Hamlet Text and Translation - Act V

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Act V

Scene I

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore. A churchyard.]

Enter two Clowns.

FIRST CLOWN:
Is she to be buried in Christian burial that wilfully
seeks her own salvation?
FIRST CLOWN:
Is she to be buried in Christian burial when she wilfully
seeks her own salvation?
SECOND CLOWN:
I tell thee she is; therefore make her grave
straight. The crowner hath sat on her, and finds it Christian
burial.(5)
SECOND CLOWN:
I tell you she is, and therefore make her grave straight.
The coroner has decided, and finds it Christian burial.
FIRST CLOWN:
How can that be, unless she drown'd herself in
her own defence?
FIRST CLOWN:
How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defense?
SECOND CLOWN:
Why, 'tis found so.
SECOND CLOWN:
Why, that’s the coroner’s finding.
FIRST CLOWN:
It must be se offendendo; it cannot be else. For
here lies the point: if I drown myself wittingly, it argues an(10)
act; and an act hath three branches: it is to act, to do, and to
perform; argal, she drown'd herself wittingly.
FIRST CLOWN:
It must be self-offense. It can’t be anything else. For
here’s the point. If I drown myself knowingly, then it’s an
act and an act has three branches, it is “to act, to do, and
to perform.” Therefore, she drowned herself knowingly.
SECOND CLOWN:
Nay, but hear you, goodman delver—
SECOND CLOWN:
No, but listen, good man, get to the end.
FIRST CLOWN:
Give me leave. Here lies the water—good. Here
stands the man—good. If the man go to this water and(15)
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.
FIRST CLOWN:
Allow me. Here lies the water, good. Here stands the
man, good. If the man goes to this water and drowns
himself, it is, will he, nil he, he goes, remember that. But
if the water comes to him and drowns him, he drowns not
himself, therefore, he that is not guilty of his own death
doesn’t shorten his own life.
SECOND CLOWN:
But is this law?(20)
SECOND CLOWN:
But is this law?
FIRST CLOWN:
Ay, marry, is't; crowner's quest law.
FIRST CLOWN:
Yes, by Mary, it’s the coroner’s inquest law.
SECOND CLOWN:
Will you ha' the truth on't? If this had not been
a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out o' Christian
burial.
SECOND CLOWN:
Will you know the truth about it? If this hadn’t been a
gentlewoman, she should have been buried without a
Christian burial.
FIRST CLOWN:
Why, there thou say'st! And the more pity that(25)
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 gentlemen but gardeners,
ditchers, and grave-makers. They hold up Adam's
profession.(30)
FIRST CLOWN:
Why, there you’ve said it. And the more pity that great
folk should have countenance in this world to drown or
hang themselves more than another Christian. Come, my
spade. There are no old gentlemen but gardeners,
ditchers, and grave-makers. They hold up Adam's
profession.
SECOND CLOWN:
Was he a gentleman?
SECOND CLOWN:
Was he a gentleman?
FIRST CLOWN:
A was the first that ever bore arms.
FIRST CLOWN:
He was the first that ever bore arms.
SECOND CLOWN:
Why, he had none.
SECOND CLOWN:
Why, he had none.
FIRST CLOWN:
What, art a heathen? How dost thou under-
stand the Scripture? The Scripture says Adam digged.(35)
Could he dig without arms? I'll put another question to
thee. If thou answerest me not to the purpose, confess thy-
self—
FIRST CLOWN:
What, are you a pagan? How do you understand the
Scripture? The Scripture says Adam digged. Could he
dig without arms? I’ll put another question to you. if you
don’t give the correct answer, plead guilty
SECOND CLOWN:
Go to!
SECOND CLOWN:
OK.
FIRST CLOWN:
What is he that builds stronger than either the(40)
mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
FIRST CLOWN:
Who builds stronger than either the mason, the
shipbuilder, or the carpenter?
SECOND CLOWN:
The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a
thousand tenants.
SECOND CLOWN:
The gallows-maker, for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.
FIRST CLOWN:
I like thy wit well, in good faith. The gallows
does well. But how does it well? It does well to those that(45)
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!
FIRST CLOWN:
I like your joke, I swear. The gallows does well,
but how does it well? It does well to those that do ill.
Now, you say the gallows is built stronger than the
church, Therefore, the gallows may do well to you. Do it
again, come on.
SECOND CLOWN:
Who builds stronger than a mason, a ship-
wright, or a carpenter?(50)
SECOND CLOWN:
Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipbuilder, or a carpenter?
FIRST CLOWN:
Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
FIRST CLOWN:
Yes, tell me that, and stop my guessing.
SECOND CLOWN:
Marry, now I can tell!
SECOND CLOWN:
By Mary, now I can tell.
FIRST CLOWN:
To't.
FIRST CLOWN:
Do it.
SECOND CLOWN:
Mass, I cannot tell.
SECOND CLOWN:
Mass, I cannot tell.
FIRST CLOWN:
Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your(55)
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
Yaughan; fetch me a stoup of liquor.

[Exit Second Clown. First Clown digs and sings.]

In youth when I did love, did love,(60)
Methought it was very sweet;
To contract—O—the time for—a—my behove,
O, methought there—a—was nothing—a meet.
FIRST CLOWN:
Stop beating your brains out over it, for your dull donkey
will not get faster with beating, and when you are next
asked this question, say “a grave-maker,” the houses he
makes last till doomsday. Go, get you to Johann, bring
me a mug of whiskey.

In youth when I did love, did love,
I thought it was very sweet,
To contract, O, the time for, ah, my reason,
O, I thought there was nothing meet.

Enter Hamlet and Horatio.

HAMLET:
Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings
at grave-making?(65)
HAMLET:
Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at
grave-digging?
HORATIO:
Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
HORATIO:
Habit has made it a property of easiness in him.
HAMLET:
'tis e'en so. The hand of little employment hath the
daintier sense.
HAMLET:
That’s true. The one that doesn’t work has the more
delicate sense.
FIRST CLOWN:
[Sings.]
But age with his stealing steps(70)
Hath clawed me in his clutch,
And hath shipped me intil the land,
As if I had never been such.
FIRST CLOWN:
But age, with his stealing steps,
Has clawed me in his clutch,
And has shipped me until 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 'were Cain's(75)
jawbone, that did the first murder! This might be the pate of a
politician, which this ass now o'erreaches; one that would
circumvent God, might it not?
HAMLET:
That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once. How
the man jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain's
jawbone, that did the first murder! This might be the head
of a politician, which this ass now reaches over one that
would go around God, might it not?
HORATIO:
It might, my lord.
HORATIO:
It might, my lord.
HAMLET:
Or of a courtier, which could say 'Good morrow, sweet(80)
lord!
How dost thou, sweet lord?' This might be my Lord Such-a-
one, that praised my Lord Such-a-one's horse when he meant
to beg it, might it not?
HAMLET:
Or of a courtier, which could say 'Good morrow, sweet
lord! How are you, good lord?' This might be my lord
so-and-so, that praised my lord such-and-such's horse when
he meant to ask for it, might it not?
HORATIO:
Ay, my lord.(85)
HORATIO:
Yes, my lord.
HAMLET:
Why, e'en so! and now my Lady Worm's, chapless,
and knock'd about the mazard with a sexton's spade. Here's
fine revolution, and we had the trick to see't. Did these bones
cost no more the breeding, but to play at loggets with 'em?
Mine ache to think on't.(90)
HAMLET:
Why, even so. and now my Lady Worm's, no jaw and
knocked about the face with a sexton's spade. Here's fine
turnaround, if we were able to see it. Did these bones
cost no more the making of them but to play at games
with them? Mine ache to think about it.
FIRST CLOWN:
[Sings.]
A pickaxe and a spade, a spade,
For and a shrouding sheet;
O, a Pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is meet.(95)
FIRST CLOWN:
A pickaxe and a spade, a spade,
For and a shrouding sheet,
Oe a pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is ptoper.

[Throws up another skull.]

HAMLET:
There's another. Why may not that be the skull of a
lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets, 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?(100)
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,
and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full
of fine dirt? Will his vouchers vouch him no more of his(105)
purchases, and double ones too, than the length and
breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances
of his lands will scarcely lie in this box; and must the inheritor
himself have no more, ha?
HAMLET:
There's another. why can’t that be the skull of a lawyer?
Where are his arguments now, his pens, his cases, his
subpoenas, and his tricks? Why does he allow this rude
fellow to knock him about the head now, with a dirty
shovel, and will not tell him why he’s being hit? Hum!
This fellow might have been a great buyer of land in his
time, with his statutes, his emblems, his fine art, his
double billing, his house seizures? Is this the finest of his
fine art, and the seizure of his house seizures, to have
his fine pate full of fine dirt? Will his billing bill him no
more for his purchases, and double ones too, than the
length and breadth of a pair of property liens? The very
transfers of his lands will scarcely lie in this box, and
must the inheritor himself have no more, huh?
HORATIO:
Not a jot more, my lord.(110)
HORATIO:
Not a jot more, my lord.
HAMLET:
Is not parchment made of sheepskins?
HAMLET:
Isn’t parchment made of sheep-skins?
HORATIO:
Ay, my lord, And of calveskins too.
HORATIO:
Yes, my lord, And of calf-skins too.
HAMLET:
They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance
in that. I will speak to this fellow. Whose grave's this, sir-
rah?(115)
HAMLET:
They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance in
that. I will speak to this fellow. Whose grave is this, sir?
FIRST CLOWN:
Mine, sir.

[Sings.]

O, a pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is meet.
FIRST CLOWN:
Mine, sir.

O, 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.
HAMLET:
I think it’s yours indeed, for you lie in it.
FIRST CLOWN:
You lie out on't, sir, and therefore 'tis not(120)
yours. For my part, I do not lie in't, yet it is mine.
FIRST CLOWN:
You lie out of it, sir, and therefore it’s not yours. For my
part, I don’t lie in it, yet it ‘s mine.
HAMLET:
Thou dost lie in't, to be in't and say it' 'tis thine. 'tis
for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou liest.
HAMLET:
You do lie in it, to be in it and say it is yours. It is for
the dead, not for the quick, therefore you lie.
FIRST CLOWN:
'tis a quick lie, sir; 'twill away again from me to
you.(125)
FIRST CLOWN:
It is a quick lie, sir, it will go away again from me to you.
HAMLET:
What man dost thou dig it for?
HAMLET:
What man dot you dig it for?
FIRST CLOWN:
For no man, sir.
FIRST CLOWN:
For no man, sir.
HAMLET:
What woman then?
HAMLET:
What woman then?
FIRST CLOWN:
For none, neither.
FIRST CLOWN:
For none neither.
HAMLET:
Who is to be buried in't?(130)
HAMLET:
Who is to be buried in it?
FIRST CLOWN:
One that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul,
she's dead.
FIRST CLOWN:
One that was a woman, sir, but, rest her soul, she's dead.
HAMLET:
How absolute the knave is! We must speak by the
card, or equivocation will undo us. By the Lord,
Horatio, this three years I have taken note of it, the age is(135)
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?
HAMLET:
How absolutely clever this chap is! We must speak by the
book or lying will undo us. By the Lord, Horatio, these
three years I have noted that the age is grown so picky
that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the
courtier, he hurts his feelings. How long have you been a
grave-maker?
FIRST CLOWN:
Of all the days i' the year, I came to't that day
that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.(140)
FIRST CLOWN:
Of all the days in the year, I became a grave-maker the
day that our last King Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.
HAMLET:
How long is that since?
HAMLET:
How long is that since?
FIRST CLOWN:
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.
FIRST CLOWN:
Can’t you tell that? Every fool can tell that. It was the
very day that young Hamlet was born, he that is crazy
and sent into England.
HAMLET:
Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?(145)
HAMLET:
Yes, by Mary, why was he sent to England?
FIRST CLOWN:
Why, because a was mad. A shall recover his wits
there; or, if a do not, 'tis no great matter there.
FIRST CLOWN:
Why? Because he was crazy. He shall get his mind back
there, or, if he doesn’t, it's no great problem there.
HAMLET:
Why?
HAMLET:
Why?
FIRST CLOWN:
'Twill not he seen in him there. There the men are
as mad as he.(150)
FIRST CLOWN:
It will not be seen in him there. There the men are as
crazy as he is.
HAMLET:
How came he mad?
HAMLET:
How did he become crazy?
FIRST CLOWN:
Very strangely, they say.
FIRST CLOWN:
Very strangely, they say.
HAMLET:
How 'strangely'?
HAMLET:
How strangely?
FIRST CLOWN:
Faith, e'en with losing his wits.
FIRST CLOWN:
Actually, even by losing his mind.
HAMLET:
Upon what ground?(155)
HAMLET:
On what grounds?
FIRST CLOWN:
Why, here in Denmark. I have been sexton here,
man and boy, thirty years.
FIRST CLOWN:
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?
HAMLET:
How long will a man lie in the earth before he rots?
FIRST CLOWN:
I' faith, if he be not rotten before he die—as we
have many pocky corses nowadays that will scarce hold the(160)
laying in—he will last you some eight year or nine year. A
tanner will last you nine year.
FIRST CLOWN:
Well, if he’s not rotten before he dies, as we have many
small pox corpses nowadays that will scarce last beyond
the wake, he will last you some eight years or nine years.
A tanner will last you nine years.
HAMLET:
Why he more than another?
HAMLET:
Why he more than another?
FIRST CLOWN:
Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade that
a will keep out water a great while; and your water is a sore(165)
decayer of your whoreson dead body. Here's a skull, now.
This skull hath lain in the earth three and twenty years.
FIRST CLOWN:
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 wretched dead body. Here's a skull now.
This skull has been buried three-and-twenty years.
HAMLET:
Whose was it?
HAMLET:
Whose was it?
FIRST CLOWN:
A whoreson, mad fellow's it was. Whose do you
think it was?(170)
FIRST CLOWN:
A bastard, crazy fellow's it was. Whose do you think it
was?
HAMLET:
Nay, I know not.
HAMLET:
No, I know not.
FIRST CLOWN:
A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! A poured
a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir,
was Yorick's skull, the King's jester.
FIRST CLOWN:
A pestilence on him for a crazy rogue! He poured a pint
of Rhine wine on my head once. This same skull, sir, was
Yorick's skull, the king's jester.
HAMLET:
This?(175)
HAMLET:
This one?
FIRST CLOWN:
E'en that.
FIRST CLOWN:
Just that one.
HAMLET:

[Takes the skull.]

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him,
Horatio: a fellow of infinite 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(180)
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
chop-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell(185)
her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must
come. Make her laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tell me one
thing.
HAMLET:
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew
him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite fun, of most excellent
imagination. He has carried me on his back a thousand
times, and now, how repulsed it is in my imagination! I
want to vomit. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I
don’t know how many times. Where are your jokes now?
Your games? Your songs? Your flashes of laughter that
always make the audience roar? No one now, to mock
your own grinning? Quite jaw-fallen? Now, get you to my
lady's bedroom, and tell her, let her put on make-up an
inch thick, she must come to this party, make her laugh at
that. I beg you, Horatio, tell me one thing.
HORATIO:
What's that, my lord?
HORATIO:
What's that, my lord?
HAMLET:
Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i'(190)
the earth?
HAMLET:
Do you think Alexander the Great looked like this in the earth?
HORATIO:
E'en so.
HORATIO:
Just like that
HAMLET:
And smelt so? Pah!
HAMLET:
And smelled so? Yuck!
HORATIO:
E'en so, my lord.
HORATIO:
Just like that, my lord.
HAMLET:
To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may(195)
not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he
find it stopping a bung-hole?
HAMLET:
What common uses we may return to, Horatio! Why can’t
imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander until he
finds it stopping a wine barrel?
HORATIO:
'Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.
HORATIO:
It’s thinking about it too much to think like that.
HAMLET:
No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with
modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it; as thus:(200)
Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth
into dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam;
and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might
they not stop a beer barrel?
Imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay,(205)
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe
Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw!
But soft! but soft awhile! Here comes the King,
The Queen, the courtiers.(210)

[Enter Priests, in procession, corpes of Ophelia, Laertes and Mourners following King, Queen, and Attendants.]

Who is this they follow?
And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken
The corse they follow did with desperate hand
Fordo it own life. 'Twas of some estate.
Couch we awhile, and mark.(215)
HAMLET:
No, really, not a jot, but to follow his trip with modesty
enough, and likelihood to lead it. Like this, Alexander
died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returned to dust,
the dust is earth, from earth we make clay, and why of
that clay he was converted to, might they not stop a beer-
barrel? Emperor Caesar, dead and turned to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
O, that the earth which kept the world in fear
Should patch a wall to expel the winter's cold!
But quiet! But quiet! Hide! Here comes the king.
The queen, the courtiers.

Who is that they’re following?
And with such shortened rites? This shows that
The corpse they follow did, with a desperate hand,
Commit suicide. It was of some nobility.
Let’s hide and listen.

LAERTES:
What ceremony else?
LAERTES:
What other ceremony?
HAMLET:
That is Laertes, a very noble youth. Mark.
HAMLET:
That is Laertes,
A very noble youth. Look.
LAERTES:
What ceremony else?
LAERTES:
What other ceremony?
PRIEST:
Her obsequies have been as far enlarged
As we have warranty. Her death was doubtful;(220)
And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
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 allow'd her virgin crants,(225)
Her maiden strewments and the bringing home
Of bell and burial.
PRIEST:
Her funeral rites have been as far enlarged
As we can enlarge. Her death was questionable,
And, except that the King ordered it,
She should be buried in unblessed ground
For eternity, except for charitable prayers,
Glass, rocks, and stone should be thrown on her,
Yet here she is allowed to have her virgin rites,
Her maiden clothing, and the local funeral
With bells and burial.
LAERTES:
Must there no more be done?
LAERTES:
Isn’t there more be done?
PRIEST:
No more be done.
We should profane the service of the dead(230)
To sing a requiem and such rest to her
As to peace-parted souls.
PRIEST:
No more be done,
We should violate the service of the dead
To sing a requiem mass and give her the same rites
As those for peacefully-parted souls.
LAERTES:
Lay her i' the earth;
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,(235)
A ministering angel shall my sister be
When thou liest howling.
LAERTES:
Lay her in the earth,
And may violets spring from her fair
And unpolluted flesh! I tell you, churlish priest,
My sister shall be a ministering angel
When you lie howling.
HAMLET:
What, the fair Ophelia?
HAMLET:
What, the fair Ophelia?
QUEEN:
Sweets to the sweet! Farewell.
I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;(240)
I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid,
And not have strew'd thy grave.
QUEEN:
Sweets to the sweet. farewell.
I hoped you would have been my Hamlet's wife,
I thought to have decorated your bride-bed, sweet maid,
And not your grave.
LAERTES:
O, treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense(245)
Deprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile,
Till I have caught her once more in mine arms.

[Leaps in the grave.]

Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead
Till of this flat a mountain you have made
To o'ertop old Pelion or the skyish head(250)
Of blue Olympus.
LAERTES:
O, three times sorrow
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head
Whose wicked deed deprived you of your most wonderful
Intelligence! Stop the burial a while,
Until I hold her once more in mine arms.

Now bury the living and dead,
Until you have made a mountain from this flat earth
To be higher than the mountain of Italy or the skyish head
Of blue Mount Olympus.

HAMLET:
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,(255)
Hamlet the Dane.
HAMLET:
What is he whose grief
Is so dramatic? Whose words of sorrow
Summon the wandering stars, and makes them stand still
Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
Hamlet the Dane.

[Leaps in after Laertes.]

LAERTES:
The devil take thy soul!
LAERTES:
The devil take your soul!
HAMLET:
Thou pray'st not well.
I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat;
For, though I am not splenitive and rash,(260)
Yet have I in me something dangerous,
Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand!
HAMLET:
You don’t pray well.
I beg you, take your fingers from my throat,
For, although I am not impatient and rash,
I still have something dangerous in me,
Which you should fear. Take away your hand!
KING:
Pluck them asunder.
KING:
Separate them.
QUEEN:
Hamlet, Hamlet!
QUEEN:
Hamlet! Hamlet!
ALL:
Gentlemen!(265)
ALL:
Gentlemen!
HORATIO:
Good my lord, be quiet.
HORATIO:
My good lord, be quiet.
HAMLET:
Why, I will fight with him upon this theme
Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
HAMLET:
Why, I will fight with him upon this theme
Until my eyelids will no longer blink.
QUEEN:
O my son, what theme?
QUEEN:
O my son, what theme?
HAMLET:
I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers(270)
Could not, with all their quantity of love,
Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?
HAMLET:
I loved Ophelia! Forty thousand brothers
Couldn’t, even with all their quantity of love,
Make up my sum. What will you do for her?
KING:
O, he is mad, Laertes.
KING:
O, he is crazy, Laertes.
QUEEN:
For love of God, forbear him!
QUEEN:
For love of God, leave him alone!
HAMLET:
'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do.(275)
Woo't weep, woo't fight, woo't fast, woo't tear thyself?
Woo't drink up eisel, eat a crocodile?
I'll 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.(280)
And, if thou prate of mountains, let them 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,
I'll rant as well as thou.(285)
HAMLET:
God’s wounds, show me what you'll do.
You’ll weep? You’ll fight? You’ll fast? You’ll tear yourself?
You’ll drink up vinegar? Eat a crocodile?
I’ll do it. Do you come here to whine?
To outdo me with leaping in her grave?
Be buried quickly with her, and so will I.
And, if you babble about mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us, until our ground,
Singeing his head against the burning sun,
Make the highest mountain like a wart! No, if you’ll
Speak, I’ll rant as well as you.
QUEEN:
This is mere madness;
And thus awhile the fit will work on him.
Anon, as patient as the female dove
When that her golden couplets are disclosed,
His silence will sit drooping.(290)
QUEEN:
This is only craziness.
And like this, the fit will work on him a while.
Eventually, as patient as the female dove
When that her golden twins are discovered,
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 his day.(295)
HAMLET:
Listen, sir,
What is the reason that you use me this way?
I always loved you. But it’s not important.
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew and every dog will have his day.

[Exit.]

KING:
I pray thee, good Horatio, wait upon him.

[Exit Horatio.]

Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech.
We'll put the matter to the present push.—
Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.
This grave shall have a living monument.(300)
An hour of quiet shortly shall we see;
Till then, in patience our proceeding be.
KING:
I beg you, good Horatio, look after him

Strengthen your patience in our talk last night,
We'll put the matter to the present circumstances.
Good Gertrude, put a guard over your son.
This grave shall have a living monument.
Soon, we shall see an hour of quiet.
Until then, our actions will be in patience.

Exeunt.

Scene II

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore. A hall in the Castle.]

Enter Hamlet and Horatio.

HAMLET:
So much for this, sir; now shall you see the other.
You do remember all the circumstance?
HAMLET:
So much for this, sir. Now as for the other thing,
You do remember all the circumstances?
HORATIO:
Remember it, my lord!
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(5)
Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly—
And praised be rashness, for it let us know,
Our indiscretion sometime serves us well
When our deep plots do pall; and that should learn us
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,(10)
Rough-hew them how we will—
HAMLET:
Sir, there was a kind of fighting in my heart
That wouldn’t let me sleep. I thought I lay
Worse than in a rebellion, in the chains. Rashly—
And praised be rashness for it, let us know—
Our mistake sometimes serves us well
When our deep plots fail, and that should teach us that
There's a heavenly power that shapes our ends,
No matter how much we think we’re in control.
HORATIO:
That is most certain.
HORATIO:
That is most certain.
HAMLET:
Up from my cabin,
My sea-gown scarf'd about me, in the dark
Groped I to find out them; had my desire,(15)
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,(20)
Larded with many several sorts of reasons,
Importing Denmark's health, and England's too,
With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,
That on the supervise, no leisure bated,
No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,(25)
My head should be struck off.
HAMLET:
Coming on deck from my cabin,
My sea-gown wrapped abound me, in the dark,
I groped to find them. I went to
Steal their packet, and, finally, went back
To my own room again. Boldly,
My fears forgetting their manners, to unseal
Their grand orders, where I found, Horatio—
O royal trickery!— an exact command,
Loaded with many kinds of reasons,
Discussing Denmark's health and England's too,
With, ho! such ghosts and goblins in my life,
That, on my arrival, without any delay,
No, not even to wait for the grinding of the axe,
My head should be chopped off.
HORATIO:
Is't possible?
HORATIO:
Is it possible?
HAMLET:
Here's the commission; read it at more leisure.
But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed?
HAMLET:
Here's the order. Read it later.
But will you listen to how I proceeded?
HORATIO:
I beseech you.(30)
HORATIO:
Go ahead..
HAMLET:
Being thus benetted round with villainies—
Or I could make a prologue to my brains,
They had begun the play—I sat me down,
Devised a new commission, wrote it fair.
I once did hold it, as our statists do,(35)
A baseness to write fair, and labour'd much
How to forget that learning; but, sir, now
It did me yeoman's service. Wilt thou know
The effect of what I wrote?
HAMLET:
Being surrounded like this with evil plans,
Before I could start thinking about it, before
They could execute the plan, I sat myself down,
Though up a new order, wrote it just like the original.
I used to think, as our politicians do,
A sin to make a forgery and worked hard at
How to forget that learning, but, sir, now
It did me a useful service. Do you want to know
The effect of what I wrote?
HORATIO:
Ay, good my lord.(40)
HORATIO:
Yes, good my lord.
HAMLET:
An earnest conjuration from the King,
As England was his faithful tributary,
As love between them like the palm might flourish,
As peace should still her wheaten garland wear
And stand a comma 'tween their amities,(45)
And many such like as's 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 allow'd.(50)
HAMLET:
An earnest oath from the king,
As England was his faithful ally,
As love between them might flourish like the palm tree,
As peace should still wear her wheaten garland
And stand like a comma between their friendships,
And many “as-es” like that of great emotion,
That, on the view and knowledge of these contents,
Without further discussion, more or less,
He should the bearers put to sudden death,
Not even allowing time for confession and penance.
HORATIO:
How was this seal'd?
HORATIO:
How was this sealed?
HAMLET:
Why, even in that was heaven ordinant.
I had my father's signet in my purse,
Which was the model of that Danish seal;
Folded the writ up in the form of the other,(55)
Subscribed it, gave't the impression, placed it safely,
The changeling never known. Now, the next day
Was our sea-fight; and what to this was sequent
Thou know'st already.
HAMLET:
Why, even in that was heaven good to me.
I had my father's signet ring in my bag,
Which was the model of the official Danish seal.
I folded the writ up just like the other,
Signed it, gave it the seal, placed it safely back,
The forgery never discovered. Now, the next day
Was our sea-fight, and what followed
You know already.
HORATIO:
So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't.(60)
HORATIO:
So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to it.
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 incensed points(65)
Of mighty opposites.
HAMLET:
Why, man, they did make love to this job.
I don’t feel guilty about them. Their defeat
Grew by their own actions.
It is dangerous when the lower nature comes
Between the ups and downs
Of mighty opposites.
HORATIO:
Why, what a king is this!
HORATIO:
Why, what a king is this!
HAMLET:
Does it not, think thee, stand me now upon—
He that hath kill'd my king, and whored my mother;
Popp'd in between the election and my hopes;(70)
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 damn'd
To let this canker of our nature come
In further evil?(75)
HAMLET:
Doesn’t it, do you thank, become my responsibility to kill
He that has killed my king, and whored my mother,
Push himself in between the election and my hope to be
King, tried to kill me,
And with such knowledge, isn’t it perfect duty
To kill him with this arm? and isn’t it to be damned
To let this canker of our nature do
Further evil?
HORATIO:
It must be shortly known to him from England
What is the issue of the business there.
HORATIO:
He’ll soon know from England
What happened there.
HAMLET:
It will be short; the interim is mine,
And a man's life's is no more than to say 'One.'
But I am very sorry, good Horatio,(80)
That to Laertes I forgot myself,
For by the image of my cause I see
The portraiture of his. I'll court his favours.
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering passion.(85)
HAMLET:
It will be shortly. The time between is mine,
And a man's life is longer than it takes to say “One. “
But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
That I forgot myself to Laertes,
Because, by the image of my cause, I can see
Myself in him. I’ll court his favors.
But, for sure, the bravery of his grief put me
Into a towering passion.
HORATIO:
Peace, who comes here?
HORATIO:
Quiet, who’s coming here?

Enter [young Osric,] a courtier.

OSRIC:
Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.
OSRIC:
Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.
HAMLET:
I humbly thank you, sir. [Aside to Horatio.] Dost know
this water-fly?
HAMLET:
I humbly thank you, sir. Do you know this water-fly?
HORATIO:

[Aside to Hamlet.]

No, my good lord.(90)
HORATIO:
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 king's
mess. 'tis a chough; but, as I say, spacious in the pos-
session of dirt.(95)
HAMLET:
Your state is the more gracious, for it is a vice to know
him. He has much fertile land. Let a beast be lord of
beasts, and his cattle shall stand at the king's dinner
table. He’s a clown, but, as I say, proud to own dirt.
OSRIC:
Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I should
impart a thing to you from his Majesty.
OSRIC:
Sweet lord, if your lordship were not busy, 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.
HAMLET:
I will listen very carefully. Put your hat to its right use. It is
for the head.
OSRIC:
I thank your lordship, it is very hot.(100)
OSRIC:
I thank your lordship, it is very hot.
HAMLET:
No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind is northerly.
HAMLET:
No, believe me, it is very cold, the wind is northerly.
OSRIC:
It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.
OSRIC:
It is unusually cold, my lord, indeed.
HAMLET:
But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my
complexion.
HAMLET:
I think it is very sultry and hot for my complexion.
OSRIC:
Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry, as 'twere—I can-(105)
not tell how. But, my lord, his Majesty bade me signify to
you that he has laid a great wager on your head. Sir, this is
the matter—
OSRIC:
Exceedingly, my lord, it is very sultry, I can’t
tell how. But, my lord, his majesty asked me to tell you
that he has placed a great wager on your head. Sir, this
is the situation.
HAMLET:
I beseech you remember—
HAMLET:
I beg you, remember,

[Hamlet moves him to put on his hat.]

OSRIC:
Nay, good my lord; for mine ease, in good faith. Sir,(110)
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 gen-(115)
tleman would see.
OSRIC:
No, in good faith, for my comfort, truly. Sir, here Laertes
is newly come to court, believe me, an absolute
gentleman, full of most excellent traits, of very soft
manners and looking great. Indeed, to speak feelingly of
him, he is the card or calendar of gentry, because you
shall find in him the continent of what a gentleman is.
HAMLET:
Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you;
though, I know, to divide him inventorially would dizzy
the arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw neither, in
respect of his quick sail. But, in the verity of extolment,(120)
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.
HAMLET:
Sir, his refinement suffers no lie from you, although, I
know, to divide him like an inventor would make the
memory dizzy with arithmetic, and yet not off course, in
regard to his quick sail. But, in the truth of praise, I take
him to be a soul of great note, and his infusion of such
dearth and rareness as, to make true talk of him, he is
what you see, and whoever copies him, is his shadow,
nothing more.
OSRIC:
Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.(125)
OSRIC:
Your lordship speaks most truly of him.
HAMLET:
The concernancy, sir? Why do we wrap the gen-
tleman in our more rawer breath?
HAMLET:
The concern sir? Why do we wrap the gentleman in our
more rare breath?
OSRIC:
Sir?
OSRIC:
Sir?
HORATIO:
Is't not possible to understand in another tongue?
You will to't, sir, really.(130)
HORATIO:
Isn’t it possible to understand in another tongue? You
will do it, Sir, really.
HAMLET:
What imports the nomination of this gentleman?
HAMLET:
What about the naming of this gentleman?
OSRIC:
Of Laertes?
OSRIC:
Of Laertes?
HORATIO:

[Aside.]

His purse is empty already. All's golden
words are spent.
HORATIO:
His purse’s already empty; his golden words are spent.
HAMLET:
Of him, sir.(135)
HAMLET:
Of him, sir.
OSRIC:
I know you are not ignorant—
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?
HAMLET:
I would you did, sir. Yet, really, if you did, it would not
much help me. Well, sir.
OSRIC:
You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is—
OSRIC:
You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is.
HAMLET:
I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with(140)
him in excellence; but to know a man well were to know
himself.
HAMLET:
I dare not confess that, for fear that 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 his meed he's unfellowed.
OSRIC:
I mean, sir, for his weapon, but in the imputation laid on
him by them, in his skill, he has no equal.
HAMLET:
What's his weapon?(145)
HAMLET:
What's his weapon?
OSRIC:
Rapier and dagger.
OSRIC:
Sword and dagger.
HAMLET:
That's two of his weapons. But, well.
HAMLET:
That's two of his weapons. but never mind.
OSRIC:
The King, sir, hath wager'd with him six Barbary horses;
against the which he has impawned, as I take it, six French
rapiers and poniards, with their assigns, as girdle,(150)
hanger, 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.
OSRIC:
The king, sir, has bet him six Barbary horses.
against the which he has wagered, as I take it, six French
rapiers and daggers, with their accessories, as girdle,
hangers, and so. Three of the carriages, actually, are
very desirable. Every one responsive to the tops, most
delicate carriages, and of very extravagant decoration.
HAMLET:
What call you the carriages?
HAMLET:
What do you call the carriages?
HORATIO:

[Aside to Hamlet.]

I knew you must be edified by(155)
the margent ere you had done.
HORATIO:
I knew you must be aware of the margin before you had
finished.
OSRIC:
The carriages, sir, are the hangers.
OSRIC:
The carriages, sir, are the hangers.
HAMLET:
The phrase would be more German to the matter if
we could carry a cannon by our sides. I would it might be
hangers till then. But on! Six Barbary horses against six(160)
French swords, their assigns, and three liberal-conceited car-
riages—that's the French bet against the Danish. Why is this
'impawned,' as you call it?
HAMLET:
The phrase would be more german to the matter if we
could carry cannons by our sides. I would it might be
hangers till then. But, on. Six Barbary horses against six
French swords, their accessories, and three well
decorated carriages. That's the French bet against the
Danish. Why is this all wagered, as you call it?
OSRIC:
The King, sir, hath laid, sir, that, in a dozen passes
between yourself and him, he shall not exceed you three hits;(165)
he hath laid on twelve for nine, and it would come to imme-
diate trial, if your lordship would vouchsafe the answer.
OSRIC:
The king, sir, has said that, in a dozen passes between
your and Laertes, he shall not exceed you three hits. He
has bet odds of twelve to nine, and it would come to
immediate trial if your lordship would return the answer.
HAMLET:
How if I answer no?
HAMLET:
What if I say no?
OSRIC:
I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person in trial.
OSRIC:
I mean, my lord, the fight of your person in trial.
HAMLET:
Sir, I will walk here in the hall. If it please his Majesty,(170)
it is the breathing time of day with me. Let the foils be
brought, the gentleman willing, and the King hold his pur-
pose, I will win for him an I can; if not, I will gain nothing
but my shame and the odd hits.
HAMLET:
Sir, I will walk here in the hall. If it please his majesty,
it is the relaxing time of day with me. Let the foils be
brought, the gentleman willing, and the king insists, I will
win for him if I can. If not, I will gain nothing but my
shame and the odd hits.
OSRIC:
Shall I redeliver you e'en so?(175)
OSRIC:
Shall I re-deliver your answer like that?
HAMLET:
To this effect, sir, after what flourish your nature
will.
HAMLET:
With my meaning, sir, however you want to say it.
OSRIC:
I commend my duty to your lordship.
OSRIC:
I commend my duty to your lordship.
HAMLET:
Yours, yours. He does well to commend it himself;
there are no tongues else for's turn.(180)
HAMLET:
Yours, yours.
He does well to praise himself, because no one else will
praise him.
HORATIO:
This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head.
HORATIO:
A just hatched bird runs away with eggshell on his head.
HAMLET:
He did comply with his dug before he sucked it.
Thus has he—and many more of the same bevy that I
know the drossy age dotes on—only got the tune of the
time and outward habit of encounter, a kind of yesty collection,(185)
which carries them through and through the most
fanned and winnowed opinions; and do but blow
them to their trial, the bubbles are out.
HAMLET:
He did comply with his mother’s breast before he sucked
it. He has, and many more just like him that I know the
worthless age dotes on, are only part of a craze and have
the outward appearance of style, a kind of swollen
collection, which carries them through and through the
most airless opinions and only blows them to their real
experience when the bubbles are burst.

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(190)
hall. He sends to know if your pleasure hold to play with
Laertes, or that you will take longer time.
LORD:
My lord, his majesty sent a message to you by young
Osric, who tells him that you will meet him in the hall. He
want to know if will play with Laertes now, or whether you
will take a longer time.
HAMLET:
I am constant to my purposes; they follow the King's
pleasure. If his fitness speaks, mine is ready; now or when-
soever, provided I be so able as now.(195)
HAMLET:
I am true to my intentions; they follow the king's pleasure.
If he is ready now, I am too, now or whenever, provided
that I am so able as I am now.
LORD:
The King and Queen and all are coming down.
LORD:
The King and Queen and all are coming down.
HAMLET:
In happy time.
HAMLET:
In happy time.
LORD:
The Queen desires you to use some gentle entertainment
to Laertes before you fall to play.
LORD:
The queen desires you to use some gentle entertainment
to Laertes before you start to play.
HAMLET:
She well instructs me.(200)
HAMLET:
She instructs me well.
HORATIO:
You will lose this wager, my lord.
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 all's here about my heart. But it
is no matter.(205)
HAMLET:
I don’t think so. Since he went to France, I have been in
constant practice. I shall win at the odds. But you
wouldn’t know what a bad feeling I have inside. But it
doesn’t matter.
HORATIO:
Nay, good my lord—
HORATIO:
No, my good lord,
HAMLET:
It is but foolery; but it is such a kind of gain-giving
as would perhaps trouble a woman.
HAMLET:
It’s only foolishness, but it is such a kind of misgiving as
would maybe trouble a woman.
HORATIO:
If your mind dislike anything, obey it. I will forestall
their repair hither and say you are not fit.(210)
HORATIO:
If you have a gut feeling, obey it. I will stall their
coming here, and say you are not ready.
HAMLET:
Not a whit, we defy augury; there's a special
Providencein 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 come. The readiness is all. Since no man has
aught of what he leaves, what is't to leave betimes? Let be.(215)
HAMLET:
Not a chance. We defy omens. There's a special divine
intervention in the fall of a sparrow. If it’s now, it’s not to
come. If it’s not to come, it will be now. If it’s not now, it
will still come. Being ready is everything. Since no man
has anything of what he leaves, what is it to leave soon?

[Enter King, Queen, Laertes, Osric, and Lords, with other Attendants with foils and gauntlets. A table prepared withflagons of wine on it.]

KING:
Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
KING:
Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.

[The King puts Laertes' hand into Hamlet's.]

HAMLET:
Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong;
But pardon't, as you are a gentleman.
This presence knows,
And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd(220)
With sore distraction. What I have done
That might your nature, honour, and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himself be taken away,(225)
And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
Who does it, then? His madness. If't be so,
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.(230)
Sir, in this audience,
Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts
That I have shot my arrow o'er the house
And hurt my brother.(235)
HAMLET:
Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong.
But pardon it, as you are a gentleman.
This King knows, and you must have heard,
How I am punished with a painful madness.
What I have done
That might deeply hurt your nature, honor,
And complaints, I here proclaim was craziness.
Was it Hamlet who wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet.
If Hamlet is taken away from himself,
And when he's not himself does wrong to Laertes,
Then Hamlet doesn’t do it. Hamlet denies it.
Who does it, then? His madness. If it’s so,
Hamlet is one of the those wronged.
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.
Sir, before this audience,
Let my denial of evil intent
Give me immunity in your most generous thoughts
As though I have shot my arrow over the house
And hurt my brother.
LAERTES:
I am satisfied in nature,
Whose motive in this case should stir me most
To my revenge. But in my terms of honour
I stand aloof, and will no reconcilement
Till by some elder masters of known honour(240)
I have a voice and precedent of peace
To keep my name ungor'd. But till that time
I do receive your offer'd love like love,
And will not wrong it.
LAERTES:
I am satisfied in nature,
Whose motive, in this case, should move me the most
To my revenge. But in my terms of honor
I hold back, and will make no reconciliation
Until, by some elder masters of known honor,
I have a voice and precedent of peace
To keep my name unbloody. But until that time,
I receive your offered love like love,
And won’t do it wrong.
HAMLET:
I embrace it freely,(245)
And will this brother's wager frankly play.—
Give us the foils. Come on.
HAMLET:
I accept it freely,
And will play this brother's wager honestly.
Give us the swords, come on.
LAERTES:
Come, one for me.
LAERTES:
Come, one for me.
HAMLET:
I'll be your foil, Laertes. In mine ignorance
Your skill shall, like a star i' the darkest night,(250)
Stick fiery off indeed.
HAMLET:
I’ll be your mirror, Laertes. In my ignorance,
Your skill shall, like a star in the darkest night,
be shown to its fiery advantage indeed.
LAERTES:
You mock me, sir.
LAERTES:
You mock me, sir.
HAMLET:
No, by this hand.
HAMLET:
No, honestly.
KING:
Give them the foils, young Osric. Cousin Hamlet,
You know the wager?(255)
KING:
Give them the swords, young Osric. Cousin Hamlet,
You know the wager?
HAMLET:
Very well, my lord.
Your Grace has laid the odds o' the weaker side.
HAMLET:
Very well, my lord,
Your grace has laid the odds of the weaker side
KING:
I do not fear it, I have seen you both;
But since he is better'd, we have therefore odds.
KING:
I don’t fear it. I have seen you both,
But since he's gotten better, we have, therefore, odds.
LAERTES:
This is too heavy; let me see another.(260)
LAERTES:
This one’s too heavy. Let me see another.
HAMLET:
This likes me well. These foils have all a length?
HAMLET:
I like this one. All these swords have a length?
OSRIC:
Ay, my good lord.
OSRIC:
Yes, my good lord.

[They prepare to play.]

KING:
Set me the stoups of wine upon that table.
If Hamlet give the first or second hit,
Or quit in answer of the third exchange,(265)
Let all the battlements their ordnance fire;
The King shall drink to Hamlet's better breath,
And in the cup an union shall he throw
Richer than that which four successive kings
In Denmark's crown have worn. Give me the cups;(270)
And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens, the heaven to earth,
‘Now the King drinks to Hamlet.’ Come, begin.
And you the judges, bear a wary eye.(275)
KING:
Set up the goblets of wine for me on that table.
If Hamlet gives the first or second hit,
Or quits in answer of the third exchange,
Let all the battlements fire their ammunition,
The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath,
And in the cup he shall throw a pearl,
Richer than that which four successive kings
Have worn in Denmark's crown. Give me the cups,
And let the kettle drum speak to the trumpet,
The trumpet to the cannon man outside,
The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth,
'Now the king drinks to Hamlet.” Come, begin.
And you, the judges, watch carefully.
HAMLET:
Come on, sir.
HAMLET:
Come on, sir.
LAERTES:
Come, my lord.
LAERTES:
Come, my lord.
HAMLET:
One.
HAMLET:
One.
LAERTES:
No.
LAERTES:
No.
HAMLET:
Judgment!(280)
HAMLET:
Judges?
OSRIC:
A hit, a very palpable hit.
OSRIC:
A hit, a hit that was felt.
LAERTES:
Well, again!
LAERTES:
OK, again.
KING:
Stay, give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine;
Here's to thy health.

Drum, trumpets, and shots. A piece goes off.

Give him the cup.(285)
KING:
Stay, give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is your,
Here's to your health.

Give him the cup.

HAMLET:
I'll play this bout first; set it by awhile.
Come. Another hit. What say you?
HAMLET:
I’ll play this bout first, put it aside a while.
Come on. Another hit, what do you say?
LAERTES:
A touch, a touch; I do confess.
LAERTES:
A touch, a touch, I do confess.
KING:
Our son shall win.
KING:
Our son shall win.
QUEEN:
He's fat, and scant of breath.(290)
Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows.
The Queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
QUEEN:
He's fat, and out of breath.
Here, Hamlet, take my napkin. Rub your brows.
The queen drinks to your fortune, Hamlet.
HAMLET:
Good madam!
HAMLET:
Good madam!
KING:
Gertrude, do not drink.
KING:
Gertrude, don’t drink.
QUEEN:
I will, my lord; I pray you pardon me.(295)
QUEEN:
I will, my lord, I beg you to pardon me.
KING:
It is the poison'd cup; it is too late.
KING:
It is the poisoned cup; it is too late.
HAMLET:
I dare not drink yet, madam—by-and-by.
HAMLET:
I dare not drink yet, madam, by and by.
QUEEN:
Come, let me wipe thy face.
QUEEN:
Come, let me wipe your face.
LAERTES:
My lord, I'll hit him now.
LAERTES:
My lord, I’ll hit him now.
KING:
I do not think't.(300)
KING:
I don’t think so.
LAERTES:
And yet it is almost against my conscience.
LAERTES:
And yet it is almost against my conscience.
HAMLET:
Come for the third, Laertes! You but dally.
I pray you, pass with your best violence;
I am afeard you make a wanton of me.
HAMLET:
Come, for the third, Laertes. you only delay,
I beg you, hit me with your best shot.
I’m afraid you make a loose woman of me.
LAERTES:
Say you so? Come on. Play.(305)
LAERTES:
You say so? Come on.
OSRIC:
Nothing, neither way.
OSRIC:
Nothing, neither way.
LAERTES:
Have at you now!
LAERTES:
I’ll attack you now!

[Laertes wounds Hamlet. Then in scuffling, they change rapiers, and Hamlet wounds Laertes.]

KING:
Part them! They are incensed.
KING:
Part them. They are in a rage.
HAMLET:
Nay come! again!
HAMLET:
No, come again!
OSRIC:
Look to the Queen there, ho!(310)
OSRIC:
Look to the queen there, ho!
HORATIO:
They bleed on both sides. How is it, my lord?
HORATIO:
They bleed on both sides. How are you, my lord?
OSRIC:
How is't, Laertes?
OSRIC:
How are you, Laertes?
LAERTES:
Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric.
I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery.
LAERTES:
Why, as a woodpecker caught in my own trap, Osric.
I am justly killed with my own wickedness.
HAMLET:
How does the Queen?(315)
HAMLET:
How is the Queen?
KING:
She swoons to see them bleed.
KING:
She swoons to see them bleed.
QUEEN:
No, no! the drink, the drink!—O my dear Hamlet!—
The drink, the drink! I am poison'd.
QUEEN:
No, no! the drink, the drink! O my dear Hamlet!
The drink, the drink! I am poisoned.
HAMLET:
O villainy! Ho! let the door be lock'd.
Treachery! Seek it out.(320)
HAMLET:
O villainy! Ho! Let the doors be locked.
Wickedness! Find it!
LAERTES:
It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain;
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,
Unbated and envenom'd. The foul practice(325)
Hath turn'd itself on me. Lo, here I lie,
Never to rise again. Thy mother's poison'd.
I can no more. The King, the King's to blame.
LAERTES:
It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, you are killed,
No medicine in the world can save you.
You don’t even have half an hour of life,
The wicked instrument is in your hand,
Sharp and poisoned. The evil deed
Has turned itself on me. Behold, here I lie,
Never to rise again. Your mother's poisoned.
I can do no more. The King, the King's to blame.
HAMLET:
The point envenom'd too! Then, venom, to thy work.
HAMLET:
The point poisoned too!
Then, venom, do your work.

[Stabs the King.]

ALL:
Treason! treason!(330)
ALL:
Treason! Treason!
KING:
O, yet defend me, friends! I am but hurt.
KING:
O, still defend me, friends! I am only hurt.
HAMLET:
Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,
Drink off this potion! Is thy union here?
Follow my mother.
HAMLET:
Here, you incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,
Drink this potion. Is your marriage here?
Follow my mother.

[King dies.]

LAERTES:
He is justly served.(335)
It is a poison temper'd by himself.
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet.
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee,
Nor thine on me!
LAERTES:
He is justly served,
It is a poison tempered by himself.
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet.
You are not guilty of my and my father's deaths.
And I am not guilty of yours.

[Dies.]

HAMLET:
Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.(340)
I am dead, Horatio. Wretched Queen, adieu!
You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
That are but mutes or audience to this act,
Had I but time—as this fell sergeant, Death,
Is strict in his arrest—O, I could tell you—(345)
But let it be. Horatio, I am dead;
Thou livest; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.
HAMLET:
Heaven forgive you for it! I follow you.
I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, goodbye!
You that look pale and tremble at this event,
That are only mutes or audience to this act,
If I only had the time, as this dreadful sergeant, death,
Is strict in making his arrest, O, I could tell you. . .
But let it be. Horatio, I am dead.
You live. Tell the story of me and my cause correctly
To those who are not satisfied.
HORATIO:
Never believe it.
I am more an antique Romanthan a Dane.(350)
Here's yet some liquor left.
HORATIO:
Never believe it.
I am more an antique Roman than a Dane.
Here's some poison wine still left.
HAMLET:
As th'art a man,
Give me the cup. Let go! By heaven, I'll have't.
O God, Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me!(355)
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.

[March far off, and shot within.]

What warlike noise is this?(360)
HAMLET:
As you are a man,
Give me the cup, let it go, by heaven, I’ll have it.
O good Horatio, what a wounded name that is,
Things left unknown like this, shall live after me!
If you ever did hold me in your heart,
Stay away from happy things for a while,
And, in this harsh world, draw your breath in pain
To tell my story.

What warlike noise is this?

OSRIC:
Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland,
To the ambassadors of England gives
This warlike volley.
OSRIC:
Young Fortinbras, after conquering Poland,
Gives this warlike volley
To the ambassadors of England.
HAMLET:
O, I die, Horatio!
The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit.(365)
I cannot live to hear the news from England,
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited—The rest is silence.(370)
HAMLET:
O, I’m dying, Horatio,
The potent poison quite conquers my soul.
I cannot live to hear the news from England,
But I do predict that the throne belongs
To Fortinbras. He has my dying vote,
Tell him so, with the news, more and less,
Which has been asked for. The rest is silence.

[Dies.]

HORATIO:
Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

[March within.]

Why does the drum come hither?
HORATIO:
Now a noble heart breaks. Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing you to your rest!

Why does the drum come here?

Enter Fortinbras and the Ambassadors, [with Drum, Colours, and Attendants.]

FORTINBRAS:
Where is this sight?
FORTINBRAS:
Where is this sight?
HORATIO:
What is it you will see?(375)
If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.
HORATIO:
What do you want to see?
If anything of sorrow or wonder, stop your search.
FORTINBRAS:
This quarry cries on havoc. O proud Death,
What feast is toward in thine eternal cell
That thou so many princes at a shot
So bloodily hast struck?(380)
FORTINBRAS:
This scene is chaotic. O proud death,
What feast is being held in your eternal cell,
That you have killed so many princes
So bloodily all at the same time?
AMBASSADOR:
The sight is dismal;
And our affairs from England come too late.
The ears are senseless that should give us hearing
To tell him his commandment is fulfill'd
That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.(385)
Where should we have our thanks?
AMBASSADOR:
The sight is sad,
And our affairs come too late from England.
The ears that should give us hearing can’t hear,
To tell him his order is obeyed,
That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.
Who will thank us?
HORATIO:
Not from his mouth,
Had it the ability of life to thank you.
He never gave commandment for their death.
But since, so jump upon this bloody question,(390)
You from the Polack wars, and you from England,
Are here arrived, give order that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view;
And let me speak to the yet unknowing world
How these things came about. So shall you hear(395)
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 the inventors' heads. All this can I(400)
Truly deliver.
HORATIO:
No thanks from his mouth,
If it were alive to thank you.
He never gave orders for their deaths.
But since, you from the Polack wars, and you from
England, are here arrived, and so jump on this bloody
Question, give order that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view,
And let me speak to the yet unknowing world
How these things came about. So you shall hear
Of carnal, bloody and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Of deaths planned by cunning and false causes,
And, in this result, mistaken motives
Fallen on the planners' heads. I can truly deliver
All this.
FORTINBRAS:
Let us haste to hear it,
And call the noblest to the audience.
For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune.
I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,(405)
Which now, to claim my vantage doth invite me.
FORTINBRAS:
Let us hurry to hear it,
And call the noblest to hear it too.
As for me, I embrace my fortune with sorrow.
I have some rights of past history in this kingdom,
Which now invites me to claim my place.
HORATIO:
Of that I shall have also cause to speak,
And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more.
But let this same be presently perform'd,
Even while men's minds are wild, lest more mischance(410)
On plots and errors happen.
HORATIO:
I shall also have cause to speak of that,
And directly from his mouth whose voice will deliver it.
But let this speaking be done now,
Even while men's 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,
To have proved most royal; and, for his passage,(415)
The soldiers' music and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him.
Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Go, bid the soldiers shoot.(420)

Exeunt [marching; after the which a peal of ordnance is shot off.]

FINIS
FORTINBRAS:
Let four captains
Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the platform,
For he was likely, had he been King,
To have proved most royal, and, for his passage,
The soldiers' music and the rites of war will
Speak loudly for him.
Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this
Becomes the battlefield field, but here is out of place
Go, bid the soldiers shoot.