Hamlet Text and Translation - Act III

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Act III

Scene I

Original Text Modern Translation
 

[Elsinore. A room in the Castle.]

 

Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Lords.

 
KING:
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?
KING:
And can’t you, by any circumstance,
Get from him why he puts on this craziness,
Grating all his days of quiet so harshly
With turbulence and dangerous lunacy?
ROSENCRANTZ:
He does confess he feels himself distracted,(5)
But from what cause he will by no means speak.
ROSENCRANTZ:
He does confess that he feels himself troubled,
But he will by no means speak about the cause.
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 confession
Of his true state.(10)
GUILDENSTERN:
Nor do we find him easy to figure out the reason why,
Because, with a crafty craziness, keeps his distance
When we try to bring him to some confession
Of his true state.
QUEEN:
Did he receive you well?
QUEEN:
Did he receive you well?
ROSENCRANTZ:
Most like a gentleman.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Most like a gentleman.
GUILDENSTERN:
But with much forcing of his disposition.
GUILDENSTERN:
But with much forcing to make himself do it.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Niggard of question, but of our demands
Most free in his reply.(15)
ROSENCRANTZ:
Difficult to question, but, when we ask for something,
He is most free in his reply.
QUEEN:
Did you assay him
To any pastime?
QUEEN:
Did you try to get him
To engage in 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(20)
To hear of it. They are here about the court,
And, as I think, they have already order
This night to play before him.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Madam, it just so happened that certain players
We passed on the way here. We told him about them,
And it seemed to make him happy
To hear of it. They are here at the court,
And, I think, they are already hired
To play before him tonight.
POLONIUS:
'tis most true;
And he beseech'd me to entreat your Majesties(25)
To hear and see the matter.
POLONIUS:
This is very true,
And he begged me to invite your majesties
To hear and see the play.
KING:
With all my heart, and it doth much content me
To hear him so inclin'd.
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge
And drive his purpose on to these delights.(30)
KING:
With all my heart, and it makes me happy
To hear that he is so inclined.
Good gentlemen, cut him some slack,
And keep his attentions on these delights.
ROSENCRANTZ:
We shall, my lord.
ROSENCRANTZ:
We shall, my lord.

Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

 
KING:
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too;
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Affront Ophelia.(35)
Her father and myself, lawful espials,
Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing unseen,
We may of their encounter frankly judge
And gather by him, as he is behaved,
If't be the affliction of his love or no,(40)
That thus he suffers for.
KING:
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too,
For we have secretly sent for Hamlet to come here,
That here he may, as if by accident
Meet Ophelia.
Her father and I, lawful spies,
Will so hide ourselves that, seeing but unseen,
We may honestly judge their encounter,
And gather from him, or how he behaves,
If it’s the affliction of his love or not
That he suffers like this for.
QUEEN:
I shall obey you;
And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildness. So shall I hope your virtues(45)
Will bring him to his wonted way again,
To both your honours.
QUEEN:
I shall obey you.
And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish
That your good beauties are the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildness. I really hope your virtues
Will bring him to his usual way again,
To the honor of both of you.
OPHELIA:
Madam, I wish it may.
OPHELIA:
Madam, I wish it may.
POLONIUS:
Ophelia, walk you here. Gracious, so please you,
We will bestow ourselves. Read on this book,(50)
That show of such an exercise may colour
Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this—
'tis too much proved—that with devotion's visage
And pious action we do sugar o'er
The Devil himself.(55)
POLONIUS:
Ophelia, you walk here. Gracious king, if it pleases you,
We will bestow ourselves. [To Ophelia.] Read this book,
Showing that such an exercise may colours
Your loneliness. We are often to blame in this, it’s been
proven often, that with devotion's face and
holy actions, we sugar over
The Devil himself.
KING:
O, 'tis too true!
How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!
The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it
Than is my deed to my most painted word.(60)
O heavy burden!
KING:
O, it is too true!
How hurting a lash that speech gives my conscience!
The prostitute's cheek, covered with makeup,
Isn’t more ugly to the thing that helps it
Than is my deed to my very artificial words.
O heavy burden!

Enter Hamlet.

 
POLONIUS:
I hear him coming. Let's withdraw, my lord.
POLONIUS:
I hear him coming. Let's hide, my lord.

[Exeunt.]

 
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 fortune(65)
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep—
No more—and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'tis a consummation(70)
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep—
To sleep—perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub!
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause—there's the respect(75)
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of disprized love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns(80)
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When 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(85)
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller 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,(90)
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. Soft you now!(95)
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.
HAMLET:
To be, or not to be, that is the question.
Is it nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to fight against a sea of troubles,
And end them by fighting? To die, to sleep,
Nothing more, and by sleeping, to be able to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That the body gets as part of life is an ending
To be wished for very earnestly. To die, to sleep,
To sleep! Perhaps to dream. Yes, there's the catch,
For what dreams may come in that sleep of death,
When we have left this life on earth,
Must make us stop. There's the respect
That makes a mess of long life,
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's insults,
The pangs of rejected love, the law's delay,
The inexperience of office, and the disdain
That patient merit takes from the unworthy,
When he himself might his final settlement make
With a bare, sharp knife? Who would bear these burdens
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
Except that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose borders
No traveler returns, puzzles the mind,
And makes us bear those problems we have
Rather than fly to others that we don’t know about?
In this way, a conscience can make cowards of us all,
And in this way the natural color of making up your mind
Is covered with the pale shadow of thinking,
And projects of great substance and significance,
And in this regard, their movement turns erratic,
And lose the name of action. Wait!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in your eyes
May all my sins be remembered.
   
OPHELIA:
Good my lord,
How does your honour for this many a day?
OPHELIA:
My good lord,
How has your honor been for this many a day?
HAMLET:
I humbly thank you; well, well, well.(100)
HAMLET:
I humbly thank you, Well, well, well.
OPHELIA:
My lord, I have remembrances of yours
That I have longed long to redeliver.
I pray you, now receive them.
OPHELIA:
My lord, I have mementos of yours
That I have longed to re-deliver to you for a long time.
I beg you, take them back now.
HAMLET:
No, not I!
I never gave you aught.(105)
HAMLET:
No, not I,
I never gave you anything.
OPHELIA:
My honour'd lord, you know right well you did,
And with them words of so sweet breath compos'd
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.(110)
There, my lord.
OPHELIA:
My honored lord, you know right well you did,
And with them, words composed of so sweet an air
As made the things more rich. Their sweet air being
Gone, take them back again, because to the noble mind
Rich gifts grow poor when the givers prove unkind.
There, my lord.
HAMLET:
Ha, ha! Are you honest?
HAMLET:
Ha! ha! Are you sincere?
OPHELIA:
My lord?
OPHELIA:
My lord?
HAMLET:
Are you fair?
HAMLET:
Are you truthful?
OPHELIA:
What means your lordship?(115)
OPHELIA:
What do you mean?
HAMLET:
That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should
admit no discourse to your beauty.
HAMLET:
That if you be sincere and truthful, your sincerity
shouldn’t have any talks to your beauty.
OPHELIA:
Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than
with honesty?
OPHELIA:
Could beauty, my lord, have better dealings than with sincerity?
HAMLET:
Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform(120)
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.
HAMLET:
Yes, truly, for the power of beauty will transform
sincerity from what it is to a pimp faster than the force of
sincerity can translate beauty into his image. This used to
be contradictory, but now the time proves it’s true. I did
love you once.
OPHELIA:
Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.(125)
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.
HAMLET:
You should not have believed me, for virtue can’t graft a
new plant onto our old stock but we shall relish of it. I
didn’t love you.
OPHELIA:
I was the more deceived.
OPHELIA:
I was deceived all the more.
HAMLET:
Get thee to a nunnery! Why wouldst thou be a(130)
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. I am very proud, revengeful,
ambitious; with more offences at my beck than I have
thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape,(135)
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. Where's
your father?
HAMLET:
Get yourself to a convent. Why would you give birth to
sinners? I don’t care about my sincerity, but I could
accuse myself of such things that it were better my
mother had not had me. I am very proud, revengeful,
ambitious, with more offenses at my command than I
have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them
shape, or time to commit them in. What should such
fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We
are wicked men, all, believe none of us. Take yourself a
convent. Where's your father?
OPHELIA:
At home, my lord.(140)
OPHELIA:
At home, my lord.
HAMLET:
Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the
fool nowhere but in's own house. Farewell.
HAMLET:
Shut the doors on him, that he may play the fool
nowhere else but in his own house. Goodbye.
OPHELIA:
O, help him, you sweet heavens!
OPHELIA:
O, help him, you sweet heavens!
HAMLET:
If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy
dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt(145)
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.
HAMLET:
If you do marry, I’ll give you this curse for your
wedding gift: whether you as chaste as ice, as pure as
snow, you shalt not escape slander. Go to a convent, go.
Goodbye. Or, if you will marry, make it a fool, by Mary,
for wise men know well enough what monsters you make
of them. To a convent, go, and quickly too. Goodbye.
OPHELIA:
O heavenly powers, restore him!(150)
OPHELIA:
O heavenly powers, restore him!
HAMLET:
I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God
hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another.
You jig, you amble, and you lisp; and nickname God's creatures
and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I'll
no more on't! it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no(155)
more marriages. Those that are married already—all but
one—shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery,
go.
HAMLET:
I have heard enough about your paintings too, God has
given you one face, and you paint yourselves another.
You dance, you walk, and you whisper and nickname
animals, and make your looseness your ignorance. Go
to, I’ll say no more about it, it has made me crazy. I say,
we will have no more marriages. those that are married
already, all but one, shall live, the rest stay the same. To
a convent, go.
   

Exit.

 
OPHELIA:
O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier's, scholar's, soldier's, eye, tongue, sword,(160)
The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
The observed of all observers, quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck'd the honey of his music vows,(165)
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy. O, woe is me,
To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!(170)
OPHELIA:
O, what a noble mind here is conquered!
The courtier's, scholar's, soldier's, eye, voice, sword,
The hope and flower of Denmark,
The mirror of fashion and the mold of perfect form,
The observed of all observers, quite, quite taken down!
And I of all ladies most dejected and wretched
That has tasted the honey of his musical vows,
Now see that noble and most royal mind,
Like sweet bells jangling, out of tune and harsh to hear,
That form and feature of blown youth without equal
Totally crazy. O, woe is me,
To have seen the man I have seen, see the man I see!

Exit.

 

Enter King and Polonius.

 
KING:
Love? His affections do not that way tend;
Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little,
Was not like madness. There's something in his soul
O'er which his melancholy sits on brood;
And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose(175)
Will be some danger; which for to prevent,
I have in quick determination
Thus set it down: he shall with speed to England
For the demand of our neglected tribute.
Haply the seas, and countries different,(180)
With variable objects shall expel
This something-settled matter in his heart,
Whereon his brains still beating puts him thus
From fashion of himself. What think you on't?
KING:
Love! his affections don’t go that way,
And what he said, though it was a little unorganized,
Wasn’t like craziness. There's something in his soul
Over which his depression sits like a bird on an egg,
And I doubt that egg will hatch and the “bird”
Will be something dangerous, which to prevent,
I have quickly decided
To write it down like this. He shall go quickly to England
To collect money due to us.
Happily the seas, and different countries
With other things, shall cure and get rid of
This problem in his heart that has such a hold on him,
Which his still active brain makes him like this
From being himself. What do you think about it?
POLONIUS:
It shall do well. But yet do I believe(185)
The origin and commencement of his grief
Sprung from neglected love. How now, Ophelia?
You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said.
We heard it all. My lord, do as you please;
But, if you hold it fit, after the play,(190)
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
To show his grief. Let her be round with him;
And I'll 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(195)
Your wisdom best shall think.
POLONIUS:
It’ll be OK. But I still believe
The source and beginning of his grief
Began with rejected love. How are you, Ophelia!
You don’t have to tell us what Lord Hamlet said,
We heard it all. My lord, do as you please,
But if you think it’s OK, after the play,
Let his queen mother talk to him all alone and beg him
To share his problem. Let her be strict with him,
And I’ll be hide, if it pleases you, so I can hear
Of all their conference. If she can’t find out what’s wrong,
Then send him to England, or lock him up where
You think is the best place.
KING:
It shall be so.
Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.
KING:
That’s what I’ll do.
Craziness in great ones must not go unwatched.

Exeunt.

 
   
   

Scene II

Original Text Modern Translation
   

[Elsinore. A hall in the Castle.]

 

Enter Hamlet, and three of the Players.

 
HAMLET:
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to
you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many
of our 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,(5)
and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must
acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.
O, 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,(10)
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.
HAMLET:
Speak the part, I beg you, as I read it to you,
lightly on your tongue. But if you just repeat it, as many
actors do, I would prefer the town crier spoke my lines.
And don’t saw the air too much with your hands, like this,
but use your gestures gently. Because, in the very strong
storm, and, as I may say, whirlwind of passion, you must
acquire and make an easy style that may give it
smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to hear a hefty
fellow with a wig tear an emotion to tatters, to very rags,
to split the ears of the cheap seats, who, for the most
part, are capable of nothing but confusing pantomime
and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for
overdoing a Moslem god, it out-herods Herod. Please
avoid it.
FIRST PLAYER:
I warrant your honour.
FIRST PLAYER:
I assure you.
HAMLET:
Be not too tame neither; but let your own discretion be(15)
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(20)
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 unskilful
laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of
the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole(25)
theatre of others. O, there be players that I have seen play,
and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it
profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the
gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed
that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen(30)
had made men, and not made them well, they imitated
humanity so abominably.
HAMLET:
But don’t be too tame either, but let your own discretion
be your teacher. Fit the action to the word, the word to the
action, with this special rule, that you don’t overstep the
simplicity of being natural, for anything so overdone is not
the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and
now, was and is, to hold, as it were, the mirror up to
nature, to show truth in reality, scorn her falseness, and
his form and force to the very age and body of the time.
Now, this overacting, or lateness, though it make the
ignorant laugh, can only make the experienced grieve, in
whose opinion, you must outdo a whole theatre of other
audiences in your performance. O, there are actors that I
have seen perform and heard others praise, and highly
too, not to speak too harshly, that, having neither the
accent of Christians, nor the walk of a Christian, a pagan,
or a man, have so strutted and yelled that I have thought
some of nature's hired help had made them and not
made them well, they imitated mankind so dreadfully.
FIRST PLAYER:
I hope we have reformed that indifferently with
us, sir.
FIRST PLAYER:
I hope we have calmly overcome those problems, sir.
HAMLET:
O, reform it altogether! And let those that play your(35)
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. That's villainous and shows a most pitiful ambition(40)
in the fool that uses it. Go make you ready.

[Exit Players.]

Enter Polonius, Guildenstern, and Rosencrantz.

How now, my lord? Will the King hear this piece of work?
HAMLET:
O, overcome them with zeal. And let those that play your
clowns speak no more than is written for them, because
there are clowns who will laugh themselves, to make a
number of stupid spectators to laugh too, although in the
meantime some serious issue of the play needs
to be considered then. That's horrible and shows very
bad manners in the fool that uses it. Go get ready.

How are you, my lord! Will the king hear this piece of work?

POLONIUS:
And the Queen too, and that presently.
POLONIUS:
And the queen too, and they should be here presently.
HAMLET:
Bid the players make haste,

[Exit Polonius.]

Will you two help to hasten them?(45)
HAMLET:
Tell the players to hurry up.

Will you two help to hurry them up?

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN:
We will, my lord.
ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN:
We will, my lord.

Exeunt they two.

 
HAMLET:
What, ho, Horatio!
HAMLET:
What, here, Horatio!

Enter Horatio.

 
HORATIO:
Here, sweet lord, at your service.
HORATIO:
Here, sweet lord, at your service.
HAMLET:
Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
As e'er my conversation cop'd withal.(50)
HAMLET:
Horatio, you are just like the man
That my conversation just now praised.
   
HORATIO:
O, my dear lord!
HORATIO:
O, my dear lord,
HAMLET:
Nay, do not think I flatter;
For what advancement may I hope from thee,
That no revenue hast but thy good spirits
To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd?(55)
No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
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,
And could of men distinguish her election,(60)
Sh'hath seal'd thee for herself. For thou hast been
As one, in suff'ring all, that suffers nothing;
A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast ta'en with equal thanks; and blest are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well commeddled(65)
That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee. Something too much of this.(70)
There is a play tonight before the King.
One scene of it comes near the circumstance,
Which I have told thee, of my father's death.
I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul(75)
Observe my uncle. If his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
It is a damned ghost that we have seen,
And my imaginations are as foul
As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note;(80)
For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
And after we will both our judgments join
In censure of his seeming.
HAMLET:
No, don’t think I flatter you,
Because what promotion may I hope to get from you,
Who has no money, except your good spirits
That feed and clothe you? Why should the poor be flattered?
No, let the sweet tongue lick ridiculous vain glory,
And bend the obvious hinges of the knee
Where poverty may follow flattery. Do you hear me?
Since my dear soul controlled her choice,
And could recognize men of truth, her choice
Has taken you for herself. Because you have been
As one, that in suffering all, that suffers nothing,
A man that Fortune's feasts and rewards
Have taken with equal thanks, and blessed are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well blended
That they are not an instrument for Fortune's finger
To play whatever song she pleases. Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, yes, in my heart of heart,
As I do you. OK, enough of that.
There is a play tonight before the king.
One scene of it comes near the circumstances,
Which I have told you, of my father's death.
I beg you, when you see that act begin,
Even with the very criticism of your soul
Watch my uncle. If his hidden guilt
Doesn’t show itself in that one speech,
It is a false ghost that we have seen,
And my imaginations are as unstable
As god of fire’s anvil. Watch him carefully,
Because I will have my eyes riveted on his face,
And, after the play, we will combine our observations
In condemning of his actions.
HORATIO:
Well, my lord.
If he steal aught the whilst this play is playing,(85)
And 'scape detecting, I will pay the theft.
HORATIO:
Well, my lord.
If he steals anything the while this play is going on,
And he escapes detection, I will pay for the theft.

[Sound a flourish.]

 
HAMLET:
They are coming to the play. I must be idle.
Get you a place.
HAMLET:
They are coming to the play. I must be idle.
Go get yourself a seat.

[Danish march. Enter Trumpets and Kettle Drums. Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and other Lords attendant, with the Guard carrying torches.]

 
KING:
How fares our cousin Hamlet?
KING:
How’s our cousin Hamlet?
HAMLET:
Excellent, i' faith; of the chameleon's dish. I eat(90)
the air, promise-cramm'd. You cannot feed capons so.
HAMLET:
Excellent, really, of the chameleon's dish. I eat the air,
crammed with promises. You can’t eat capons that way.
KING:
I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet. These words are
not mine.
KING:
I don’t understand this answer, Hamlet, these words are
not meant for me.
HAMLET:
No, nor mine now. My lord, you play'd once i' th'
university, you say?(95)
HAMLET:
No, for me now. My lord, you acted once when you were
in the university, you say?
POLONIUS:
That did I, my lord, and was accounted a good actor.
POLONIUS:
That did I, my lord, and I was accounted a good actor.
HAMLET:
What did you enact?
HAMLET:
What did you enact?
POLONIUS:
I did enact Julius Caesar; I was killed i' the Capitol;
Brutus killed me.
POLONIUS:
I did enact Julius Caesar, I was killed in the Capitol,
Brutus killed me.
HAMLET:
It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there.(100)
Be the players ready.
HAMLET:
It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a stupid fellow
there. Are the players ready?
ROSENCRANTZ:
Ay, my lord. They stay upon your patience.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Yes, my lord, they’re waiting for you.
QUEEN:
Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
QUEEN:
Come hear, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
HAMLET:
No, good mother. Here's metal more attractive.
HAMLET:
No, good mother, here's a more attractive place.
POLONIUS:
O, ho! do you mark that?(105)
POLONIUS:
O, ho! Do you see that?
HAMLET:
Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
HAMLET:
Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
OPHELIA:
No, my lord.
OPHELIA:
No, my lord.
HAMLET:
I mean, my head upon your lap?
HAMLET:
I mean, lay my head on your lap?
OPHELIA:
Ay, my lord.
OPHELIA:
Yes, my lord.
HAMLET:
Do you think I meant country matters?(110)
HAMLET:
Do you think I meant sexual matters?
OPHELIA:
I think nothing, my lord.
OPHELIA:
I think nothing, my lord.
   
HAMLET:
That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.
HAMLET:
That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.
OPHELIA:
What is, my lord?
OPHELIA:
What is, my lord?
HAMLET:
Nothing.
HAMLET:
Nothing.
OPHELIA:
You are merry, my lord.(115)
OPHELIA:
You are merry, my lord.
HAMLET:
Who, I?
HAMLET:
Who, me?
OPHELIA:
Ay, my lord.
OPHELIA:
Yes, 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's two hours.(120)
HAMLET:
O, your only dancer! What should a man do but be
merry? Because look how cheerfully my mother looks,
and my father died within these two hours.
OPHELIA:
Nay 'tis twice two months, my lord.
OPHELIA:
No, it is four months, my lord.
HAMLET:
So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for I'll
have a suit of sables. O heavens! die two months ago, and
not forgotten yet? Then there's hope a great man's memory
may outlive his life half a year. But, by'r lady, he must build(125)
churches then; or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with
the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is, 'For, O, for O, the
hobby-horse is forgot!'
HAMLET:
So long? No then, let the devil wear black, for I’ll have a
suit of black fur. O heavens! Died two months ago and
not forgotten yet? Then there's hope that a great man's
memory may outlive his life at least six months, but, by
our Lady, then he must build churches or else he won’t
be remembered with the prostitute, whose epitaph is
“For, O, for, O, the prostitute is forgotten!”

[Hautboys play. The dumb-show enters. 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. He 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 King's ears, and leaves him. The Queen returns, finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The Poisoner with some three or four 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 a while, but in the end accepts his love. Exeunt.]

 
OPHELIA:
What means this, my lord?
OPHELIA:
What does this mean, my lord?
HAMLET:
Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.(130)
HAMLET:
By Mary, this is miching mallecho, it means mischief.
OPHELIA:
Belike this show imports the argument of the play.
OPHELIA:
It’s as if this show describes the argument of the play.

Enter Prologue.

 
HAMLET:
We shall know by this fellow. The players cannot
keep counsel; they'll tell all.
HAMLET:
We shall know by this fellow. The players cannot keep a
secret, they'll tell all.
OPHELIA:
Will he tell us what this show meant?
OPHELIA:
Will he tell us what this show meant?
HAMLET:
Ay, or any show that you'll show him. Be not you(135)
ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.
HAMLET:
Yes, or any show that you'll show him. If you are not
ashamed to show, he won’t be ashamed to tell you what
it means.
OPHELIA:
You are naught, you are naught! I'll mark the play.
OPHELIA:
Keep quiet, keep quiet. I’ll watch the play.
PROLOGUE:
For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.(140)
PROLOGUE:
For us and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg you listen patiently.
HAMLET:
Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?
HAMLET:
Is this a prologue or a ring of flowers?
OPHELIA:
'tis brief, my lord.
OPHELIA:
It is short, my lord.
HAMLET:
As woman's love.
HAMLET:
As woman's love.

Enter [two Players as] King and Queen

 
P. KING:
Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round
Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,(145)
And thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen
About the world have times twelve thirties been,
Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands,
Unite commutual in most sacred bands.
P. KING:
The Sun-god’s cart has gone around the earth thirty
Times. The Ocean-god’s salt wash and the Earth-god’s
ground, and three hundred sixty moons, with borrowed
light, has been around the world have twelve times thirty,
Since love, our hearts, and the Marriage-god united our
hands, mutually in the holy bands of matrimony.
P. QUEEN:
So many journeys may the sun and moon(150)
Make us again count o'er ere love be done!
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's fear and love hold quantity,
In neither aught, or in extremity.
Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know;
And as my love is sized, my fear is so.
Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;(160)
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.
P. QUEEN:
So many journeys may the sun and moon
Make us count again before love is finished!
But, woe is me, you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer and from your former state.
That I don’t trust you. Yet, though I distrust,
Don’t worry, my lord, it is nothing.
For women's fear and love hold everything,
In having nothing, or having it all.
Now, you know how I love you has been proven to you,
And as my love is cannot be measured, so is my fear.
Where love is great, the littlest doubts are very fearful,
Where little fears grow great, great love also grows there.
   
P. KING:
Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too;
My operant powers their functions leave to do.
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
Honour'd, belov'd, and haply one as kind(165)
For husband shalt thou—
P. KING:
I believe I must leave you, love, and soon too,
The powers that work in my body are shutting down,
And you shall live in this fair world after me,
Honored, beloved, and maybe you shall have
A new man to be your husband.
P. QUEEN:
O, confound the rest!
Such love must needs be treason in my breast.
In second husband let me be accurst!
None wed the second but who killed the first.(170)
P. QUEEN:
O, confound the rest!
Such love must be treason in my breast.
Let me be cursed if I marry again!
No one marries the second without killing the first love.
HAMLET:
That's wormwood!
HAMLET:
Bitter to the soul, bitter to the soul!
P. QUEEN:
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.(175)
P. QUEEN:
The reasons for a second marriage
Are low respects of saving money, but not for love.
I kill my husband dead a second time
When second husband kisses me in bed.
P. KING:
I do believe you think what now you 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 tree,(180)
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,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.(185)
The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy.
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange(190)
That even our loves should with our 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 flies,
The poor advanced makes friends of enemies;(195)
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,(200)
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.(205)
P. KING:
I believe you believe what you say now,
But what we determine to, often we don’t.
Promises are only good when you remember them,
Born of violence but poor truth,
Which now, like unripe fruit, stays on the tree,
But fall without shaking them off when they are ripe.
It is very necessary that we forget
To pay ourselves what we owe to ourselves.
What we promise ourselves in a fit of passion,
When the passion ends, so does the promise.
The violence of either grief or joy
Destroys their own keeping of them with themselves.
Where joy celebrates, grief mourns greatly,
Grief joys, joy griefs, on a very slender event.
This world doesn’t say yes, and it’s not strange at all
That even our loves should change with our fortunes,
Because it’s a question we have to prove,
When love leads fortune, or if fortune leads love.
The great man dead, you see all his favorite little things,
The poor promoted to a higher place makes friends of
Enemies, and here love waits on fortune.
Because those with money shall never be without a
Friend, and those in poverty try a hollow friend,
Immediately makes him his enemy.
But, to go back to where I started,
Our wills and fates run in so much in different directions,
That our plans are still turned upside down,
Our thoughts are ours, but their results aren’t ours.
So you think you won’t marry again,
But you’ll change your mind when your first lord is dead.
P. QUEEN:
Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light,
Sport and repose lock from me day and night,
To desperation turn my trust and hope,
An anchor's 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!
P. QUEEN:
Earth won’t me give food, or heaven light!
I will avoid leisure and rest day and night!
My trust and hope will turn to desperation!
An anchor's cheer in prison will be my aim!
Every opposite feeling that makes the face of joy blink,
Connect with what I would do well, and destroy it!
Both here and hereafter unending pain follow me,
If, once I am a widow, I ever become a wife!
HAMLET:
If she should break it now!
HAMLET:
If she should break the moment now!
P. KING:
'tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile.(215)
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.
P. KING:
It is a very deep oath. Sweetheart, leave me here a while,
My spirits grow tired, and I would gladly pass
The long, boring day with some sleep.

Sleeps.

 
P. QUEEN:
Sleep rock thy brain,
And never come mischance between us twain!
P. QUEEN:
Sleep rock your brain,
And may misfortune never mischance between us two!

Exeunt.

 
HAMLET:
Madam, how like you this play?(220)
HAMLET:
Madam, how like you this play?
QUEEN:
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
QUEEN:
The lady protests too much, I think.
HAMLET:
O, but she'll keep her word.
HAMLET:
O, but she'll keep her word.
KING:
Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in't?
KING:
Have you heard the story? It’s not offensive, is it?
HAMLET:
No, no! They do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i'
the world.(225)
HAMLET:
No, no! They only pretend, pretend to poison, no offense
in the world.
   
KING:
What do you call the play?
KING:
What’s the name of the play?
HAMLET:
The Mousetrap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play is
the image of a murder done in Vienna. Gonzago is the Duke's
name; his wife, Baptista. You shall see anon. 'tis a knavish
piece of work; but what o' that? Your Majesty, and we that(230)
have free souls, it touches us not. Let the galled jade
winch; our withers are unwrung.
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the King.
HAMLET:
The Mousetrap. By Mary, how? A metaphor. This play is
the image of a murder done in Vienna. Gonzago is the
duke's name, his wife, Baptista— you shall see her soon,
it is a bold piece of work. but what o' that? — your
majesty, and we that have free souls can’t be touched by
it. Let the bitter hussy kick, our saddles don’t pinch.
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the King.

Enter Lucianus.

 
OPHELIA:
You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
OPHELIA:
You are a good chorus, my lord.
HAMLET:
I could interpret between you and your love, if I could(235)
see the puppets dallying.
HAMLET:
I could translate between you and your love, if I could see
the toys flirting.
OPHELIA:
You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
OPHELIA:
You are forward, my lord, you are forward.
HAMLET:
It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.
HAMLET:
It would cost you a night in bed to take the edge off me.
OPHELIA:
Still better, and worse.
OPHELIA:
Even better, and worse.
HAMLET:
So you must take your husbands. Begin, murderer.(240)
Pox, leave thy damnable faces, and begin! Come, the croaking
raven doth bellow for revenge.
HAMLET:
And that’s how you must take your husbands. Begin,
murderer, argh! Enough with the bad faces, and begin.
Come on. “The croaking raven bellows for revenge.”
LUCIANUS:
Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time
agreeing;
Confederate season, else no creature seeing;(245)
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magic and dire property
On wholesome life usurp immediately.
LUCIANUS:
Black thoughts, hands ready, proper drugs, and the time
is right, everything OK, no other creatures around,
You mixture rotten, collected from midnight weeds,
With witch’s curse said three times, three times cursed,
Your natural magic and evil deed
Will attack wholesome life immediately.

[Pours the poison in his ears.]

 
HAMLET:
He poisons him i' the garden for his estate. His name's(250)
Gonzago. The story is extant, and written in very choice
Italian. You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of
Gonzago's wife.
HAMLET:
He poisons him in the garden for his estate. His name's
Gonzago. The story is current, and written in very choice
Italian, you shall eventually see how the murderer gets
the love of Gonzago's wife.
OPHELIA:
The King rises.
OPHELIA:
The King rises.
HAMLET:
What, frighted with false fire?(255)
HAMLET:
What, frightened by false fire!
QUEEN:
How fares my lord?
QUEEN:
How are you, my lord?
POLONIUS:
Give o'er the play.
POLONIUS:
Stop the play.
KING:
Give me some light. Away!
KING:
Give me some light. Let’s go!
ALL:
Lights, lights, lights!
ALL:
Lights, lights, lights!

Exeunt all but Hamlet and Horatio.

 
HAMLET:
Why, let the strucken deer go weep,(260)
The hart ungalled play;
For some must watch, while some must sleep:
Thus runs the world away.
Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers—if the rest of
my fortunes turn Turk with me—with two Provincial(265)
roses on my razed shoes, get me a fellowship in a
cry of players, sir?
HAMLET:

Why, let the stricken deer go weep,
The uninjured stag play,
For some must watch, while some must sleep.
So runs the world away.


Wouldn’t this do it, sir, together with a forest of feathers if
the rest of my fortunes turn against with me, with two
Provincial roses on my shoes I took off, to get me a
fellowship for writing with a pack of players, sir?
HORATIO:
Half a share.
HORATIO:
Half a share.
HAMLET:
A whole one, I!
For thou dost know, O Damon dear,(270)
This realm dismantled was
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
A very, very—pajock.
HAMLET:
I think a whole one.

For you know, O dear Spice,
This kingdom was taken apart
By Jove himself, and a peacock now rules here,
A very, very peacock.

HORATIO:
You might have rhymed.
HORATIO:
You might have rhymed those lines.
HAMLET:
O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a(275)
thousand pound!
Didst perceive?
HAMLET:
O good Horatio, I’ll take the ghost's word for as real as a
thousand dollars! Did you see?
HORATIO:
Very well, my lord.
HORATIO:
Very well, my lord.
HAMLET:
Upon the talk of the poisoning?
HAMLET:
When the talk was about the poisoning?
HORATIO:
I did very well note him.(280)
HORATIO:
I watched him very well.
HAMLET:
Ah, ha! Come, some music! Come, the recorders!
For if the King like not the comedy,
Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy.
Come, some music!
HAMLET:
Ah, ha! Come, some music! Come, the pipes!

For if the king didn’t like the comedy,
Why then, he won’t like music either, indeed.


Come, some music!

Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

 
GUILDENSTERN:
Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.(285)
GUILDENSTERN:
My good my lord, may I a word with you.
HAMLET:
Sir, a whole history.
HAMLET:
Sir, I’ll give you a whole history.
GUILDENSTERN:
The King, sir—
GUILDENSTERN:
The king, sir
HAMLET:
Ay, sir, what of him?
HAMLET:
Yes, sir, what about him?
GUILDENSTERN:
Is in his retirement, marvellous distempered.
GUILDENSTERN:
He’s, in his retirement to bed, exceedingly upset.
HAMLET:
With drink, sir?(290)
HAMLET:
With drink, sir?
GUILDENSTERN:
No, my lord; rather with choler.
GUILDENSTERN:
No, my lord, rather with anger.
HAMLET:
Your wisdom should show itself more richer to signify
this to the doctor; for, me to put him to his purgation
would perhaps plunge him into far more choler.
HAMLET:
You’d be wiser and look better if you told all this to the
doctor, because for me to try to purge him of anger would
probably make him more angry.
   
GUILDENSTERN:
Good my lord, put your discourse into some(295)
frame, and start not so wildly from my affair.
GUILDENSTERN:
My good lord, please re-phrase what you’re saying, and
don’t give me answers so far away from my question.
HAMLET:
I am tame, sir. Pronounce.
HAMLET:
I am calm, sir. Ask away.
GUILDENSTERN:
The Queen, your mother, in most great affliction
of spirit hath sent me to you.
GUILDENSTERN:
The queen, your mother, in most great affliction of spirit,
has sent me to you.
HAMLET:
You are welcome.(300)
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 mother's commandment; if not, your
pardon and my return shall be the end of my business.
GUILDENSTERN:
No, good my lord, this courtesy is not the right answer.
If it pleases you to make me a sensible answer, I will
fulfill your mother's order. If not, your pardon and my
return home shall be the end of what I was asked to do.
HAMLET:
Sir, I cannot.(305)
HAMLET:
Sir, I cannot.
GUILDENSTERN:
What, my lord?
GUILDENSTERN:
What, my lord?
HAMLET:
Make you a wholesome answer. My wit's 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—(310)
HAMLET:
Make you a wholesome answer, my mind’s diseased.
but, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command,
or rather, as you say, my mother shall command. OK, I’ll
say no more but to the problem. My mother, you say.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Then thus she says: your behaviour hath struck
her into amazement and admiration.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Then this is what she says. Your behavior has pushed
her into amazement and surprise.
HAMLET:
O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother! But is
there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration?
Impart.(315)
HAMLET:
O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother! But isn’t
there a sequel that follows this mother's surprise?
ROSENCRANTZ:
She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere
you go to bed.
ROSENCRANTZ:
She wants to speak with you in her bedroom before you
go to bed.
HAMLET:
We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have
you any further trade with us?
HAMLET:
We shall obey, if she were ten times our mother. Have
you any else to tell me?
ROSENCRANTZ:
My lord, you once did love me.(320)
ROSENCRANTZ:
My lord, you loved me once.
HAMLET:
So I do still, by these pickers and stealers!
HAMLET:
And I still do, by these thieves and robbers.
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.
ROSENCRANTZ:
My good lord, what is your cause of your problem? You
certainly bar the door to your own freedom if you don’t tell
your problems to your friend.
HAMLET:
Sir, I lack advancement.(325)
HAMLET:
Sir, I don’t have a promotion.
ROSENCRANTZ:
How can that be, when you have the voice of the
King himself for your succession in Denmark?
ROSENCRANTZ:
How can that be, when the king himself says you will
succeed him to the throne in Denmark?

Enter the Players with recorders.

 
HAMLET:
Ay, sir, but 'while the grass grows'—the proverb is
something musty.
O, the recorders! Let me see one. To withdraw with you—(330)
why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you
would drive me into a toil?
HAMLET:
Yes, sir, but “While the grass grows”— the proverb is a
bit old-fashioned.
O, the pipes. Let me see one. To divert your attention,
why do you go about trying to figure me out, as if you’re
to pick a fight?
GUILDENSTERN:
O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is
too unmannerly.
GUILDENSTERN:
O my lord, if my duty is too bold, it’s because my love has
no manners.
HAMLET:
I do not well understand that. Will you play upon(335)
this pipe?
HAMLET:
I don’t understand that at all. Will you play on this pipe?
GUILDENSTERN:
My lord, I cannot.
GUILDENSTERN:
My lord, I can’t.
HAMLET:
I pray you.
HAMLET:
I beg you.
GUILDENSTERN:
Believe me, I cannot.
GUILDENSTERN:
Believe me, I can’t.
HAMLET:
I do beseech you.(340)
HAMLET:
I’m begging you.
GUILDENSTERN:
I know no touch of it, my lord.
GUILDENSTERN:
I don’t know how to play it, my lord.
HAMLET:
It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages with
your fingers and thumbs, give it breath with your mouth,
and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these
are the stops.(345)
HAMLET:
It’s as easy as lying. Just close up these holes with your
finger and thumb, put it in your mouth and blow, and it will
yield the most eloquent music. Look you, these are
the holes to cover.
GUILDENSTERN:
But these cannot I command to any utterance
of harmony. I have not the skill.
GUILDENSTERN:
But I cannot make music that has any sound of harmony,
I don’t have 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;(350)
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, you(355)
cannot play upon me.
God bless you, sir!
HAMLET:
Why, look here, at what an unworthy a thing you make of
me! You would play me, you would seem to know
my holes to cover, you want to pick out the heart of my
mystery, you would sound me from my lowest note to the
my highest note, and there is much music,
excellent voice, in this little pipe, yet you can’t play it.
God’s blood! Do you think it is easier to play me than a
pipe? Call me whatever instrument you want to, although
you can try to cover my holes me, you can’t play me.
God bless you, sir!

Enter Polonius.

 
   
POLONIUS:
My lord, the Queen would speak with you, and
presently.
POLONIUS:
My lord, the queen wants to speak with you right now.
HAMLET:
Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a(360)
camel?
HAMLET:
Do you see that cloud over there that's almost in shape of
a camel?
POLONIUS:
By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.
POLONIUS:
By the mass, it is indeed like a camel.
HAMLET:
Methinks it is like a weasel.
HAMLET:
I think it is like a weasel.
POLONIUS:
It is backed like a weasel.
POLONIUS:
It is shaped like a weasel.
HAMLET:
Or like a whale.(365)
HAMLET:
Or like a whale.
POLONIUS:
Very like a whale.
POLONIUS:
Very like a whale.
HAMLET:
Then will I come to my mother by and by. They fool
me to the top of my bent.—I will come by and by.
HAMLET:
Then I will go to my mother by and by. They fool me to
the limits of my capacity. I will come by and by.
POLONIUS:
I will say so.
POLONIUS:
I will say so.

[Exit.]

 
HAMLET:
'By and by' is easily said. Leave me, friends.(370)

[Exeunt all but Hamlet.]

'tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother!(375)
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(380)
How in my words soever she be shent,
To give them seals never, my soul, consent!
HAMLET:
By-and-by is easily said.
Leave me, friends.

Now, it’s the very witching time of night,
When churchyards awake, and hell itself breathes out
Disease to this world. Now I could drink hot blood,
And do such wicked deed that the day
Would shake nervously to see. Listen! now to my mother.
O heart, don’t give up now, don’t ever let the soul of
Nero, the crazy emperor, enter this determined heart.
Let me be cruel, not unnatural,
I will speak like knives to her, but use none,
My tongue and soul shall be hypocrites in this talk,
How, whenever she is confused in my words,
To stop saying them, my soul, never agree!

Exit.

 
   
   

Scene III

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore.]

[Enter King, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern.]

KING:
I like him not, nor stands it safe with us
To let his madness range. Therefore prepare you.
I your commission will forthwith dispatch,
And he to England shall along with you.
The terms of our estate may not endure(5)
Hazard so near us as doth hourly grow
Out of his brows.
KING:
I don’t like him, and it doesn’t seem to be safe to us
To let his craziness run free. Therefore, get ready,
I will send your new orders with you,
And he’ll go to England with you.
The terms of our estate may not endure
With danger so near to us as his craziness seems
To get worse by the hour.
GUILDENSTERN:
We will ourselves provide.
Most holy and religious fear it is
To keep those many many bodies safe(10)
That live and feed upon your Majesty.
GUILDENSTERN:
We will get ourselves ready.
It’s a most holy and religious fear
To keep those many, many bodies safe
That depend upon your majesty.
ROSENCRANTZ:
The single and peculiar life is bound
With all the strength and armour of the mind
To keep itself from noyance; but much more
That spirit upon whose weal depends and rests
The lives of many. The cess of majesty(15)
Dies not alone, but like a gulf doth draw
What's near it with it. It is a massy wheel,
Fix'd on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things
Are mortised and adjoin'd; which, when it falls,(20)
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boisterous ruin. Never alone
Did the King sigh, but with a general groan.
ROSENCRANTZ:
The single and peculiar life is bound,
With all the strength and amour of the mind,
To keep itself from madness, but much more so
For that spirit on whose government the lives of many
Depend and rest. The government of a King
Dies with him, but draws what's near it with it, like a gulf.
It is a massive wheel,
Set at the top of the highest mountain,
In which its huge spokes, ten thousand little things
Are firmly glued together, that, when the wheel falls,
Each small piece, insignificant event,
Adds to the noisy ruin of the country. The King never
Sighed by himself, but with the whole country’s groan.
KING:
Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage;
For we will fetters put upon this fear,(25)
Which now goes too free-footed.
KING:
Get started, I beg you, on this speedy voyage,
For we will control this fear,
Which now goes about too freely.
ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN:
We will haste us.
ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN:
We will go quickly.

Exeunt Gentlemen

Enter Polonius.

POLONIUS:
My lord, he's going to his mother's closet.
Behind the arras I'll convey myself,
To hear the process. I'll warrant she'll tax him home;(30)
And, as you said, and wisely was it said,
'tis meet that some more audience than a mother,
Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear
The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege.
I'll call upon you ere you go to bed(35)
And tell you what I know.
POLONIUS:
My lord, he's going to his mother's bedroom.
I’ll hide myself behind the curtain so
I can hear what happens, I’ll guarantee she'll set him
Straight. And, as you said, and wisely it was said,
It is proper that some beside his mother,
Since nature makes them subjective, should overhear
The speech objectively. Goodbye, my lord.
I’ll call on you before you go to bed,
And tell you what I know.

Exit [Polonius.]

KING:
Thanks, dear my lord.
O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,
A brother's murder! Pray can I not,(40)
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 cursed hand(45)
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what's in prayer but this twofold force,(50)
To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd being down? Then I'll look up;
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? 'Forgive me my foul murder?'
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd(55)
Of those effects for which I did the murder—
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardon'd and retain the offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice,(60)
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 compell'd,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,(65)
To give in evidence. What then? What rests?
Try what repentance can. What can it not?
Yet what can it when one cannot repent?
O wretched state! O bosom black as death!
O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,(70)
Art more engaged! Help, angels! Make assay.
Bow, stubborn knees; and heart with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!
All may be well.(75)
KING:
Thanks, my dear lord.
O, my offense is rotten. It smells to heaven,
It has the oldest, basic curse on it,
A brother's murder! I can’t pray,
Though my desire to is as sharp as my will.
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,
And, like a man bound to double business,
I can’t decide where I should begin.
And both get neglected. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with my brother's blood,
Isn’t there enough rain in the sweet heavens
To wash it as white as snow? What use is mercy
Except to confront the face of offense?
And what's in prayer except this double force,
To be prevented from falling down,
Or pardoned since we are down? Then I’ll look up,
My sin is committed. But, O, what form of prayer
Can help me? Forgive me of my foul murder!
That can’t be it, since I still have
All those things for which I did the murder,
My crown, my own ambition, and my queen.
May one be forgiven a sin and still hold on to its benefits?
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offense's golden hand may push past justice,
And its often seen that the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law, but it’s not that way in heaven.
There is no shifty action. There the action lies
In his true nature, and we ourselves are forced,
Even to the back and front of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? What stops?
I’ll see what being sorry does. What can’t it do?
But what can it do when one cannot say, “sorry?”
O wretched state! O heart as black as death!
O dissolving soul, that, struggling to be free,
Is more a slave! Help, angels! Make an attempt.
Bow, stubborn knees, and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as the muscles of the newborn baby!
All may be well.

[He kneels.]

Enter Hamlet.

HAMLET:
Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;
And now I'll do't. And so he goes to heaven,
And so am I revenged. That would be scann'd.
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.(80)
O, 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,(85)
'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.
Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent.(90)
When he is drunk asleep; or in his rage;
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed;
At game, a-swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,(95)
And that his soul may be as damn'd and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays.
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.
HAMLET:
Now might I do it just like that, now that he is praying,
And now I’ll do it, and so he goes to heaven,
And so am I revenged. I must think about that.
A villain kills my father, and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.
O, this is a contract and pay, not revenge.
He took my father grossly, full of food,
With all his sins on his soul, as full of bloom as May,
And how his report stands, who knows except heaven?
But, in our circumstances and thinking,
It is heavy situation with him. And am I, then, revenged,
To take him in the cleansing of his soul,
When he is fit and ready for his death?
No.
Up, sword, and know a more horrid intention.
When he is asleep drunk, or in his rage,
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At gaming, swearing, or committing some act
That has no element of salvation in it,
Then attack him, so that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damned and black
As hell, where it goes to. My mother is waiting.
This relief only makes your sickly days longer.

Exit.

KING:
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.(100)
KING:
My words go up, my thoughts stay here below.
Words without thoughts never go to heaven.

Exit.

Scene IV

Original Text Modern Translation

[The Queen's closet.]

Enter [Queen]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 screen'd and stood between
Much heat and him. I'll silence me even here.
Pray you, be round with him.(5)
POLONIUS:
He will come right away. See that you are direct with him.
Tell him his pranks have been too excessive to put up
With, and that your grace has taken a lot of heat because
Of him. I’ll hide here silently.
I beg you, be firm with him.
QUEEN:
I'll warrant you;
Fear me not. Withdraw; I hear him coming.
QUEEN:
I’ll guarantee you that.
Don’t worry. Hide, I hear him coming.

[Polonius hides behind the arras.]

Enter Hamlet.

HAMLET:
Now, mother, what's the matter?
HAMLET:
Now, mother, what's the matter?
QUEEN:
Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
QUEEN:
Hamlet, you have offended your father very much.
HAMLET:
Mother, you have my father much offended.(10)
HAMLET:
Mother, you have offended my father very much.
QUEEN:
Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.
QUEEN:
Come, come, you answer me stupidly.
HAMLET:
Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.
HAMLET:
Go, go, you answer me with wickedness.
QUEEN:
Why, how now, Hamlet?
QUEEN:
Why, how can you, Hamlet!
HAMLET:
What's the matter now?
HAMLET:
What's the matter now?
QUEEN:
Have you forgot me?(15)
QUEEN:
Have you forgotten I’m your mother?
HAMLET:
No, by the rood, not so!
You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife,
And—would it were not so—you are my mother.
HAMLET:
No, by the church, I haven’t.
You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife,
And, I wish it wasn’t so, but you are my mother.
QUEEN:
Nay, then, I'll set those to you that can speak.
QUEEN:
No, then, I’ll send those to you who can speak.
HAMLET:
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.
HAMLET:
Come, come, and sit you down, you shall not budge,
You will not go until I set you up a mirror
Where you may see the innermost part of you.
QUEEN:
What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me?
Help, help, ho!
QUEEN:
What will you do? You wilt not murder me?
Help, help, ho!
POLONIUS:
What, ho! Help, help, help!(25)
POLONIUS:
What, ho! help, help, help!
HAMLET:
How now, a rat? [Draws.] Dead for a ducat, dead!
HAMLET:
How now? A rat? [Draws.]
Dead for a dollar, dead!
POLONIUS:
O, I am slain!
POLONIUS:
O, I am slain!

[Falls and dies.]

QUEEN:
O me, what hast thou done?
QUEEN:
O me, what have you done?
HAMLET:
Nay, I know not. Is it the King?
HAMLET:
No, I don’t know. Is it the king?
QUEEN:
O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!(30)
QUEEN:
O, what a thoughtless and bloody deed this is!
HAMLET:
A bloody deed. Almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king, and marry with his brother.
HAMLET:
A bloody deed! Almost as bad, good mother,
As killing a king and marrying his brother.
QUEEN:
As kill a king?
QUEEN:
As killing a king!
HAMLET:
Ay, lady, it was my word.
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!(35)
I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune.
Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.
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;(40)
If damned custom have not braz'd it so
That it be proof and bulwark against sense.
HAMLET:
Yes, lady, that’s what I said.
You wretched, rash, intruding fool, goodbye!
I mistook you for the King. Take your luck,
You learn that it’s dangerous to be too busy.
Leave wringing of your hands. Quiet! Sit down,
And let me wring your heart. Because so I will,
If it’s made of stuff that can be penetrated,
If damned habits have not hardened it so
That it’s hard and strong against common sense.
QUEEN:
What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?
QUEEN:
What have I done, that you dare scream at me
So loudly and rudely?
HAMLET:
Such an act(45)
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths—O, such a deed(50)
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words! Heaven's face doth glow;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,(55)
Is thought-sick at the act.
HAMLET:
Such an act
That hides the grace and blush of modesty,
Calls virtue a hypocrite, takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there, makes marriage vows
As false as a gambler's oaths. O, such a deed
As plucks the very soul from the body of a betrothal,
And sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words. Heaven's face glows—
Yes, this solid and compound body
With a trustful face— as against the end of the world,
Is sickened by the thought of the act.
QUEEN:
Ay me, what act,
That roars so loud and thunders in the index?
QUEEN:
Ah me, what act
Roars so loudly and thunders in the wind?
HAMLET:
Look here upon this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.(60)
See what a grace was seated on this brow;
Hyperion's 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:(65)
A combination and a form indeed
Where every god did seem to set his seal
To give the world assurance of a man.
This was your husband. Look you now what follows.
Here is your husband, like a mildew'd ear(70)
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, it's humble,(75)
And waits upon the judgment; and what judgment
Would step from this to this? Sense sure you have,
Else could you not have motion; but sure that sense
Is apoplex'd; for madness would not err,
Nor sense to ecstacy was ne'er so thrall'd(80)
But it reserv'd some quantity of choice
To serve in such a difference. What devil was't
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,(85)
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 matron's bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax(90)
And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.
HAMLET:
Look here upon this picture and on this one,
The representation of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow,
The curls of a god, the face of Jove himself,
An eye like the god of war, to threaten and command,
A station like the messenger of the gods
Just arrived on a heaven-kissing hill.
A combination and a man, indeed,
Where every god did seem to give their approval,
To give the world assurance that this was a man,
This was your husband. Look now at this one.
Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear of corn
Poisoning his wholesome brother. Have you got eyes?
Could you feed on this fair mountain,
And glut yourself on this swamp? Huh? have you got
Eyes? You can’t call it love, for at your age,
The hot sex drive in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waits on the judgment. And what judgment
Would step from this to this? Sure, you have sense,
Or else you couldn’t move. but sure that sense
Is paralyzed, because madness would not make a
mistake, sense was never so captivated by passion
That it didn’t reserve some number of choices
To be used to figure out such a difference. What devil
Was it that trick you like this with a blindfold?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling without them all,
Or a sickly part of one true sense
Couldn’t act like this without a conscious thought.
O shame! Aren’t you embarrassed? Rebellious hell,
If you can rebel in an old lady’s bones,
Then let virtue be like wax to burning youth,
And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame
When the compulsive passion takes charge,
Since frost itself burns as well,
And reason pimps the will.
QUEEN:
O Hamlet, speak no more!(95)
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and grained spots
As will not leave their tinct.
QUEEN:
O Hamlet, don’t say anything else.
You turn my eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and grainy spots
As will not leave their color.
HAMLET:
Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,(100)
Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty!
HAMLET:
No, but to live
In the rotten sweat of an greasy bed,
Stewed in corruption, using sweet words and making love
Over the nasty pig sty. . .
QUEEN:
O, speak to me no more!
These words like daggers enter in mine ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet!(105)
QUEEN:
O, speak to me no more,
These words enter in my ears like daggers,
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;
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole(110)
And put it in his pocket!
HAMLET:
A murderer and a villain,
A slave that is not twentieth part of the tenth
Of your precedent lord, a vice of kings,
A thief of the empire and the throne,
That stole the precious crown from a shelf
And put it in his pocket!
QUEEN:
No more!
QUEEN:
No more.

Enter the Ghost]

HAMLET:
A king of shreds and patches!
Save me and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards! What would your gracious figure?(115)
HAMLET:
A king of shreds and patches!
Save me and hover over me with your wings,
You heavenly guards! What does you gracious figure want?
QUEEN:
Alas, he's mad!
QUEEN:
Alas, he's crazy!
HAMLET:
Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by
The important acting of your dread command?
O, say!(120)
HAMLET:
Don’t you come to scold your tardy son,
That, forgetting time and passion, lets
The important acting of your dread command go by?
O, tell me!
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!
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.(125)
Speak to her, Hamlet.
GHOST:
Don’t forget. This visitation
Is only to sharpen your almost dull purpose.
But, look, amazement sits on your mother’s face.
O, step between her and her fighting soul,
Judgment works strongest in weakest bodies.
Speak to her, Hamlet.
HAMLET:
How is it with you, lady?
HAMLET:
How are you, lady?
QUEEN:
Alas, how is't with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?(130)
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
Your bedded hairs, like life in excrements,
Start up and stand on end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper(135)
Sprinkle cool patience! Whereon do you look?
QUEEN:
Alas, how are you,
That you look on empty space,
And carry on a conversation with the invisible air?
Your spirits wildly peep from your eyes,
And, as the sleeping soldiers at the alarm,
Your bedded hairs, like life in growths,
Start up and stand an end. O gentle son,
Sprinkle cool patience on the heat and flame of your
Anger! Where do you look?
HAMLET:
On him, on him! Look you how pale he glares!
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.—Do not look upon me,
Lest with this piteous action you convert(140)
My stern effects. Then what I have to do
Will want true colour—tears perchance for blood.
HAMLET:
On him, on him! Look how pale he glares!
His form and cause united, preaching to stones,
Would make them able to work. Don’t look on me,
Lest you convert my stern results with this piteous action.
Then what I have to do
Will need true colours, tears perhaps for blood.
QUEEN:
To whom do you speak this?
QUEEN:
To whom do you speak this?
HAMLET:
Do you see nothing there?
HAMLET:
Do you see nothing there?
QUEEN:
Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.(145)
QUEEN:
Nothing at all, yet all that I see is.
HAMLET:
Nor did you nothing hear?
HAMLET:
You hear nothing?
QUEEN:
No, nothing but ourselves.
QUEEN:
No, nothing but ourselves.
HAMLET:
Why, look you there! Look how it steals away!
My father, in his habit as he liv'd!
Look where he goes even now out at the portal!(150)
HAMLET:
Why, look there! Look how it steals away!
My father in his clothes as he lived!
Look, where he goes, even now out the door!

Exit Ghost.

QUEEN:
This is the very coinage of your brain.
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
QUEEN:
This is the very product of your brain.
This bodiless creation Is very cunning
In imagination.
HAMLET:
Ecstasy?
My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time(155)
And makes as healthful music. It is not madness
That I have utt'red. Bring me to the test,
And I the matter will reword; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul(160)
That not your trespass but my madness speaks.
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;
Repent what's past; avoid what is to come;(165)
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.(170)
HAMLET:
Imagination!
My pulse does temperately keep time like yours,
And is just as healthful as yours. It’s not craziness
That I have spoken. Test me,
And I will re-word the problem, which madness
Would run away from. Mother, for love of grace,
Don’t put that flattering oil on your soul
That says my craziness speaks and not your sin.
It will only create a scab and film over the ulcer,
While rotten corruption, working within everything,
Infects it unseen. Confess yourself to heaven,
Repent what's past, avoid what is to come,
And don’t spread fertilizer on the weeds,
To make them more rotten. Forgive me my truth,
Because, in the fatness of these wealthy times
Virtue itself must beg pardon of vice,
Yes, beg and court for permission to do him good.
QUEEN:
O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
QUEEN:
O Hamlet, you cut my heart in two.
HAMLET:
O, throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half,
Good night—but go not to my uncle's bed.
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.(175)
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits evil, 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 to-night,(180)
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence; the next more easy;
For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
And [either master] the devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency. Once more, good night;(185)
And when you are desirous to be blest,
I'll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,
I do repent; but heaven hath pleas'd it so,
To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their scourge and minister.(190)
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.(195)
HAMLET:
O, throw away the worse part of it,
And live the purer life with the other half.
Good night. but don’t go to my uncle's bed,
Act as though you have a virtue if you don’t have it.
That monster habit, who eats all sense,
Of all evil habits is an angel in this,
That in order to use fair and good actions,
He likewise gives a dress or uniform
That is ready to wear. Refrain from sex tonight,
And that make it much easier
To abstain from it the next time. The next more easy,
For use can almost change what is natural,
And can either curb the devil or throw him out
With wondrous effectiveness. Once more, goodnight.
And when you want to be blessed,
I’ll beg blessing from you. For this same lord
[Pointing to Polonius.]
I am sorry, but heaven has decided it to be this way,
To punish me with this act, and punish this act with me,
That I must be their whip and whip-er.
I will hide him, and will answer the death
I gave him well. So again, goodnight.
I must be cruel, only to be kind.
Thus bad begins, and worse still remains.
One word more, good lady.
QUEEN:
What shall I do?
QUEEN:
What shall I do?
HAMLET:
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,(200)
Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him know;
For who that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise,(205)
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib
Such dear concernings hide? Who would do so?
No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
Unpeg the basket on the house's top,
Let the birds fly, and like the famous ape,(210)
To try conclusions, in the basket creep
And break your own neck down.
HAMLET:
Not this, by no means, that I bid you do.
Do not let the bloated king tempt you again to bed,
Pinch your cheek wantonly, call you his mouse,
Or let him, for a pair of disgusting kisses,
Or stroking your neck with his damned fingers,
Make you to tell what has happened,
That I essentially am not crazy,
But crazy by design. Don’t think it’s good to tell him,
For who except a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would hide from a frog, from a bat, a cat,
Such dear concerns? Who would do so?
No, in spite of sense and secrecy,
Don’t open the basket on the roof,
Let the birds fly, and, like the famous ape
To test conclusions, don’t creep into the basket
And break your own neck.
QUEEN:
Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou hast said to me.(215)
QUEEN:
Be assured, if words are made of breath,
And breath is made of life, I have no life to breathe
What you have said to me.
HAMLET:
I must to England; you know that?
HAMLET:
I must go to England, you know that?
QUEEN:
Alack,
I had forgot! 'tis so concluded on.
QUEEN:
Alack,
I had forgotten. It’s been decided
HAMLET:
There's letters seal'd; and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,(220)
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
For 'tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petar; and ' shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines(225)
And blow them at the moon. O, 'tis most sweet
When in one line two crafts directly meet.
This man shall set me packing:
I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room.
Mother, good night. Indeed, this counsellor(230)
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.
HAMLET:
There are letters sealed and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will trust black snakes with fangs,
They bear the order that they must go with me
And get me involved in trickery. Let it be,
Because it’s the sport to have the swordsman
Killed with his own sword, and it won’t be easy
But I will dig one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon. O, it is most sweet,
When you can kill two birds with one stone.
This man shall get me packing.
I’ll lug the guts into the next room.
Mother, goodnight. Indeed, this counselor
Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,
Who was a foolish gabby rogue in life.
Come, sir, to finish up with you.
Good night, mother.

The exit, [Hamlet, tugging in Polonius.]