an ass I am. Im so damn brave. My dear fathers been murdered, and Ive been urged to seek revenge by heaven and hell, and yet all I can do is stand around cursing like a whore in the streets. Damn it! I need to get myself together here! Hmm. Ive heard that guilty people watching a play have been so affected by the artistry of the scene that they are driven to confess their crimes out loud.Murder has no tongue, but miraculously it still finds a way to speak. Ill have these actors perform something like my fathers murder in front of my uncle. Ill watch my uncle. Ill probe his conscience and see if he flinches. If he becomes pale, I know what to do. The ghost I saw may be the devil, and the devil has the power to assume a pleasing disguise, and so he may be taking advantage of my weakness and sadness to bring about my damnation. I need better evidence than the ghost to work with. The playsthe thing to uncover the conscience of the king. Exit Act 3, Scene 1 Enter CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, POLONI US,OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN CLAUDIUS And can you by no drift of conference Get from him why he puts on this confusion, Grating so harshly all his days of quiet With turbulent and dangerous lunacy? 5 ROSENCRANTZ He does confess he feels himself distracted. But from what cause he will by no means speak. GUILDENSTERN Nor do we find him forward to be sounded. But with a crafty madness keeps aloof When we would bring him on to some 10 confession Of his true state. GERTRUDE Did he receive you well? ROSENCRANTZ Most like a gentleman. GUILDENSTERN But with much forcing of his disposition. ROSENCRANTZ Niggard of question, but of our demands Most free in his reply. CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, andGUILDENSTERN enter. CLAUDIUS And you cant put your heads together and figure out why hes acting so dazed and confused, ruining his peace and quiet with such dangerous displays of lunacy? ROSENCRANTZ He admits he feels confused, but refuses to say why. GUILDENSTERN And hes not exactly eager to be interrogated. Hes very sly and dances around our questions when we try to get him to talk about how he feels. GERTRUDE Did he treat you well when you saw him? ROSENCRANTZ Yes, in a very gentlemanly way. GUILDENSTERN But it seemed like he had to force himself to be nice to us. ROSENCRANTZ He didnt ask questions, but answered ours at length. HAMLET exits.GERTRUDE Did you assay him? 15 To any pastime? ROSENCRANTZ Madam, it so fell out, that certain players We o'erraught on the way. Of these we told him, And there did seem in him a kind of joy To hear of it. They are about the court, 20 And, as I think, they have already order This night to play before him. POLONIUS 'Tis most true, And he beseeched me to entreat your Majesties To hear and see the matter. CLAUDIUS With all my heart, and it doth much content 25 me To hear him so inclined. Good gentlemen, give him a further edge, And drive his purpose on to these delights. ROSENCRANTZ We shall, my lord. Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENS TERN CLAUDIUS Sweet Gertrude, leave us too, 30 For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither, That he, as twere by accident, may here Affront Ophelia. Her father and myself (lawful espials) Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing unseen, 35 We may of their encounter frankly judge,GERTRUDE Did you try tempting him with some entertainment? ROSENCRANTZ Madam, some actors happened to cross our paths on the way here. We told Hamlet about them, and that seemed to do him good. They are here at court now, and I believe theyve been told to give a performance for him tonight. POLONIUS Its true, and he asked me to beg you both to attend.CLAUDIUS It makes me very happy to hear hes so interested. Gentlemen, please try to sharpen his interest even more, and let this play do him some good. ROSENCRANTZ We will, my lord. ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN exit. CLAUDIUS Dear Gertrude, please give us a moment alone. Weve secretly arranged for Hamlet to come here so that he can run into Ophelia. Her father and I, justifiably acting as spies, will hide in the room and observe Hamlets behavior, to determine whether its love thats making him suffer.And gather by him, as he is behaved, If t be the affliction of his love or no That thus he suffers for. GERTRUDE I shall obey you. And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish 40 That your good beauties be the happy cause Of Hamlets wildness. So shall I hope your virtues Will bring him to his wonted way again, To both your honors. OPHELIA Madam, I wish it may. Exit GERTRUDE POLONIUS Ophelia, walk you 45 here. (to CLAUDIUS) Gracious, so please you, We will bestow ourselves. (to OPHELIA)Read on this book That show of such an exercise may color 50 Your loneliness.We are oft to blame in this, 'Tis too much proved, that with devotions visage And pious action we do sugar o'er The devil himself. CLAUDIUS (aside) Oh, tis too true! How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience! The harlots cheek, beautied with plastering art, 55 Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it Than is my deed to my most painted word. CLAUDIUS (to himself) How right he is! His words whip up my guilty feelings. The whores pockmarked cheek made pretty with make-up is just like the ugly actions Im disguising with fine words. What a terrible guilt I feel! POLONIUS Ophelia, come here. (to CLAUDIUS) Your Majesty, we will hide. (to OPHELIA)Read from this prayer book, so it looks natural that youre all alone. Come to think of it, this happens all the timepeople act devoted to God to mask their bad deeds. GERTRUDE Yes, Ill go. As for you, Ophelia, I hope that your beauty is the reason for Hamlets insane behavior, just as I hope your virtues will return him to normal some day, for the good of both of you.OPHELIA I hope so too, Madam. GERTRUDE exits.O heavy burden! POLONIUS I hear him coming. Lets withdraw, my lord. CLAUDIUS and POLONIUS withdraw Enter HAMLET HAMLET To be, or not to be? That is the question Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous 60 fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep No moreand by a sleep to say we end 65 The heartache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir totis a consummation Devoutly to be wished! To die, to sleep. To sleep, perchance to dreamay, theres 70 the rub, For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause. Theres the respect That makes calamity of so long life. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, Th' oppressors wrong, the proud mans 75 contumely, The pangs of despised love, the laws delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th' unworthy takes, After all, who would put up with all lifes humiliationsthe abuse from superiors, the insults of arrogant men, the pangs of unrequited love, the inefficiency of the legal system, the rudeness of people in office, and the mistreatment good people have to take from badwhen you could simply take POLONIUS I hear him coming. Quick, lets hide, my lord. CLAUDIUS and POLONIUS hide. HAMLET enters. HAMLET The question is: is it better to be alive or dead? Is it nobler to put up with all the nasty things that luck throws your way, or to fight against all those troubles by simply putting an end to them once and for all? Dying, sleepingthats all dying isa sleep that ends all the heartache and shocks that life on earth gives us thats an achievement to wish for. To die, to sleepto sleep, maybe to dream. Ah, but theres the catch: in deaths sleep who knows what kind of dreams might come, after weve put the noise and commotion of life behind us. Thats certainly something to worry about. Thats the consideration that makes us stretch out our sufferings so long.80When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscovered country from whose bourn No traveler returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.Soft you now, The fair Ophelia!Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remembered. OPHELIA Good my lord, How does your honor for this many a day? HAMLET I humbly thank you. Well, well, well.out your knife and call it quits? Who would choose to grunt and sweat through an exhausting life, unless they were afraid of something dreadful after death, the undiscovered country from which no visitor returns, which we wonder about without getting any answers from and which makes us stick to the evils we know rather than rush off to seek the ones we dont? Fear of death makes us all cowards, and our natural boldness becomes weak with too much thinking. Actions that should be carried out at once get misdirected, and stop being actions at all. Butshh, here comes the beautiful Ophelia. Pretty lady, please remember me when you pray.8590OPHELIA Hello, my lord, how have you been doing lately? HAMLET Very well, thank you. Well, well, well. OPHELIA My lord, I have some mementos of yours that Ive been meaning to give back to you for a long time now. Please take them. HAMLET No, it wasnt me. I never gave you95OPHELIA My lord, I have remembrances of yours That I have longd long to redeliver. I pray you now receive them. HAMLET No, not I. I never gave you aught.anything. OPHELIA My honored lord, you know right well you 100 did, And with them, words of so sweet breath composed As made the things more rich. Their perfume lost, Take these again, for to the noble mind Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind. There, my lord. HAMLET 105 Ha, ha, are you honest? OPHELIA My lord? HAMLET Are you fair? OPHELIA What means your lordship? HAMLET That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty. OPHELIA Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty? HAMLET Ay, truly, for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness. This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once. OPHELIA My lord, you know very well that you did, and wrote letters to go along with them, letters so sweetly written that they made your gifts even more valuable. Their perfume is gone now, so take them back. Nice gifts lose their value when the givers turn out not to be so nice. There, my lord.HAMLET Ha ha, are you good? OPHELIA Excuse me? HAMLET Are you beautiful? OPHELIA My lord, what are you talking about? HAMLET Im just saying that if youre good and beautiful, your goodness should have nothing to do with your beauty. OPHELIA But could beauty be related to anything better than goodness? HAMLET Sure, since beautys power can more easily change a good girl into a whore than the power of goodness can change a beautiful girl into a virgin. This used to be a great puzzle, but now Ive solved it. I used to love you.OPHELIA Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so. HAMLET You should not have believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not. OPHELIA I was the more deceived. HAMLET Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me.OPHELIA You certainly made me believe you did, my lord. HAMLET You shouldnt have believed me, since were all rotten at the core, no matter how hard we try to be virtuous. I didnt love you. OPHELIA Then I guess I was misled. HAMLET Get yourself to a convent at once. Why would you want to give birth to more sinners? Im fairly good myself, but even so I could accuse myself of such horrible crimes that it wouldve been better if my mother had never given birth to me. andI am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all. Believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Wheres your father? OPHELIA At home, my lord. HAMLET Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in s own house. Farewell. OPHELIA 135 O, help him, you sweet heavens!I am arrogant, vengeful, ambitious, with more ill will in me than I can fit into my thoughts, and more than I have time to carry it out in. Why should people like me be crawling around between earth and heaven? Every one of us is a criminal. Dont believe any of us. Hurry to a convent. Wheres your father? OPHELIA Hes at home, my lord. HAMLET Lock him in, so he can play the fool in his own home only. Good-bye. OPHELIA Oh, dear God, please help him!HAMLET If thou dost marry, Ill give thee this plague for thy dowry. Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too. Farewell. OPHELIA Heavenly powers, restore him! HAMLET I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God has given you one face and you make yourselves another. You jig and amble, and you lisp, you nickname Gods creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to, Ill no more on t. It hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages. Those that are married already, all but one, shall live. The rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go.HAMLET If you marry, Ill give you this curse as your wedding presentbe as clean as ice, as pure as the driven snow, and youll still get a bad reputation. Get yourself to a convent, at once. Goodbye. Or if you have to get married, marry a fool, since wise men know far too well that youll cheat on them. Good-bye. OPHELIA Dear God, please make him normal again! HAMLET Ive heard all about you women and your cosmetics too. God gives you one face, but you paint another on top of it. You dance and prance and lisp; you call Gods creations by pet names, and you excuse your sexpot ploys by pleading ignorance. Come on, I wont stand for it anymore. Its driven me crazy. I hereby declare we will have no more marriage. Whoever is already married (except one person I know) will stay marriedall but one person. Everyone else will have to stay single. Get yourself to a convent, fast.Exit HAMLET OPHELIA 150 Oh, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! The courtiers, soldiers, scholars, eye, tongue, sword, Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state,HAMLET exits. OPHELIA Oh, how noble his mind used to be, and how lost he is now! He used to have a gentlemans grace, a scholars wit, and a soldiers strength. He used to be the jewel of our country, the obvious heir to155 The glass of fashion and the mould of form, Th' observed of all observers, quite, quite down! And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, 160 That sucked the honey of his music vows, Now see that noble and most sovereign reason Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh; That unmatched form and feature of blown youth Blasted with ecstasy. Oh, woe is me, T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see! CLAUDIUS and POLONIUS come forward CLAUDIUS Love? His affections do not that way tend. Nor what he spake, though it lacked form a little, 165 Was not like madness. Theres something in his soul O'er which his melancholy sits on brood, And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose Will be some dangerwhich for to 170 prevent, I have in quick determination Thus set it down: he shall with speed to England For the demand of our neglected tribute. 175 Haply the seas and countries different With variable objects shall expel This something-settled matter in his heart, Whereon his brains still beating puts himthe throne, the one everyone admired and imitated. And now he has fallen so low! And of all the miserable women who once enjoyed hearing his sweet, seductive words, I am the most miserable. A mind that used to sing so sweetly is now completely out of tune, making harsh sounds instead of fine notes. The unparalleled appearance and nobility he had in the full bloom of his youth has been ruined by madness. O, how miserable I am to see Hamlet now and know what he was before!CLAUDIUS and POLONIUS come forward. CLAUDIUS Love? His feelings dont move in that direction. And his words, although they were a little disorganized, werent crazy. No, his sadness is hatching something, like a hen does sitting on an egg. What hatches very well may be dangerous. So to prevent any harm being done, Ive made a quick executive decision: hell be sent to England to try to get back the money they owe us. With any luck, the sea and new countries will push out these thoughts that have somehow taken root in his mind. What do you think of this plan?thus From fashion of himself. What think you on t? POLONIUS It shall do well. But yet do I believe The origin and commencement of his grief Sprung from neglected love.How now, Ophelia? You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said. 180 We heard it all.My lord, do as you please. But, if you hold it fit, after the play Let his queen mother all alone entreat him To show his grief. Let her be round with 185 him, And Ill be placed, so please you, in the ear Of all their conference. If she find him not, To England send him or confine him where Your wisdom best shall think. CLAUDIUS It shall be so. Madness in great ones must not unwatched go. Exeunt Act 3, Scene 2 Enter HAMLET and PLAYERS HAMLET Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the HAMLET and the PLAYERS enter. HAMLET Perform the speech just as I taught you, musically and smoothly. If you exaggerate the CLAUDIUS Thats how well do it, then. When important people start to show signs of insanity, you have to watch them closely. They all exit. POLONIUS It should work. But I still believe that his madness was caused by unrequited love.Hello, Ophelia. You dont have to tell us what Lord Hamlet said.We heard everything.My lord, do whatever you like, but if you like this idea, let his mother the queen get him alone and beg him to share his feelings with her. Ill hide and listen in. If she cant find out what his secret is, then send him off to England or wherever you think best.tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand thus, but use all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-Herods Herod. Pray you, avoid it. FIRST PLAYER I warrant your honor. HAMLET Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the which one mustwords the way some actors do, I might as well have some newscaster read the lines. Dont use too many hand gestures; just do a few, gently, like this. When you get into a whirlwind of passion on stage, remember to keep the emotion moderate and smooth. I hate it when I hear a blustery actor in a wig tear a passion to shreds, bursting everyones eardrums so as to impress the audience on the lower levels of the playhouse, who for the most part can only appreciate loud noises and pantomime shows. I would whip a guy for making a tyrant sound too tyrannical. Thats as bad as those old plays in which King Herod ranted. Please avoid doing that.FIRST PLAYER I will, sir. HAMLET But dont be too tame, eitherlet your good sense guide you. Fit the action to the word and the word to the action. Act natural at all costs. Exaggeration has no place in the theater, where the purpose is to represent reality, holding a mirror up to virtue, to vice, and to the spirit of the times. If you handle this badly, it just makes ignorant people laugh while regular theater-goers are miserableand theyre the ones you should be keeping your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh, there be players that I have seen play and heard others praise (and that highly), not to speak it profanely, that, neither having th' accent of Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of natures journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. FIRST PLAYER I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us, sir. HAMLET O, reform it altogether! And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them, for there be of them that will themselves laugh to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though in the meantime some necessary question of the play be then to be considered. Thats villainous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready. Exeunt PLAYERS Enter POLONIUS, ROSENCRANTZ, andGUILDENSTERN How now, my lord! Will the king hear this piece of work? POLONIUS And the queen too, and that presently. HAMLET Bid the players make haste. FIRST PLAYER I hope weve corrected that fault pretty well in our company, sir. HAMLET Oh, correct it completely. Make sure that the clowns do not ad-lib, since some of them will make certain dumb audience members laugh mindlessly at them, while an important issue in the play needs to be addressed. Its bad behavior for an actor, anyway, and displays a pitiful ambition to hog the limelight on stage. Ive seen actors who are highly praised, but whonot to be too rude herecant even talk or walk like human beings. They bellow and strut about like weird animals that were made to look like men, but very badly.The PLAYERS exit. POLONIUS, GUILDENSTERN, andROSENCRANTZ enter. So, my lord, will the king be attending the performance? POLONIUS Yes, he will, and the queen as well. HAMLET Tell the actors to hurry.Exit POLONIUS 4 Will you two help to hasten them? 5 ROSENCRANTZ Ay, my lord. Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDE NSTERN HAMLET What ho, Horatio! Enter HORATIO HORATIO Here, sweet lord, at your service. HAMLET Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man As e'er my conversation coped withal. HORATIO O my dear lord HAMLET Nay, do not think I flatter. 5 For what advancement may I hope from 0 thee That no revenue hast but thy good spirits, To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flattered? No, let the candied tongue lick absurd 5 pomp, 5 And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear? Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice 6 And could of men distinguish, her electionPOLONIUS exits. Will you two help them get ready?ROSENCRANTZ Yes, my lord. ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN exit. HAMLET Well, hello there, Horatio! HORATIO enters. HORATIO Here I am at your service, my dear lord. HAMLET Horatio, youre the best man Ive ever known. HORATIO Oh, sir HAMLET Dont think Im flattering you. What could I hope to get from you, whove got nothing but your charm to support you in life? Why would anyone flatter a poor person? No, keep flattery for kissing the hands of those who can pay well. You understand? Ever since Ive been a free agent in my choice of friends, Ive chosen you because you take everything life hands you with calm acceptance, grateful for both good and bad. Blessed are those who mix emotion with reason in just the right proportion, making them strong0 Hath sealed thee for herself, for thou hast been As one in suffering all that suffers nothing A man that Fortunes buffets and rewards 6 Hast ta'en with equal thanks. And blessed 5 are those Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled, That they are not a pipe for Fortunes finger To sound what stop she please. Give me 7 that man 0 That is not passions slave, and I will wear him In my hearts core, ay, in my heart of heart, As I do thee.Something too much of this. 7 There is a play tonight before the king. 5 One scene of it comes near the circumstance Which I have told thee of my fathers death. I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot, Even with the very comment of thy soul Observe mine uncle. If his occulted guilt Do not itself unkennel in one speech, It is a damnd ghost that we have seen, And my imaginations are as foul As Vulcans stithy. Give him heedful note. For I mine eyes will rivet to his face, 80 And after we will both our judgments join In censure of his seeming. HORATIOenough to resist the whims of Lady Luck. Show me the person whos master of his emotions, and Ill put him close to my heartin my heart of heartsas I do you. But Im talking too much. The point is, theres a play being performed for the king tonight. One of the scenes comes very close to depicting the circumstances of my fathers death, as I described them to you. Watch my uncle carefully when that scene begins. If his guilty secret does not reveal itself, then that ghost was just a devil, and my hunch wasnt, in fact, worth anything.Watch him closely. Ill stare at him too, and afterward well compare notes on him.HORATIOWell, my lord. If he steal aught the whilst this play is playing, And scape detecting, I will pay the theft. Danish march. Sound a flourish. Enter KingCLAUDIUS, Queen GERTRU DE, POLONIUS,OPHELIA, ROSE NCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN and other lords attendant with CLAUDIUSs; guard carrying torches HAMLET They are coming to the play. I must be idle. Get you a place. CLAUDIUS 85 How fares our cousin Hamlet? HAMLET Excellent, i' faith, of the chameleons dish. I eat the air, promise-crammed. You cannot feed capons so. CLAUDIUS I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet. These words are not mine. HAMLET No, nor mine now. (to POLONIUS) My lord, you played once i' th' university, you say? POLONIUS That did I, my lord, and was accounted a good actor. HAMLET What did you enact?My lord, Ill watch him as closely as I would a thief. I wont miss a trick.Trumpets play. CLAUDIUS enters withGERTRUDE, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and other lords attendant with CLAUDIUS s guard carrying torches.HAMLET Theyre coming. I cant talk now. Take your seat. CLAUDIUS So hows my nephew Hamlet doing? HAMLET Wonderful! I eat the air, like chameleons do. Im positively stuffed with air, I eat so much of it. CLAUDIUS I have no idea what youre talking about, Hamlet. Youre not answering my question. HAMLET Mine, neither. (to POLONIUS) My lord, you performed in amateur dramatic productions in college, right? POLONIUS Indeed I did, my lord. I was considered to be quite a good actor. HAMLET What role did you play?POLONIUS I did enact Julius Caesar. I was killed i' th' Capitol. Brutus killed me. HAMLET It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there.Be the players ready? ROSENCRANTZ Ay, my lord. They stay upon your patience. GERTRUDE Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me. HAMLET 100 No, good mother. Heres metal more attractive. (sits next to OPHELIA ) POLONIUS (to CLAUDIUS) Oh, ho, do you mark that? HAMLET Lady, shall I lie in your lap? OPHELIA No, my lord. HAMLET I mean, my head upon your lap? OPHELIA 105 Ay, my lord. HAMLET Do you think I meant country matters? OPHELIA I think nothing, my lord. HAMLETPOLONIUS I played Julius Caesar. I was killed in the Capitol. Brutus killed me. HAMLET That was brutish of them, to kill so capital a guy. Are the actors ready? ROSENCRANTZ Yes, my lord. Theyre ready whenever you are. GERTRUDE Come here, my dear Hamlet. Sit by me. HAMLET No thanks, my good mother. Theres a nicer piece of work right here. (he sits down nearOPHELIA ) POLONIUS (to CLAUDIUS) Hey, did you notice that? HAMLET My lady, should I lie in your lap? OPHELIA No, my lord. HAMLET I mean, with my head in your lap? OPHELIA Yes, my lord. HAMLET Did you think I was talking about sex? OPHELIA I think nothing, my lord. HAMLETThats a fair thought to lie between maids' legs. OPHELIA What is, my lord? HAMLET 110 Nothing. OPHELIA You are merry, my lord. HAMLET Who, I? OPHELIA Ay, my lord. HAMLET O God, your only jig-maker. What should a man do but be merry? For, look you, how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours. OPHELIA Nay, tis twice two months, my lord. HAMLET So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for Ill have a suit of sables. O heavens! Die two months ago and not forgotten yet? Then theres hope a great mans memory may outlive his life half a year. But, by 'r Lady, he must build churches then, or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is For, oh, for, oh, the hobby-horse is forgot.Thats a nice thought to lie between a girls legs. OPHELIA What is, my lord? HAMLET Nothing. OPHELIA Youre in a good mood tonight, my lord. HAMLET Who, me? OPHELIA Yes, my lord. HAMLET Oh Godwho is, by the way, the best comic of them all. What can you do but be happy? Look how cheerful my mother is, only two hours after my father died. OPHELIA No, my lord, its been four months. HAMLET As long as that? Well, in that case these mourning clothes can go to hell. Ill get myself a fur-trimmed suit. Good heavens, he died two months ago and hasnt been forgotten yet? In that case, theres reason to hope a mans memory may outlive him by six months. But hes got to build churches for that to happen, my lady, or else hell have to put up with being forgotten, like the hobby-horse in the p opular song that goes, Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, the hobby-horse is forgotten.125 Trumpets sound. The dumb show begins Enter a King and a Queen very lovingly, the Queen embracing him and he her. She kneels and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her up and declines his head upon her neck, lays him down upon a bank of flowers. She, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, pours poison in the Kings ears, and exits. The Queen returns, finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The Poisoner, with some two or three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The Poisoner woos the Queen with gifts. She seems loath and unwilling awhile, but in the end accepts his love Exeunt PLAYERS OPHELIA What means this, my lord? HAMLET Marry, this is miching malhecho. It means mischief. OPHELIA Belike this show imports the argument of the play. Enter PROLOGUETrumpets play. The pantomime show begins. A king and queen enter and embrace lovingly. She kneels before him and resists his passion. He lifts her up and lays his head on her neck. He lies down on a bank of flowers. When she sees him sleeping, she leaves. Another man comes in, takes the crown from the king, pours poison in the sleeping mans ear, and leaves. The queen returns and finds the king dead. She becomes hysterical. The killer comes back with three others and calms the queen. The body is carried away. The killer woos the queen with gifts. She is cold toward him for a while but then relents and accepts his advances.OPHELIA What does this mean, my lord? HAMLET This means were having some mischievous fun. OPHELIA This pantomime was probably a summary of the play. The PROLOGUE the actor who will introduce the play enters.HAMLET We shall know by this fellow. TheHAMLET This guy will tell us everything.players cannot keep counsel. Theyll tell all. OPHELIA Will he tell us what this show meant? HAMLET Ay, or any show that you will show him. Be not you ashamed to show, hell not shame to tell you what it means. OPHELIA 135 You are naught, you are naught. Ill mark the play. PROLOGUE For us and for our tragedy, Here stooping to your clemency, We beg your hearing patiently. Exit PROLOGUE HAMLET Is this a prologue or the posy of a ring? OPHELIA 140 'Tis brief, my lord. HAMLET As womans love. Enter PLAYER KING and PLAYER QUEEN PLAYER KING Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round Neptunes salt wash and Tellus' orbd 145 ground, And thirty dozen moons with borrowedActors cant keep a secret. Theyll tell all. OPHELIA Will he tell us what that pantomime meant? HAMLET Sure, or anything else you show him. As long as you arent ashamed to show it, he wont be ashamed to tell you what it means. OPHELIA Youre naughty. Im watching the play. PROLOGUE We beg you most courteously To be patient with us And watch our humble tragedy.HAMLET Was that the prologue or the inscription on some wedding ring? OPHELIA It was a bit short, my lord. HAMLET Yes, as short as a womans love. Actors playing the roles of KING and QUEEN enter. PLAYER KING Its been thirty years since we were married.sheen About the world have times twelve thirties been, Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands Unite commutual in most sacred bands. PLAYER QUEEN So many journeys may the sun and moon Make us again count o'er ere love be done. 150 But woe is me! You are so sick of late, So far from cheer and from your former state, That I distrust you. Yet though I distrust, Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must. 155 For women fear too much, even as they love, And womens fear and love hold quantity, In neither aught, or in extremity. Now what my love is, proof hath made you 160 know, And as my love is sized, my fear is so: Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear. Where little fears grow great, great love grows there. PLAYER KING Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too. My operant powers their functions leave to do. 165 And thou shalt live in this fair world behind, Honored, beloved, and haply one as kind For husband shalt thou PLAYER QUEEN PLAYER KING My love, I will have to leave you soon. My body is growing weak, and I will leave you behind in this beautiful world, honored and much loved. Perhaps youll find another husband PLAYER QUEEN I hope we stay in love for thirty more years! But Im sad. Youve been so gloomy lately, so unlike your usual cheerful self, that I worry something is wrong. But dont let this upset you, since women are too afraid in lovefor them, love and fear go hand in hand. You know very well how much I love you, and my fear is just as deep. When someones love is great, the little worries become very big. So when you see someone who worries a lot about little things, you know theyre really in love.PLAYER QUEENOh, confound the rest! Such love must needs be treason in my breast. In second husband let me be accursed! None wed the second but who killed the first. HAMLET (aside)Wormwood, wormwood. PLAYER QUEEN 170 The instances that second marriage move Are base respects of thrift, but none of love. A second time I kill my husband dead When second husband kisses me in bed. PLAYER KING I do believe you think what now you 175 speak, But what we do determine oft we break. Purpose is but the slave to memory, Of violent birth, but poor validity, Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the 180 tree, But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be. Most necessary tis that we forget To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt. What to ourselves in passion we propose, 185 The passion ending, doth the purpose lose. The violence of either grief or joy Their own enactures with themselves destroy. Where joy most revels, grief doth most 190 lament. Grief joys, joy grieves on slender accident. This world is not for aye, nor tis not strangeOh, damn everyone else! Remarrying would be treason to my heart. Curse me if I take a second husband. When a woman takes a second husband, its because shes killed off the first. HAMLET (to himself) Harsh! PLAYER QUEEN Someone might marry a second time for money, but never for love. Any time I kissed my second husband in bed, Id kill the first one all over again. PLAYER KING I know thats what you think now, but people change their minds. Often our intentions are strong at first, but as time goes on they weaken, just like an apple sticks to the tree when it is unripe but falls to the ground once it ripens. The promises we make to ourselves in emotional moments lose their power once the emotion passes. Great grief and joy may rouse us to action, but when the grief or joy have passed, were no longer motivated to act. Joy turns to grief in the blink of an eye, and grief becomes joy just as quickly. This world is not made for either one to last long in, and its no surprise that even our loves change along with our luck. Its still a mystery to be solved whether luck controls love, or love controls luck. When a great man has a run of bad luck, watch how followersThat even our loves should with our 195 fortunes change. For tis a question left us yet to prove, Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love. The great man down, you mark his favorite 200 flies. The poor advanced makes friends of enemies. And hitherto doth love on fortune tend, For who not needs shall never lack a friend, And who in want a hollow friend doth try, Directly seasons him his enemy. But, orderly to end where I begun, Our wills and fates do so contrary run That our devices still are overthrown. Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own. So think thou wilt no second husband wed, But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead. PLAYER QUEEN Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light. 205 Sport and repose lock from me day and night. To desperation turn my trust and hope. An anchors cheer in prison be my scope. Each opposite that blanks the face of joy 210 Meet what I would have well and it destroy. Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife If, once a widow, ever I be wife! HAMLET If she should break it now! PLAYER KINGdesert him, and when a poor man advances to an important position, he makes friends with the people he used to hate. Love is unreliable. A person with lots of money will always have friends, while one fallen on hard times makes an enemy of any friend he turns to for money. But back to my original point what we want and what we get are always at odds. We can have our little dreams, but the fates decide our futures. You think now youll never remarry, but that thought will die with me, your first husband.PLAYER QUEEN May the earth refuse me food and the heavens go dark, may I have no rest day and night, may my trust and hope turn to despairmay the gloom of a prison overtake me, and may my every joy be turned to sorrow. May I know no peace either in this life or the next one, if I become a wife again after I am a widow. HAMLET Nice vow, but what if she breaks it? PLAYER KING'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile. 215 My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile The tedious day with sleep. The PLAYER KING sleeps PLAYER QUEEN Sleep rock thy brain, And never come mischance between us twain. Exit PLAYER QUEEN HAMLET Madam, how like you this play? GERTRUDE The lady protests too much, methinks. HAMLET Oh, but shell keep her word. CLAUDIUS 220 Have you heard the argument? Is there no offense in t? HAMLET No, no, they do but jest. Poison in jest. No offense i' th' world. CLAUDIUS What do you call the play? HAMLET The Mousetrap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna. Gonzago is the dukes name, his wife Baptista. You shall see anon. 'Tis a knavish piece of work, but what o' that? Your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not. Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.You have made this vow with deep sincerity. My dear, leave me alone now awhile. My mind is getting foggy, and I would like to sleep and escape this endless day. The PLAYER KING sleeps. PLAYER QUEEN Sleep tight, and may nothing come between us. The PLAYER QUEEN exits. HAMLET Madam, how are you liking this play? GERTRUDE The ladys overdoing it, I think. HAMLET Oh, but shell keep her word. CLAUDIUS Do you know the plot? Is there anything offensive in it? HAMLET No, no, its just a joke, a little jibe but all in good fun. Not offensive at all. CLAUDIUS Whats the play called? HAMLET The Mousetrap. Why on earth is it called that, you ask? Its a metaphor. This play is about a murder committed in Vienna. Gonzago is the dukes name, and his wife is Baptista. Youll see soon enough. Its a piece of garbage, but who cares? You and I have free souls, so it doesnt concern us. Let the guilty wince.We can watch without being bothered. Enter LUCIANUS This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king. OPHELIA 230 You are as good as a chorus, my lord. HAMLET I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see the puppets dallying. OPHELIA You are keen, my lord, you are keen. HAMLET It would cost you a groaning to take off mine edge. OPHELIA 235 Still better and worse. HAMLET So you must take your husbands.Begin, murderer. Pox, leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come, The croaking raven doth bellow for revenge LUCIANUS enters. This is Lucianus, the kings nephew in the play. OPHELIA Youre an expert commentator, arent you? HAMLET Yes. I could even supply the dialogue between you and your lover if you did your little puppet show of love for me. OPHELIA Ooh, youre sharp. HAMLET Yes, pointy, but you could take the edge off me though it might make you moan a little. OPHELIA You get better in your jokes and worse in your manners. HAMLET Thats what you women get when you trick us into marriage.Lets get started, murderer on stage, please! Damn it, stop fussing with the makeup, and get going. Were all waiting for the revenge! LUCIANUS Evil thoughts, ready hands, the right poison, and the time is right too. The dark night is on my side, for no one can see me. You deadly mixture of weeds and plants, which Hecate, goddess of witchcraft, has put a spell on, use yourLUCIANUS Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and 240 time agreeing, Confederate season, else no creature seeing, Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,245 With Hecates ban thrice blasted, thrice infected, Thy natural magic and dire property On wholesome life usurp immediately. (pours poison into PLAYER KING s ears) HAMLET He poisons him i' th' garden for s estate. His names Gonzago. The story is extant, and writ in choice Italian. You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzagos wife.magic to steal this healthy persons life away. (pours the poison into the PLAYER KING s ears)HAMLET You see, he poisons the king in his own garden to get the kingdom for himself. The kings name is Gonzago. The original story was written in the finest Italian. Youll see shortly how the murderer wins the love of Gonzagos wife. CLAUDIUS stands up. OPHELIA The king is getting up. HAMLET Whatis he scared of a gun that only fired a blank? GERTRUDE My lord, how are you feeling? POLONIUS Stop the play. CLAUDIUS Turn on the lights. Get me out of here! POLONIUS Lights, lights, get us some lights! Everyone except HAMLET and HORATIO ex its. HAMLET Let the deer thats been shot go offCLAUDIUS stands up OPHELIA 250 The king rises. HAMLET What, frighted with false fire? GERTRUDE How fares my lord? POLONIUS Give o'er the play. CLAUDIUS Give me some light, away! POLONIUS 255 Lights, lights, lights! Commotion. Exeunt all but HAMLET andHORATIOHAMLET Why, let the stricken deer go weep,The hart ungalld play. For some must watch while some must sleep. So runs the world away. Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathersif the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with mewith two Provincial roses on my razed shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of players? HORATIO Half a share. HAMLET A whole one, I. For thou dost know, O Damon dear, This realm dismantled was Of Jove himself. And now reigns here A very, verypajock. HORATIO You might have rhymed. HAMLET O good Horatio, Ill take the ghosts word for a thousand pound. Didst perceive? HORATIO Very well, my lord. HAMLET Upon the talk of the poisoning? HORATIO I did very well note him. HAMLET 265 Ah ha! Come, some music! Come, theand weep, While the unharmed deer happily plays. For some must watch while other must sleep, Thats how the world goes. Couldnt I get work as an actor (if I hit a run of bad luck) in some acting company, and wear flowers on my shoes? HORATIO They might even give you half a share of the company. HAMLET No, a whole share for me. For you know, my dearest Damon, That Jove, king of the gods, was Thrown out of power here, and Whos in charge? A bigpeacock. HORATIO You could have at least rhymed. HAMLET Oh, Horatio, Ill bet you a thousand bucks the ghost was right. Did you notice? HORATIO Yes, I did, my lord. HAMLET When the actors were talking about poison? HORATIO I watched him very closely. HAMLET Ah ha! Hey, lets have some musicrecorders! For if the king like not the comedy, Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy. Come, some music! Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENS TERN GUILDENSTERN Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you. HAMLET Sir, a whole history. GUILDENSTERN The king, sir HAMLET 270 Ay, sir, what of him? GUILDENSTERN Is in his retirement marvelous distempered. HAMLET With drink, sir? GUILDENSTERN No, my lord, with choler. HAMLET Your wisdom should show itself more richer to signify this to the doctor. For, for me to put him to his purgation would perhaps plunge him into far more choler. GUILDENSTERN Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame and start not so wildly from my! Play your flutes! For if the king doesnt like the play, Then he doesnt like it, we may say. Come on, music! ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENST ERN enter. GUILDENSTERN My lord, could I have a word with you? HAMLET You can have a whole story, not just a word. GUILDENSTERN Sir, the king HAMLET Yes, what about him? GUILDENSTERN Hes in his chambers now, and hes extremely upset. HAMLET What, an upset stomach from too much booze? GUILDENSTERN No, sir, hes angry. HAMLET You should be smart enough to tell this to a doctor, not me, since if I treated him, hed just get angrier. GUILDENSTERN My lord, please try to stick to the subject at hand.HAMLET I am tame, sir. Pronounce. GUILDENSTERN The queen your mother, in most great affliction of spirit, hath sent me to you. HAMLET You are welcome. GUILDENSTERN Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will do your mothers commandment. If not, your pardon and my return shall be the end of my business. HAMLET Sir, I cannot. GUILDENSTERN What, my lord? HAMLET Make you a wholesome answer. My wits diseased. But, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command. Or, rather, as you say, my mother. Therefore no more but to the matter. My mother, you say ROSENCRANTZ Then thus she says: your behavior hath struck her into amazement and admiration. HAMLET O wonderful son that can so stonish a mother! But is there no sequel at the heels of this mothers admiration? Impart. ROSENCRANTZ She desires to speak with you in her closet ere you go to bed. HAMLET We shall obey, were she ten times ourHAMLET Ill be good, sir. Go ahead. GUILDENSTERN The queen your mother is upset, and sent me to see you. HAMLET Its lovely to see you. GUILDENSTERN No, my lord, your polite words are not to the point. If you could please stop fooling around, Ill tell you what your mother wants. If not, Ill leave you alone and thatll be the end of my business. HAMLET Sir, I cant. GUILDENSTERN Cant what, my lord? HAMLET Stop fooling around. My mind is confused. But Ill do my best to give you a straight answer, as you wishor rather, as my mother wishes. Okay, to the point. My mother, you say ? ROSENCRANTZ She says that your behavior has astonished her. HAMLET Oh, what a wonderful son, I can impress my mother! But whats the upshot of her admiration? Do tell. ROSENCRANTZ She wants to have a word with you in her bedroom before you go to bed. HAMLET Id obey even if she were my mothermother. Have you any further trade with us? ROSENCRANTZ 300 My lord, you once did love me. HAMLET And do still, by these pickers and stealers. ROSENCRANTZ Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? You do surely bar the door upon your own liberty if you deny your griefs to your friend. HAMLET 305 Sir, I lack advancement. ROSENCRANTZ How can that be, when you have the voice of the king himself for your succession in Denmark? Reenter the PLAYERS with recordersten times over. Is there anything else I can do for you? ROSENCRANTZ My lord, you used to like me. HAMLET And still do, I swear by my hands. ROSENCRANTZ My lord, whats wrong with you? Youre not doing yourself any good by refusing to tell your friends whats bothering you. HAMLET Sir, I have no future ahead of me. ROSENCRANTZ But how can you say that, when the king himself says youre the heir to the Danish throne? The PLAYERS enter with recorders . HAMLET Yes, eventually, but as the proverb goes, While the grass grows But thats a tired old proverb. Oh, the recorders! Let me see one.(he takes a recorder and turns to GUILDENSTERN )Why are you hovering so close, as if you want to ambush me? GUILDENSTERN Oh, my lord, Im sorry if Im forgetting my manners. Its just that Im worried about you. HAMLET I dont really understand what youHAMLET Ay, sir, but While the grass grows The proverb is something mustyOh, the recorders! Let me see one. (takes a recorder) (aside toROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN ) To withdraw with you, why do you go about to recover the wind of me as if you would drive me into a toil? GUILDENSTERN O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly. HAMLET I do not well understand that. Will you playupon this pipe? GUILDENSTERN My lord, I cannot. HAMLET I pray you. GUILDENSTERN Believe me, I cannot. HAMLET 320 I do beseech you. GUILDENSTERN I know no touch of it, my lord. HAMLET It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages with your fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops. GUILDENSTERN But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony. I have not the skill. HAMLET Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me. You would seem to know my stops. You would pluck out the heart of my mystery. You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass. And there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak? 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.mean. Will you play this recorder? GUILDENSTERN I cant, my lord. HAMLET Please. GUILDENSTERN Im serious, I cant. HAMLET Im begging you. GUILDENSTERN I have no idea how. HAMLET Oh, its as easy as lying. Just put your fingers and thumb over the holes and blow into it, and itll produce the most moving music. Here, the holes are here. GUILDENSTERN But I cant play a melody. I dont know how. HAMLET Well, look how you play meas if you knew exactly where to put your fingers, to blow the mystery out of me, playing all the octaves of my range and yet you cant even produce music from this little instrument? My God, do you think Im easier to manipulate than a pipe? You can push my buttons, but you cant play me for a fool.Enter POLONIUS God bless you, sir. POLONIUS My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently. HAMLET Do you see yonder cloud thats almost in shape of a camel? POLONIUS 340 By th' mass, and tis like a camel indeed. HAMLET Methinks it is like a weasel. POLONIUS It is backed like a weasel. HAMLET Or like a whale. POLONIUS Very like a whale. HAMLET Then I will come to my mother by and by. (aside)They fool me to the top of my bent.I will come by and by. POLONIUS I will say so. HAMLET By and by is easily said. Exit POLONIUS Leave me, friends. Exeunt all but HAMLET 350 'Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes outPOLONIUS enters. Hello and God bless you, sir. POLONIUS My lord, the queen wants to speak with you right away. HAMLET Do you see that cloud up there that looks like a camel? POLONIUS By God, it does look like a camel. HAMLET To me it looks like a weasel. POLONIUS It does have a back like a weasels. HAMLET Or like a whale. POLONIUS Yes, very much like a whale. HAMLET Ill go see my mother soon. (to himself) Theyre trying as hard as they can to mess with me.I will go soon. POLONIUS Ill tell her. HAMLET Its easy enough to say soon. POLONIUS exits. Now please leave me alone, my friends. Everyone except HAMLET exits. This is the time of night when witches come out, when graveyards yawn open and the stench of hell seeps out. I couldContagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood 355 And do such bitter business as the bitter day Would quake to look on. Soft, now to my mother. O heart, lose not thy nature, let not ever The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom. Let me be cruel, not unnatural. I will speak daggers to her but use none. My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites. 360 How in my words somever she be shent, To give them seals never, my soul, consent! Exit Act 3, Scene 3 Enter CLAUDIUS, ROSENCRANTZ, andGUILDENSTERN CLAUDIUS I like him not, nor stands it safe with us To let his madness range. Therefore prepare you. I your commission will forthwith 5 dispatch, And he to England shall along with you. The terms of our estate may not endure Hazard so dangerous as doth hourly grow Out of his lunacies. GUILDENSTERN We will ourselves provide. Most holy and religious fear it is To keep those many, many bodies safedrink hot blood and do such terrible deeds that people would tremble even in the daylight. But Ive got to go see my mother.Oh, heart, dont grow weak, like Nero Let me be cruel, but not inhuman.Ill speak as sharp as a dagger to her, but I wont use one on her. And so, my words and thoughts will be at odds.HAMLET exits.CLAUDIUS, ROSENCRANTZ, andGUILDENSTERN enter. CLAUDIUS I dont like the way hes acting, and its not safe for me to let his insanity get out of control. So get prepared. Im sending you to England on diplomatic business, and Hamlet will go with you. As king, I cannot risk the danger he represents as he grows crazier by the hour.GUILDENSTERN Well take care of it. Its a sacred duty to protect the lives of all those who depend on Your Highness.10That live and feed upon your majesty. ROSENCRANTZ The single and peculiar life is bound With all the strength and armor of the mind To keep itself from noyance, but much more That spirit upon whose weal depend and rest The lives of many. The cease of majesty Dies not alone, but, like a gulf, doth ROSENCRANTZ Everyone tries to avoid harm, but the public figure demands even more protection. When a great leader dies he doesnt die alone but, like a whirlpool, draws others with him. Hes like a huge wheel on the top of the highest mountain whose spokes touch the rim of ten thousand smaller thingswhen it falls down the mountain, every little object goes down with it. Whenever a king sighs, everyone groans.1520draw Whats near it with it. It is a massy wheel Fixed on the summit of the highest mount, To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things Are mortised and adjoined, which, when it falls, Each small annexment, petty consequence, Attends the boisterous ruin. Never alone Did the king sigh, but with a general groan. CLAUDIUS Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage. For we will fetters put upon this fear, Which now goes too free-footed. ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN We will haste us. Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDE NSTERN25CLAUDIUS Prepare yourself, please, for this trip. Well put a leash on this danger thats now running wild. ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN Well hurry. ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN exi t.Enter POLONIUS POLONIUS My lord, hes going to his mothers closet. Behind the arras Ill convey myself To hear the process. Ill warrant shell tax him home. And, as you said (and wisely was it said) 'Tis meet that some more audience than a mother Since nature makes them partialshould o'erhear The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege. Ill call upon you ere you go to bed And tell you what I know. CLAUDIUS Thanks, dear my lord. Exit POLONIUS Oh, my offence is rank. It smells to heaven. It hath the primal eldest curse upon t, A brothers murder. Pray can I not. Though inclination be as sharp as will, My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent, And, like a man to double business bound, I stand in pause where I shall first begin, And both neglect. What if this cursd hand Were thicker than itself with brothers blood? Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens CLAUDIUS Thanks, my dear lord.POLONIUS enters. POLONIUS My lord, Hamlets going to his mothers room. Ill hide behind the tapestry to hear what they say. I bet shell chew him out. And as you said (and you said it wisely), its good to have someone other than a mother listening in on them, since she can be too partial to him. Goodbye, my lord. Ill stop by before you go to bed, and tell you what Ive heard.3035POLONIUS exits. Oh, my crime is so rotten it stinks all the way to heaven. It has the mark of Cain on it, a brothers murder. I cant pray, though I want to desperately. My guilt is stronger even than my intentions. And like a person with two opposite things to do at once, I stand paralyzed and neglect them both. So what if this cursed hand of mine is coated with my brothers blood? Isnt there enough rain in heaven to wash it clean as snow? Isnt that what Gods mercy is for? And doesnt prayer serve these two purposesto keep us from sinning and to bring us forgiveness when we have sinned? So Ill pray. Ive already committed my sin. But, oh, what kind of prayer is there for me? Dear Lord, forgive404550To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy But to confront the visage of offence? And whats in prayer but this twofold force, To be forestalld ere we come to fall Or pardoned being down? Then Ill look up. My fault is past. But oh, what form of prayer Can serve my turn, Forgive me my foul murder? 55 That cannot be, since I am still possessed Of those effects for which I did the murder: My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. May one be pardoned and retain th' offense? In the corrupted currents of this world Offenses gilded hand may shove by justice, And oft tis seen the wicked prize itself Buys out the law. But tis not so above. There is no shuffling. There the action lies In his true nature, and we ourselves compelled, Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults, To give in evidence. What then? What rests? Try what repentance can. What can it not? Yet what can it when one can not repent? O wretched state! O bosom black asme for my horrible murder?That wont work, since Im still reaping the rewards of that murder: my crown and my queen. Can a person be forgiven and still keep the fruits of his crime? In this wicked world, criminals often take the money they stole and use it to buy off the law, shoving justice aside. But not in heaven. Up there, every action is judged for exactly what its worth, and were forced to confront our crimes. So what can I do? What is there left to do? Offer whatever repentance I canthat couldnt hurt. But it cant help either! Oh, what a lousy situation Im in. My hearts as black as death. My soul is stuck to sin, and the more it struggles to break free, the more it sticks. Help me, angels! Cmon, make an effort. Bend, stubborn knees. Steely heart, be soft as a newborn babe, so I can pray. Perhaps everything will turn out okay after all. (he kneels)606570death! O limd soul that, struggling to be free, Art more engaged! Help, angels. Make assay. Bow, stubborn knees, and, heart with strings of steel, Be soft as sinews of the newborn babe. All may be well. (kneels) Enter HAMLET HAMLET Now might I do it pat. Now he is a75 praying. And now Ill do t. And so he goes to heaven. And so am I revenged.That would be scanned. A villain kills my father, and, for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send To heaven. Oh, this is hire and salary, not revenge. He took my father grossly, full of bread, With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May. And how his audit stands who knows save heaven? But in our circumstance and course of thought 'Tis heavy with him. And am I then revenged To take him in the purging of his soul When he is fit and seasoned for his passage? No. 90 Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent. So is it really revenge for me if I kill Claudius right when he is confessing his sins, in perfect condition for a trip to heaven? No. Away, sword, and wait for a better moment to kill him. (he puts his sword away) When hes sleeping off HAMLET enters. HAMLET I could do it easily now. Hes praying now. And now Ill do it. (he draws out his sword) And there he goes, off to heaven. And thats my revenge. Id better think about this more carefully. A villain kills my father, and I, my fathers only son, send this same villain to heaven. Seems like I just did him a favor. He killed my father when my father was enjoying life, with all his sins in full bloom, before my father could repent for any of them. Only God knows how many sins my father has to pay for. As for me, I dont think his prospects look so good.8085When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed, At game a-swearing, or about some act 95 That has no relish of salvation in t Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven, And that his soul may be as damned and black As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays This physic but prolongs thy sickly days. Exit HAMLET CLAUDIUS (rises) My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go. Exit Act 3, Scene 4 Enter GERTRUDE and POLONIUS POLONIUS He will come straight. Look you lay home to him. Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with, And that your grace hath screened and stood between Much heat and him. Ill silence me even here. Pray you, be round with him. HAMLET (within) Mother, mother, mother! GERTRUDEsome drunken orgy, or having incestuous sex, or swearing while he gambles, or committing some other act that has no goodness about itthats when Ill trip him up and send him to hell with his heels kicking up at heaven. My mothers waiting. The kings trying to cure himself with prayer, but all hes doing is keeping himself alive a little longer. HAMLET exits. CLAUDIUS (rising) My words fly up toward heaven, but my thoughts stay down here on earth. Words without thoughts behind them will never make it to heaven. CLAUDIUS exits.GERTRUDEand POLONIUS enter. POLONIUS Hell come right away. Make sure you lay into him. Tell him his pranks have caused too much trouble, and that Your Highness has taken a lot of heat for them. Ill be right here, silent. Please be blunt with him.5HAMLET (offstage) Mother, mother, mother! GERTRUDEIll warrant you. Fear me not. Withdraw, I hear him coming. POLONIUS hides behind the arras Enter HAMLET HAMLET Now mother, whats the matter? GERTRUDE Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended. 10 HAMLET Mother, you have my father much offended. GERTRUDE Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue. HAMLET Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue. GERTRUDE Why, how now, Hamlet? HAMLET Whats the matter now? GERTRUDE Have you forgot me? HAMLET No, by the rood, not so. You are the queen, your husbands brothers wife, Andwould it were not so!you are my mother. GERTRUDE Nay, then Ill set those to you that can speak.Dont worry, Ill do what you say. Now hide, I hear him coming. POLONIUS hides behind the tapestry. HAMLET enters. HAMLET Now mother, whats this all about? GERTRUDE Hamlet, youve insulted your father. HAMLET Mother, youve insulted my father. GERTRUDE Come on, youre answering me foolishly. HAMLET Go on, youre questioning me evilly. GERTRUDE Hamlet, what, why? HAMLET Whats the problem now? GERTRUDE Have you forgotten who I am? HAMLET For Gods sake no, I havent. You are the queen, your husbands brothers wife, and you are my mother, though I wish you werent. GERTRUDE In that case Ill call in others who can still speak.15HAMLET Come, come, and sit you down. You shall not budge. 20 You go not till I set you up a glass Where you may see the inmost part of you. GERTRUDE What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me? Help, help, ho! POLONIUS (from behind the arras) What, ho? Help, help, help! HAMLET How now, a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead! (stabs his sword through the arras and killsPOLONIUS) POLONIUS (from behind the arras) Oh, I am slain. GERTRUDE O me, what hast thou done? HAMLET Nay, I know not. Is it the king? GERTRUDE Oh, what a rash and bloody deed is this! HAMLET A bloody deed? Almost as bad, good 30 mother, As kill a king and marry with his brother. GERTRUDE As kill a king? HAMLETHAMLET No, sit down. You wont budge until I hold a mirror up to you, where you will see whats deep inside you.GERTRUDE What are you going to do? You wont kill me, will you? Help! POLONIUS (from behind the tapestry) Hey! Help, help, help! HAMLET Whats this, a rat? Ill bet a buck hes a dead rat now. (he stabs his sword through the tapestry and killsPOLONIUS) POLONIUS (from behind the tapestry) Oh, Ive been killed! GERTRUDE Oh my God, what have you done? HAMLET I dont know. Is it the king? GERTRUDE Oh, what a senseless, horrible act! HAMLET A horrible actalmost as bad, my good mother, as killing a king and marrying his brother. GERTRUDE Killing a king? HAMLET25Ay, lady, twas my word. (draws back the arras and discovers POLONIUS) Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell. I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune. Thou findst to be too busy is some danger. (to GERTRUDE) Leave wringing of your hands. Peace. Sit you down And let me wring your heart. For so I shall If it be made of penetrable stuff, If damnd custom have not brassed it so That it is proof and bulwark against sense. 40 GERTRUDE What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue In noise so rude against me? HAMLET Such an act That blurs the grace and blush of modesty, Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose 45 From the fair forehead of an innocent love And sets a blister there, makes marriage vows As false as dicers' oathsoh, such a deed As from the body of contraction plucks The very soul, and sweet religion makes A rhapsody of words. Heavens face doth glow O'er this solidity and compound mass With tristful visage, as against the doom,Thats what I said, my good woman. (he pulls back the tapestry and discoversPOLONIUS) You low-life, nosy, busybody fool, goodbye. I thought you were somebody more important. Youve gotten what you deserve. I guess you found out its dangerous to be a busybody. (toGERTRUDE) Stop wringing your hands. Sit down and let me wring your heart instead, which I will do if its still soft enough, if your evil lifestyle has not toughened it against feeling anything at all.35GERTRUDE What have I done that you dare to talk to me so rudely? HAMLET A deed that destroys modesty, turns virtue into hypocrisy, replaces the blossom on the face of true love with a nasty blemish, makes marriage vows as false as a gamblers oathoh, youve done a deed that plucks the soul out of marriage and turns religion into meaningless blather. Heaven looks down on this earth, as angry as if Judgment Day were here, and is sick at the thought of what youve done.50Is thought-sick at the act. GERTRUDE Ay me, what act That roars so loud and thunders in the index? HAMLET Look here upon this picture and on this, 55 The counterfeit presentment of two brothers. See, what a grace was seated on this brow? Hyperions curls, the front of Jove himself, An eye like Mars to threaten and command, A station like the herald Mercury New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill A combination and a form indeed Where every god did seem to set his seal GERTRUDE Cmon, whats this deed that sounds so awful even before I know what it is? HAMLET Look at this picture here, and that one there, the painted images of two brothers. Look how kind and gentlemanly this one is, with his curly hair and his forehead like a Greek god. His eye could command like the god of war. His body is as agile as Mercury just landing on a high hill. A figure and a combination of good qualities that seemed like every god had set his stamp on this man.6065To give the world assurance of a man. This was your husband. Look you now, what follows. Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes? Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed And batten on this moor? Ha, have you eyes? You cannot call it love, for at your age The heyday in the blood is tame, itsThat was your husband. Now look at this other one. Here is your present husband, like a mildewed ear of corn infecting the healthy one next to it. Do you have eyes? How could you leave the lofty heights of this man here and descend as low as this one? Ha! Do you have eyes? You cannot say you did it out of love, since at your age romantic passions have grown weak, and the heart obeys reason. But what reason could move you from this one to that one? You must have some sense in your head, since youre able to get7075humble,And waits upon the judgment. And what judgment Would step from this to this? Sense sure 80 you have, Else could you not have motion. But sure that sense Is apoplexed, for madness would not err, Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thralled, But it reserved some quantity of choice To serve in such a difference. What devil was t That thus hath cozened you at hoodmanblind? Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight, Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all, Or but a sickly part of one true sense Could not so mope. O shame, where is thy blush? Rebellious hell, If thou canst mutine in a matrons bones, To flaming youth let virtue be as wax And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame When the compulsive ardor gives the charge, Since frost itself as actively doth burn, And reason panders will. GERTRUDE O Hamlet, speak no more! Thou turnst mine eyes into my very soul, And there I see such black and graind spots As will not leave their tinct.around, but it seems to be paralyzed, since even if you were crazy you would know the difference between these two men. No one ever went so insane that they couldnt get an easy choice like this one right. What devil was it that blindfolded you? Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight, ears without hands or eyes, smell without anything else, the use of even one impaired sense would not permit such a mistake as yours. Oh, for shame, why arent you blushing? If evil can overtake even an old mothers bones, then let it melt my own. It turns out its no longer shameful to act on impulsenow that the old are doing so, and now that reason is a servant to desire.8590GERTRUDE Oh, Hamlet, stop! Youre making me look into my very soul, where the marks of sin are so thick and black they will never be washed away.HAMLET Nay, but to live In the rank sweat of an enseamd bed, 95 Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love Over the nasty sty GERTRUDE O, speak to me no more! These words like daggers enter in my ears. No more, sweet Hamlet. HAMLET A murderer and a villain, A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe Of your precedent lord, a vice of kings, 100 A cutpurse of the empire and the rule, That from a shelf the precious diadem stole, And put it in his pocket GERTRUDE No more! HAMLET A king of shreds and patches Enter GHOST 105 Save me and hover o'er me with your wings, You heavenly guards!What would your gracious figure? GERTRUDE Alas, hes mad! HAMLET Do you not come your tardy son to chide, That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by 110 The important acting of your dread command?HAMLET Yes, and you lie in the sweaty stench of your dirty sheets, wet with corruption, making loveGERTRUDE Oh, you must stop! Your words are like daggers. Please, no more, sweet Hamlet. HAMLET A murderer and a villain, a low-life whos not worth a twentieth of a tenth of your first husbandthe worst of kings, a thief of the throne, who took the precious crown from a shelf and put it in his pocket GERTRUDE Stop! HAMLET A ragtag king The GHOST enters. Oh, angels in heaven, protect me with your wings!What can I do for you, my gracious lord? GERTRUDE Oh no! Hamlets gone completely crazy. HAMLET Have you come to scold your tardy son for straying from his mission, letting your important command slip by? Tell me!O, say! GHOST Do not forget. This visitation Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose. But look, amazement on thy mother sits. O, step between her and her fighting soul. 115 Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works. Speak to her, Hamlet. GHOST Dont forget. Ive come to sharpen your somewhat dull appetite for revenge. But look, your mother is in shock. Oh, keep her struggling soul from being overwhelmed by horrid visions. The imagination works strongest in those with the weakest bodies. Talk to her, Hamlet. HAMLET How are you doing, madam? GERTRUDE And how are you doing, staring into the empty air and talking to nobody? Your eyes give away your wild thoughts, and your hair is standing upright, like soldiers during a call to arms. Oh my dear son, calm yourself and cool off your overheated mind! What are you staring at?HAMLET How is it with you, lady? GERTRUDE Alas, how is t with you, That you do bend your eye on vacancy And with th' incorporal air do hold 120 discourse? Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep, And, as the sleeping soldiers in th' alarm, Your bedded hair, like life in excrements, Starts up and stands on end. O gentle son, 125 Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look? HAMLET On him, on him! Look you, how pale he glares! His form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones, 130 Would make them capable. (to GHOST) Do not look upon me, Lest with this piteous action you convert My stern effects. Then what I have to do Will want true colortears perchance for blood.HAMLET At him, at him! Look how pale he is and how he glares at me. Preaching even at stones, he could get them to act. (to the GHOST) Dont look at me like that, unless you want me to cry instead of kill.GERTRUDE To whom do you speak this? HAMLET Do you see nothing there? GERTRUDE Nothing at all, yet all that is I see. HAMLET 135 Nor did you nothing hear? GERTRUDE No, nothing but ourselves. HAMLET Why, look you there! Look how it steals away My father, in his habit as he lived Look where he goes, even now, out at the portal! Exit GHOST GERTRUDE This the very coinage of your brain. 140 This bodiless creation ecstasy Is very cunning in. HAMLET Ecstasy? My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time And makes as healthful music. It is not 145 madness That I have uttered. Bring me to the test, And I the matter will reword, which madness Would gambol from. Mother, for love of 150 grace, Lay not that flattering unction to your soulGERTRUDE Who are you talking to? HAMLET You dont see anything? GERTRUDE Nothing at all, but I can see everything thats here. HAMLET And you dont hear anything? GERTRUDE No, nothing but us talking. HAMLET Look, look how its sneaking away! My father, dressed just like he was when he was alive! Look, hes going out the door right now! The GHOST exits. GERTRUDE This is only a figment of your imagination. Madness is good at creating hallucinations. HAMLET Madness? My heart beats just as evenly as yours does. Theres nothing crazy in what Ive just uttered. Put me to the test. Ill rephrase everything Ive just said, which a lunatic couldnt do. Mother, for the love of God, dont flatter yourself into believing that its my madness, not your crime, thats the problem. Youd just be concealing the rot thats eating you from the inside. Confess your sins to heaven. Repent and avoid damnation.That not your trespass but my madness speaks. It will but skin and film the ulcerous place 155 Whilst rank corruption, mining all within, Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven. Repent whats past. Avoid what is to come. And do not spread the compost on the weeds To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue, For in the fatness of these pursy times Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg, Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good. GERTRUDE O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain. HAMLET Oh, throw away the worser part of it, 160 And live the purer with the other half. Good nightbut go not to mine uncles bed. Assume a virtue if you have it not. That monster, custom, who all sense doth 165 eat, Of habits devil, is angel yet in this: That to the use of actions fair and good He likewise gives a frock or livery That aptly is put on. Refrain tonight, And that shall lend a kind of easiness To the next abstinence, the next more easy.Dont spread manure over the weeds in your heart; itll only make them more filthy. Forgive me my good intentions here since in these fat and spoiled times, virtuous people have to say, Beg your pardon to vile ones and beg for the chance to do any good.GERTRUDE Oh Hamlet, youve broken my heart in two! HAMLET Then throw away the worse half, and live a purer life with the other! Good night to you. But dont go to my uncles bed tonight. At least pretend to be virtuous, even if youre not. Habit is a terrible thing, in that its easy to get used to doing evil without feeling bad about it. But its also a good thing, in that being good can also become a habit. Say no to sex tonight, and that will make it easier to say no the next time, and still easier the time after that. Habit can change even ones natural instincts, and either rein in the devil in us, or kick him out. Once again, good night to you,and when you want to repent, Ill ask you for your blessing too. Im sorry about what happened to this gentleman (pointing to POLONIUS), but 170 For use almost can change the stamp of nature, And either rein the devil or throw him out With wondrous potency. Once more, good night, 175 And when you are desirous to be blessed, Ill blessing beg of you. (points to POLONIUS) For this same lord, I do repent. But heaven hath pleased it so, 180 To punish me with this and this with me, That I must be their scourge and minister. I will bestow him and will answer well The death I gave him. So, again, good night. I must be cruel only to be kind. Thus bad begins and worse remains behind. One word more, good lady GERTRUDE What shall I do? HAMLET 185 Not this, by no means, that I bid you do Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed, Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse, And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses 190 Or paddling in your neck with his damned fingers, Make you to ravel all this matter out: GERTRUDE What should I do? HAMLET Whatever you do, dont do this: let the fat king seduce you into his bed again, so he can pinch your cheek, call you his bunny, and with filthy kisses and a massage of your neck with his damned fingers, make you admit that my madness is fake, all calculated. What a great idea that would be, because why God wanted to punish me with this murder, and this man with me, so Im both Heavens executioner and its minister of justice. This is bad, but itll get worse soon. Oh, and one other thing, madam.That I essentially am not in madness But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him 195 know, For who thats but a queen, fair, sober, wise, Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib, Such dear concernings hide? Who would 200 do so? No, in despite of sense and secrecy, Unpeg the basket on the houses top. Let the birds fly, and like the famous ape, To try conclusions, in the basket creep And break your own neck down. GERTRUDE Be thou assured, if words be made of breath And breath of life, I have no life to breathe What thou hast said to me. HAMLET I must to England, you know that? GERTRUDE 205 Alack, I had forgot. 'Tis so concluded on. HAMLET Theres letters sealed, and my two schoolfellows, Whom I will trust as I will adders fanged, 210 They bear the mandate. They must sweep my way And marshal me to knavery. Let it work, For tis the sport to have the engineer Hoist with his own petard. And t shall go 215 hard, But I will delve one yard below theirwould a fair, sober, wise queen hide such things from a toad, a pig, a monster like him? Who would do that? No, no, its much, much better to spill the beans right away, let the cat out of the bag, and break your neck in the process.GERTRUDE You can rest easy, since words are made of breath, and breathing requires that you be alive. I feel too dead to breathe a word of what youve told me. HAMLET I have to go to England, dont you know that? GERTRUDE Ah, Id forgotten all about that! Its been decided. HAMLET Yes, its a done deal, the documents are ready, and my two schoolmates, whom I trust about as much as rattlesnakes, are in charge. Theyre the ones wholl lead me on my march to mischief. Let it happen. Its fun to watch the engineer get blown up by his own explosives, and with any luck Ill dig a few feet below their bombs and blow them to the moon. Oh, its nice to kill two birds with onemines, And blow them at the moon. Oh, tis most sweet 220 When in one line two crafts directly meet. (indicates POLONIUS ) This man shall set me packing. Ill lug the guts into the neighbor room. Mother, good night. Indeed this counselor Is now most still, most secret, and most grave Who was in life a foolish prating knave. Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you. Good night, mother. Exeunt, HAMLET tugging in POLONIUS Act 4, Scene 1 Enter King CLAUDIUS and Queen GERTRUDE, with ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENST ERN CLAUDIUS (to GERTRUDE) Theres matter in these sighs, these profound heaves. You must translate. 'Tis fit we understand them. Where is your son? GERTRUDE (to ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTE RN) Bestow this place on us a little while. Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENstone. (points to POLONIUS)Now that Ive killed this guy, Ill be off in a hurry. Ill lug his guts into the next room. Mother, have a good night. This politician who was in life a babbling idiot is now quiet and serious. Come on, sir, lets get to the end of our business. Good night, mother.They exit, HAMLET dragging POLONIUSoffstage.CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDE enter withROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. CLAUDIUS (to GERTRUDE) These deep, heaving sighs of yours mean something. You have to tell me what. I need to know. Wheres your son? GERTRUDE (to ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN) Let us speak privately awhile, please. ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN exit.5STERN Ah, my good lord, what have I seen tonight! CLAUDIUS What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet? GERTRUDE Mad as the sea and wind when both contend Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit, Behind the arras hearing something stir, Whips out his rapier, cries, A rat, a rat! And in this brainish apprehension kills The unseen good old man. CLAUDIUS O heavy deed! 15 It had been so with us, had we been there. His liberty is full of threats to all To you yourself, to us, to everyone. Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered? It will be laid to us, whose providence Should have kept short, restrained and out of haunt, This mad young man. But so much was our love, We would not understand what was most fit, But, like the owner of a foul disease, To keep it from divulging, let it feed Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone? 25 GERTRUDE To draw apart the body he hath killed, O'er whom his very madness, like some the core, I kept Hamlets condition secret and let it grow more and more dangerous. Where has he gone? GERTRUDE To remove the corpse of the man he killed. His madness allows a glimmering of Ah, my lord, you wouldnt believe what Ive witnessed tonight! CLAUDIUS What, Gertrude? How is Hamlet? GERTRUDE As mad as the waves and the wind when they struggle together in a storm. In an insane rage, he hears something behind the tapestry, whips out his sword, shouts, A rat, a rat! and in his deranged state of mind he kills the good old man, who is still hidden. CLAUDIUS Oh, this is terrible! It wouldve happened to me if Id been there. His wildness is a threat to all of usto you, to me, to everyone. How will we deal with this violent deed? Im the one who will be blamed for not restraining and confining this mad young man. But I loved him so much I didnt want to think about what I had to do. So, like someone suffering from a nasty disease who refuses to divulge his condition and lets it infect him to1020ore Among a mineral of metals base, Shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done. CLAUDIUS O Gertrude, come away! The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch But we will ship him hence, and this vile deed We must, with all our majesty and skill, Both countenance and excuse.Ho, Guildenstern! Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENS TERN Friends both, go join you with some 35 further aid. Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain, And from his mothers closet hath he dragged him. Go seek him out, speak fair, and bring the body Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this. Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDEN STERN Come, Gertrude, well call up our wisest friends, And let them know both what we mean to do And whats untimely done. So dreaded slander Whose whisper o'er the worlds diameter, As level as the cannon to his blank, Transports the poisoned shotmay missmorality to shine through, like a vein of gold in a chunk of coal. He weeps for what he has done. CLAUDIUS Oh, Gertrude, lets go. As soon as the sun sets well ship him off to England. Itll take all my diplomatic know-how to explain and excuse the murder hes committed. Hey, Guildenstern!30ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN enter.My friends, go find others to help you. Hamlet in his madness has killed Polonius and dragged him out of his mothers bedroom. Go find him and speak nicely to him, and bring the corpse into the chapel. Please hurry.ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN exit.40Come, Gertrude. Well confer with our wisest friends and tell them what were going to do, and what terrible deed has been done already. Lets hope slandera bullet that can travel halfway around the world and still hit its exact targetspares us. Oh, we must go. Im full of confusion and despair.45our name And hit the woundless air. Oh, come away! My soul is full of discord and dismay Exeunt Act 4, Scene 2 Enter HAMLET HAMLET Safely stowed. GENTLEMEN (from within) Hamlet! Lord Hamlet! HAMLET But soft, what noise? Who calls on Hamlet? Oh, here they come. Enter ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and others ROSENCRANTZ What have you done, my lord, with the dead body? HAMLET Compounded it with dust, whereto tis kin. ROSENCRANTZ Tell us where tis, that we may take it thence And bear it to the chapel. HAMLET Do not believe it. ROSENCRANTZ Believe what? HAMLET That I can keep your counsel and not mine HAMLET The body is safely hidden. GENTLEMEN (from offstage) Hamlet, Lord Hamlet! HAMLET Whats that noise? Whos calling for Hamlet? Oh, here they come. ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN enter with others. ROSENCRANTZ What have you done with the corpse, my lord? HAMLET Ive gotten it dirtyashes to ashes, and dust to dust. ROSENCRANTZ But tell us where it is, so we can take it to the chapel. HAMLET Dont believe it. ROSENCRANTZ Believe what? HAMLET That Id take your advice rather than keep my HAMLET enters. They exit.own. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge! What replication should be made by the son of a king? ROSENCRANTZ Take you me for a sponge, my lord? HAMLET Ay, sir, that soaks up the kings countenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end. He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw, first mouthed to be last swallowed. When he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you and, sponge, you shall be dry again. ROSENCRANTZ I understand you not, my lord. HAMLET I am glad of it. A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear. ROSENCRANTZ My lord, you must tell us where the body is and go with us to the king. HAMLET The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing GUILDENSTERN A thing, my lord? HAMLET Of nothing. Bring me to him. Hide, fox, and all after. Exeunt Act 4, Scene 3own secret. Besides, youre a sponge! What is the son of a king supposed to say to a sponge? ROSENCRANTZ You think Im a sponge, my lord? HAMLET Yes, sir, a sponge that soaks up the kings approval, his rewards, and his decisions. Officers like that give the king the best service in the end. He keeps them in his mouth like an ape. First he moves them around, then he swallows them. When he needs what you have found out, he can just squeeze you like a sponge and youll be dry again. ROSENCRANTZ I dont follow, my lord. HAMLET Im glad about that. Sly words are never understood by fools. ROSENCRANTZ My lord, you have to tell us where the body is, and then go with us to see the king. HAMLET The bodys with the king, but the kings not with the body. The kings a thing GUILDENSTERN A thing, my lord? HAMLET A thing of no importance. Take me to him. Ready or not, here I come! They exit.Enter King CLAUDIUS and two or three attendants CLAUDIUS I have sent to seek him and to find the body. How dangerous is it that this man goes loose! Yet must not we put the strong law on him. Hes loved of the distracted multitude, 5 Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes. And where tis so, th' offenders scourge is weighed, But never the offense. To bear all smooth and even, 10 This sudden sending him away must seem Deliberate pause. Diseases desperate grown By desperate appliance are relieved, Or not at all. Enter ROSENCRANTZ How now, what hath befall'n? ROSENCRANTZ Where the dead body is bestowed, my lord, We cannot get from him. CLAUDIUS But where is he? ROSENCRANTZ 15 Without, my lord; guarded, to know your pleasure. CLAUDIUS Bring him before us. ROSENCRANTZ Ho, Guildenstern! Bring in my lord. Enter HAMLET and GUILDENSTERN CLAUDIUS Now, Hamlet, wheres Polonius?CLAUDIUS enters with two or three of his attendants. CLAUDIUS Ive sent men to find him and retrieve the body. How dangerous to have this madman on the loose! But we cant throw him in jail. The people love him, because they judge based on appearance rather than reason. Theyll pay attention to the severity of the punishment, not the severity of the crime. No, we must seem calm and fair-minded, and our sending him away must seem like a carefully considered move. But a terminal disease requires extreme treatment, or nothing at all.ROSENCRANTZ enters. So whats happened? ROSENCRANTZ We cant get him to tell us where hes put the body. CLAUDIUS But where is he? ROSENCRANTZ Outside, my lord, under guard, waiting for your orders. CLAUDIUS Bring him to me. ROSENCRANTZ Hey, Guildenstern! Bring in my lord. GUILDENSTERN enters with HAMLET. CLAUDIUS Now, Hamlet, wheres Polonius?HAMLET At supper. CLAUDIUS 20 At supper where? HAMLET Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable servicetwo dishes, but to one table. Thats the end. CLAUDIUS Alas, alas! HAMLET A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm. CLAUDIUS 30 What dost you mean by this? HAMLET Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar. CLAUDIUS Where is Polonius? HAMLET In heaven. Send hither to see. If your messenger find him not there, seek him i' th' other place yourself. But if indeed you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby. CLAUDIUSHAMLET At dinner. CLAUDIUS At dinner where? HAMLET Not where hes eating, but where hes being eaten. A certain conference of worms is chowing down on him. Worms are the emperor of all diets. We fatten up all creatures to feed ourselves, and we fatten ourselves for the worms to eat when were dead. A fat king and a skinny beggar are just two dishes at the same meal. Thats all I have to say. CLAUDIUS Oh no, oh no! HAMLET A man can fish with the worm that ate a king, and then eat the fish he catches with that worm. CLAUDIUS What do you mean by that? HAMLET Nothing much, just to demonstrate that a king can move through the bowels of a beggar. CLAUDIUS Where is Polonius? HAMLET In heaven. Send a messager there if you want to be sure. If your messenger cant find him, you can check hell yourself. But seriously, if you dont find him within the next month, youll be sure to smell him as you go upstairs into the main hall. CLAUDIUS(to attendants) Go seek him there. Exeunt some attendants HAMLET He will stay till ye come. CLAUDIUS 40 Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety Which we do tender as we dearly grieve For that which thou hast donemust send thee hence With fiery quickness. Therefore prepare 45 thyself. The bark is ready and the wind at help, Th' associates tend, and everything is bent For England. HAMLET For England? CLAUDIUS Ay, Hamlet. HAMLET Good. CLAUDIUS 50 So is it, if thou knewst our purposes. HAMLET I see a cherub that sees them. But come, for England. Farewell, dear mother. CLAUDIUS Thy loving father, Hamlet. HAMLET My mother. Father and mother is man and wife, man and wife is one flesh, and so, my mother.Come, for England!(to attendants) Go look for him there. Some attendants exit. HAMLET No need to hurry, hes not going anywhere. CLAUDIUS Hamlet, I care for you just as much as I grieve for Polonius. For your own protection, I must send you to England at once. So get ready to leave. The ship is set to sail, the wind is favorable, your servants are waiting for you everything is ready for you to go to England.HAMLET To England? CLAUDIUS Yes, Hamlet. HAMLET Good. CLAUDIUS Yes, youd think so, if you knew why I was sending you. HAMLET I know an angel who can read your mind. But okay, off to England! Good-bye, dear mother. CLAUDIUS Im your father, Hamletyour father who loves you. HAMLET Youre my mother. When you married my mother, the two of you became one flesh, so if youre my father youre also my mother. Comeon, off to England! Exit HAMLET CLAUDIUS Follow him at foot. Tempt him with speed aboard. Delay it not. Ill have him hence tonight. Away! For everything is sealed and done That else leans on the affair. Pray you, make haste. Exeunt all but CLAUDIUS 60 And, England, if my love thou holdst at aught As my great power thereof may give thee sense, Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red After the Danish sword and thy free awe Pays homage to usthou mayst not coldly set 65 Our sovereign process, which imports at full, By letters congruing to that effect, The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England, For like the hectic in my blood he rages, And thou must cure me. Till I know tis done, 70 Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun. Exit Act 4, Scene 4 Enter FORTINBRAS with his army and a CAPTAIN FORTINBRAS Go, Captain, from me greet the Danish king Tell him that, by his license, Fortinbras Craves the conveyance of a promised march Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous. FORTINBRAS enters with his army and aCAPTAIN. FORTINBRAS Go, Captain, and give the Danish king my greetings. Tell him that Fortinbras asks permission to move his troops across Denmark. You know the meeting place He exits. Everyone except CLAUDIUS exits. And you, dear king of England, if you care about me at alland you should, since you can still feel the damage that Denmark has done to you in the past and, so, fear and respect us then you wont ignore my letters instructing you to kill Hamlet immediately. Do it, English king, since hes raging like a fever in my brain, and you must cure me. Until I know its been done, Ill never be happy, no matter how much luck I have. HAMLET exits. CLAUDIUS Follow him on foot, and get him on board as quickly as possible. Dont waste any time. I want him out of here tonight. Go now; everything else is ready. Please hurry.5If that his majesty would aught with us, We shall express our duty in his eye, And let him know so. CAPTAIN I will do t, my lord. FORTINBRAS Go softly on. Exeunt all except the CAPTAIN Enter HAMLET, ROSENCRANTZ,GUILDE NSTERN, and othersweve arranged. If His Majesty wants us to do any favor for him, tell him his wish is my command. CAPTAIN Ill tell him, my lord. FORTINBRAS Go ahead, then. Everyone except the CAPTAIN exits. HAMLET, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDEN STERN, and others enter. HAMLET Sir, whose troops are these? CAPTAIN The king of Norways, sir. HAMLET What are they doing here, sir? CAPTAIN Theyre on their way to invade some part of Poland. HAMLET Whos commanding them, sir? CAPTAIN The nephew of the old king of Norway, Fortinbras. HAMLET Is he attacking the heartland of Poland or some frontier? CAPTAIN To tell the truth, were fighting to win a little patch of ground thats not worth anything. I myself wouldnt pay five ducats for it, if someone offered it to me to farm. And it wontHAMLET 10 Good sir, whose powers are these? CAPTAIN They are of Norway, sir. HAMLET How purposed, sir, I pray you? CAPTAIN Against some part of Poland. HAMLET Who commands them, sir? CAPTAIN The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras. HAMLET Goes it against the main of Poland, sir, 15 Or for some frontier? CAPTAIN Truly to speak, and with no addition, We go to gain a little patch of ground That hath in it no profit but the name. To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it. 20 Nor will it yield to Norway or the PoleA ranker rate, should it be sold in fee. HAMLET Why, then the Polack never will defend it. CAPTAIN Yes, it is already garrisoned. HAMLET Two thousand souls and twenty thousand 25 ducats Will not debate the question of this straw. This is th' impostume of much wealth and peace, That inward breaks and shows no cause without Why the man dies.I humbly thank you, sir.provide any more profits than that to either the Norwegian or the Pole. HAMLET So then the Poles wont be willing to defend it. CAPTAIN Oh, yes they will. Theyve already stationed troops there. HAMLET (to himself) Even two thousand men and twenty-thousand ducats are just the beginning of what it will cost to settle this pointless matter. This is what happens when countries have too much money and peace. This quarrel is like an abcess that grows inside someone until it bursts and kills them, and no one knows why. (to theCAPTAIN) Thank you very much for the information, sir. CAPTAIN Good-bye, sir.CAPTAIN God be wi' you, sir. Exit CAPTAIN ROSENCRANTZ Will t please you go, my lord? HAMLET 30 Ill be with you straight. Go a little before. Exeunt all except HAMLET How all occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge! What is a man If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more. 35 Sure, he that made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us notThe CAPTAIN exits. ROSENCRANTZ Will you please come now, my lord? HAMLET Ill be there in a minute. Start without me. Everyone except HAMLET exits. My God! Everything I see shows me how wrong I am and tells me to hurry up and get on with my revenge. What is a human being if he just eats and sleeps? Nothing more than a beast. God didnt create us with such a huge power of thought and a divine capacity for reason in order for usThat capability and godlike reason To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple 40 Of thinking too precisely on th' event A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom And ever three parts cowardI do not know Why yet I live to say This things to do, 45 Sith I have cause and will and strength and means To do t. Examples gross as earth exhort me. Witness this army of such mass and charge Led by a delicate and tender prince, 50 Whose spirit with divine ambition puffed Makes mouths at the invisible event, Exposing what is mortal and unsure To all that fortune, death, and danger dare, Even for an eggshell. Rightly to be great 55 Is not to stir without great argument, But greatly to find quarrel in a straw When honors at the stake. How stand I then, That have a father killed, a mother stained, Excitements of my reason and my blood, 60 And let all sleepwhile, to my shame, I see The imminent death of twenty thousand men, That for a fantasy and trick of fame Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause, 65 Which is not tomb enough and continent To hide the slain? Oh, from this time forth, My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!not to use them. Now, whether its animallike mindlessness, or the cowardly hesitation that comes from thinking too much (thinking thoughts that are one part wisdom, three parts cowardice), I dont know why Im still alive to say I have to do this deed rather than having done it already. I have the motivation, the willpower, the ability, and the means to do it. Its as plain as the ground beneath my feet that I must do it. Look at this massive army led by a delicate and tender prince whos so puffed up with divine ambition that he puts his fragile life at risk, exposing it to danger and death, for a reason as thin as an eggshell. To be truly great doesnt mean youd only fight for a good reason. It means youd fight over nothing if your honor was at stake. So where does that leave me, whose father has been murdered and mother defiled, ignoring these mental and emotional provocations and letting well enough alone? Meanwhile, to my shame, I watch twenty thousand men go marching to their deaths for an illusion and a little bit of fame, fighting for a tiny piece of land not even big enough to bury them all. From now on, if my thoughts arent violent Ill consider them worthless. He exits.Exit Act 4, Scene 5Enter HORATIO, GERTRUDE, and a GENTLEMAN GERTRUDE I will not speak with her. GENTLEMAN She is importunate, Indeed distract. Her mood will needs be pitied. GERTRUDE What would she have? GENTLEMAN She speaks much of her father, says she hears 5 Theres tricks i' th' world, and hems, and beats her heart, Spurns enviously at straws, speaks things in doubt That carry but half sense. Her speech is 10 nothing, Yet the unshaped use of it doth move The hearers to collection. They aim at it, And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts, Which, as her winks and nods and gestures yield them, Indeed would make one think there might be thought, Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily. HORATIO 'Twere good she were spoken with, for she 15 may strew Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds. GERTRUDE Let her come in. Exit GENTLEMAN (aside) To my sick soul (as sins true natureHORATIO, GERTRUDE, and a GENTLEMANenter. GERTRUDE I wont speak to her. GENTLEMAN Shes insistent. In fact, shes crazed. You cant help feeling sorry for her. GERTRUDE What does she want? GENTLEMAN She talks about her father a lot, and says she hears there are conspiracies around the world, and coughs, and beats her breast, and gets angry over tiny matters, and talks nonsense. Her words dont mean anything, but her babbling causes her listeners to draw conclusions. They hear what they want to hear. Her winks and nods and gestures do suggest that she means to convey a message, and not a happy one.HORATIO Its a good idea to speak to her, since she might lead those with evil intentions to dangerous conclusions. GERTRUDE Show her in. The GENTLEMAN exits. (to herself) To my sick soul (since sin isis) Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss. So full of artless jealousy is guilt, It spills itself in fearing to be spilt. Enter OPHELIA, distracted Enter HORATIO, GERTRUDE, and a GENTLEMAN GERTRUDE I will not speak with her. GENTLEMAN She is importunate, Indeed distract. Her mood will needs be pitied. GERTRUDE What would she have? GENTLEMAN She speaks much of her father, says she 5 hears Theres tricks i' th' world, and hems, and beats her heart, Spurns enviously at straws, speaks things in doubt 10 That carry but half sense. Her speech is nothing, Yet the unshaped use of it doth move The hearers to collection. They aim at it, And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts, Which, as her winks and nods and gestures yield them, Indeed would make one think there might be thought, Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.always a sickness), every detail looks like an omen of disaster to come. Guilt makes you so full of stupid suspicions that you give yourself away because youre trying so hard not to. OPHELIA enters, insane. HORATIO, GERTRUDE, and a GENTLEMANenter. GERTRUDE I wont speak to her. GENTLEMAN Shes insistent. In fact, shes crazed. You cant help feeling sorry for her. GERTRUDE What does she want? GENTLEMAN She talks about her father a lot, and says she hears there are conspiracies around the world, and coughs, and beats her breast, and gets angry over tiny matters, and talks nonsense. Her words dont mean anything, but her babbling causes her listeners to draw conclusions. They hear what they want to hear. Her winks and nods and gestures do suggest that she means to convey a message, and not a happy one.HORATIO 'Twere good she were spoken with, for she 15 may strew Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds. GERTRUDE Let her come in. Exit GENTLEMAN (aside) To my sick soul (as sins true nature is) Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss. So full of artless jealousy is guilt, It spills itself in fearing to be spilt. Enter OPHELIA, distracted CLAUDIUS How do you, pretty lady? OPHELIA Well, God'ield you! They say the owl was a bakers daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at your table.HORATIO Its a good idea to speak to her, since she might lead those with evil intentions to dangerous conclusions. GERTRUDE Show her in. The GENTLEMAN exits. (to herself) To my sick soul (since sin is always a sickness), every detail looks like an omen of disaster to come. Guilt makes you so full of stupid suspicions that you give yourself away because youre trying so hard not to. OPHELIA enters, insane. CLAUDIUS How are you doing, my pretty lady? OPHELIA Im quite well, and may God give you what you deserve. They say the bakers daughter was turned into an owl for refusing Jesus' bread. My lord, we know what we are now, but not what we may become. May God be at your table. CLAUDIUS Shes talking about her dead father. OPHELIA Oh, lets not talk about that, but when they ask you what it means, just say: (sings) Tomorrow is St. Valentines Day And early in the morning Im a girl below your window Waiting to be your Valentine. Then he got up and put on his clothesCLAUDIUS Conceit upon her father. OPHELIA Pray you, lets have no words of this, but when they ask you what it means, say you this: (sings) Tomorrow is Saint Valentines day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine.Then up he rose, and donned his clothes, And dupped the chamber door. Let in the maid that out a maid Never departed more. CLAUDIUS Pretty Ophelia OPHELIA 40 Indeed, without an oath Ill make an end on t: (sings) By Gis and by Saint Charity, Alack, and fie, for shame! Young men will do t, if they come to t. By Cock, they are to blame. Quoth she, Before you tumbled me, You promised me to wed. He answers, So would I ha' done, by yonder sun, An thou hadst not come to my bed. CLAUDIUS How long hath she been thus? OPHELIA I hope all will be well. We must be patient, but I cannot choose but weep, to think they should lay him i' th' cold ground. My brother shall know of it, and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies. Good night, sweet ladies. Good night, good night. Exit OPHELIA CLAUDIUS Follow her close. Give her good watch, I pray you.And opened the door to his room. He let in the girl, and when she left She wasnt a virgin anymore. CLAUDIUS Pretty Ophelia OPHELIA Hang on, Ill end it soon, I promise: (sings) By the name of Jesus and Saint Charity, My goodness, what a shame it is, Young men will do it if they get a chance: By God, theyre very bad. She said, Before you got me into bed, You promised to marry me. He answers: I would have married you, I swear, If you hadnt gone to bed with me. CLAUDIUS How long has she been like this? OPHELIA I hope everything will turn out fine. We must be patient, but I cant help crying when I think of him being laid in the cold ground. My brother will hear about this. And so I thank you for your good advice. Come, driver! Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night. OPHELIA exits. CLAUDIUS Follow her. Keep an eye on her, please.Exit HORATIO Oh, this is the poison of deep grief. It 50 springs All from her fathers death, and now behold! O Gertrude, Gertrude, When sorrows come, they come not single 55 spies But in battalions. First, her father slain. Next, your son gone, and he most violent author Of his own just remove. The people 60 muddied, Thick, and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers For good Polonius' death, and we have done but greenly 65 In hugger-mugger to inter him. Poor Ophelia Divided from herself and her fair judgment, Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts. 70 Lastand as much containing as all these Her brother is in secret come from France, Feeds on his wonder, keeps himself in clouds, And wants not buzzers to infect his ear With pestilent speeches of his fathers death, Wherein necessity, of matter beggared, Will nothing stick our person to arraign In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this, Like to a murdering piece, in many places Gives me superfluous death.HORATIO exits. Oh, her grief has poisoned her mind. Her father died and now look at her! Oh, Gertrude, Gertrude, when bad things happen, they dont come one at a time, like enemy spies, but all at once like an army. First her father was killed, then your son was taken awaybecause of his own violent actions. The people are confused and spreading nasty rumors about Poloniuss death, and I was a fool to bury him in a hurry, without a proper state funeral. Poor Ophelia has been robbed of her sanity, without which were just pictures, or animals. Last but not least, her brother has secretly returned from France and is surrounded by gossipmongers, who fill his ears with wicked stories about his fathers death. Deprived of proper evidence, hell naturally attribute the murder to me. Oh, dear Gertrude, I feel as though Im being murdered many times over.A noise within GERTRUDE Alack, what noise is this? CLAUDIUS Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door. Enter a MESSENGER What is the matter? MESSENGER Save yourself, my lord. The ocean, overpeering of his list, Eats not the flats with more impiteous haste 75 Than young Laertes, in a riotous head, O'erbears your officers. The rabble call him lord Andas the world were now but to begin, Antiquity forgot, custom not known, 80 The ratifiers and props of every word They cry, Choose we! Laertes shall be king! Caps, hands, and tongues applaud it to the clouds: Laertes shall be king, Laertes king! GERTRUDE How cheerfully on the false trail they cry. O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs! Noise within CLAUDIUS 85 The doors are broke. Enter LAERTES with others LAERTES Where is this king?Sirs, stand you all What is it?A noise offstage. GERTRUDE Oh, nowhats that noise? CLAUDIUS Listen! Where are my bodyguards? Let them guard the door. A MESSENGER enters.MESSENGER You must save yourself, my lord. The young Laertes, like the ocean when it floods the shore and devours the lowlands, is leading a rebellion against your government. The crowd calls him lord and shouts, We want Laertes to be king! Its as if they were starting the world from scratch right now, throwing out the traditions and ancient customs that are the support of every word we utter. They throw their caps in the air and yell, Laertes will be king! Laertes king!GERTRUDE They sound so cheerful as they hunt down the wrong prey! Oh, youre on the wrong track, you disloyal Danish dogs! A noise offstage. CLAUDIUS The doors have been smashed open. LAERTES enters with others. LAERTES Wheres this so-called king? Men, waitwithout. ALL No, lets come in! LAERTES I pray you, give me leave. ALL We will, we will. Exeunt LAERTES' FOLLOWERS LAERTES 90 I thank you. Keep the door.O thou vile king, Give me my father! GERTRUDE Calmly, good Laertes. LAERTES That drop of blood thats calm proclaims me bastard, Cries Cuckold! to my father, brands the 95 harlot Even here between the chaste unsmirchd brow Of my true mother. CLAUDIUS What is the cause, Laertes, That thy rebellion looks so giant-like? Let him go, Gertrude. Do not fear our person. Theres such divinity doth hedge a king 100 That treason can but peep to what it would, Acts little of his will.Tell me, Laertes, Why thou art thus incensed.Let him go, Gertrude. Speak, man. LAERTESoutside. ALL No, let us in! LAERTES Please wait. ALL All right, we will, we will. LAERTES' FOLLOWERS exit. LAERTES Thank you. Guard the door. (to CLAUDIUS) Oh, you vile king, give me my father! GERTRUDE Calm down, good Laertes. LAERTES Ive got exactly one calm drop of blood in my body, and it proclaims that Im a bastard, says my father was betrayed, and stamps the label whore on the pure forehead of my devoted mother.CLAUDIUS Laertes, what makes you so rebellious? Let him go, Gertrude. Dont worry about my getting hurt. God protects the king, so traitors cant hurt him.Tell me, Laertes, why youre so angry. Gertrude, let him go.Tell me, man.LAERTESWhere is my father? CLAUDIUS Dead. GERTRUDE But not by him. CLAUDIUS Let him demand his fill. LAERTES How came he dead? Ill not be juggled 105 with. To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! 110 I dare damnation. To this point I stand That both the worlds I give to negligence. Let come what comes, only Ill be revenged Most thoroughly for my father. CLAUDIUS Who shall stay you? LAERTES My will, not all the world. And for my means, Ill husband them so well, They shall go far with little. CLAUDIUS Good Laertes, 115 If you desire to know the certainty Of your dear fathers death, is t writ in your revenge, That, swoopstake, you will draw both friend and foe, Winner and loser?Wheres my father? CLAUDIUS Hes dead. GERTRUDE But the king didnt kill him. CLAUDIUS Let him ask what he wants to ask. LAERTES How did he end up dead? Dont mess with me. To hell with my vows of allegiance to you! Vows can go to hell! Conscience, too! I dont care if Im damned. I dont care what happens to me in this world or the next. Whatever happens, happens, but Ill get revenge for my fathers murder.CLAUDIUS Whos stopping you? LAERTES Only my free willnothing else. What little means I have, Ill use against you.CLAUDIUS My dear Laertes, in your eagerness to know the truth about your fathers death, are you determined to hurt your fathers friends and enemies alike?LAERTES None but his enemies. CLAUDIUS 120 Will you know them then? LAERTES To his good friends thus wide Ill ope my arms And, like the kind life-rendering pelican, Repast them with my blood. CLAUDIUS Why, now you speak Like a good child and a true gentleman. 125 That I am guiltless of your fathers death And am most sensible in grief for it, It shall as level to your judgment pierce As day does to your eye. Noise within: Let her come in! LAERTES How now? What noise is that? Enter OPHELIA 130 O heat, dry up my brains! Tears seven times salt, Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye! By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight, 135 Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May, Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia! O heavens, is t possible a young maids wits Should be as mortal as an old mans life? Nature is fine in love, and where tis fine, It sends some precious instance of itselfLAERTES No, only his enemies. CLAUDIUS Do you want to know who they are, then? LAERTES Ill open my arms wide to his true friends, and like a mother pelican with her brood, Ill even give my life for them. CLAUDIUS Why, now youre talking like a good son and a true gentleman. Ill prove to you as clearly as daylight that Im innocent of your fathers death, and am struck with grief over it. A voice offstage, Let her in! LAERTES Whats that noise? OPHELIA enters. Oh, heat, dry up my brains! Salty tears, burn my eyes! By heaven, Ill get revenge for your madness! Oh, you springtime rose, dear maiden, kind sister, sweet Ophelia! Is it possible that a young womans mind could fade away as easily as an old mans life? Human nature is refined and thoughtfulperson graciously gives a valuable part of herself away to her beloved, as Ophelia has sent off her sanity to her dead father.After the thing it loves. OPHELIA 140 (sings) They bore him barefaced on the bier, Hey, non nonny, nonny, hey, nonny, And in his grave rained many a tear. Fare you well, my dove. LAERTES Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge, It could not move thus. OPHELIA You must sing A-down a-downAnd you, Call him a- down-aOh, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward that stole his masters daughter. LAERTES This nothings more than matter. OPHELIA Theres rosemary, thats for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, thats for thoughts. LAERTES A document in madness. Thoughts and remembrance fitted. OPHELIA Theres fennel for you, and columbines. Theres rue for you, and heres some for me. We may call it herb of grace o' Sundays.Oh, you must wear your rue with a difference.Theres a daisy. I OPHELIA (sings) They carried him uncovered in the coffin, Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny. And tears poured down into his grave. Good-bye, honey. LAERTES If you were sane and could urge me to take revenge, you couldnt be more persuasive than you are now. OPHELIA Youre supposed to sing, A down adown, and you, Call him a-down-a. Oh, how it turns around like a wheel! Like the worker who stole his bosss daughter. LAERTES This nonsense means more than rational speech. OPHELIA Look at my flowers. Theres rosemary, thats for remembering. Please remember, love. And there are pansies, theyre for thoughts. LAERTES A case study in madness, to connect memory and thought. OPHELIA (to GERTRUDE ) Here are fennel and columbines for youthey symbolize adultery. (toCLAUDIUS) And heres rue for youit symbolizes repentance. We can call it the merciful Sundaywould give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died. They say he made a good end(sings) For bonny sweet Robin is all my joyflower. You should wear it for a different reason. And heres a daisy, for unhappy love. Id give you some violets, flowers of faithfulness, but they all dried up when my father died. They say he looked good when he died. (sings) For good sweet Robin is all my joy. LAERTES Sadness and torment, suffering, hell itselfshe makes them almost pretty. OPHELIA (sings) And wont he come again? And wont he come again? No, no, hes dead. Go to your deathbed. Hell never come again. His beard was white as snow, His hair was all white too. Hes gone, hes gone, And we moan as were cast away. God have mercy on his soul. And on the souls of all good Christians, I hope. Goodbye, God be with you. OPHELIA exits. LAERTES Do you see this, oh, God? CLAUDIUS Laertes, I have a right to share your grief. Go choose your wisest friends, and have them listen to both of us and decide which of us is right. If directly or indirectly they find me implicated in your fathers murder, Ill give up myLAERTES Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself, She turns to favor and to prettiness. OPHELIA 160 (sings) And will he not come again? And will he not come again? No, no, he is dead, Go to thy deathbed. He never will come again. His beard was as white as snow, All flaxen was his poll. He is gone, he is gone, And we cast away moan, God ha' mercy on his soul. And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God be wi' ye. Exit OPHELIA LAERTES Do you see this, O God? CLAUDIUS Laertes, I must commune with your grief, Or you deny me right. Go but apart, 165 Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will. And they shall hear and judge twixt you and me.If by direct or by collateral hand 170 They find us touched, we will our kingdom give, Our crown, our life, and all that we can ours, To you in satisfaction. But if not, Be you content to lend your patience to us, And we shall jointly labor with your soul To give it due content. LAERTES Let this be so. His means of death, his obscure funeral 175 No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones, No noble rite nor formal ostentation Cry to be heard as twere from heaven to earth, That I must call t in question. CLAUDIUS So you shall. And where the offense is, let the great ax 180 fall. I pray you, go with me. Exeunt Act 4, Scene 6 Enter HORATIO and a SERVANT HORATIO What are they that would speak with me? SERVANT Seafaring men, sir. They say they have letters for you. HORATIOkingdom, my crown, my life, and everything I call my own to you as restitution. But if they find me innocent, then be patient and Ill work to satisfy to the fullest extent your deepest need for revenge.LAERTES All right, then. The way he died, his secret funeral, no funeral rites or military display, no noble rites or formal ceremonyshout out from heaven and earth that I must call the way he died into question.CLAUDIUS And youre right to do so. May the guilty party be punished by death. Please, come with me. They exit.HORATIO and a SERVANT enter. HORATIO Who are the people who want to speak with me? SERVANT Sailors, sir. They say they have letters for you. HORATIOLet them come in. Exit SERVANT I do not know from what part of the world I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet. Enter SAILORS SAILOR God bless you, sir. HORATIO Let him bless thee too. SAILOR He shall, sir, an t please Him. Theres a letter for you, sir it comes from the ambassador that was bound for England if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is. (gives HORATIO a letter) HORATIO (reads) Horatio, When thou shalt have overlooked this, give these fellows some means to the king. They have letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase. Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on a compelled valor, and in the grapple I boarded them. On the instant, they got clear of our ship, so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like thieves of mercy, but they knew what they did; I am to do a good turn for them.Show them in. SERVANT exits. I dont know who else would send me a letter from abroad except Hamlet. SAILORS enter. SAILOR Hello, sir. God bless you. HORATIO May He bless you, too. SAILOR He will, sir, if He wants to. Theres a letter for you, sir. Its from the ambassador, Lord Hamlet, who was going to Englandif your names Horatio, as they told me it is. (he handsHORATIO a letter) HORATIO (reading the letter) Horatio, When youve read this letter, find a way to let these guys see the king. They have letters for him. Before we were at sea for even two days, a pirate ship equipped for battle pursued us. We were too slow to escape, so we were forced to stand and fight. In the battle that followed I ended up on the pirate ship. Just then they left our ship behind, so I became the only prisoner on board. Theyve treated me quite mercifully for thieves, but they knew what they were doing. They want me to do a favor for them.5Let the king have the letters I have sent, and repair thou to me with as much speed as thou wouldst fly death. I have words to speak in thine ear will make thee dumb, yet are they much too light for the bore of the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England. Of them I have much to tell thee. Fare-well. He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet. Come, I will give you way for these your letters, And do t the speedier, that you may direct me To him from whom you brought them. Exeunt Act 4, Scene 7 Enter CLAUDIUS and LAERTES CLAUDIUS Now must your conscience my acquaintance seal, And you must put me in your heart for 5 friend, Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear, That he which hath your noble father slain Pursued my life. LAERTES It well appears. But tell me Why you proceeded not against these feats, So criminal and so capital in nature,Give the king the letters Ive sent, and come to me as fast as you would run from death. Ive got things to tell you that will make you speechless, and they arent even half the story. These guys will take you to me. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are on their way to England. I have a lot to tell you about them. Good-bye. Your trusted friend, Hamlet. Come, men. Ill show you where to deliver these letters as quickly as possible, so that you can take me to the man who sent them. They exit.CLAUDIUS and LAERTES enter. CLAUDIUS Now youve got to acknowledge my innocence and believe Im your friend, since youve heard and understood that the man who killed your father was trying to kill me.LAERTES It looks that way. But tell me why you didnt take immediate action against his criminal acts, when your own safety and everything else would seem to call forAs by your safety, wisdom, all things else, You mainly were stirred up. CLAUDIUS Oh, for two special reasons, Which may to you perhaps seem much unsinewed, But yet to me they are strong. The queen his mother Lives almost by his looks, and for myself My virtue or my plague, be it either which Shes so conjunctive to my life and soul, That, as the star moves not but in his sphere, I could not but by her. The other motive Why to a public count I might not go, Is the great love the general gender bear him, Who, dipping all his faults in their affection, Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone, Convert his gyves to gracesso that my arrows, Too slightly timbered for so loud a wind, Would have reverted to my bow again, And not where I had aimed them. 25 LAERTES And so have I a noble father lost, A sister driven into desperate terms, Whose worth, if praises may go back again, Stood challenger on mount of all the age For her perfections. But my revenge willit. CLAUDIUS Oh, for two main reasons which may seem weak to you, but strong to me. The queen, his mother, is devoted to him. And (for better or worse, whichever it is) she is such a part of my life and soul that I cant live apart from her, any more than a planet can leave its orbit. The other reason why I couldnt prosecute and arrest Hamlet is that the public loves him. In their affection they overlook all his faults. Like magic, they convert them into virtues, so whatever I said against him would end up hurting me, not him.101520LAERTES And so Ive lost my noble father, had my sister driven insanemy sister who once was (if I can praise her for what she once was, not what she is now) the most perfect girl who ever lived. But Ill get my revenge.come. 30 CLAUDIUS Break not your sleeps for that. You must not think That we are made of stuff so flat and dull That we can let our beard be shook with danger And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more. I loved your father, and we love ourself. And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine Enter a MESSENGER How now, what news? MESSENGER Letters, my lord, from Hamlet. This to your majesty, this to the queen. (givesCLAUDIUS letters) CLAUDIUS From Hamlet? Who brought them? MESSENGER Sailors, my lord, they say. I saw them not. They were given me by Claudio. He received them Of him that brought them. CLAUDIUS Laertes, you shall hear them.Leave us. Exit MESSENGER (reads) High and mighty, You shall know I am set naked on your kingdom. Tomorrow shall I beg leave to see your kingly eyes, when I shall, first CLAUDIUS Dont you worry about that. You must not think that Im so lazy and dull that I can be severely threatened and think its just a game. Youll hear more about my plans soon enough. I loved your father, and I love myself, which should be enough to35A MESSENGER enters with letters. What is it? Whats the news? MESSENGER Letters, my lord, from Hamlet. This ones for Your Highness, this one for the queen. (givesCLAUDIUS letters) CLAUDIUS From Hamlet? Who delivered them? MESSENGER Sailors, my lord, or so they say. I didnt see them. Claudio gave them to me, and he got them from the one who delivered them. CLAUDIUS Laertes, I want you to hear what they say. Leave us alone now. The MESSENGER exits. (reads) High and Mighty one, You know Ive been set down naked, you might say, in your kingdom. Tomorrow Ill beg permission to look40asking your pardon thereunto, recount the occasion of my sudden and more strange return. Hamlet. What should this mean? Are all the rest come back? Or is it some abuse, and no such thing? LAERTES Know you the hand? CLAUDIUS 'Tis Hamlets character. Naked? And in a postscript here, he says alone. Can you advise me? LAERTES Im lost in it, my lord. But let him come. It warms the very sickness in my heart That I shall live and tell him to his teeth, Thus diddest thou. CLAUDIUS If it be so, Laertes As how should it be so? How otherwise? Will you be ruled by me? LAERTES Ay, my lord So you will not o'errule me to a peace. CLAUDIUS To thine own peace. If he be now returned, 60 As checking at his voyage, and that he means No more to undertake it, I will work him To an exploit, now ripe in my devise, Under the which he shall not choose butinto your kingly eyes, at which point Ill tell you the story (after first apologizing) of how I came back to Denmark so strangely and suddenly. Hamlet What does this mean? Has everyone else come back too? Or is it all a lie and no one has yet returned? LAERTES Do you recognize the handwriting? CLAUDIUS Its Hamlets writing. Naked, he says. And in a P.S. he adds, alone. Can you help me out with this? LAERTES I have no clue, my lord. But let him come. It warms my weary heart to think Ill get the chance to look him in the eye and say, You did this. CLAUDIUS If thats how you feel, Laertesand why shouldnt you? Will you let me guide and direct you? LAERTES Yes, my lord, as long as you wont lead me toward peace. CLAUDIUS No, just toward your own peace of mind. If hes come back to Denmark without plans to continue on his trip, then Ill trick him into an undertaking, which Im working out now, thats sure to kill him. When he dies, no one will505565fall. And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe, But even his mother shall uncharge the practice And call it accident. LAERTES My lord, I will be ruled The rather if you could devise it so That I might be the organ. CLAUDIUS It falls blamed, even his mother will call it an accident.LAERTES My lord, Ill let you make the decision. I only ask to be in on your plans, the agent of his death. CLAUDIUS Thatll be fine. Since you left, people have been talking aboutand within earshot of Hamleta certain quality of yours in which, they say, you shine. All your talents and gifts didnt arouse as much envy from him as this one quality did, though to me its far from your best attribute.70You have been talked of since your travel much And that in Hamlets hearingfor a quality Wherein, they say, you shine. Your sum of parts Did not together pluck such envy from him As did that one, and that, in my regard, Of the unworthiest siege. LAERTES What part is that, my lord?LAERTES What quality is that, my lord? CLAUDIUS A trivial little ribbon on the cap of youthyet an important one, too, since casual clothes suit young people as much as serious business suits and overcoats suit the middle-aged. Two months ago I met a gentleman from Normandy. Ive fought against the French and have seen how well they ride, but this man was a magician on horseback. It was as if he were part of75CLAUDIUS A very ribbon in the cap of youth, Yet needful too, for youth no less becomes The light and careless livery that it wears Than settled age his sables and his weeds, Importing health and graveness. Two months since, Here was a gentleman of Normandy. Ive seen myself, and served against, the French, And they can well on horseback. But this8085gallant Had witchcraft in t. He grew unto his seat, And to such wondrous doing brought his horse As he had been encorpsed and deminatured With the brave beast. So far he topped my thought, That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks, Come short of what he did. LAERTES A Norman was t? CLAUDIUS A Norman.the horse, so skillful that even having seen him, I can hardly conceive of the tricks he did.LAERTES Hmm, he was from Normandy, you say? CLAUDIUS Yes, from Normandy. LAERTES I bet it was Lamond. CLAUDIUS Yes, thats the one. LAERTES I know him well. Hes his homelands jewel. CLAUDIUS He mentioned you to me, giving you such high marks in fencing that he exclaimed it would be a miracle if someone could match you. French fencers wouldnt be good enough for you, he said, since they dont have the right moves or skills. Hamlet was so jealous when he heard Lamonds report that he talked about nothing else but having you come over and play against him. Now, the point is 90LAERTES Upon my life, Lamond! CLAUDIUS The very same. LAERTES I know him well. He is the brooch indeed And gem of all the nation. CLAUDIUS He made confession of you,And gave you such a masterly report For art and exercise in your defense, 95 And for your rapier most especially, That he cried out twould be a sight indeed If one could match you. The scrimers of their nation, He swore, had had neither motion, guard, 100 nor eye, If you opposed them. Sir, this report of his Did Hamlet so envenom with his envyThat he could nothing do but wish and beg Your sudden coming o'er, to play with him. Now, out of this LAERTES What out of this, my lord? CLAUDIUS Laertes, was your father dear to you? 105 Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, A face without a heart? LAERTES Why ask you this? CLAUDIUS Not that I think you did not love your father But that I know love is begun by time, 110 And that I see, in passages of proof, Time qualifies the spark and fire of it. There lives within the very flame of love A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it. And nothing is at a like goodness still. 115 For goodness, growing to a pleurisy, Dies in his own too-much. That we would do, We should do when we would, for this would changes 120 And hath abatements and delays as many As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents. And then this should is like a spendthrift sigh That hurts by easing.But to the quick of th' ulcer: Hamlet comes back. What would you undertake To show yourself in deed your fathers son LAERTES Whats the point, my lord? CLAUDIUS Laertes, did you love your father? Or is your grief just an illusiona mere painting of sorrow? LAERTES How could you ask? CLAUDIUS Not that I suspect you didnt love your father, but Ive seen it happen that, as the days go by, time dampens the flame of love. The fire of love always burns itself out, and nothing stays the way it began. Even a good thing can grow too big and die from its own excess. We should do what we intend to do right when we intend it, since our intentions are subject to as many weakenings and delays as there are words in the dictionary and accidents in life. And then all our woulds and shoulds are nothing but hot air. But back to my point: Hamlets coming back. What proof will you offerin action, not just words that youre your fathers son?More than in words? LAERTES To cut his throat i' th' church. CLAUDIUS No place, indeed, should murder 125 sanctuarize. Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes, Will you do this, keep close within your chamber. 130 Hamlet returned shall know you are come home. Well put on those shall praise your excellence And set a double varnish on the fame 135 The Frenchman gave you, bring you in fine together And wager on your heads. He, being remiss, Most generous and free from all contriving, Will not peruse the foils; so that, with ease, Or with a little shuffling, you may choose A sword unbated, and in a pass of practice Requite him for your father. LAERTES I will do t. And for that purpose Ill anoint my sword. I bought an unction of a mountebank, So mortal that, but dip a knife in it, 140 Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare, Collected from all simples that have virtue Under the moon, can save the thing from death That is but scratched withal. Ill touch my 145 point LAERTES Ill do it, and Ill put a little dab of something on my sword as well. From a quack doctor I bought some oil so poisonous that if you dip a knife in it, no medicine in the world can save the person whos scratched by it. If I even graze his skin slightly, hes likely to die. LAERTES Ill cut Hamlets throat in church. CLAUDIUS Its true, no placenot even a church should offer refuge to that murderer. Revenge should have no limits. But Laertes, will you do this: stay in your room? When Hamlet comes home hell learn youre here. Ill have people praise your excellence and put a double coat on the fame the Frenchman gave you. In short, well get you together and place bets on you. Hamlets so careless, highminded, and unsuspecting that he wont examine the swords beforehand, so you can easily choose one with a sharpened point and in one thrust avenge the death of your father.With this contagion, that if I gall him slightly It may be death. CLAUDIUS Lets further think of this, Weigh what convenience both of time and means May fit us to our shape. If this should fail, And that our drift look through our bad performance, 'Twere better not assayed. Therefore this project CLAUDIUS Lets think about this, and consider what time and what method will be most appropriate. If our plan were to fail, and people found out about it, it would be better never to have tried it. We should have a backup ready in case the first plan doesnt work. Let me think. Well place bets on you and Hamletthats it! When the two of you have gotten all sweaty and hotkeep him jumping around a lot for that purposeHamlet will ask for something to drink. Ill have a cup ready for him. If by chance he 150 Should have a back or second that might hold If this should blast in proof.Soft, let me see. Well make a solemn wager on your 155 cunnings. I ha t! When in your motion you are hot and dry, As make your bouts more violent to that end, And that he calls for drink, Ill have prepared him A chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping, If he by chance escape your venomed stuck, Our purpose may hold there.But stay, escapes your poisoned sword tip, the drink will kill him. But wait, whats that sound?what noise? Enter GERTRUDE GERTRUDE One woe doth tread upon anothers heel, 160 So fast they follow.Your sisters drowned, Laertes. LAERTES Drowned? Oh, where? GERTRUDE There is a willow grows aslant a brook That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream. 165 There with fantastic garlands did she come Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples, That liberal shepherds give a grosser name, But our cold maids do dead mens 170 fingers call them. There, on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke, 175 When down her weedy trophies and herself Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide, And mermaid-like a while they bore her up, Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds As one incapable of her own distress, Or like a creature native and indued Unto that element. But long it could not be Till that her garments, heavy with their drink, Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious GERTRUDE enters. GERTRUDE The bad news just keeps on coming, one disaster after another. Your sisters drowned, Laertes. LAERTES Drowned? Oh, where? GERTRUDE Theres a willow that leans over the brook, dangling its white leaves over the glassy water. Ophelia made wild wreaths out of those leaves, braiding in crowflowers, thistles, daisies, and the orchises that vulgar shepherds have an obscene name for, but which pureminded girls call dead mens fingers. Climbing into the tree to hang the wreath of weeds on the hanging branches, she and her flowers fell into the gurgling brook. Her clothes spread out wide in the water, and buoyed her up for a while as she sang bits of old hymns, acting like someone who doesnt realize the danger shes in, or like someone completely accustomed to danger. But it was only a matter of time before her clothes, heavy with the water they absorbed, pulled the poor thing out of her song, down into the mud at the bottom of the brook.lay To muddy death. LAERTES 180 Alas, then she is drowned. GERTRUDE Drowned, drowned. LAERTES Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, And therefore I forbid my tears. But yet 185 It is our trick. Nature her custom holds, Let shame say what it will. When these are gone, The woman will be out.Adieu, my lord. I have a speech of fire that fain would blaze, But that this folly doubts it. Exit LAERTES CLAUDIUS Lets follow, Gertrude. How much I had to do to calm his rage! 190 Now fear I this will give it start again. Therefore lets follow. Exeunt Act 5, Scene 1 Enter a GRAVEDIGGER and the OTHERgravedigger GRAVEDIGGER Is she to be buried in Christian burial when she willfully seeks her own salvation? OTHER OTHER A GRAVEDIGGER and the OTHER gravedigger enter. GRAVEDIGGER Are they really going to give her a Christian burialafter she killed herself? LAERTES So she is drowned. GERTRUDE Drowned, drowned. LAERTES Youve had too much water already, poor Ophelia, so I wont shed watery tears for you. But crying is what humans do. We do whats in our nature, even if were ashamed of it. After I stop crying Ill be through acting like a woman. Good-bye, my lord. I have some fiery words I could speak now, but my foolish tears are drowning them out. LAERTES exits. CLAUDIUS Lets follow him, Gertrude. I worked so hard to calm him down, and now Im worried hes getting all excited again. Lets follow him. They exit.I tell thee she is. Therefore make her grave straight. The crowner hath sat on her and finds it Christian burial. GRAVEDIGGER How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defense? OTHER Why, tis found so. GRAVEDIGGER It must be se offendendo. It cannot be else. For here lies the point: if I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act. And an act hath three branchesit is to act, to do, to perform. Argal, she drowned herself wittingly. OTHER Nay, but hear you, Goodman Delver GRAVEDIGGER Give me leave. Here lies the water. Good. Here stands the man. Good. If the man go to this water and drown himself, it is, will he nill he, he goes. Mark you that. But if the water come to him and drown him, he drowns not himself. Argal, he that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life. OTHER But is this law? 20 GRAVEDIGGER Ay, marry, is t. Crowners quest law. OTHER Will you ha' the truth on t? If this had not been a gentlewoman, she should haveIm telling you, yes. So finish that grave right away. The coroner examined her case and says it should be a Christian funeral. GRAVEDIGGER But how, unless she drowned in selfdefense? OTHER Thats what theyre saying she did. GRAVEDIGGER Sounds more like self-offense, if you ask me. What Im saying is, if she knew she was drowning herself, then thats an act. An act has three sides to it: to do, to act, and to perform. Therefore she must have known she was drowning herself. OTHER No, listen here, gravedigger sir GRAVEDIGGER Let me finish. Heres the water, right? And heres a man, okay? If the man goes into the water and drowns himself, hes the one doing it, like it or not. But if the water comes to him and drowns him, then he doesnt drown himself. Therefore, he who is innocent of his own death does not shorten his own life. OTHER Is that how the law sees it? GRAVEDIGGER It sure is. The coroners inquest law. OTHER Do you want to know the truth? If this woman hadnt been rich, she wouldntbeen buried out o' Christian burial. GRAVEDIGGER Why, there thou sayst. And the more pity that great folk should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves more than their even Christian. Come, my spade. There is no ancient gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers. They hold up Adams profession. OTHER Was he a gentleman? GRAVEDIGGER He was the first that ever bore arms. OTHER Why, he had none. GRAVEDIGGER What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the Scripture? The Scripture says Adam digged. Could he dig without arms? Ill put another question to thee. If thou answerest me not to the purpose, confess thyself OTHER Go to. GRAVEDIGGER What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter? OTHER The gallows-maker, for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.have been given a Christian burial. GRAVEDIGGER Well there, now youve said it. Its a pity that the rich have more freedom to hang or drown themselves than the rest of us Christians. Come on, shovel. The most ancient aristocrats in the world are gardeners, ditch-diggers, and gravediggers. They keep up Adams profession. OTHER Was he an aristocrat? With a coat of arms? GRAVEDIGGER He was the first person who ever had arms. OTHER He didnt have any. GRAVEDIGGER What, arent you a Christian? The Bible says Adam dug in the ground. How could he dig without arms? Ill ask you another question. If you cant answer it OTHER Go ahead! GRAVEDIGGER What do you call a person who builds stronger things than a stonemason, a shipbuilder, or a carpenter does? OTHER The one who builds the gallows to hang people on, since his structure outlives a30thousand inhabitants. GRAVEDIGGER I like thy wit well, in good faith. The gallows does well, but how does it well? It does well to those that do ill. Now thou dost ill to say the gallows is built stronger than the church. Argal, the gallows may do well to thee. To t again, come. OTHER Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter? GRAVEDIGGER Ay, tell me that, and unyoke. OTHER Marry, now I can tell. 50 GRAVEDIGGER To t. OTHER Mass, I cannot tell. Enter HAMLET and HORATIO afar off GRAVEDIGGER Youre funny, and I like that. The gallows do a good job. But how? It does a good job for those who do bad. Now, its wrong to say that the gallows are stronger than a church. Therefore, the gallows may do you some good. Come on, your turn. OTHER Lets see, Who builds stronger things than a stonemason, a shipbuilder, or a carpenter? GRAVEDIGGER Thats the question, so answer it. OTHER Ah, Ive got it! GRAVEDIGGER Go ahead. OTHER Damn, I forgot. HAMLET and HORATIO enter in the distance. GRAVEDIGGER Dont beat your brains out over it. You cant make a slow donkey run by beating it. The next time someone asks you this riddle, say a gravedigger. The houses he makes last till Judgment Day. Now go and get me some booze. The OTHER GRAVEDIGGER exits. (the GRAVEDIGGER digs and sings)GRAVEDIGGER Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating. And when you are asked this question next, say A grave-maker. The houses that he makes last till doomsday. Go, get thee in. Fetch me a stoup of liquor. Exit OTHER (digs and sings)In youth when I did love, did love, Methought it was very sweet To contractothe time, foramy behove, Oh, methought, thereawas nothingameet. HAMLET Has this fellow no feeling of his business? He sings at grave- making. 60 HORATIO Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness. HAMLET 'Tis e'en so. The hand of little employment hath the daintier sense. GRAVEDIGGER (sings) But age with his stealing steps Hath clawed me in his clutch, And hath shipped me into the land As if I had never been such. (throws up a skull) HAMLET That skull had a tongue in it and could sing once. How the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cains jawbone, that did the first murder! It might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'erreaches, one that would circumvent God, might it not? 70 HORATIO It might, my lord. HAMLET Or of a courtier, which could say, GoodIn my youth I loved, I loved, And I though it was very sweet To setohhthe date forahhmy duty Oh, I thought itahhwas not right. HAMLET Doesnt this guy realize what hes doing? Hes singing while digging a grave. HORATIO Hes gotten so used to graves that they dont bother him anymore. HAMLET Yes, exactly. Only people who dont have to work can afford to be sensitive. GRAVEDIGGER (sings) But old age has sneaked up on me And grabbed me in his claws, And has shipped me into the ground As if Id never been like that. (he throws up a skull) HAMLET That skull had a tongue in it once and could sing. That jackass is throwing it around as if it belonged to Cain, who did the first murder! It might be the skull of a politician once capable of talking his way around God, right? And now this idiot is pulling rank on him. HORATIO Indeed, my lord. HAMLET Or a courtier, who could say things like,morrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord? This might be my Lord Sucha-one that praised my Lord Such-a-ones horse when he meant to beg it, might it not? 75 HORATIO Ay, my lord. HAMLET Why, e'en so. And now my Lady Worms, chapless and knocked about the mazard with a sextons spade. Heres fine revolution, an we had the trick to see t. Did these bones cost no more the breeding but to play at loggets with them? Mine ache to think on t. GRAVEDIGGER (sings) A pickax and a spade, a spade, For and a shrouding sheet, Oh, a pit of clay for to be made For such a guest is meet. (throws up another skull) HAMLET Theres another. Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillities, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? Why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel and will not tell him of his action of battery? Hum! This fellow might be in s time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries. Is this the fine of his fines andGood night, my sweet lord! How are you doing, good lord? This might be the skull of Lord So-and-So, who praised Lord Such-and-Suchs horse when he wanted to borrow it, right? HORATIO Yes, my lord. HAMLET Exactly. And now its the property of Lady Worm, its lower jaw knocked off and thwacked on the noggin with a shovel. Thats quite a reversal of fortune, isnt it, if we could only see it? Are these bones worth nothing more than bowling pins now? It makes my bones ache to think about it. GRAVEDIGGER (sings) A pickax and a shovel, a shovel, And a sheet for a funeral shroud, Oh, a pit of dirt is what we need For a guest like this one here. (he throws up another skull) HAMLET Theres another. Could that be a lawyers skull? Wheres all his razzledazzle legal jargon now? Why does he allow this idiot to knock him on the head with a dirty shovel, instead of suing him for assault and battery? Maybe this guy was once a great landowner, with his deeds and contracts, his tax shelters and his annuities. Is it part of his deed of ownership to have his skull filled up with dirt? Does he onlythe recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? Will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in this box, and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha? HORATIO Not a jot more, my lord. HAMLET Is not parchment made of sheepskins? HORATIO Ay, my lord, and of calfskins too. HAMLET 100 They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance in that. I will speak to this fellow.Whose graves this, sirrah? GRAVEDIGGER Mine, sir. (sings) Oh, a pit of clay for to be made For such a guest is meet. HAMLET I think it be thine, indeed, for thou liest in t. GRAVEDIGGER You lie out on t, sir, and therefore it is not yours. For my part, I do not lie in t, and yet it is mine. HAMLETget to keep as much land as a set of contracts would cover if you spread them out on the ground? The deeds to his properties would barely fit in this coffinand the coffins all the property he gets to keep?HORATIO No more than that, my lord. HAMLET Isnt the parchment of a legal document made of sheepskin? HORATIO Yes, my lord, and calfskin too. HAMLET Anyone who puts his trust in such documents is a sheep or a calf. Ill talk to this guy.Excuse me, sir, whose grave is this? GRAVEDIGGER Its mine, sir. (sings) Oh, a pit of dirt is what we need For a guest like this one here. HAMLET I think it really must be yours, since youre the one lying in it. GRAVEDIGGER And youre lying outside of it, so its not yours. As for me, Im not lying to you in itits really mine. HAMLETThou dost lie in t, to be in t and say it is thine. 'Tis for the dead, not for the quick. Therefore thou liest. GRAVEDIGGER 'Tis a quick lie, sir. 'Twill away gain from me to you. HAMLET 110 What man dost thou dig it for? GRAVEDIGGER For no man, sir. HAMLET What woman, then? GRAVEDIGGER For none, neither. HAMLET Who is to be buried in t? GRAVEDIGGER 115 One that was a woman, sir, but, rest her soul, shes dead. HAMLET How absolute the knave is! We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us. By the Lord, Horatio, these three years I have taken a note of it. The age is grown so picked that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier he galls his kibe.How long hast thou been a grave-maker? GRAVEDIGGER Of all the days i' the year, I came to t that day that our last King Hamlet overcame Fortinbras. HAMLET How long is that since?But you are lying in it, being in it and saying its yours. Its for the dead, not the living. So youre lying. GRAVEDIGGER Thats a lively lie, sirit jumps so fast from me to you. HAMLET What man are you digging it for? GRAVEDIGGER For no man, sir. HAMLET What woman, then? GRAVEDIGGER For no woman, either. HAMLET Whos to be buried in it? GRAVEDIGGER One who used to be a woman butbless her soulis dead now. HAMLET How literal this guy is! We have to speak precisely, or hell get the better of us with his wordplay. Lord, Horatio, Ive been noticing this for a few years now. The peasants have become so clever and witty that theyre nipping at the heels of noblemen.How long have you been a gravedigger? GRAVEDIGGER Of all the days in the year, I started the day that the late King Hamlet defeated Fortinbras. HAMLET How long ago was that?GRAVEDIGGER Cannot you tell that? Every fool can tell that. It was the very day that young Hamlet was born, he that is mad and sent into England. HAMLET Ay, marry, why was he sent into England? GRAVEDIGGER Why, because he was mad. He shall recover his wits there, or, if he do not, its no great matter there. HAMLET Why? GRAVEDIGGER 'Twill not be seen in him there. There the men are as mad as he. HAMLET How came he mad? GRAVEDIGGER 135 Very strangely, they say. HAMLET How strangely? GRAVEDIGGER Faith, e'en with losing his wits. HAMLET Upon what ground? GRAVEDIGGER Why, here in Denmark. I have been sexton here, man and boy, thirty years. HAMLET How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot? GRAVEDIGGERGRAVEDIGGER You dont know that? Any fool could tell you, it was the day that young Hamlet was bornthe one who went crazy and got sent off to England. HAMLET Why was he sent to England? GRAVEDIGGER Because he was crazy. Hell recover his sanity there. Or if he doesnt, it wont matter in England. HAMLET Why not? GRAVEDIGGER Because nobody will notice hes crazy. Everyone there is as crazy as he is. HAMLET How did he go crazy? GRAVEDIGGER In a strange way, they say. HAMLET What do you mean, in a strange way? GRAVEDIGGER By losing his mind. HAMLET On what grounds? GRAVEDIGGER Right here in Denmark. Ive been the church warden here for thirty years, since childhood. HAMLET How long will a man lie in his grave before he starts to rot? GRAVEDIGGERFaith, if he be not rotten before he dieas we have many pocky corses nowadays that will scarce hold the laying in he will last you some eight year or nine year. A tanner will last you nine year. HAMLET Why he more than another? GRAVEDIGGER Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade that he will keep out water a great while, and your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body.(indicates a skull) Heres a skull now. This skull has lain in the earth three-and-twenty years. HAMLET Whose was it? GRAVEDIGGER A whoreson mad fellows it was. Whose do you think it was? HAMLET Nay, I know not. GRAVEDIGGER 155 A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! He poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir, was Yoricks skull, the kings jester. HAMLET This? GRAVEDIGGER E'en that. HAMLET Let me see. (takes the skull) Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow ofWell, if hes not rotten before he dies (and there are a lot of people now who are so rotten they start falling to pieces even before you put them in the coffin), hell last eight or nine years. A leathermaker will last nine years. HAMLET Why does he last longer? GRAVEDIGGER Because his hide is so leathery from his trade that he keeps the water off him a long time, and water is what makes your goddamn body rot more than anything. Heres a skull thats been here twentythree years. HAMLET Whose was it? GRAVEDIGGER A crazy bastard. Who do you think? HAMLET I really dont know. GRAVEDIGGER Damn that crazy madman! He poured a pitcher of white wine on my head once. This is the skull of Yorick, the kings jester. HAMLET This one? GRAVEDIGGER Yes, that one. HAMLET Let me see. (he takes the skull) Oh, poor Yorick! I used to know him, Horatioainfinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? Quite chapfallen? Now get you to my ladys chamber and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come. Make her laugh at that.Prithee, Horatio, tell me one thing.very funny guy, and with an excellent imagination. He carried me on his back a thousand times, and nowhow terriblethis is him. It makes my stomach turn. I dont know how many times I kissed the lips that used to be right here. Where are your jokes now? Your pranks? Your songs? Your flashes of wit that used to set the whole table laughing? You dont make anybody smile now. Are you sad about that? You need to go to my ladys room and tell her that no matter how much makeup she slathers on, shell end up just like you some day. Thatll make her laugh. Horatio, tell me something. HORATIO Whats that, my lord? HAMLET Do you think Alexander the Great looked like this when he was buried? HORATIO Exactly like that. HAMLET And smelled like that, too? Whew! (he puts down the skull) HORATIO Just as bad, my lord. HAMLET How low we can fall, Horatio. Isnt it possible to imagine that the noble ashes of Alexander the Great could end up plugging a hole in a barrel? HORATIOHORATIO Whats that, my lord? HAMLET Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i' th' earth? HORATIO 175 E'en so. HAMLET And smelt so? Pah! (puts down the skull) HORATIO E'en so, my lord. HAMLET To what base uses we may return, Horatio. Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it stopping a bunghole? HORATIO'Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so. HAMLET No, faith, not a jot. But to follow him thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it, as thus: Alexander 190 died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth we make loamand why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer barrel? Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay, Might stop a hole to keep the wind away. Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe, Should patch a wall t' expel the winters flaw! But soft, but soft a while. Enter King CLAUDIUS, Queen GERTRUDE,LAERTES, and a coffin, with a PRIEST and other lords attendant. Here comes the king, The queen, the courtierswho is this they follow, 195 And with such maimd rites? This doth betoken The corse they follow did with desperate hand Fordo its own life. 'Twas of some estate. Couch we a while and mark. HAMLET and HORATIO withdraw LAERTES What ceremony else?If you thought that youd be thinking too much. HAMLET No, not at all. Just follow the logic: Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returned to dust, the dust is dirt, and dirt makes mud we use to stop up holes. So why cant someone plug a beer barrel with the dirt that used to be Alexander? The great emperor Caesar, dead and turned to clay, might plug up a hole to keep the wind away. Oh, to think that the same body that once ruled the world could now patch up a wall! But quiet, be quiet a minute.CLAUDIUS enters with GERTRUDE, LAERTES, and a coffin, with a PRIEST and other lords attendant. Here comes the king, the queen, and the noblemen of court. Who are they following? And with such a plain and scrawny ceremony? It means the corpse theyre following took its own life. Must have been from a wealthy family. Lets stay and watch a while.HAMLET and HORATIO step aside. LAERTES What other rites are you going to giveher? HAMLET That is Laertes, a very noble youth, mark. LAERTES What ceremony else? PRIEST 200 Her obsequies have been as far enlarged As we have warranty. Her death was doubtful, And, but that great command o'ersways the order, 205 She should in ground unsanctified have lodged Till the last trumpet. For charitable prayers Shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her. Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants, Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home Of bell and burial. LAERTES Must there no more be done? PRIEST 210 No more be done. We should profane the service of the dead To sing a requiem and such rest to her As to peace-parted souls. LAERTES Lay her i' th' earth, And from her fair and unpolluted flesh 215 May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest, LAERTES Isnt there any other rite you can perform? PRIEST No, nothing. We would profane the other dead souls here if we sang the same requiem for her that we sang for them. LAERTES Lay her in the ground, and let violets bloom from her lovely and pure flesh! Im telling you, you jerk priest, my sister will be an angel in heaven while HAMLET Thats Laertes, a very noble young man. Listen. LAERTES What other rites are you going to give her? PRIEST Ive performed as many rites as Im permitted. Her death was suspicious, and were it not for the fact that the king gave orders to bury her here, shed have been buried outside the church graveyard. She deserves to have rocks and stones thrown on her body. But she has had prayers read for her and is dressed up like a pure virgin, with flowers tossed on her grave and the bell tolling for her.A ministering angel shall my sister be When thou liest howling. HAMLET (to HORATIO) What, the fair Ophelia? GERTRUDE Sweets to the sweet. Farewell! (scatters 220 flowers) I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlets wife. I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid, And not have strewed thy grave. LAERTES Oh, treble woe Fall ten times treble on that cursd head, Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious 225 sense Deprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile Till I have caught her once more in mine arms. (leaps into the grave) Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead, Till of this flat a mountain you have made, 230 T' o'ertop old Pelion or the skyish head Of blue Olympus. HAMLET (comes forward) What is he whose grief Bears such an emphasis, whose phrase of sorrow Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,youre howling in hell. HAMLET (to HORATIO) What, the beautiful Ophelia? QUEEN Sweet flowers for a sweet girl. Goodbye! (she scatters flowers) I once hoped youd be my Hamlets wife. I thought Id be tossing flowers on your wedding bed, my sweet girl, not on your grave. LAERTES Oh, damn three times, damn ten times the evil man whose wicked deed deprived you of your ingenious mind. Hold off burying her until Ive caught her in my arms once more.(he jumps into the grave) Now pile the dirt onto the living and the dead alike, till youve made a mountain higher thanMount Pelion or Mount Olympus. HAMLET (coming forward) Who is the one whose grief is so loud and clear, whose words of sadness make the planets stand still in the heavens as if theyve been hurt by what theyve heard? Its me, Hamlet the Dane. (he jumps into the grave)Hamlet the Dane. (leaps into the grave) LAERTES 235 The devil take thy soul! HAMLET and LAERTES grapple LAERTES To hell with your soul! HAMLET and LAERTES wrestle with each other. HAMLET Thats no way to pray. (they fight) Please take your hands off my throat. I may not be rash and quick to anger, but I have something dangerous in me which you should beware of. Take your hands off. CLAUDIUS Pull them apart. GERTRUDE Hamlet! Hamlet! ALL Gentlemen! HORATIO (to HAMLET ) Please, my lord, calm down. Attendants separate HAMLET and LAERTES HAMLET Why, I will fight with him upon this 245 theme Until my eyelids will no longer wag. GERTRUDE O my son, what theme? HAMLET I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers Could not with all their quantity of love Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for Attendants separate HAMLET and LAERTES HAMLET Ill fight him over this issue till I dont have the strength to blink. GERTRUDE Oh, my son, what issue is that? HAMLET I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers, if you added all their love together, couldnt match mine. What areHAMLET Thou prayst not well. I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat, For though I am not splenitive and rash, Yet have I something in me dangerous, 240 Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand. CLAUDIUS Pluck them asunder. GERTRUDE Hamlet, Hamlet! ALL Gentlemen HORATIO (to HAMLET) Good my lord, be quiet.her? CLAUDIUS 250 O, he is mad, Laertes. GERTRUDE For love of God, forbear him. HAMLET 'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do. Woot weep? Woot fight? Woot fast? Woot tear thyself? 255 Woot drink up eisel, eat a crocodile? Ill do t. Dost thou come here to whine, To outface me with leaping in her grave? Be buried quick with her?and so will I. And if thou prate of mountains let them 260 throw Millions of acres on us, till our ground, Singeing his pate against the burning zone, Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth, Ill rant as well as thou. GERTRUDE This is mere madness. And thus a while the fit will work on him. Anon, as patient as the female dove 265 When that her golden couplets are disclosed, His silence will sit drooping. HAMLET Hear you, sir. What is the reason that you use me thus? I loved you ever. But it is no matter. Let Hercules himself do what he may, The cat will mew and dog will have hisyou going to do for her? CLAUDIUS Oh, hes crazy, Laertes! GERTRUDE For the love of God, be patient with him. HAMLET Damn it, show me what youre going to do for her. Will you cry? Fight? Stop eating? Cut yourself? Drink vinegar? Eat a crocodile? Ill do all that. Did you come here to whine? To outdo me by jumping into her grave so theatrically? To be buried alive with her? So will I. And if you rattle on about mountains, then let them throw millions of acres over us. It will be so high a peak that it scrapes against heaven and makes Mount Ossa look like a wart. See? I can talk crazy as well as you.GERTRUDE This is pure insanity. Hell be like this for a little while. Then hell be as calm and quiet as a dove waiting for her eggs to hatch.HAMLET Listen, sir, why do you treat me like this? I always loved you. But it doesnt matter. Even a hero like Hercules cant keep cats from acting like cats, and dogs like dogs.270 day. Exit HAMLET CLAUDIUS I pray thee, good Horatio, wait upon him. Exit HORATIO (to LAERTES) Strengthen your patience in our last nights speech. Well put the matter to the present push. 275 Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son. This grave shall have a living monument. An hour of quiet shortly shall we see. Till then in patience our proceeding be. Exeunt Act 5, Scene 2 Enter HAMLET and HORATIO HAMLET So much for this, sir. Now shall you see the other. You do remember all the circumstance? HORATIO Remember it, my lord? HAMLET Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting That would not let me sleep. Methought I lay Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly And praised be rashness for it: let us know 10 Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well When our deep plots do pall, and that HAMLET and HORATIO enter. HAMLET Thats enough about that. Now Ill tell you the other story about my journey. Do you remember the circumstances? HORATIO How could I forget, my lord! HAMLET There was a kind of war in my brain that wouldnt let me sleep. It was worse than being a captive in chains. Sometimes its good to be rashsometimes it works out well to act impulsively when our careful plans lose steam. This should show us that theres a God in heaven whos always guiding us in the right direction, HAMLET exits. CLAUDIUS Please, Horatio, go with him. HORATIO exits. (to LAERTES) Dont forget our talk last night, and try to be patient. Well take care of this problem soon. Gertrude, have the guards keep an eye on your son. A monument shall be built for Ophelia that will last forever, I promise. Well have the quiet we need soon. In the meantime, lets proceed patiently. They exit.5should teach us Theres a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will HORATIO That is most certain. HAMLET Up from my cabin, 15 My sea-gown scarfed about me, in the dark Groped I to find out them, had my desire, Fingered their packet, and in fine withdrew To mine own room again, making so bold (My fears forgetting manners) to unseal Their grand commission, where I found, Horatio O royal knavery!an exact command, Larded with many several sorts of reasons Importing Denmarks health, and Englands too, Withho!such bugs and goblins in my life That, on the supervise (no leisure bated, No, not to stay the grinding of the ax) My head should be struck off. HORATIO Is t possible? HAMLET (shows HORATIO a document) Heres the commission. Read it at more leisure. But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed? 30 HORATIO I beseech you. HAMLET Being thus benetted round with villainies Ere I could make a prologue to my brains,however often we screw upHORATIO Well, of course. HAMLET So I came up from my cabin with my robe tied around me, groped in the dark to find what I was looking for, found it, looked through their packet of papers, and returned to my cabin again. I was bold enough (I guess my fears made me forget my manners) to open the document containing the kings instructions. And there I found, Horatio, such royal mischiefa precisely worded order, sugared with lots of talk about Denmarks well-being and Englands too, to cut off my head, without even waiting to sharpen the ax.2025HORATIO Is it possible? HAMLET (he shows HORATIO a document) Heres the document. Read it in your free time. But do you want to hear what I did then? HORATIO Yes, please tell me. HAMLET So there I was, caught in their evil net. Before I could even start processing the35They had begun the playI sat me down, Devised a new commission, wrote it fair. I once did hold it, as our statists do, A baseness to write fair, and labored much How to forget that learning, but, sir, now It did me yeomans service. Wilt thou know Th' effect of what I wrote?situation, they had started the ball rolling. I sat down and wrote out a new official document with new instructions. I wrote it in a bureaucrats neat handwriting. I used to think having nice handwriting was for servants, just like our politicians think, and I had to work hard to overcome that prejudicebut it sure came in handy then. Do you want to know what I wrote? HORATIO Yes, my lord. HAMLET A sincere plea from the king, who commands the respect of England, and who hopes that the love between the two countries can flourish, and that peace can join them in friendshipand other fancy mumbo jumbo like thatsaying that, once they read this document, without any debate, the ones delivering the letter should be put to death immediately, without giving them time to confess to a priest.40HORATIO Ay, good my lord. HAMLET An earnest conjuration from the king, As England was his faithful tributary, As love between them like the palm might45flourish, As peace should stiff her wheaten garland wear And stand a comma tween their amities, And many suchlike ass of great charge, That, on the view and knowing of these contents, Without debatement further, more or less, He should the bearers put to sudden death, Not shriving time allowed. HORATIO How was this sealed? HAMLET Why, even in that was heaven ordinant. I had my fathers signet in my purse, Which was the model of that Danish seal.50HORATIO But how could you put an official seal on it? HAMLET Heaven helped me out with that too. I had my fathers signet ring in my pocket, with the royal seal of Denmark on it. I folded up the new document, signed it, sealed it, and put it safely back so that no55Folded the writ up in form of th' other, Subscribed it, gave t th' impression, placedit safely, The changeling never known. Now, the next day Was our sea fight, and what to this was sequent Thou knowst already. 60 HORATIO So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to t. HAMLET Why, man, they did make love to this employment. They are not near my conscience. Their defeat Does by their own insinuation grow. 'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes Between the pass and fell incensd points Of mighty opposites. HORATIO Why, what a king is this! HAMLET Does it not, think thee, stand me now upon He that hath killed my king and whored my mother, Popped in between th' election and my hopes, Thrown out his angle for my proper life (And with such cozenage!)is t not perfect conscience To quit him with this arm? And is t not to be damned To let this canker of our nature come In further evil?one noticed any difference. The next day we had our fight at sea, and you know what happened after that.HORATIO So Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are in for it. HAMLET Man, they were asking for it. I dont feel guilty about them at all. They got what they deserved. Its always dangerous when little people get caught in the crossfire of mighty opponents.65HORATIO What a king Claudius is! HAMLET Dont you think its my duty now to kill him with this weapon? This man who killed my king, made my mother a whore, took the throne that I hoped for, and set a trap to kill me. Isnt it completely moral to kill him now with this swordand an easy conscience? And wouldnt I be damned if I let this monster live to do more harm?7075HORATIO It must be shortly known to him from England What is the issue of the business there. HAMLET It will be short. The interims mine. And a mans lifes no more than to say 80 one. But I am very sorry, good Horatio, That to Laertes I forgot myself, For by the image of my cause I see The portraiture of his. Ill court his favors. But sure the bravery of his grief did put me Into a towering passion. HORATIO Peace.Who comes here? Enter young OSRIC, a courtier, hat in hand OSRIC Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark. HAMLET I humbly thank you, sir. (aside to HORATIO) Dost know this water-fly? HORATIO (aside to HAMLET) No, my good lord. HAMLET (aside to HORATIO) Thy state is the more gracious, for tis a vice to know him. He hath much land, and fertile. Let a beast be lord of beasts and his crib shall stand at the kings mess. 'Tis a chough, but, as I say,HORATIO Hell find out soon what happened in England. HAMLET Soon enough. But I have the meantime. A human life is hardly long enough to count to one in. But I really feel bad, Horatio, about losing control of myself with Laertes. His situation is very much like my own. Ill be nice to him. It was just that the showiness of his grief sent me into a fury. HORATIO Hang on a minutewho are you? OSRIC, a young courtier, enters with his hat in his hand. OSRIC Welcome back to Denmark, my lord. HAMLET Thank you kindly, sir. (speaking so that onlyHORATIO can hear) Do you know this insect? HORATIO (speaking so that only HAMLET can hear) No, my lord. HAMLET (speaking so that only HORATIO can hear)Youre lucky, since knowing him is most unpleasant. He owns a lot of good land. Give an animal a lot of money, and hell be welcome at the kings table. Hes85spacious in the possession of dirt. OSRIC Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I should impart a thing to you from His Majesty. HAMLET I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of spirit. Put your bonnet to his right use. 'Tis for the head. OSRIC I thank your lordship. It is very hot. HAMLET 100 No, believe me, tis very cold. The wind is northerly. OSRIC It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed. HAMLET But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my complexion. OSRIC Exceedingly, my lord. It is very sultryas twereI cannot tell how. My lord, his majesty bade me signify to you that he has laid a great wager on your head. Sir, this is the matter HAMLET I beseech you, remember(indicates that OSRICshould put on his hat)a jerk, but he owns a whole lot of dirt, so hes treated well. OSRIC My lord, if you have a free moment, I have a message from His Majesty. HAMLET Ill hang on every word you say. Put your hat back on, where it belongs: its for your head, not for your hands to hold. OSRIC No thank you, my lord. Its very hot. HAMLET No, Im telling you, its very cold, with a northerly wind. OSRIC It is rather cold, indeed, my lord. HAMLET And yet I feel its very hot and humid, which is bad for my complexion. OSRIC Yes indeed it is, sir. Very humid, I cant tell you how humid it is. My lord, His Majesty wanted me to tell you that hes placed a large bet on you. This is what its all about HAMLET Please, I beg you(he points to OSRIC s hat)OSRIC Nay, good my lord, for mine ease, in good faith. Sir, here is newly come to court Laertes, believe me, an absolute gentleman, full of most excellent differences, of very soft society and great showing. Indeed, to speak feelingly of him, he is the card or calendar of gentry, for you shall find in him the continent of what part a gentleman would see.OSRIC No, my lord, Im comfortable like this, thank you. Sir, theres someone named Laertes whos recently come to the court. Hes an absolute gentleman, totally outstanding in so many respects, very easy in society, and displaying all his excellent qualities. If I were to expose my true feelings about him, Id have to say hes like a business card for the upper classeshes that wonderful. Youll find that hes the sum total of what a perfect gentleman should be.HAMLET Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you, though I know to divide him inventorially would dizzy th' arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw neither, in respect of his quick sail. But in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of great article, and his infusion of such dearth and rareness as, to make true diction of him, his semblable is his mirror. And who else would trace him? His umbrage, nothing more. OSRIC Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him. HAMLET The concernancy, sir? Why do we wrap the gentleman in our more rawer breath?HAMLET Sir, your description of him doesnt detract from his good qualities, though I know that trying to list them all would make your head spin, and even so you wouldnt be able to keep up with him. Speaking the very truth of high praise, I can honestly say that I find him to possess a soul of such great importance, and so rare and unique in every respect, thatto speak the absolute truthhe can find an equal only when he gazes into a mirror. Anyone else is just a pale copy of him. OSRIC You speak absolutely correctly, sir. HAMLET And whats the point, sir? Why are we talking about him like this?OSRIC 125 Sir? HORATIO (aside to HAMLET) Is t not possible to understand in another tongue? You will do t, sir, really. HAMLET What imports the nomination of this gentleman? OSRIC Of Laertes? HORATIO (aside to HAMLET) His purse is empty already. All s golden words are spent. HAMLET Of him, sir. OSRIC I know you are not ignorant HAMLET I would you did, sir. Yet in faith, if you did, it would not much approve me. Well, sir? OSRIC You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is HAMLET I dare not confess that lest I should compare with him in excellence, but to know a man well were to know himself. OSRIC I mean, sir, for his weapon. But in the imputation laid on him by them, in hisOSRIC Sorry, sir? HORATIO (speaking so that only HAMLET can hear) Cant you talk to him in a different way? HAMLET (to OSRIC) What is the significance of referring to this individual? OSRIC Laertes, you mean? HORATIO (speaking so that only HAMLET can hear) All his fancy language has run out finally; his pockets are empty. HAMLET Yes, Laertes, sir. OSRIC I know you know something HAMLET Thanks for the compliment, Im happy you know that. But in fact it doesnt say much. Im sorry, you were saying? OSRIC I know you know something about how excellent Laertes is HAMLET I cant admit that, since youd have to compare his excellence to mine. But knowing a person well is a bit like knowing oneself. OSRIC Excellent in fencing, I mean, sir. His reputation in fencing is unrivaled.meed hes unfellowed. HAMLET Whats his weapon? OSRIC Rapier and dagger. HAMLET Thats two of his weapons. But well. OSRIC The king, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary horses, against the which he has impawned, as I take it, six French rapiers and poniards with their assignsas girdle, hangers, and so. Three of the carriages, in faith, are very dear to fancy, very responsive to the hilts, most delicate carriages, and of very liberal conceit. HAMLET 150 What call you the carriages? HORATIO (aside to HAMLET) I knew you must be edified by the margin ere you had done. OSRIC The carriages, sir, are the hangers. HAMLET The phrase would be more germane to the matter if we could carry cannon by our sides. I would it might be hangers till then. But, on: six Barbary horses against six French swords, their assigns, and three liberal-conceited carriagesthats HAMLET What do you mean by carriages? HORATIO (speaking so that only HAMLET can hear) I knew youd have to look something up in the dictionary before we were finished. OSRIC The carriages, sir, are the hangerswhere the swords hang. HAMLET Carriage makes it sound like its pulling around a cannon. I prefer to call it a hanger. But anyway. Six Barbary horses, six French swords with accessories, and three imaginatively designed carriages sounds like a French bet against the Danish. HAMLET What kind of weapon does he use? OSRIC The rapier and the dagger. HAMLET Those are only two of his weapons. But, go on. OSRIC The king has bet six Barbary horses, and he has prepared six French rapiers and daggers with all their accessories. Three of the carriages are very imaginatively designed, and they match the fencing accessories.the French bet against the Danish. Why is this impawned, as you call it? OSRIC The king, sir, hath laid that in a dozen passes between yourself and him, he shall not exceed you three hits. He hath laid on twelve for nine, and it would come to immediate trial if your lordship would vouchsafe the answer. HAMLET How if I answer No? OSRIC 165 I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person in trial. HAMLET Sir, I will walk here in the hall. If it please His Majesty, tis the breathing time of day with me. Let the foils be brought, the gentleman willing, and the king hold his purpose. I will win for him an I can. If not, I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits. OSRIC Shall I redeliver you e'en so? HAMLET To this effect, sir, after what flourish your nature will. OSRIC I commend my duty to your lordship. HAMLET Yours, yours. Exit OSRIC He does well to commend it himself. There are no tongues else for s turn.Why has all this been put on the table? OSRIC The king, sir, has bet that in a dozen rounds between you and Laertes, he wont beat you by more than three hits. You could get started immediately if youll give me your answer. HAMLET But what if my answers no? OSRIC I mean, if youd agree to play against Laertes, sir. HAMLET Sir, Im going to go for a walk in the hall here whether the king likes it or not. Its my exercise time. Bring in the swords, if the king still wants to go through with it and if Laertes is still willing. Ill have the king win his bet if I can. If not, Ill only have suffered some embarrassment and a few sword hits. OSRIC Shall I quote you in those exact words, sir? HAMLET Just get the point across, however flowery you want to be. OSRIC My services are at your command. HAMLET Thank you. OSRIC exits. Its a good thing hes here to recommend himself. No one else would.HORATIO This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head. HAMLET He did comply, sir, with his dug before he sucked it. Thus has heand many more of the same bevy that I know the drossy age dotes ononly got the tune of the time and outward habit of encounter, a kind of yeasty collection, which carries them through and through the most fond and winnowed opinions; and do but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out. Enter a LORD LORD My lord, his majesty commended him to you by young Osric, who brings back to him that you attend him in the hall. He sends to know if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that you will take longer time. HAMLET I am constant to my purpose. They follow the kings pleasure. If his fitness speaks, mine is ready, now or whensoever, provided I be so able as now. LORD The king and queen and all are coming down. HAMLET In happy time. LORDHORATIO That crazy birds only half-hatched. HAMLET He used to praise his mothers nipple before he sucked it. Hes like so many successful people in these trashy timeshes patched together enough fancy phrases and trendy opinions to carry him along. But blow a little on this bubbly talk, and itll burst. Theres no substance here.A LORD enters. LORD My lord, Osric has told the king about your agreeing to the fencing match. The king wishes to know if you want to play against him right away, or wait awhile.HAMLET Ill do whatever the king wants. If hes ready now, so am I. Otherwise, Ill do it anytime, as long as Im able.LORD The king and queen are coming down with everyone else. HAMLET Right on cue. LORDThe queen desires you to use some gentle entertainment to Laertes before you fall to play. Exit LORD HAMLET 195 She well instructs me. HORATIO You will lose this wager, my lord. HAMLET I do not think so. Since he went into France, I have been in continual practice. I shall win at the odds. But thou wouldst not think how ill alls here about my heart. But it is no matter. HORATIO Nay, good my lord HAMLET It is but foolery, but it is such a kind of gain-giving as would perhaps trouble a woman. HORATIO If your mind dislike anything, obey it. I will forestall their repair hither and say you are not fit. HAMLET Not a whit. We defy augury. Theres a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will comethe readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is t to leave betimes? Let be.The queen wants you to chat with Laertes politelybefore you begin your match. The LORD exits. HAMLET Shes full of good advice. HORATIO Youre going to lose this bet, my lord. HAMLET I dont think so. Ive been practicing fencing constantly since he went off to France. With the handicap theyve given me, I think Ill win. But I have a sinking feeling anyway. Oh well. HORATIO Wait, my lord HAMLET I know Im being foolish, but I have the kind of vague misgiving women often get. HORATIO If something is telling you not to play, listen to it. Ill say youre not feeling well. HAMLET Youll do no such thing. I thumb my nose at superstitions. God controls everything even something as trivial as a sparrows death. Everything will work out as it is destined. If something is supposed to happen now, it will. If its supposed to happen later, it wont happen now. Whats important is to be prepared. Since nobody knows anything about what he leavesbehind, then what does it mean to leave early? Let it be. Enter King CLAUDIUS, Queen GERTRUDE,LAERTES, OSRI C, lords, and other attendants with trumpets, drums, foils, a table, and flagons of wine CLAUDIUS Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.(puts LAERTES' hand into HAMLET's) HAMLET Give me your pardon, sir. Ive done you wrong. But pardon t, as you are a gentleman. 215 This presence knows, And you must needs have heard, how I am punished With sore distraction. What I have done, That might your nature, honor, and 220 exception Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness. Was t Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet. 225 If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away, And when hes not himself does wrong Laertes, Then Hamlet does it not. Hamlet denies it. Who does it, then? His madness. Ift be so, Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged. His madness is poor Hamlets enemy. Sir, in this audience, CLAUDIUS enters with GERTRUDE, LAERTES,OSRIC, lords, and other attendants with trumpets, drums, fencing swords, a table, and pitchers of wine. CLAUDIUS Come shake hands with Laertes, Hamlet. (CLAUDIUS places LAERTES' and HAM LETshands together) HAMLET (to LAERTES) I beg your pardon, sir. Ive done you wrong. Forgive me as a gentleman. Everyone here knowsand Im sure youve heardthat Im suffering from a serious mental illness. When I insulted you it was due to insanity. Was Hamlet the one who insulted Laertes? No, not Hamlet. If Hamlet is robbed of his own mind, and insults Laertes when hes not really himself, then Hamlets not guilty of the offense. Who is guilty, then? Hamlets mental illness is.Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil Free me so far in your most generous thoughts 230 That I have shot mine arrow o'er the house And hurt my brother.And if thats true, then Hamlet is the victim of his own illnesshis illness is his enemy. Sir, with this audience as witness, let me declare that Im as innocent of premeditated evil against you as I would be if I had happened to shoot an arrow over my house and accidentally hit my brother. LAERTES My feelings are satisfiedeven though what you have done to my father and sister should drive me to revenge. Yet when it comes to my honor, I cant forgive you so fast. I will accept no apology until experts in matters of honor show me how to make peace with you without staining my own reputation in doing so. Until then I will accept your love as love.LAERTES I am satisfied in nature, Whose motive in this case should stir me most To my revenge. But in my terms of honor 235 I stand aloof, and will no reconcilement Till by some elder masters, of known honor, I have a voice and precedent of peace To keep my name ungored. But till that time I do receive your offered love like love And will not wrong it. HAMLET I embrace it freely, And will this brothers wager frankly 240 play. Give us the foils. Come on. LAERTES Come, one for me. HAMLET Ill be your foil, Laertes. In mine ignorance Your skill shall, like a star i' th' darkest night, Stick fiery off indeed.HAMLET Im grateful for your love. Come on, give us the swords, and we will play this friendly fencing match enthusiastically. LAERTES Yes, hand me one too. HAMLET Im going to make you look sharp, Laertes. Im so bad at the game that your skill will shine like the brightest star in the darkest night.LAERTES You mock me, sir. HAMLET 245 No, by this hand. CLAUDIUS Give them the foils, young Osric. Cousin Hamlet, You know the wager? HAMLET Very well, my lord. Your grace hath laid the odds o' th' weaker side. CLAUDIUS I do not fear it. I have seen you both. 250 But since he is better we have therefore odds. LAERTES (tests a rapier) This is too heavy. Let me see another. HAMLET (tests a rapier) This likes me well. These foils have all a length? OSRIC Ay, my good lord.LAERTES Youre making fun of me. HAMLET No, I swear Im not. CLAUDIUS Give them the swords, Osric. Hamlet, you know the bet? HAMLET Yes, my lord, quite well. Youve bet on the weaker fencer. CLAUDIUS Im not worried. Ive seen both of you fence. But since Laertes is better, weve given him a handicap. Hes got to outdo you by three hits to win. LAERTES This swords too heavy. Show me another one. HAMLET I like this one. Are they all the same length? OSRIC Yes, my lord. HAMLET and LAERTES get ready to fence. CLAUDIUS Put the goblets of wine on that table. If Hamlet makes the first or second hit, or gets back at Laertes by making the third hit, then let my soldiers give him a military salute. Ill drink to Hamlets health, and into his goblet Ill drop aHAMLET and LAERTES prepare to playCLAUDIUS Set me the stoups of wine upon that table. 255 If Hamlet give the first or second hit Or quit in answer of the third exchange, Let all the battlements their ordnance fire! The king shall drink to Hamlets better breath,260 And in the cup an union shall he throw Richer than that which four successive kings In Denmarks crown have worn. Give me the cups. 265 And let the kettle to the trumpet speak, The trumpet to the cannoneer without, The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth, Now the king dunks to Hamlet. Come, begin. And you, the judges, bear a wary eye. Trumpets HAMLET Come on, sir. LAERTES Come, my lord. HAMLET and LAERTES play HAMLET One. LAERTES 270 No. HAMLET Judgment? OSRIC A hit, a very palpable hit. LAERTES Well, again. CLAUDIUS Stay, give me drink.Hamlet, this pearl 275 is thine. Heres to thy health. Drums, trumpets sound, shot goes offpearl even more costly than those in the crowns of the last four Danish kings. Give me the goblets. And now let the drum and the trumpet play, and the trumpet signal the cannon outside to fire, and let the cannon tell the heavens, and the heavens tell all the earth that the king is drinking now to Hamlets health. Come on, lets begin. Judges, pay close attention.Trumpets play. HAMLET Come on, sir. LAERTES Come on, my lord. HAMLET and LAERTES fence. HAMLET That was one hit. LAERTES No, it wasnt. HAMLET Referee! OSRIC It was obviously a hit. LAERTES Well, lets go on. CLAUDIUS Give me a goblet.Hamlet, this pearls yours. Heres to your health. Drums and trumpets play, and a gun isfired. CLAUDIUS drops pearl into cup Give him the cup. HAMLET Ill play this bout first. Set it by a while. Come. HAMLET and LAERTES play Another hit. What say you? LAERTES A touch, a touch, I do confess t. CLAUDIUS 280 Our son shall win. GERTRUDE Hes fat, and scant of breath. Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows. The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet. (picks up the cup with the pearl) HAMLET 285 Good madam. CLAUDIUS Gertrude, do not drink. GERTRUDE I will, my lord. I pray you, pardon me. (drinks) CLAUDIUS (aside) It is the poisoned cup. It is too late. HAMLET I dare not drink yet, madam. By and by. CLAUDIUS drops a pearl into a cup. Give him the goblet. HAMLET Let me just finish this round. Set it down awhile. Lets play. HAMLET and LAERTES fence. Another hit. What do you say? LAERTES You got me, I admit it. CLAUDIUS My son will win. GERTRUDE Hes flabby and out of breath.Here, Hamlet, take my handkerchief and wipe your forehead. The queen drinks to your good luck and happiness, Hamlet. (she lifts the cup with the pearl) HAMLET Thank you, madam. CLAUDIUS Gertrude, dont drink that. GERTRUDE Excuse me. Ill drink it if I like. (she drinks) CLAUDIUS (to himself) That was the poisoned drink. Its too late. HAMLET Id better not drink now. Ill drink later.GERTRUDE Come, let me wipe thy face. LAERTES 290 (aside to CLAUDIUS) My lord, Ill hit him now. CLAUDIUS I do not think t. LAERTES (aside) And yet it is almost 'gainst my conscience. HAMLET Come, for the third, Laertes. You do but dally. 295 I pray you, pass with your best violence. I am afeard you make a wanton of me. LAERTES Say you so? Come on. HAMLET and LAERTES play OSRIC Nothing, neither way. LAERTES Have at you now! LAERTES wounds HAMLET In scuffling, they change rapiers. HAMLET wounds LAERTESGERTRUDE Come on, let me wipe your face. LAERTES (to CLAUDIUS) Ill get him now. CLAUDIUS I doubt it. LAERTES (to himself) But I almost feel guilty. HAMLET Get ready for the third hit, Laertes. Youre just playing around. Come on, give me your best shot. I sense youre treating me like a child. LAERTES You think so? Come on. HAMLET and LAERTES fence. OSRIC Theyre neck and neck. LAERTES Take this! LAERTES wounds HAMLET. Then in a scuffle they end up with each others swords, andHAMLET wounds LAERTES. CLAUDIUS Separate them. Theyre overdoing it. HAMLET No, come on, one more time.CLAUDIUS Part them! They are incensed. HAMLET Nay, come, again. GERTRUDE falls OSRIC Look to the queen there, ho!GERTRUDE collapses. OSRIC Take care of the queen!HORATIO 300 They bleed on both sides.How is it, my lord? OSRIC How is t, Laertes? LAERTES Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric. I am justly killed with mine own treachery. (falls) HAMLET How does the queen? CLAUDIUS She swoons to see them bleed. GERTRUDE 305 No, no, the drink, the drink!O my dear Hamlet! The drink, the drink! I am poisoned. (dies) HAMLET O villainy! Ho, let the door be locked. Exit OSRIC Treachery! Seek it out. LAERTES It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain. 310 No medicine in the world can do thee good. In thee there is not half an hour of life. The treacherous instrument is in thy hand, 315 Unbated and envenomed. The foul practice Hath turned itself on me. Lo, here I lie, Never to rise again. Thy mothersHORATIO Both fencers are bleedinghow do you feel, my lord? OSRIC How do you feel, Laertes? LAERTES Like a mouse caught in my own trap, Osric. (he collapses) Ive been killed by my own evil tricks. HAMLET Hows the queen? CLAUDIUS She fainted at the sight of them bleeding. GERTRUDE No, no, the drink, the drink! Oh, my dear Hamlet! The drink, the drink! Ive been poisoned. (she dies) HAMLET Oh, what evil! Lock the door. OSRIC exits Weve been betrayed! Find out who did it! LAERTES Im the one, Hamlet. Hamlet, youre dead. No medicine in the world can cure you. You dont have more than half an hour to live. The treacherous weapon is right in your hand, sharp and dipped in poison. The foul plan backfired on me. Here I lie and will never get up again. Your mothers been poisoned. I cant speak anymore. The king, the kings to blame.poisoned. I can no more. The king, the kings to blame. HAMLET The point envenomed too!Then, venom, to thy work. HAMLET hurts CLAUDIUS ALL Treason! Treason! CLAUDIUS O, yet defend me, friends. I am but hurt. HAMLET 320 Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damnd Dane, Drink off this potion. Is thy union here? Follow my mother. HAMLET forces CLAUDIUS to drink CLAUDIUSdies LAERTES He is justly served. It is a poison tempered by himself. Exchange forgiveness with me, noble 325 Hamlet. Mine and my fathers death come not upon thee, Nor thine on me. (dies) HAMLET Heaven make thee free of it. I follow thee. I am dead, Horatio.Wretched queen, 330 adieu! You that look pale and tremble at this chance, HAMLET The blade poisoned! Then get to work, poison! HAMLET wounds CLAUDIUS. ALL Treason! Treason! CLAUDIUS Protect me, my friends. Ive only been hurt, not killed. HAMLET Here, you goddamn incest-breeding Danish murderer, drink this. Is your little pearl in there? Follow my mother. HAMLET forces CLAUDIUS to drink.CLAUDIUS dies. LAERTES He got what he deserved. He mixed that poison himself. Please forgive me as I forgive you, Hamlet. Youre not responsible for my death and my fathers, and Im not responsible for yours. (he dies) HAMLET God will free you from blame. Ill follow you to heaven in a minute.Im dying, Horatio.Goodbye, miserable queen.And all you people watching, pale and trembling, speechless spectators of these acts, I could tell youThat are but mutes or audience to this act, Had I but time (as this fell sergeant, Death, 335 Is strict in his arrest), O, I could tell you But let it be.Horatio, I am dead. Thou livest. Report me and my cause aright To the unsatisfied. HORATIO Never believe it. I am more an antique Roman than a Dane. Heres yet some liquor left. (lifts the poisoned cup) HAMLET As thou'rt a man, Give me the cup. Let go! By heaven, Ill 340 have t. (takes cup from HORATIO) O God, Horatio, what a wounded name, Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me! 345 If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart Absent thee from felicity a while, And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain To tell my story. March afar off and shout withina thing or two if I had the time (though this cruel officer, Death, doesnt allow much free time). Let it be.Horatio, Im dying. Youre alive. Tell everyone what happened; set the story straight.HORATIO Not for a second. Im more like an ancient Roman than a corrupt modern Dane. Some of this liquors still left in the goblet. (he picks up the poisoned cup to drink) HAMLET Please, give me that goblet, if you love me. Let go of it! Ill get it from you, I swear. Oh God, Horatio, what a damaged reputation Im leaving behind me, as no one knows the truth. If you ever loved me, then please postpone the sweet relief of death awhile, and stay in this harsh world long enough to tell my story.A military march is heard from offstage, and a cannon fires. What are these warlike noises?What warlike noise is this? Enter OSRIC OSRIC Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland, 350 To th' ambassadors of England givesOSRIC enters. OSRIC Young Fortinbras, returning in triumph from Poland, is firing his guns to greet the English ambassadors.This warlike volley. HAMLET O, I die, Horatio. The potent poison quite o'ercrows my spirit. I cannot live to hear the news from England. 355 But I do prophesy the election lights On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice. So tell him, with th' occurrents, more and less, Which have solicited. The rest is silence. O, O, O, O. (dies) HORATIO Now cracks a noble heart.Good night, sweet prince, 360 And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest! Why does the drum come hither? Enter FORTINBRAS and the EnglishAMBASSADOR, with drummer and attendants FORTINBRAS Where is this sight? HORATIO What is it ye would see? If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search. FORTINBRAS This quarry cries on havoc. O proud 365 death, What feast is toward in thine eternal cell, That thou so many princes at a shot So bloodily hast struck? HORATIO Now a noble heart is breaking. Good night, sweet prince. May hosts of angels sing you to sleep.Why are those drums approaching? FORTINBRAS and the English AMBASSADORenter with a drummer and attendants. FORTINBRAS What do I see here? HORATIO What would you like to see? If its a tragedy, youve come to the right place. FORTINBRAS These corpses suggest mayhem. Oh, proud Death, what banquet are you preparing that youve needed to knock off so many princes at one stroke? HAMLET Oh, Im dying, Horatio! This strong poisons overpowering me. I will not live to hear the news from England. But I bet Fortinbras will win the election to the Danish crown. Hes got my vote as I die. So tell him that, given the recent events hereoh, the rest is silence. Oh, oh, oh, oh. (he dies)AMBASSADOR The sight is dismal, And our affairs from England come too late. 370 The ears are senseless that should give us hearing, To tell him his commandment is fulfilled, That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Where should we have our thanks? HORATIO (indicates CLAUDIUS) Not from hisAMBASSADOR This is a horrible sight. Our news arrives from England too late, since the people that should have heard it are dead. We meant to tell the king that his orders have been carried out, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Who will thank us now?HORATIO (indicates CLAUDIUS) Not the king, even if he were still alive to thank you. He never ordered their deaths. But since youve come so soon after this bloodbath, you from battles in Poland and you from England, then give your men orders to display these corpses on a high platform, and let me tell the world how all this happened.Youll hear of violent and unnatural acts, terrible accidents, casual murders, deaths caused by trickery and by threat, and finally murderous plans that backfired on their perpetrators. All this I can explain.mouth, 375 Had it th' ability of life to thank you. He never gave commandment for their death. But since so jump upon this bloody question, 380 You from the Polack wars, and you from England, Are here arrived, give order that these bodies High on a stage be placd to the view, 385 And let me speak to th' yet-unknowing world How these things came about. So shall you hear Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters, Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause, And, in this upshot, purposes mistook Fall'n on th' inventors' heads. All this can I Truly deliver.FORTINBRAS Let us haste to hear it, And call the noblest to the audience. For me, with sorrow I embrace my 390 fortune. I have some rights of memory in this kingdom, Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me. HORATIO Of that I shall have also cause to speak, And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more. 395 But let this same be presently performed, Even while mens minds are wild, lest more mischance On plots and errors happen. FORTINBRAS Let four captains Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage, For he was likely, had he been put on, 400 To have proved most royally. And, for his passage, The soldiers' music and the rites of war Speak loudly for him. Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this 405 Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss. Go, bid the soldiers shoot. Exeunt marching, carrying the bodies, after the which a peal of ordnance are shot offFORTINBRAS Lets hear about it right away and invite all the noblemen to listen. As for me, I welcome my good luck with sadness. I have some rights to claim this kingdom, and by arriving at this moment I have an opportunity to put them into effect.HORATIO I also have a few things to say about that, which Hamlet just told me. But lets get down to businesseven though people are in a frenzy of griefto avoid any further plots and mishaps.FORTINBRAS Let four captains carry Hamlet like a soldier onto the stage. He would have been a great king if he had had the chance to prove himself. Military music and military rites will speak for his heroic qualities. Pick up the corpses. A sight like this suits a battlefield, but here at court it shows that much went wrong. Go outside and tell the soldiers to fire their guns in honor of Hamlet. They exit marching, carrying the bodies. Cannons are fired.