William Shakespeare

Hamlet is a story about a young prince named Hamlet, who is grieving the death of his father, the King. His mother, Queen Gertrude, has married his uncle, Claudius, who has now become the new King. Hamlet is visited by the ghost of his father, who tells him that he was murdered by Claudius. This revelation sets Hamlet on a path of revenge and madness.

Throughout the play, Hamlet struggles with his own sanity as he tries to uncover the truth about his father's death and bring justice to his family. He becomes obsessed with the idea of revenge and begins to distrust everyone around him, including his closest friends and family members. Along the way, he puts on an "antic disposition" to throw his enemies off-guard.

As Hamlet's plans for revenge come to fruition, he ends up causing more harm than good. His actions lead to the death of several characters, including his love interest, Ophelia, and his best friend, Polonius. In the end, Hamlet himself is mortally wounded in a duel with Laertes, and he dies just as he finally achieves his revenge on Claudius.

Overall, Hamlet is a complex and powerful story that explores themes of revenge, madness, and the human condition. It is a timeless tale that has been adapted into countless forms, from stage productions to film adaptations, and remains one of Shakespeare's most beloved plays.

Act I

Act 1 of Hamlet introduces the characters and sets the tone for the play. The story begins with the appearance of a ghost who appears to be the spirit of the recently deceased King Hamlet. The ghost appears to his son, Prince Hamlet, and tells him that he was murdered by his own brother, Claudius, who has since taken the throne and married Queen Gertrude, Hamlet's mother.

Hamlet is deeply troubled by this revelation and becomes obsessed with seeking revenge on Claudius. He begins to act erratically and his behavior becomes a cause for concern for those around him. Meanwhile, Claudius and Gertrude attempt to understand and control Hamlet's erratic behavior.

Hamlet's close friend, Horatio, is introduced in this act and is the only person who seems to understand Hamlet's behavior. The character of Polonius, the Lord Chamberlain, is also introduced in this act. Polonius is a conniving and manipulative character who seeks to advance his own interests by any means necessary.

The act ends with a plan to stage a play that will reenact the murder of King Hamlet. The hope is that Claudius will react to the play and reveal his guilt. Hamlet is determined to seek revenge and will stop at nothing to achieve it.

SCENE I. Elsinore. A platform before the castle.

A group of guards are standing watch outside the castle of the King of Denmark, when they are joined by a young man named Horatio. They tell him that they have seen a ghost resembling the recently deceased King Hamlet, and Horatio agrees to keep watch with them that night to see if the apparition appears again.

As they wait, the ghost appears before them. Horatio tries to speak to it, but it disappears. The guards then decide to tell Prince Hamlet, the son of the deceased king, about the ghost's appearance.

When Hamlet arrives, the ghost appears again. It beckons to Hamlet, who follows it away from the others. The guards and Horatio are left wondering what has happened to Hamlet.

The scene ends with the guards discussing the recent military preparations of Denmark, including the movement of troops towards Norway.

FRANCISCO at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO

Who's there?
Link: 1.1.1

Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.
Link: 1.1.2

Long live the king!
Link: 1.1.3

Link: 1.1.4


You come most carefully upon your hour.
Link: 1.1.6

'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.
Link: 1.1.7

For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,
Link: 1.1.8
And I am sick at heart.
Link: 1.1.9

Have you had quiet guard?
Link: 1.1.10

Not a mouse stirring.
Link: 1.1.11

Well, good night.
Link: 1.1.12
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
Link: 1.1.13
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
Link: 1.1.14

I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who's there?
Link: 1.1.15


Friends to this ground.
Link: 1.1.16

And liegemen to the Dane.
Link: 1.1.17

Give you good night.
Link: 1.1.18

O, farewell, honest soldier:
Link: 1.1.19
Who hath relieved you?
Link: 1.1.20

Bernardo has my place.
Link: 1.1.21
Give you good night.
Link: 1.1.22


Holla! Bernardo!
Link: 1.1.23

What, is Horatio there?
Link: 1.1.25

A piece of him.
Link: 1.1.26

Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.
Link: 1.1.27

What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?
Link: 1.1.28

I have seen nothing.
Link: 1.1.29

Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,
Link: 1.1.30
And will not let belief take hold of him
Link: 1.1.31
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us:
Link: 1.1.32
Therefore I have entreated him along
Link: 1.1.33
With us to watch the minutes of this night;
Link: 1.1.34
That if again this apparition come,
Link: 1.1.35
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
Link: 1.1.36

Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.
Link: 1.1.37

Sit down awhile;
Link: 1.1.38
And let us once again assail your ears,
Link: 1.1.39
That are so fortified against our story
Link: 1.1.40
What we have two nights seen.
Link: 1.1.41

Well, sit we down,
Link: 1.1.42
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Link: 1.1.43

Last night of all,
Link: 1.1.44
When yond same star that's westward from the pole
Link: 1.1.45
Had made his course to illume that part of heaven
Link: 1.1.46
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
Link: 1.1.47
The bell then beating one,--
Link: 1.1.48

Enter Ghost

Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!
Link: 1.1.49

In the same figure, like the king that's dead.
Link: 1.1.50

Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
Link: 1.1.51

Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.
Link: 1.1.52

Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.
Link: 1.1.53

It would be spoke to.
Link: 1.1.54

Question it, Horatio.
Link: 1.1.55

What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
Link: 1.1.56
Together with that fair and warlike form
Link: 1.1.57
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Link: 1.1.58
Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!
Link: 1.1.59

It is offended.
Link: 1.1.60

See, it stalks away!
Link: 1.1.61

Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!
Link: 1.1.62

Exit Ghost

'Tis gone, and will not answer.
Link: 1.1.63

How now, Horatio! you tremble and look pale:
Link: 1.1.64
Is not this something more than fantasy?
Link: 1.1.65
What think you on't?
Link: 1.1.66

Before my God, I might not this believe
Link: 1.1.67
Without the sensible and true avouch
Link: 1.1.68
Of mine own eyes.
Link: 1.1.69

Is it not like the king?
Link: 1.1.70

As thou art to thyself:
Link: 1.1.71
Such was the very armour he had on
Link: 1.1.72
When he the ambitious Norway combated;
Link: 1.1.73
So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
Link: 1.1.74
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
Link: 1.1.75
'Tis strange.
Link: 1.1.76

Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
Link: 1.1.77
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
Link: 1.1.78

In what particular thought to work I know not;
Link: 1.1.79
But in the gross and scope of my opinion,
Link: 1.1.80
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Link: 1.1.81

Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
Link: 1.1.82
Why this same strict and most observant watch
Link: 1.1.83
So nightly toils the subject of the land,
Link: 1.1.84
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
Link: 1.1.85
And foreign mart for implements of war;
Link: 1.1.86
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Link: 1.1.87
Does not divide the Sunday from the week;
Link: 1.1.88
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
Link: 1.1.89
Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day:
Link: 1.1.90
Who is't that can inform me?
Link: 1.1.91

That can I;
Link: 1.1.92
At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
Link: 1.1.93
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
Link: 1.1.94
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Link: 1.1.95
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Link: 1.1.96
Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet--
Link: 1.1.97
For so this side of our known world esteem'd him--
Link: 1.1.98
Did slay this Fortinbras; who by a seal'd compact,
Link: 1.1.99
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Link: 1.1.100
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
Link: 1.1.101
Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror:
Link: 1.1.102
Against the which, a moiety competent
Link: 1.1.103
Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
Link: 1.1.104
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Link: 1.1.105
Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same covenant,
Link: 1.1.106
And carriage of the article design'd,
Link: 1.1.107
His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Link: 1.1.108
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
Link: 1.1.109
Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
Link: 1.1.110
Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,
Link: 1.1.111
For food and diet, to some enterprise
Link: 1.1.112
That hath a stomach in't; which is no other--
Link: 1.1.113
As it doth well appear unto our state--
Link: 1.1.114
But to recover of us, by strong hand
Link: 1.1.115
And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands
Link: 1.1.116
So by his father lost: and this, I take it,
Link: 1.1.117
Is the main motive of our preparations,
Link: 1.1.118
The source of this our watch and the chief head
Link: 1.1.119
Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
Link: 1.1.120

I think it be no other but e'en so:
Link: 1.1.121
Well may it sort that this portentous figure
Link: 1.1.122
Comes armed through our watch; so like the king
Link: 1.1.123
That was and is the question of these wars.
Link: 1.1.124

A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
Link: 1.1.125
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
Link: 1.1.126
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
Link: 1.1.127
The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
Link: 1.1.128
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets:
Link: 1.1.129
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Link: 1.1.130
Disasters in the sun; and the moist star
Link: 1.1.131
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands
Link: 1.1.132
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse:
Link: 1.1.133
And even the like precurse of fierce events,
Link: 1.1.134
As harbingers preceding still the fates
Link: 1.1.135
And prologue to the omen coming on,
Link: 1.1.136
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Link: 1.1.137
Unto our climatures and countrymen.--
Link: 1.1.138
But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again!
Link: 1.1.139
I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
Link: 1.1.140
If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
Link: 1.1.141
Speak to me:
Link: 1.1.142
If there be any good thing to be done,
Link: 1.1.143
That may to thee do ease and grace to me,
Link: 1.1.144
Speak to me:
Link: 1.1.145
If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Link: 1.1.146
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid, O, speak!
Link: 1.1.147
Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Link: 1.1.148
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
Link: 1.1.149
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
Link: 1.1.150
Speak of it: stay, and speak! Stop it, Marcellus.
Link: 1.1.151

Shall I strike at it with my partisan?
Link: 1.1.152

Do, if it will not stand.
Link: 1.1.153

'Tis here!
Link: 1.1.154

'Tis here!
Link: 1.1.155

'Tis gone!
Link: 1.1.156
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
Link: 1.1.157
To offer it the show of violence;
Link: 1.1.158
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
Link: 1.1.159
And our vain blows malicious mockery.
Link: 1.1.160

It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
Link: 1.1.161

And then it started like a guilty thing
Link: 1.1.162
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
Link: 1.1.163
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Link: 1.1.164
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Link: 1.1.165
Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
Link: 1.1.166
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
Link: 1.1.167
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
Link: 1.1.168
To his confine: and of the truth herein
Link: 1.1.169
This present object made probation.
Link: 1.1.170

It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Link: 1.1.171
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Link: 1.1.172
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
Link: 1.1.173
The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
Link: 1.1.174
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
Link: 1.1.175
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
Link: 1.1.176
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
Link: 1.1.177
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
Link: 1.1.178

So have I heard and do in part believe it.
Link: 1.1.179
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Link: 1.1.180
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill:
Link: 1.1.181
Break we our watch up; and by my advice,
Link: 1.1.182
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Link: 1.1.183
Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
Link: 1.1.184
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
Link: 1.1.185
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
Link: 1.1.186
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?
Link: 1.1.187

Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know
Link: 1.1.188
Where we shall find him most conveniently.
Link: 1.1.189


SCENE II. A room of state in the castle.

Scene 2 of Act 1 of this play takes place in the court of Denmark where the new king, Claudius, addresses the courtiers and his wife, Gertrude. He speaks of the recent death of his brother, the previous king, and his own hasty marriage to Gertrude. He then turns to his nephew, Hamlet, who is mourning his father's death, and asks him why he is still in mourning attire. Claudius urges Hamlet to stay in Denmark instead of returning to university in Germany.

Hamlet is clearly unhappy with his uncle's speech and seems to be in a state of deep melancholy. He makes a sarcastic comment about how quickly his mother remarried after his father's death and says he will put on an "antic disposition" to hide his true feelings. Gertrude tries to comfort and advise him, but he remains distant.

The courtiers, including Polonius and his children, Laertes and Ophelia, enter and greet the king and queen. Polonius offers some long-winded advice to his son Laertes, who is leaving for France, and then leaves. Ophelia and Hamlet exchange some tense words about his behavior towards her.

Finally, Hamlet is left alone on stage and delivers his famous soliloquy, in which he expresses his despair and disgust with the world around him. He speaks of suicide and the futility of life. The scene ends with Hamlet's resolve to put on his "antic disposition" and plot his revenge against his uncle for his father's murder.


Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
Link: 1.2.1
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
Link: 1.2.2
To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom
Link: 1.2.3
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Link: 1.2.4
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
Link: 1.2.5
That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
Link: 1.2.6
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Link: 1.2.7
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
Link: 1.2.8
The imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Link: 1.2.9
Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,--
Link: 1.2.10
With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
Link: 1.2.11
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
Link: 1.2.12
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,--
Link: 1.2.13
Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd
Link: 1.2.14
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
Link: 1.2.15
With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
Link: 1.2.16
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Link: 1.2.17
Holding a weak supposal of our worth,
Link: 1.2.18
Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
Link: 1.2.19
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
Link: 1.2.20
Colleagued with the dream of his advantage,
Link: 1.2.21
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
Link: 1.2.22
Importing the surrender of those lands
Link: 1.2.23
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
Link: 1.2.24
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
Link: 1.2.25
Now for ourself and for this time of meeting:
Link: 1.2.26
Thus much the business is: we have here writ
Link: 1.2.27
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,--
Link: 1.2.28
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Link: 1.2.29
Of this his nephew's purpose,--to suppress
Link: 1.2.30
His further gait herein; in that the levies,
Link: 1.2.31
The lists and full proportions, are all made
Link: 1.2.32
Out of his subject: and we here dispatch
Link: 1.2.33
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
Link: 1.2.34
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Link: 1.2.35
Giving to you no further personal power
Link: 1.2.36
To business with the king, more than the scope
Link: 1.2.37
Of these delated articles allow.
Link: 1.2.38
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
Link: 1.2.39

In that and all things will we show our duty.
Link: 1.2.40

We doubt it nothing: heartily farewell.
Link: 1.2.41
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
Link: 1.2.42
You told us of some suit; what is't, Laertes?
Link: 1.2.43
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
Link: 1.2.44
And loose your voice: what wouldst thou beg, Laertes,
Link: 1.2.45
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
Link: 1.2.46
The head is not more native to the heart,
Link: 1.2.47
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Link: 1.2.48
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
Link: 1.2.49
What wouldst thou have, Laertes?
Link: 1.2.50

My dread lord,
Link: 1.2.51
Your leave and favour to return to France;
Link: 1.2.52
From whence though willingly I came to Denmark,
Link: 1.2.53
To show my duty in your coronation,
Link: 1.2.54
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
Link: 1.2.55
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France
Link: 1.2.56
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
Link: 1.2.57

Have you your father's leave? What says Polonius?
Link: 1.2.58

He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave
Link: 1.2.59
By laboursome petition, and at last
Link: 1.2.60
Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent:
Link: 1.2.61
I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
Link: 1.2.62

Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,
Link: 1.2.63
And thy best graces spend it at thy will!
Link: 1.2.64
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,--
Link: 1.2.65

(Aside) A little more than kin, and less than kind.
Link: 1.2.66

How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
Link: 1.2.67

Not so, my lord; I am too much i' the sun.
Link: 1.2.68

Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
Link: 1.2.69
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Link: 1.2.70
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
Link: 1.2.71
Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
Link: 1.2.72
Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die,
Link: 1.2.73
Passing through nature to eternity.
Link: 1.2.74

Ay, madam, it is common.
Link: 1.2.75

If it be,
Link: 1.2.76
Why seems it so particular with thee?
Link: 1.2.77

Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not 'seems.'
Link: 1.2.78
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Link: 1.2.79
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Link: 1.2.80
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
Link: 1.2.81
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Link: 1.2.82
Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,
Link: 1.2.83
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
Link: 1.2.84
That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,
Link: 1.2.85
For they are actions that a man might play:
Link: 1.2.86
But I have that within which passeth show;
Link: 1.2.87
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
Link: 1.2.88

'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
Link: 1.2.89
To give these mourning duties to your father:
Link: 1.2.90
But, you must know, your father lost a father;
Link: 1.2.91
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
Link: 1.2.92
In filial obligation for some term
Link: 1.2.93
To do obsequious sorrow: but to persever
Link: 1.2.94
In obstinate condolement is a course
Link: 1.2.95
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief;
Link: 1.2.96
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
Link: 1.2.97
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
Link: 1.2.98
An understanding simple and unschool'd:
Link: 1.2.99
For what we know must be and is as common
Link: 1.2.100
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Link: 1.2.101
Why should we in our peevish opposition
Link: 1.2.102
Take it to heart? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,
Link: 1.2.103
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
Link: 1.2.104
To reason most absurd: whose common theme
Link: 1.2.105
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
Link: 1.2.106
From the first corse till he that died to-day,
Link: 1.2.107
'This must be so.' We pray you, throw to earth
Link: 1.2.108
This unprevailing woe, and think of us
Link: 1.2.109
As of a father: for let the world take note,
Link: 1.2.110
You are the most immediate to our throne;
Link: 1.2.111
And with no less nobility of love
Link: 1.2.112
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Link: 1.2.113
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
Link: 1.2.114
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
Link: 1.2.115
It is most retrograde to our desire:
Link: 1.2.116
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Link: 1.2.117
Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Link: 1.2.118
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
Link: 1.2.119

Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet:
Link: 1.2.120
I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg.
Link: 1.2.121

I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
Link: 1.2.122

Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply:
Link: 1.2.123
Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come;
Link: 1.2.124
This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
Link: 1.2.125
Sits smiling to my heart: in grace whereof,
Link: 1.2.126
No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-day,
Link: 1.2.127
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,
Link: 1.2.128
And the king's rouse the heavens all bruit again,
Link: 1.2.129
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.
Link: 1.2.130

Exeunt all but HAMLET

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Link: 1.2.131
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Link: 1.2.132
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
Link: 1.2.133
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
Link: 1.2.134
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Link: 1.2.135
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Link: 1.2.136
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
Link: 1.2.137
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Link: 1.2.138
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
Link: 1.2.139
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
Link: 1.2.140
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Link: 1.2.141
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
Link: 1.2.142
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Link: 1.2.143
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Link: 1.2.144
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
Link: 1.2.145
As if increase of appetite had grown
Link: 1.2.146
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--
Link: 1.2.147
Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!--
Link: 1.2.148
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
Link: 1.2.149
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Link: 1.2.150
Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--
Link: 1.2.151
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Link: 1.2.152
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
Link: 1.2.153
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Link: 1.2.154
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Link: 1.2.155
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Link: 1.2.156
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
Link: 1.2.157
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
Link: 1.2.158
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
Link: 1.2.159
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
Link: 1.2.160
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.
Link: 1.2.161


Hail to your lordship!
Link: 1.2.162

I am glad to see you well:
Link: 1.2.163
Horatio,--or I do forget myself.
Link: 1.2.164

The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
Link: 1.2.165

Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you:
Link: 1.2.166
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio? Marcellus?
Link: 1.2.167

My good lord--
Link: 1.2.168

I am very glad to see you. Good even, sir.
Link: 1.2.169
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?
Link: 1.2.170

A truant disposition, good my lord.
Link: 1.2.171

I would not hear your enemy say so,
Link: 1.2.172
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
Link: 1.2.173
To make it truster of your own report
Link: 1.2.174
Against yourself: I know you are no truant.
Link: 1.2.175
But what is your affair in Elsinore?
Link: 1.2.176
We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
Link: 1.2.177

My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
Link: 1.2.178

I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student;
Link: 1.2.179
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
Link: 1.2.180

Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon.
Link: 1.2.181

Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
Link: 1.2.182
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
Link: 1.2.183
Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Link: 1.2.184
Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio!
Link: 1.2.185
My father!--methinks I see my father.
Link: 1.2.186

Where, my lord?
Link: 1.2.187

In my mind's eye, Horatio.
Link: 1.2.188

I saw him once; he was a goodly king.
Link: 1.2.189

He was a man, take him for all in all,
Link: 1.2.190
I shall not look upon his like again.
Link: 1.2.191

My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Link: 1.2.192

Saw? who?
Link: 1.2.193

My lord, the king your father.
Link: 1.2.194

The king my father!
Link: 1.2.195

Season your admiration for awhile
Link: 1.2.196
With an attent ear, till I may deliver,
Link: 1.2.197
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
Link: 1.2.198
This marvel to you.
Link: 1.2.199

For God's love, let me hear.
Link: 1.2.200

Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Link: 1.2.201
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
Link: 1.2.202
In the dead vast and middle of the night,
Link: 1.2.203
Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father,
Link: 1.2.204
Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pe,
Link: 1.2.205
Appears before them, and with solemn march
Link: 1.2.206
Goes slow and stately by them: thrice he walk'd
Link: 1.2.207
By their oppress'd and fear-surprised eyes,
Link: 1.2.208
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, distilled
Link: 1.2.209
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Link: 1.2.210
Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
Link: 1.2.211
In dreadful secrecy impart they did;
Link: 1.2.212
And I with them the third night kept the watch;
Link: 1.2.213
Where, as they had deliver'd, both in time,
Link: 1.2.214
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
Link: 1.2.215
The apparition comes: I knew your father;
Link: 1.2.216
These hands are not more like.
Link: 1.2.217

But where was this?
Link: 1.2.218

My lord, upon the platform where we watch'd.
Link: 1.2.219

Did you not speak to it?
Link: 1.2.220

My lord, I did;
Link: 1.2.221
But answer made it none: yet once methought
Link: 1.2.222
It lifted up its head and did address
Link: 1.2.223
Itself to motion, like as it would speak;
Link: 1.2.224
But even then the morning cock crew loud,
Link: 1.2.225
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
Link: 1.2.226
And vanish'd from our sight.
Link: 1.2.227

'Tis very strange.
Link: 1.2.228

As I do live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true;
Link: 1.2.229
And we did think it writ down in our duty
Link: 1.2.230
To let you know of it.
Link: 1.2.231

Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Link: 1.2.232
Hold you the watch to-night?
Link: 1.2.233

We do, my lord.
Link: 1.2.234

Arm'd, say you?
Link: 1.2.235

Arm'd, my lord.
Link: 1.2.236

From top to toe?
Link: 1.2.237

My lord, from head to foot.
Link: 1.2.238

Then saw you not his face?
Link: 1.2.239

O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up.
Link: 1.2.240

What, look'd he frowningly?
Link: 1.2.241

A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
Link: 1.2.242

Pale or red?
Link: 1.2.243

Nay, very pale.
Link: 1.2.244

And fix'd his eyes upon you?
Link: 1.2.245

Most constantly.
Link: 1.2.246

I would I had been there.
Link: 1.2.247

It would have much amazed you.
Link: 1.2.248

Very like, very like. Stay'd it long?
Link: 1.2.249

While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
Link: 1.2.250

Longer, longer.
Link: 1.2.251

Not when I saw't.
Link: 1.2.252

His beard was grizzled--no?
Link: 1.2.253

It was, as I have seen it in his life,
Link: 1.2.254
A sable silver'd.
Link: 1.2.255

I will watch to-night;
Link: 1.2.256
Perchance 'twill walk again.
Link: 1.2.257

I warrant it will.
Link: 1.2.258

If it assume my noble father's person,
Link: 1.2.259
I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape
Link: 1.2.260
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
Link: 1.2.261
If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight,
Link: 1.2.262
Let it be tenable in your silence still;
Link: 1.2.263
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
Link: 1.2.264
Give it an understanding, but no tongue:
Link: 1.2.265
I will requite your loves. So, fare you well:
Link: 1.2.266
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
Link: 1.2.267
I'll visit you.
Link: 1.2.268

Our duty to your honour.
Link: 1.2.269

Your loves, as mine to you: farewell.
Link: 1.2.270
My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;
Link: 1.2.271
I doubt some foul play: would the night were come!
Link: 1.2.272
Till then sit still, my soul: foul deeds will rise,
Link: 1.2.273
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.
Link: 1.2.274


SCENE III. A room in Polonius' house.

Scene 3 of Act 1 of the play takes place in Polonius's house. Polonius is the chief counselor of the king, and he is talking to his son, Laertes, who is about to leave for France to study. Polonius gives Laertes some fatherly advice, telling him to be true to himself, to speak less, listen more, and to avoid getting into fights unnecessarily.

Polonius then gives Laertes a long list of instructions on how to behave in France, including not borrowing or lending money, not gambling, dressing modestly, and avoiding prostitutes. He also warns Laertes to be careful of his friends, as they may not have his best interests in mind.

After Polonius finishes his lecture, Ophelia, his daughter, enters the room. Polonius tells Ophelia to stay away from Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, whom she has been seeing. Polonius believes that Hamlet's love for Ophelia is not genuine and that he may harm her. He orders Ophelia to stop seeing Hamlet and to keep her distance from him.

Ophelia agrees to obey her father's wishes, but she is clearly upset. She tells her father that Hamlet has been acting strangely and that he came to her room looking disheveled and behaving erratically. Polonius dismisses Ophelia's concerns, telling her that Hamlet is just playing with her and that she should not take him seriously.

The scene ends with Polonius giving Ophelia a book to read, telling her that it will help her forget about Hamlet. Laertes says goodbye to his father and sister and leaves for France.


My necessaries are embark'd: farewell:
Link: 1.3.1
And, sister, as the winds give benefit
Link: 1.3.2
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,
Link: 1.3.3
But let me hear from you.
Link: 1.3.4

Do you doubt that?
Link: 1.3.5

For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour,
Link: 1.3.6
Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood,
Link: 1.3.7
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Link: 1.3.8
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
Link: 1.3.9
The perfume and suppliance of a minute; No more.
Link: 1.3.10

No more but so?
Link: 1.3.11

Think it no more;
Link: 1.3.12
For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
Link: 1.3.13
In thews and bulk, but, as this temple waxes,
Link: 1.3.14
The inward service of the mind and soul
Link: 1.3.15
Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now,
Link: 1.3.16
And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch
Link: 1.3.17
The virtue of his will: but you must fear,
Link: 1.3.18
His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own;
Link: 1.3.19
For he himself is subject to his birth:
Link: 1.3.20
He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Link: 1.3.21
Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
Link: 1.3.22
The safety and health of this whole state;
Link: 1.3.23
And therefore must his choice be circumscribed
Link: 1.3.24
Unto the voice and yielding of that body
Link: 1.3.25
Whereof he is the head. Then if he says he loves you,
Link: 1.3.26
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it
Link: 1.3.27
As he in his particular act and place
Link: 1.3.28
May give his saying deed; which is no further
Link: 1.3.29
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Link: 1.3.30
Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain,
Link: 1.3.31
If with too credent ear you list his songs,
Link: 1.3.32
Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open
Link: 1.3.33
To his unmaster'd importunity.
Link: 1.3.34
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister,
Link: 1.3.35
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Link: 1.3.36
Out of the shot and danger of desire.
Link: 1.3.37
The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
Link: 1.3.38
If she unmask her beauty to the moon:
Link: 1.3.39
Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes:
Link: 1.3.40
The canker galls the infants of the spring,
Link: 1.3.41
Too oft before their buttons be disclosed,
Link: 1.3.42
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Link: 1.3.43
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Link: 1.3.44
Be wary then; best safety lies in fear:
Link: 1.3.45
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.
Link: 1.3.46

I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
Link: 1.3.47
As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,
Link: 1.3.48
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Link: 1.3.49
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Link: 1.3.50
Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Link: 1.3.51
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
Link: 1.3.52
And recks not his own rede.
Link: 1.3.53

O, fear me not.
Link: 1.3.54
I stay too long: but here my father comes.
Link: 1.3.55
A double blessing is a double grace,
Link: 1.3.56
Occasion smiles upon a second leave.
Link: 1.3.57

Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame!
Link: 1.3.58
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
Link: 1.3.59
And you are stay'd for. There; my blessing with thee!
Link: 1.3.60
And these few precepts in thy memory
Link: 1.3.61
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Link: 1.3.62
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Link: 1.3.63
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Link: 1.3.64
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Link: 1.3.65
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
Link: 1.3.66
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Link: 1.3.67
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
Link: 1.3.68
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Link: 1.3.69
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Link: 1.3.70
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Link: 1.3.71
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Link: 1.3.72
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
Link: 1.3.73
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
Link: 1.3.74
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
Link: 1.3.75
And they in France of the best rank and station
Link: 1.3.76
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Link: 1.3.77
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
Link: 1.3.78
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
Link: 1.3.79
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
Link: 1.3.80
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
Link: 1.3.81
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Link: 1.3.82
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Link: 1.3.83
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!
Link: 1.3.84

Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
Link: 1.3.85

The time invites you; go; your servants tend.
Link: 1.3.86

Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
Link: 1.3.87
What I have said to you.
Link: 1.3.88

'Tis in my memory lock'd,
Link: 1.3.89
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.
Link: 1.3.90

Link: 1.3.91


What is't, Ophelia, be hath said to you?
Link: 1.3.92

So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.
Link: 1.3.93

Marry, well bethought:
Link: 1.3.94
'Tis told me, he hath very oft of late
Link: 1.3.95
Given private time to you; and you yourself
Link: 1.3.96
Have of your audience been most free and bounteous:
Link: 1.3.97
If it be so, as so 'tis put on me,
Link: 1.3.98
And that in way of caution, I must tell you,
Link: 1.3.99
You do not understand yourself so clearly
Link: 1.3.100
As it behoves my daughter and your honour.
Link: 1.3.101
What is between you? give me up the truth.
Link: 1.3.102

He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders
Link: 1.3.103
Of his affection to me.
Link: 1.3.104

Affection! pooh! you speak like a green girl,
Link: 1.3.105
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
Link: 1.3.106
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?
Link: 1.3.107

I do not know, my lord, what I should think.
Link: 1.3.108

Marry, I'll teach you: think yourself a baby;
Link: 1.3.109
That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay,
Link: 1.3.110
Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly;
Link: 1.3.111
Or--not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
Link: 1.3.112
Running it thus--you'll tender me a fool.
Link: 1.3.113

My lord, he hath importuned me with love
Link: 1.3.114
In honourable fashion.
Link: 1.3.115

Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to.
Link: 1.3.116

And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord,
Link: 1.3.117
With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
Link: 1.3.118

Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know,
Link: 1.3.119
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Link: 1.3.120
Lends the tongue vows: these blazes, daughter,
Link: 1.3.121
Giving more light than heat, extinct in both,
Link: 1.3.122
Even in their promise, as it is a-making,
Link: 1.3.123
You must not take for fire. From this time
Link: 1.3.124
Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence;
Link: 1.3.125
Set your entreatments at a higher rate
Link: 1.3.126
Than a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet,
Link: 1.3.127
Believe so much in him, that he is young
Link: 1.3.128
And with a larger tether may he walk
Link: 1.3.129
Than may be given you: in few, Ophelia,
Link: 1.3.130
Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers,
Link: 1.3.131
Not of that dye which their investments show,
Link: 1.3.132
But mere implorators of unholy suits,
Link: 1.3.133
Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds,
Link: 1.3.134
The better to beguile. This is for all:
Link: 1.3.135
I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,
Link: 1.3.136
Have you so slander any moment leisure,
Link: 1.3.137
As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.
Link: 1.3.138
Look to't, I charge you: come your ways.
Link: 1.3.139

I shall obey, my lord.
Link: 1.3.140


SCENE IV. The platform.

In Scene 4 of Act 1, two guards and Hamlet's friend Horatio are standing watch outside of the castle at midnight. They have seen a ghostly figure that resembles the deceased King of Denmark, and they are waiting to see if it will appear again. Hamlet's father has recently died, and his uncle Claudius has taken the throne and married Hamlet's mother.

As they wait, the ghost appears again and Horatio decides to speak to it. The ghost looks like the dead king, and it beckons Horatio to follow it. Horatio is afraid, but the ghost disappears before he can do anything.

Hamlet arrives on the scene and the guards tell him what they have seen. He decides to wait with them to see if the ghost appears again. When the ghost appears, Hamlet tries to speak to it, but it doesn't respond. The ghost disappears again and Hamlet is left shaken and confused.

Hamlet is determined to learn more about the ghost and why it has appeared. He decides to keep watch with the guards and Horatio, hoping to see the ghost again and get some answers. The scene ends with Hamlet being left alone on stage, contemplating what he has seen and what it might mean for the future.


The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
Link: 1.4.1

It is a nipping and an eager air.
Link: 1.4.2

What hour now?
Link: 1.4.3

I think it lacks of twelve.
Link: 1.4.4

No, it is struck.
Link: 1.4.5

Indeed? I heard it not: then it draws near the season
Link: 1.4.6
Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.
Link: 1.4.7
What does this mean, my lord?
Link: 1.4.8

The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
Link: 1.4.9
Keeps wassail, and the swaggering up-spring reels;
Link: 1.4.10
And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
Link: 1.4.11
The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
Link: 1.4.12
The triumph of his pledge.
Link: 1.4.13

Is it a custom?
Link: 1.4.14

Ay, marry, is't:
Link: 1.4.15
But to my mind, though I am native here
Link: 1.4.16
And to the manner born, it is a custom
Link: 1.4.17
More honour'd in the breach than the observance.
Link: 1.4.18
This heavy-headed revel east and west
Link: 1.4.19
Makes us traduced and tax'd of other nations:
Link: 1.4.20
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Link: 1.4.21
Soil our addition; and indeed it takes
Link: 1.4.22
From our achievements, though perform'd at height,
Link: 1.4.23
The pith and marrow of our attribute.
Link: 1.4.24
So, oft it chances in particular men,
Link: 1.4.25
That for some vicious mole of nature in them,
Link: 1.4.26
As, in their birth--wherein they are not guilty,
Link: 1.4.27
Since nature cannot choose his origin--
Link: 1.4.28
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,
Link: 1.4.29
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason,
Link: 1.4.30
Or by some habit that too much o'er-leavens
Link: 1.4.31
The form of plausive manners, that these men,
Link: 1.4.32
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
Link: 1.4.33
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,--
Link: 1.4.34
Their virtues else--be they as pure as grace,
Link: 1.4.35
As infinite as man may undergo--
Link: 1.4.36
Shall in the general censure take corruption
Link: 1.4.37
From that particular fault: the dram of eale
Link: 1.4.38
Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
Link: 1.4.39
To his own scandal.
Link: 1.4.40

Look, my lord, it comes!
Link: 1.4.41

Enter Ghost

Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
Link: 1.4.42
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd,
Link: 1.4.43
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Link: 1.4.44
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Link: 1.4.45
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
Link: 1.4.46
That I will speak to thee: I'll call thee Hamlet,
Link: 1.4.47
King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!
Link: 1.4.48
Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell
Link: 1.4.49
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Link: 1.4.50
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
Link: 1.4.51
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
Link: 1.4.52
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws,
Link: 1.4.53
To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
Link: 1.4.54
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
Link: 1.4.55
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Link: 1.4.56
Making night hideous; and we fools of nature
Link: 1.4.57
So horridly to shake our disposition
Link: 1.4.58
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
Link: 1.4.59
Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we do?
Link: 1.4.60

Ghost beckons HAMLET

It beckons you to go away with it,
Link: 1.4.61
As if it some impartment did desire
Link: 1.4.62
To you alone.
Link: 1.4.63

Look, with what courteous action
Link: 1.4.64
It waves you to a more removed ground:
Link: 1.4.65
But do not go with it.
Link: 1.4.66

No, by no means.
Link: 1.4.67

It will not speak; then I will follow it.
Link: 1.4.68

Do not, my lord.
Link: 1.4.69

Why, what should be the fear?
Link: 1.4.70
I do not set my life in a pin's fee;
Link: 1.4.71
And for my soul, what can it do to that,
Link: 1.4.72
Being a thing immortal as itself?
Link: 1.4.73
It waves me forth again: I'll follow it.
Link: 1.4.74

What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
Link: 1.4.75
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
Link: 1.4.76
That beetles o'er his base into the sea,
Link: 1.4.77
And there assume some other horrible form,
Link: 1.4.78
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason
Link: 1.4.79
And draw you into madness? think of it:
Link: 1.4.80
The very place puts toys of desperation,
Link: 1.4.81
Without more motive, into every brain
Link: 1.4.82
That looks so many fathoms to the sea
Link: 1.4.83
And hears it roar beneath.
Link: 1.4.84

It waves me still.
Link: 1.4.85
Go on; I'll follow thee.
Link: 1.4.86

You shall not go, my lord.
Link: 1.4.87

Hold off your hands.
Link: 1.4.88

Be ruled; you shall not go.
Link: 1.4.89

My fate cries out,
Link: 1.4.90
And makes each petty artery in this body
Link: 1.4.91
As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve.
Link: 1.4.92
Still am I call'd. Unhand me, gentlemen.
Link: 1.4.93
By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!
Link: 1.4.94
I say, away! Go on; I'll follow thee.
Link: 1.4.95

Exeunt Ghost and HAMLET

He waxes desperate with imagination.
Link: 1.4.96

Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.
Link: 1.4.97

Have after. To what issue will this come?
Link: 1.4.98

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Link: 1.4.99

Heaven will direct it.
Link: 1.4.100

Nay, let's follow him.
Link: 1.4.101


SCENE V. Another part of the platform.

Scene 5 of Act 1 begins in the castle of Elsinore, where a group of soldiers are discussing the appearance of a ghostly figure that has been spotted on the ramparts. The soldiers decide to inform Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, about the ghostly apparition, hoping that he can help them make sense of this strange occurrence.

Hamlet arrives and the soldiers recount their sighting of the ghost. They describe the ghost as resembling the recently deceased King Hamlet and wearing the same armor he wore during his battles. Hamlet is intrigued by the description of the ghost and decides to follow the soldiers to the ramparts in the hopes of seeing the ghost for himself.

As Hamlet and the soldiers wait for the ghost to appear, Hamlet reflects on the recent events of his life, including the death of his father and his mother's hasty remarriage to his uncle. Hamlet is deeply troubled by his mother's marriage and is suspicious of his uncle's intentions.

Finally, the ghost appears before Hamlet and beckons him to follow. Hamlet is hesitant at first, but eventually agrees to follow the ghost into the darkness.

The scene ends with the soldiers expressing their concern for Hamlet's safety, as they fear that the ghost may be leading him into danger. However, Hamlet is determined to follow the ghost and find out what it wants from him.


Where wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll go no further.
Link: 1.5.1

Mark me.
Link: 1.5.2

I will.
Link: 1.5.3

My hour is almost come,
Link: 1.5.4
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Link: 1.5.5
Must render up myself.
Link: 1.5.6

Alas, poor ghost!
Link: 1.5.7

Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
Link: 1.5.8
To what I shall unfold.
Link: 1.5.9

Speak; I am bound to hear.
Link: 1.5.10

So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.
Link: 1.5.11


I am thy father's spirit,
Link: 1.5.13
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
Link: 1.5.14
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
Link: 1.5.15
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Link: 1.5.16
Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
Link: 1.5.17
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
Link: 1.5.18
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Link: 1.5.19
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Link: 1.5.20
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Link: 1.5.21
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
Link: 1.5.22
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Link: 1.5.23
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
Link: 1.5.24
But this eternal blazon must not be
Link: 1.5.25
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
Link: 1.5.26
If thou didst ever thy dear father love--
Link: 1.5.27


Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
Link: 1.5.29

Link: 1.5.30

Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
Link: 1.5.31
But this most foul, strange and unnatural.
Link: 1.5.32

Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
Link: 1.5.33
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
Link: 1.5.34
May sweep to my revenge.
Link: 1.5.35

I find thee apt;
Link: 1.5.36
And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
Link: 1.5.37
That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Link: 1.5.38
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
Link: 1.5.39
'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
Link: 1.5.40
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
Link: 1.5.41
Is by a forged process of my death
Link: 1.5.42
Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
Link: 1.5.43
The serpent that did sting thy father's life
Link: 1.5.44
Now wears his crown.
Link: 1.5.45

O my prophetic soul! My uncle!
Link: 1.5.46

Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
Link: 1.5.47
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,--
Link: 1.5.48
O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
Link: 1.5.49
So to seduce!--won to his shameful lust
Link: 1.5.50
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen:
Link: 1.5.51
O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there!
Link: 1.5.52
From me, whose love was of that dignity
Link: 1.5.53
That it went hand in hand even with the vow
Link: 1.5.54
I made to her in marriage, and to decline
Link: 1.5.55
Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor
Link: 1.5.56
To those of mine!
Link: 1.5.57
But virtue, as it never will be moved,
Link: 1.5.58
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
Link: 1.5.59
So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd,
Link: 1.5.60
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
Link: 1.5.61
And prey on garbage.
Link: 1.5.62
But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;
Link: 1.5.63
Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,
Link: 1.5.64
My custom always of the afternoon,
Link: 1.5.65
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
Link: 1.5.66
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
Link: 1.5.67
And in the porches of my ears did pour
Link: 1.5.68
The leperous distilment; whose effect
Link: 1.5.69
Holds such an enmity with blood of man
Link: 1.5.70
That swift as quicksilver it courses through
Link: 1.5.71
The natural gates and alleys of the body,
Link: 1.5.72
And with a sudden vigour doth posset
Link: 1.5.73
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
Link: 1.5.74
The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine;
Link: 1.5.75
And a most instant tetter bark'd about,
Link: 1.5.76
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
Link: 1.5.77
All my smooth body.
Link: 1.5.78
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand
Link: 1.5.79
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch'd:
Link: 1.5.80
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Link: 1.5.81
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd,
Link: 1.5.82
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
Link: 1.5.83
With all my imperfections on my head:
Link: 1.5.84
O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!
Link: 1.5.85
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
Link: 1.5.86
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
Link: 1.5.87
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
Link: 1.5.88
But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,
Link: 1.5.89
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Link: 1.5.90
Against thy mother aught: leave her to heaven
Link: 1.5.91
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
Link: 1.5.92
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
Link: 1.5.93
The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
Link: 1.5.94
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire:
Link: 1.5.95
Adieu, adieu! Hamlet, remember me.
Link: 1.5.96


O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?
Link: 1.5.97
And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart;
Link: 1.5.98
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
Link: 1.5.99
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!
Link: 1.5.100
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
Link: 1.5.101
In this distracted globe. Remember thee!
Link: 1.5.102
Yea, from the table of my memory
Link: 1.5.103
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
Link: 1.5.104
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
Link: 1.5.105
That youth and observation copied there;
Link: 1.5.106
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Link: 1.5.107
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Link: 1.5.108
Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, by heaven!
Link: 1.5.109
O most pernicious woman!
Link: 1.5.110
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
Link: 1.5.111
My tables,--meet it is I set it down,
Link: 1.5.112
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
Link: 1.5.113
At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmark:
Link: 1.5.114
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word;
Link: 1.5.115
It is 'Adieu, adieu! remember me.'
Link: 1.5.116
I have sworn 't.
Link: 1.5.117

(Within) My lord, my lord,--
Link: 1.5.118

(Within) Lord Hamlet,--
Link: 1.5.119

(Within) Heaven secure him!
Link: 1.5.120

So be it!
Link: 1.5.121

(Within) Hillo, ho, ho, my lord!
Link: 1.5.122

Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come.
Link: 1.5.123


How is't, my noble lord?
Link: 1.5.124

What news, my lord?
Link: 1.5.125

O, wonderful!
Link: 1.5.126

Good my lord, tell it.
Link: 1.5.127

No; you'll reveal it.
Link: 1.5.128

Not I, my lord, by heaven.
Link: 1.5.129

Nor I, my lord.
Link: 1.5.130

How say you, then; would heart of man once think it?
Link: 1.5.131
But you'll be secret?
Link: 1.5.132

Ay, by heaven, my lord.
Link: 1.5.133

There's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark
Link: 1.5.134
But he's an arrant knave.
Link: 1.5.135

There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave
Link: 1.5.136
To tell us this.
Link: 1.5.137

Why, right; you are i' the right;
Link: 1.5.138
And so, without more circumstance at all,
Link: 1.5.139
I hold it fit that we shake hands and part:
Link: 1.5.140
You, as your business and desire shall point you;
Link: 1.5.141
For every man has business and desire,
Link: 1.5.142
Such as it is; and for mine own poor part,
Link: 1.5.143
Look you, I'll go pray.
Link: 1.5.144

These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
Link: 1.5.145

I'm sorry they offend you, heartily;
Link: 1.5.146
Yes, 'faith heartily.
Link: 1.5.147

There's no offence, my lord.
Link: 1.5.148

Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
Link: 1.5.149
And much offence too. Touching this vision here,
Link: 1.5.150
It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you:
Link: 1.5.151
For your desire to know what is between us,
Link: 1.5.152
O'ermaster 't as you may. And now, good friends,
Link: 1.5.153
As you are friends, scholars and soldiers,
Link: 1.5.154
Give me one poor request.
Link: 1.5.155

What is't, my lord? we will.
Link: 1.5.156

Never make known what you have seen to-night.
Link: 1.5.157

My lord, we will not.
Link: 1.5.158

Nay, but swear't.
Link: 1.5.159

In faith,
Link: 1.5.160
My lord, not I.
Link: 1.5.161

Nor I, my lord, in faith.
Link: 1.5.162

Upon my sword.
Link: 1.5.163

We have sworn, my lord, already.
Link: 1.5.164

Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.
Link: 1.5.165

(Beneath) Swear.
Link: 1.5.166

Ah, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou there,
Link: 1.5.167
Link: 1.5.168
Come on--you hear this fellow in the cellarage--
Link: 1.5.169
Consent to swear.
Link: 1.5.170

Propose the oath, my lord.
Link: 1.5.171

Never to speak of this that you have seen,
Link: 1.5.172
Swear by my sword.
Link: 1.5.173

(Beneath) Swear.
Link: 1.5.174

Hic et ubique? then we'll shift our ground.
Link: 1.5.175
Come hither, gentlemen,
Link: 1.5.176
And lay your hands again upon my sword:
Link: 1.5.177
Never to speak of this that you have heard,
Link: 1.5.178
Swear by my sword.
Link: 1.5.179

(Beneath) Swear.
Link: 1.5.180

Well said, old mole! canst work i' the earth so fast?
Link: 1.5.181
A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good friends.
Link: 1.5.182

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
Link: 1.5.183

And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
Link: 1.5.184
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Link: 1.5.185
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come;
Link: 1.5.186
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
Link: 1.5.187
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,
Link: 1.5.188
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
Link: 1.5.189
To put an antic disposition on,
Link: 1.5.190
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
Link: 1.5.191
With arms encumber'd thus, or this headshake,
Link: 1.5.192
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
Link: 1.5.193
As 'Well, well, we know,' or 'We could, an if we would,'
Link: 1.5.194
Or 'If we list to speak,' or 'There be, an if they might,'
Link: 1.5.195
Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
Link: 1.5.196
That you know aught of me: this not to do,
Link: 1.5.197
So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear.
Link: 1.5.198

(Beneath) Swear.
Link: 1.5.199

Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!
Link: 1.5.200
So, gentlemen,
Link: 1.5.201
With all my love I do commend me to you:
Link: 1.5.202
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
Link: 1.5.203
May do, to express his love and friending to you,
Link: 1.5.204
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together;
Link: 1.5.205
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
Link: 1.5.206
The time is out of joint: O cursed spite,
Link: 1.5.207
That ever I was born to set it right!
Link: 1.5.208
Nay, come, let's go together.
Link: 1.5.209


Act II

Act 2 of Hamlet follows the prince as he continues to grieve for his father and to seek answers about his death. He is approached by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two of his childhood friends who have been sent by his uncle, now the king, to spy on him. Hamlet is initially happy to see them but quickly realizes their true intentions and becomes suspicious of everyone around him.

He then meets with a group of actors who have come to town to perform. He becomes fixated on the idea of using the play to catch his uncle in his guilt over his father's death. Hamlet devises a plan to have the actors perform a play that mirrors the circumstances of his father's murder, hoping to see his uncle's reaction.

In the meantime, Polonius, the lord chamberlain, is convinced that Hamlet's madness is due to his love for his daughter Ophelia. Polonius decides to use her as bait to see if Hamlet will reveal anything about his mental state. Ophelia agrees to the plan, but Hamlet's behavior towards her is erratic and confusing.

The act ends with the performance of the play. As Hamlet watches his uncle's reaction to the murder scene, he becomes convinced of his guilt and decides to take action. He is interrupted by the appearance of his mother, who is upset by his behavior and demands that he explain himself. Hamlet becomes increasingly agitated, and the act ends with him warning his mother to repent her sins and not to reveal his plans to anyone.

SCENE I. A room in POLONIUS' house.

Scene 1 of Act 2 begins with Polonius sending his servant Reynaldo to France to spy on Laertes, Polonius' son. He instructs Reynaldo to spread rumors and lies about Laertes' behavior to see if anyone will confirm them. Polonius hopes to determine if his son is engaging in any immoral or inappropriate behavior while he is away.

After Reynaldo leaves, Polonius speaks with Ophelia, Hamlet's love interest. He believes that Hamlet's recent behavior towards Ophelia is due to his love for her. Polonius suggests that Ophelia should reject Hamlet's advances and not spend any more time with him. He believes that Hamlet's love for Ophelia is not genuine and that he is only using her for his own purposes.

Hamlet enters the scene and begins a conversation with Polonius. He speaks in riddles and makes sarcastic remarks, which Polonius does not understand. Polonius eventually leaves, and Hamlet is left alone on stage.

Hamlet begins a soliloquy, expressing his frustration with his own inaction and inability to take revenge for his father's murder. He criticizes himself for not being more like the actor he recently saw perform, who was able to express emotion and passion. Hamlet believes that he is weak and unable to act, and he questions whether he is truly capable of avenging his father's death.

The scene ends with Hamlet declaring that he will put on an "antic disposition" or a fake madness in order to conceal his true intentions and confuse those around him. He believes that this will allow him to investigate the circumstances of his father's death without arousing suspicion.


Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.
Link: 2.1.1

I will, my lord.
Link: 2.1.2

You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,
Link: 2.1.3
Before you visit him, to make inquire
Link: 2.1.4
Of his behavior.
Link: 2.1.5

My lord, I did intend it.
Link: 2.1.6

Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir,
Link: 2.1.7
Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
Link: 2.1.8
And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,
Link: 2.1.9
What company, at what expense; and finding
Link: 2.1.10
By this encompassment and drift of question
Link: 2.1.11
That they do know my son, come you more nearer
Link: 2.1.12
Than your particular demands will touch it:
Link: 2.1.13
Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him;
Link: 2.1.14
As thus, 'I know his father and his friends,
Link: 2.1.15
And in part him: ' do you mark this, Reynaldo?
Link: 2.1.16

Ay, very well, my lord.
Link: 2.1.17

'And in part him; but' you may say 'not well:
Link: 2.1.18
But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild;
Link: 2.1.19
Addicted so and so:' and there put on him
Link: 2.1.20
What forgeries you please; marry, none so rank
Link: 2.1.21
As may dishonour him; take heed of that;
Link: 2.1.22
But, sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips
Link: 2.1.23
As are companions noted and most known
Link: 2.1.24
To youth and liberty.
Link: 2.1.25

As gaming, my lord.
Link: 2.1.26

Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
Link: 2.1.27
Drabbing: you may go so far.
Link: 2.1.28

My lord, that would dishonour him.
Link: 2.1.29

'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge
Link: 2.1.30
You must not put another scandal on him,
Link: 2.1.31
That he is open to incontinency;
Link: 2.1.32
That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so quaintly
Link: 2.1.33
That they may seem the taints of liberty,
Link: 2.1.34
The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,
Link: 2.1.35
A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
Link: 2.1.36
Of general assault.
Link: 2.1.37

But, my good lord,--
Link: 2.1.38

Wherefore should you do this?
Link: 2.1.39

Ay, my lord,
Link: 2.1.40
I would know that.
Link: 2.1.41

Marry, sir, here's my drift;
Link: 2.1.42
And I believe, it is a fetch of wit:
Link: 2.1.43
You laying these slight sullies on my son,
Link: 2.1.44
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working, Mark you,
Link: 2.1.45
Your party in converse, him you would sound,
Link: 2.1.46
Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes
Link: 2.1.47
The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured
Link: 2.1.48
He closes with you in this consequence;
Link: 2.1.49
'Good sir,' or so, or 'friend,' or 'gentleman,'
Link: 2.1.50
According to the phrase or the addition
Link: 2.1.51
Of man and country.
Link: 2.1.52

Very good, my lord.
Link: 2.1.53

And then, sir, does he this--he does--what was I
Link: 2.1.54
about to say? By the mass, I was about to say
Link: 2.1.55
something: where did I leave?
Link: 2.1.56

At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend or so,'
Link: 2.1.57
and 'gentleman.'
Link: 2.1.58

At 'closes in the consequence,' ay, marry;
Link: 2.1.59
He closes thus: 'I know the gentleman;
Link: 2.1.60
I saw him yesterday, or t' other day,
Link: 2.1.61
Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say,
Link: 2.1.62
There was a' gaming; there o'ertook in's rouse;
Link: 2.1.63
There falling out at tennis:' or perchance,
Link: 2.1.64
'I saw him enter such a house of sale,'
Link: 2.1.65
Videlicet, a brothel, or so forth.
Link: 2.1.66
See you now;
Link: 2.1.67
Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:
Link: 2.1.68
And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
Link: 2.1.69
With windlasses and with assays of bias,
Link: 2.1.70
By indirections find directions out:
Link: 2.1.71
So by my former lecture and advice,
Link: 2.1.72
Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?
Link: 2.1.73

My lord, I have.
Link: 2.1.74

God be wi' you; fare you well.
Link: 2.1.75

Good my lord!
Link: 2.1.76

Observe his inclination in yourself.
Link: 2.1.77

I shall, my lord.
Link: 2.1.78

And let him ply his music.
Link: 2.1.79

Well, my lord.
Link: 2.1.80

Link: 2.1.81
How now, Ophelia! what's the matter?
Link: 2.1.82

O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!
Link: 2.1.83

With what, i' the name of God?
Link: 2.1.84

My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Link: 2.1.85
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
Link: 2.1.86
No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
Link: 2.1.87
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;
Link: 2.1.88
Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
Link: 2.1.89
And with a look so piteous in purport
Link: 2.1.90
As if he had been loosed out of hell
Link: 2.1.91
To speak of horrors,--he comes before me.
Link: 2.1.92

Mad for thy love?
Link: 2.1.93

My lord, I do not know;
Link: 2.1.94
But truly, I do fear it.
Link: 2.1.95

What said he?
Link: 2.1.96

He took me by the wrist and held me hard;
Link: 2.1.97
Then goes he to the length of all his arm;
Link: 2.1.98
And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
Link: 2.1.99
He falls to such perusal of my face
Link: 2.1.100
As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so;
Link: 2.1.101
At last, a little shaking of mine arm
Link: 2.1.102
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
Link: 2.1.103
He raised a sigh so piteous and profound
Link: 2.1.104
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk
Link: 2.1.105
And end his being: that done, he lets me go:
Link: 2.1.106
And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd,
Link: 2.1.107
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes;
Link: 2.1.108
For out o' doors he went without their helps,
Link: 2.1.109
And, to the last, bended their light on me.
Link: 2.1.110

Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
Link: 2.1.111
This is the very ecstasy of love,
Link: 2.1.112
Whose violent property fordoes itself
Link: 2.1.113
And leads the will to desperate undertakings
Link: 2.1.114
As oft as any passion under heaven
Link: 2.1.115
That does afflict our natures. I am sorry.
Link: 2.1.116
What, have you given him any hard words of late?
Link: 2.1.117

No, my good lord, but, as you did command,
Link: 2.1.118
I did repel his fetters and denied
Link: 2.1.119
His access to me.
Link: 2.1.120

That hath made him mad.
Link: 2.1.121
I am sorry that with better heed and judgment
Link: 2.1.122
I had not quoted him: I fear'd he did but trifle,
Link: 2.1.123
And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my jealousy!
Link: 2.1.124
By heaven, it is as proper to our age
Link: 2.1.125
To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions
Link: 2.1.126
As it is common for the younger sort
Link: 2.1.127
To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king:
Link: 2.1.128
This must be known; which, being kept close, might
Link: 2.1.129
More grief to hide than hate to utter love.
Link: 2.1.131


SCENE II. A room in the castle.

Scene 2 of Act 2 begins with Polonius sending his servant Reynaldo to France with a mission to spy on Laertes, Polonius' son. Polonius tells Reynaldo to spread rumors about Laertes to his acquaintances in France so that he can get information about Laertes' behavior.

After Reynaldo leaves, Ophelia enters and tells Polonius that Hamlet, who she used to have a romantic relationship with, came to her room looking disheveled and behaving strangely. Polonius believes that Hamlet's odd behavior is due to his love for Ophelia, but he decides to test his theory by setting up a meeting between Ophelia and Hamlet while Polonius and Claudius spy on them.

When Hamlet enters, he begins a conversation with Ophelia that quickly turns into insults and accusations. Hamlet tells Ophelia that he never loved her and accuses her of being dishonest and unfaithful. Ophelia is hurt by Hamlet's words and tells him that she hopes he will one day see the error of his ways. After Hamlet leaves, Polonius decides that Hamlet's behavior is not due to his love for Ophelia, but rather due to his madness.

The scene ends with Polonius telling Claudius that they should send Hamlet to England for his own safety and to prevent any further disruption in the court.


Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern!
Link: 2.2.1
Moreover that we much did long to see you,
Link: 2.2.2
The need we have to use you did provoke
Link: 2.2.3
Our hasty sending. Something have you heard
Link: 2.2.4
Of Hamlet's transformation; so call it,
Link: 2.2.5
Sith nor the exterior nor the inward man
Link: 2.2.6
Resembles that it was. What it should be,
Link: 2.2.7
More than his father's death, that thus hath put him
Link: 2.2.8
So much from the understanding of himself,
Link: 2.2.9
I cannot dream of: I entreat you both,
Link: 2.2.10
That, being of so young days brought up with him,
Link: 2.2.11
And sith so neighbour'd to his youth and havior,
Link: 2.2.12
That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
Link: 2.2.13
Some little time: so by your companies
Link: 2.2.14
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather,
Link: 2.2.15
So much as from occasion you may glean,
Link: 2.2.16
Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus,
Link: 2.2.17
That, open'd, lies within our remedy.
Link: 2.2.18

Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of you;
Link: 2.2.19
And sure I am two men there are not living
Link: 2.2.20
To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
Link: 2.2.21
To show us so much gentry and good will
Link: 2.2.22
As to expend your time with us awhile,
Link: 2.2.23
For the supply and profit of our hope,
Link: 2.2.24
Your visitation shall receive such thanks
Link: 2.2.25
As fits a king's remembrance.
Link: 2.2.26

Both your majesties
Link: 2.2.27
Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,
Link: 2.2.28
Put your dread pleasures more into command
Link: 2.2.29
Than to entreaty.
Link: 2.2.30

But we both obey,
Link: 2.2.31
And here give up ourselves, in the full bent
Link: 2.2.32
To lay our service freely at your feet,
Link: 2.2.33
To be commanded.
Link: 2.2.34

Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.
Link: 2.2.35

Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz:
Link: 2.2.36
And I beseech you instantly to visit
Link: 2.2.37
My too much changed son. Go, some of you,
Link: 2.2.38
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.
Link: 2.2.39

Heavens make our presence and our practises
Link: 2.2.40
Pleasant and helpful to him!
Link: 2.2.41

Ay, amen!
Link: 2.2.42

Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and some Attendants


The ambassadors from Norway, my good lord,
Link: 2.2.43
Are joyfully return'd.
Link: 2.2.44

Thou still hast been the father of good news.
Link: 2.2.45

Have I, my lord? I assure my good liege,
Link: 2.2.46
I hold my duty, as I hold my soul,
Link: 2.2.47
Both to my God and to my gracious king:
Link: 2.2.48
And I do think, or else this brain of mine
Link: 2.2.49
Hunts not the trail of policy so sure
Link: 2.2.50
As it hath used to do, that I have found
Link: 2.2.51
The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.
Link: 2.2.52

O, speak of that; that do I long to hear.
Link: 2.2.53

Give first admittance to the ambassadors;
Link: 2.2.54
My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.
Link: 2.2.55

Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.
Link: 2.2.56
He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found
Link: 2.2.57
The head and source of all your son's distemper.
Link: 2.2.58

I doubt it is no other but the main;
Link: 2.2.59
His father's death, and our o'erhasty marriage.
Link: 2.2.60

Well, we shall sift him.
Link: 2.2.61
Welcome, my good friends!
Link: 2.2.62
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
Link: 2.2.63

Most fair return of greetings and desires.
Link: 2.2.64
Upon our first, he sent out to suppress
Link: 2.2.65
His nephew's levies; which to him appear'd
Link: 2.2.66
To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack;
Link: 2.2.67
But, better look'd into, he truly found
Link: 2.2.68
It was against your highness: whereat grieved,
Link: 2.2.69
That so his sickness, age and impotence
Link: 2.2.70
Was falsely borne in hand, sends out arrests
Link: 2.2.71
On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys;
Link: 2.2.72
Receives rebuke from Norway, and in fine
Link: 2.2.73
Makes vow before his uncle never more
Link: 2.2.74
To give the assay of arms against your majesty.
Link: 2.2.75
Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
Link: 2.2.76
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee,
Link: 2.2.77
And his commission to employ those soldiers,
Link: 2.2.78
So levied as before, against the Polack:
Link: 2.2.79
With an entreaty, herein further shown,
Link: 2.2.80
That it might please you to give quiet pass
Link: 2.2.81
Through your dominions for this enterprise,
Link: 2.2.82
On such regards of safety and allowance
Link: 2.2.83
As therein are set down.
Link: 2.2.84

It likes us well;
Link: 2.2.85
And at our more consider'd time well read,
Link: 2.2.86
Answer, and think upon this business.
Link: 2.2.87
Meantime we thank you for your well-took labour:
Link: 2.2.88
Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together:
Link: 2.2.89
Most welcome home!
Link: 2.2.90


This business is well ended.
Link: 2.2.91
My liege, and madam, to expostulate
Link: 2.2.92
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Link: 2.2.93
Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
Link: 2.2.94
Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.
Link: 2.2.95
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
Link: 2.2.96
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
Link: 2.2.97
I will be brief: your noble son is mad:
Link: 2.2.98
Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
Link: 2.2.99
What is't but to be nothing else but mad?
Link: 2.2.100
But let that go.
Link: 2.2.101

More matter, with less art.
Link: 2.2.102

Madam, I swear I use no art at all.
Link: 2.2.103
That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true 'tis pity;
Link: 2.2.104
And pity 'tis 'tis true: a foolish figure;
Link: 2.2.105
But farewell it, for I will use no art.
Link: 2.2.106
Mad let us grant him, then: and now remains
Link: 2.2.107
That we find out the cause of this effect,
Link: 2.2.108
Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
Link: 2.2.109
For this effect defective comes by cause:
Link: 2.2.110
Thus it remains, and the remainder thus. Perpend.
Link: 2.2.111
I have a daughter--have while she is mine--
Link: 2.2.112
Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,
Link: 2.2.113
Hath given me this: now gather, and surmise.
Link: 2.2.114
'To the celestial and my soul's idol, the most
Link: 2.2.115
beautified Ophelia,'--
Link: 2.2.116
That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; 'beautified' is
Link: 2.2.117
a vile phrase: but you shall hear. Thus:
Link: 2.2.118
'In her excellent white bosom, these, c.'
Link: 2.2.119

Came this from Hamlet to her?
Link: 2.2.120

Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faithful.
Link: 2.2.121
'Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Link: 2.2.122
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Link: 2.2.123
Doubt truth to be a liar;
Link: 2.2.124
But never doubt I love.
Link: 2.2.125
'O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers;
Link: 2.2.126
I have not art to reckon my groans: but that
Link: 2.2.127
I love thee best, O most best, believe it. Adieu.
Link: 2.2.128
'Thine evermore most dear lady, whilst
Link: 2.2.129
this machine is to him, HAMLET.'
Link: 2.2.130
This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown me,
Link: 2.2.131
And more above, hath his solicitings,
Link: 2.2.132
As they fell out by time, by means and place,
Link: 2.2.133
All given to mine ear.
Link: 2.2.134

But how hath she
Link: 2.2.135
Received his love?
Link: 2.2.136

What do you think of me?
Link: 2.2.137

As of a man faithful and honourable.
Link: 2.2.138

I would fain prove so. But what might you think,
Link: 2.2.139
When I had seen this hot love on the wing--
Link: 2.2.140
As I perceived it, I must tell you that,
Link: 2.2.141
Before my daughter told me--what might you,
Link: 2.2.142
Or my dear majesty your queen here, think,
Link: 2.2.143
If I had play'd the desk or table-book,
Link: 2.2.144
Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb,
Link: 2.2.145
Or look'd upon this love with idle sight;
Link: 2.2.146
What might you think? No, I went round to work,
Link: 2.2.147
And my young mistress thus I did bespeak:
Link: 2.2.148
'Lord Hamlet is a prince, out of thy star;
Link: 2.2.149
This must not be:' and then I precepts gave her,
Link: 2.2.150
That she should lock herself from his resort,
Link: 2.2.151
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.
Link: 2.2.152
Which done, she took the fruits of my advice;
Link: 2.2.153
And he, repulsed--a short tale to make--
Link: 2.2.154
Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,
Link: 2.2.155
Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness,
Link: 2.2.156
Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension,
Link: 2.2.157
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
Link: 2.2.158
And all we mourn for.
Link: 2.2.159

Do you think 'tis this?
Link: 2.2.160

It may be, very likely.
Link: 2.2.161

Hath there been such a time--I'd fain know that--
Link: 2.2.162
That I have positively said 'Tis so,'
Link: 2.2.163
When it proved otherwise?
Link: 2.2.164

Not that I know.
Link: 2.2.165

(Pointing to his head and shoulder)
Link: 2.2.166
Take this from this, if this be otherwise:
Link: 2.2.167
If circumstances lead me, I will find
Link: 2.2.168
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Link: 2.2.169
Within the centre.
Link: 2.2.170

How may we try it further?
Link: 2.2.171

You know, sometimes he walks four hours together
Link: 2.2.172
Here in the lobby.
Link: 2.2.173

So he does indeed.
Link: 2.2.174

At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him:
Link: 2.2.175
Be you and I behind an arras then;
Link: 2.2.176
Mark the encounter: if he love her not
Link: 2.2.177
And be not from his reason fall'n thereon,
Link: 2.2.178
Let me be no assistant for a state,
Link: 2.2.179
But keep a farm and carters.
Link: 2.2.180

We will try it.
Link: 2.2.181

But, look, where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.
Link: 2.2.182

Away, I do beseech you, both away:
Link: 2.2.183
I'll board him presently.
Link: 2.2.184
O, give me leave:
Link: 2.2.185
How does my good Lord Hamlet?
Link: 2.2.186

Well, God-a-mercy.
Link: 2.2.187

Do you know me, my lord?
Link: 2.2.188

Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.
Link: 2.2.189

Not I, my lord.
Link: 2.2.190

Then I would you were so honest a man.
Link: 2.2.191

Honest, my lord!
Link: 2.2.192

Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be
Link: 2.2.193
one man picked out of ten thousand.
Link: 2.2.194

That's very true, my lord.
Link: 2.2.195

For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a
Link: 2.2.196
god kissing carrion,--Have you a daughter?
Link: 2.2.197

I have, my lord.
Link: 2.2.198

Let her not walk i' the sun: conception is a
Link: 2.2.199
blessing: but not as your daughter may conceive.
Link: 2.2.200
Friend, look to 't.
Link: 2.2.201

(Aside) How say you by that? Still harping on my
Link: 2.2.202
daughter: yet he knew me not at first; he said I
Link: 2.2.203
was a fishmonger: he is far gone, far gone: and
Link: 2.2.204
truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for
Link: 2.2.205
love; very near this. I'll speak to him again.
Link: 2.2.206
What do you read, my lord?
Link: 2.2.207

Words, words, words.
Link: 2.2.208

What is the matter, my lord?
Link: 2.2.209

Between who?
Link: 2.2.210

I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.
Link: 2.2.211

Slanders, sir: for the satirical rogue says here
Link: 2.2.212
that old men have grey beards, that their faces are
Link: 2.2.213
wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and
Link: 2.2.214
plum-tree gum and that they have a plentiful lack of
Link: 2.2.215
wit, together with most weak hams: all which, sir,
Link: 2.2.216
though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet
Link: 2.2.217
I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down, for
Link: 2.2.218
yourself, sir, should be old as I am, if like a crab
Link: 2.2.219
you could go backward.
Link: 2.2.220

(Aside) Though this be madness, yet there is method
Link: 2.2.221
in 't. Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
Link: 2.2.222

Into my grave.
Link: 2.2.223

Indeed, that is out o' the air.
Link: 2.2.224
How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness
Link: 2.2.225
that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity
Link: 2.2.226
could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will
Link: 2.2.227
leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of
Link: 2.2.228
meeting between him and my daughter.--My honourable
Link: 2.2.229
lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
Link: 2.2.230

You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will
Link: 2.2.231
more willingly part withal: except my life, except
Link: 2.2.232
my life, except my life.
Link: 2.2.233

Fare you well, my lord.
Link: 2.2.234

These tedious old fools!
Link: 2.2.235


You go to seek the Lord Hamlet; there he is.
Link: 2.2.236

(To POLONIUS) God save you, sir!
Link: 2.2.237


My honoured lord!
Link: 2.2.238

My most dear lord!
Link: 2.2.239

My excellent good friends! How dost thou,
Link: 2.2.240
Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both?
Link: 2.2.241

As the indifferent children of the earth.
Link: 2.2.242

Happy, in that we are not over-happy;
Link: 2.2.243
On fortune's cap we are not the very button.
Link: 2.2.244

Nor the soles of her shoe?
Link: 2.2.245

Neither, my lord.
Link: 2.2.246

Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of
Link: 2.2.247
her favours?
Link: 2.2.248

'Faith, her privates we.
Link: 2.2.249

In the secret parts of fortune? O, most true; she
Link: 2.2.250
is a strumpet. What's the news?
Link: 2.2.251

None, my lord, but that the world's grown honest.
Link: 2.2.252

Then is doomsday near: but your news is not true.
Link: 2.2.253
Let me question more in particular: what have you,
Link: 2.2.254
my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune,
Link: 2.2.255
that she sends you to prison hither?
Link: 2.2.256

Prison, my lord!
Link: 2.2.257

Denmark's a prison.
Link: 2.2.258

Then is the world one.
Link: 2.2.259

A goodly one; in which there are many confines,
Link: 2.2.260
wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o' the worst.
Link: 2.2.261

We think not so, my lord.
Link: 2.2.262

Why, then, 'tis none to you; for there is nothing
Link: 2.2.263
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me
Link: 2.2.264
it is a prison.
Link: 2.2.265

Why then, your ambition makes it one; 'tis too
Link: 2.2.266
narrow for your mind.
Link: 2.2.267

O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count
Link: 2.2.268
myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I
Link: 2.2.269
have bad dreams.
Link: 2.2.270

Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
Link: 2.2.271
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
Link: 2.2.272

A dream itself is but a shadow.
Link: 2.2.273

Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
Link: 2.2.274
quality that it is but a shadow's shadow.
Link: 2.2.275

Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
Link: 2.2.276
outstretched heroes the beggars' shadows. Shall we
Link: 2.2.277
to the court? for, by my fay, I cannot reason.
Link: 2.2.278

We'll wait upon you.
Link: 2.2.279

No such matter: I will not sort you with the rest
Link: 2.2.280
of my servants, for, to speak to you like an honest
Link: 2.2.281
man, I am most dreadfully attended. But, in the
Link: 2.2.282
beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?
Link: 2.2.283

To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.
Link: 2.2.284

Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I
Link: 2.2.285
thank you: and sure, dear friends, my thanks are
Link: 2.2.286
too dear a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it
Link: 2.2.287
your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come,
Link: 2.2.288
deal justly with me: come, come; nay, speak.
Link: 2.2.289

What should we say, my lord?
Link: 2.2.290

Why, any thing, but to the purpose. You were sent
Link: 2.2.291
for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks
Link: 2.2.292
which your modesties have not craft enough to colour:
Link: 2.2.293
I know the good king and queen have sent for you.
Link: 2.2.294

To what end, my lord?
Link: 2.2.295

That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by
Link: 2.2.296
the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of
Link: 2.2.297
our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved
Link: 2.2.298
love, and by what more dear a better proposer could
Link: 2.2.299
charge you withal, be even and direct with me,
Link: 2.2.300
whether you were sent for, or no?
Link: 2.2.301

(Aside to GUILDENSTERN) What say you?
Link: 2.2.302

(Aside) Nay, then, I have an eye of you.--If you
Link: 2.2.303
love me, hold not off.
Link: 2.2.304

My lord, we were sent for.
Link: 2.2.305

I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
Link: 2.2.306
prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king
Link: 2.2.307
and queen moult no feather. I have of late--but
Link: 2.2.308
wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all
Link: 2.2.309
custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
Link: 2.2.310
with my disposition that this goodly frame, the
Link: 2.2.311
earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
Link: 2.2.312
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
Link: 2.2.313
o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
Link: 2.2.314
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
Link: 2.2.315
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
Link: 2.2.316
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
Link: 2.2.317
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
Link: 2.2.318
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
Link: 2.2.319
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
Link: 2.2.320
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
Link: 2.2.321
what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not
Link: 2.2.322
me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling
Link: 2.2.323
you seem to say so.
Link: 2.2.324

My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.
Link: 2.2.325

Why did you laugh then, when I said 'man delights not me'?
Link: 2.2.326

To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what
Link: 2.2.327
lenten entertainment the players shall receive from
Link: 2.2.328
you: we coted them on the way; and hither are they
Link: 2.2.329
coming, to offer you service.
Link: 2.2.330

He that plays the king shall be welcome; his majesty
Link: 2.2.331
shall have tribute of me; the adventurous knight
Link: 2.2.332
shall use his foil and target; the lover shall not
Link: 2.2.333
sigh gratis; the humourous man shall end his part
Link: 2.2.334
in peace; the clown shall make those laugh whose
Link: 2.2.335
lungs are tickled o' the sere; and the lady shall
Link: 2.2.336
say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt
Link: 2.2.337
for't. What players are they?
Link: 2.2.338

Even those you were wont to take delight in, the
Link: 2.2.339
tragedians of the city.
Link: 2.2.340

How chances it they travel? their residence, both
Link: 2.2.341
in reputation and profit, was better both ways.
Link: 2.2.342

I think their inhibition comes by the means of the
Link: 2.2.343
late innovation.
Link: 2.2.344

Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was
Link: 2.2.345
in the city? are they so followed?
Link: 2.2.346

No, indeed, are they not.
Link: 2.2.347

How comes it? do they grow rusty?
Link: 2.2.348

Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace: but
Link: 2.2.349
there is, sir, an aery of children, little eyases,
Link: 2.2.350
that cry out on the top of question, and are most
Link: 2.2.351
tyrannically clapped for't: these are now the
Link: 2.2.352
fashion, and so berattle the common stages--so they
Link: 2.2.353
call them--that many wearing rapiers are afraid of
Link: 2.2.354
goose-quills and dare scarce come thither.
Link: 2.2.355

What, are they children? who maintains 'em? how are
Link: 2.2.356
they escoted? Will they pursue the quality no
Link: 2.2.357
longer than they can sing? will they not say
Link: 2.2.358
afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common
Link: 2.2.359
players--as it is most like, if their means are no
Link: 2.2.360
better--their writers do them wrong, to make them
Link: 2.2.361
exclaim against their own succession?
Link: 2.2.362

'Faith, there has been much to do on both sides; and
Link: 2.2.363
the nation holds it no sin to tarre them to
Link: 2.2.364
controversy: there was, for a while, no money bid
Link: 2.2.365
for argument, unless the poet and the player went to
Link: 2.2.366
cuffs in the question.
Link: 2.2.367

Is't possible?
Link: 2.2.368

O, there has been much throwing about of brains.
Link: 2.2.369

Do the boys carry it away?
Link: 2.2.370

Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too.
Link: 2.2.371

It is not very strange; for mine uncle is king of
Link: 2.2.372
Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while
Link: 2.2.373
my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, an
Link: 2.2.374
hundred ducats a-piece for his picture in little.
Link: 2.2.375
'Sblood, there is something in this more than
Link: 2.2.376
natural, if philosophy could find it out.
Link: 2.2.377

Flourish of trumpets within

There are the players.
Link: 2.2.378

Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands,
Link: 2.2.379
come then: the appurtenance of welcome is fashion
Link: 2.2.380
and ceremony: let me comply with you in this garb,
Link: 2.2.381
lest my extent to the players, which, I tell you,
Link: 2.2.382
must show fairly outward, should more appear like
Link: 2.2.383
entertainment than yours. You are welcome: but my
Link: 2.2.384
uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.
Link: 2.2.385

In what, my dear lord?
Link: 2.2.386

I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is
Link: 2.2.387
southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.
Link: 2.2.388


Well be with you, gentlemen!
Link: 2.2.389

Hark you, Guildenstern; and you too: at each ear a
Link: 2.2.390
hearer: that great baby you see there is not yet
Link: 2.2.391
out of his swaddling-clouts.
Link: 2.2.392

Happily he's the second time come to them; for they
Link: 2.2.393
say an old man is twice a child.
Link: 2.2.394

I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players;
Link: 2.2.395
mark it. You say right, sir: o' Monday morning;
Link: 2.2.396
'twas so indeed.
Link: 2.2.397

My lord, I have news to tell you.
Link: 2.2.398

My lord, I have news to tell you.
Link: 2.2.399
When Roscius was an actor in Rome,--
Link: 2.2.400

The actors are come hither, my lord.
Link: 2.2.401

Buz, buz!
Link: 2.2.402

Upon mine honour,--
Link: 2.2.403

Then came each actor on his ass,--
Link: 2.2.404

The best actors in the world, either for tragedy,
Link: 2.2.405
comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical,
Link: 2.2.406
historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-
Link: 2.2.407
comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or
Link: 2.2.408
poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor
Link: 2.2.409
Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the
Link: 2.2.410
liberty, these are the only men.
Link: 2.2.411

O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou!
Link: 2.2.412

What a treasure had he, my lord?
Link: 2.2.413

'One fair daughter and no more,
Link: 2.2.415
The which he loved passing well.'
Link: 2.2.416

(Aside) Still on my daughter.
Link: 2.2.417

Am I not i' the right, old Jephthah?
Link: 2.2.418

If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter
Link: 2.2.419
that I love passing well.
Link: 2.2.420

Nay, that follows not.
Link: 2.2.421

What follows, then, my lord?
Link: 2.2.422

'As by lot, God wot,'
Link: 2.2.424
and then, you know,
Link: 2.2.425
'It came to pass, as most like it was,'--
Link: 2.2.426
the first row of the pious chanson will show you
Link: 2.2.427
more; for look, where my abridgement comes.
Link: 2.2.428
You are welcome, masters; welcome, all. I am glad
Link: 2.2.429
to see thee well. Welcome, good friends. O, my old
Link: 2.2.430
friend! thy face is valenced since I saw thee last:
Link: 2.2.431
comest thou to beard me in Denmark? What, my young
Link: 2.2.432
lady and mistress! By'r lady, your ladyship is
Link: 2.2.433
nearer to heaven than when I saw you last, by the
Link: 2.2.434
altitude of a chopine. Pray God, your voice, like
Link: 2.2.435
apiece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the
Link: 2.2.436
ring. Masters, you are all welcome. We'll e'en
Link: 2.2.437
to't like French falconers, fly at any thing we see:
Link: 2.2.438
we'll have a speech straight: come, give us a taste
Link: 2.2.439
of your quality; come, a passionate speech.
Link: 2.2.440

First Player
What speech, my lord?
Link: 2.2.441

I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was
Link: 2.2.442
never acted; or, if it was, not above once; for the
Link: 2.2.443
play, I remember, pleased not the million; 'twas
Link: 2.2.444
caviare to the general: but it was--as I received
Link: 2.2.445
it, and others, whose judgments in such matters
Link: 2.2.446
cried in the top of mine--an excellent play, well
Link: 2.2.447
digested in the scenes, set down with as much
Link: 2.2.448
modesty as cunning. I remember, one said there
Link: 2.2.449
were no sallets in the lines to make the matter
Link: 2.2.450
savoury, nor no matter in the phrase that might
Link: 2.2.451
indict the author of affectation; but called it an
Link: 2.2.452
honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very
Link: 2.2.453
much more handsome than fine. One speech in it I
Link: 2.2.454
chiefly loved: 'twas Aeneas' tale to Dido; and
Link: 2.2.455
thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of
Link: 2.2.456
Priam's slaughter: if it live in your memory, begin
Link: 2.2.457
at this line: let me see, let me see--
Link: 2.2.458
'The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast,'--
Link: 2.2.459
it is not so:--it begins with Pyrrhus:--
Link: 2.2.460
'The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,
Link: 2.2.461
Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
Link: 2.2.462
When he lay couched in the ominous horse,
Link: 2.2.463
Hath now this dread and black complexion smear'd
Link: 2.2.464
With heraldry more dismal; head to foot
Link: 2.2.465
Now is he total gules; horridly trick'd
Link: 2.2.466
With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
Link: 2.2.467
Baked and impasted with the parching streets,
Link: 2.2.468
That lend a tyrannous and damned light
Link: 2.2.469
To their lord's murder: roasted in wrath and fire,
Link: 2.2.470
And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore,
Link: 2.2.471
With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
Link: 2.2.472
Old grandsire Priam seeks.'
Link: 2.2.473
So, proceed you.
Link: 2.2.474

'Fore God, my lord, well spoken, with good accent and
Link: 2.2.475
good discretion.
Link: 2.2.476

First Player
'Anon he finds him
Link: 2.2.477
Striking too short at Greeks; his antique sword,
Link: 2.2.478
Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls,
Link: 2.2.479
Repugnant to command: unequal match'd,
Link: 2.2.480
Pyrrhus at Priam drives; in rage strikes wide;
Link: 2.2.481
But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword
Link: 2.2.482
The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium,
Link: 2.2.483
Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top
Link: 2.2.484
Stoops to his base, and with a hideous crash
Link: 2.2.485
Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear: for, lo! his sword,
Link: 2.2.486
Which was declining on the milky head
Link: 2.2.487
Of reverend Priam, seem'd i' the air to stick:
Link: 2.2.488
So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood,
Link: 2.2.489
And like a neutral to his will and matter,
Link: 2.2.490
Did nothing.
Link: 2.2.491
But, as we often see, against some storm,
Link: 2.2.492
A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,
Link: 2.2.493
The bold winds speechless and the orb below
Link: 2.2.494
As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder
Link: 2.2.495
Doth rend the region, so, after Pyrrhus' pause,
Link: 2.2.496
Aroused vengeance sets him new a-work;
Link: 2.2.497
And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
Link: 2.2.498
On Mars's armour forged for proof eterne
Link: 2.2.499
With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword
Link: 2.2.500
Now falls on Priam.
Link: 2.2.501
Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods,
Link: 2.2.502
In general synod 'take away her power;
Link: 2.2.503
Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
Link: 2.2.504
And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
Link: 2.2.505
As low as to the fiends!'
Link: 2.2.506

This is too long.
Link: 2.2.507

It shall to the barber's, with your beard. Prithee,
Link: 2.2.508
say on: he's for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he
Link: 2.2.509
sleeps: say on: come to Hecuba.
Link: 2.2.510

First Player
'But who, O, who had seen the mobled queen--'
Link: 2.2.511

'The mobled queen?'
Link: 2.2.512

That's good; 'mobled queen' is good.
Link: 2.2.513

First Player
'Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames
Link: 2.2.514
With bisson rheum; a clout upon that head
Link: 2.2.515
Where late the diadem stood, and for a robe,
Link: 2.2.516
About her lank and all o'er-teemed loins,
Link: 2.2.517
A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up;
Link: 2.2.518
Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd,
Link: 2.2.519
'Gainst Fortune's state would treason have
Link: 2.2.520
Link: 2.2.521
But if the gods themselves did see her then
Link: 2.2.522
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
Link: 2.2.523
In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs,
Link: 2.2.524
The instant burst of clamour that she made,
Link: 2.2.525
Unless things mortal move them not at all,
Link: 2.2.526
Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven,
Link: 2.2.527
And passion in the gods.'
Link: 2.2.528

Look, whether he has not turned his colour and has
Link: 2.2.529
tears in's eyes. Pray you, no more.
Link: 2.2.530

'Tis well: I'll have thee speak out the rest soon.
Link: 2.2.531
Good my lord, will you see the players well
Link: 2.2.532
bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used; for
Link: 2.2.533
they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the
Link: 2.2.534
time: after your death you were better have a bad
Link: 2.2.535
epitaph than their ill report while you live.
Link: 2.2.536

My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
Link: 2.2.537

God's bodykins, man, much better: use every man
Link: 2.2.538
after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?
Link: 2.2.539
Use them after your own honour and dignity: the less
Link: 2.2.540
they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.
Link: 2.2.541
Take them in.
Link: 2.2.542

Come, sirs.
Link: 2.2.543

Follow him, friends: we'll hear a play to-morrow.
Link: 2.2.544
Dost thou hear me, old friend; can you play the
Link: 2.2.545
Murder of Gonzago?
Link: 2.2.546

First Player
Ay, my lord.
Link: 2.2.547

We'll ha't to-morrow night. You could, for a need,
Link: 2.2.548
study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which
Link: 2.2.549
I would set down and insert in't, could you not?
Link: 2.2.550

First Player
Ay, my lord.
Link: 2.2.551

Very well. Follow that lord; and look you mock him
Link: 2.2.552
My good friends, I'll leave you till night: you are
Link: 2.2.554
welcome to Elsinore.
Link: 2.2.555

Good my lord!
Link: 2.2.556

Ay, so, God be wi' ye;
Link: 2.2.557
Now I am alone.
Link: 2.2.558
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Link: 2.2.559
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
Link: 2.2.560
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Link: 2.2.561
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
Link: 2.2.562
That from her working all his visage wann'd,
Link: 2.2.563
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
Link: 2.2.564
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
Link: 2.2.565
With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing!
Link: 2.2.566
For Hecuba!
Link: 2.2.567
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
Link: 2.2.568
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Link: 2.2.569
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
Link: 2.2.570
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
Link: 2.2.571
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Link: 2.2.572
Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
Link: 2.2.573
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
Link: 2.2.574
The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
Link: 2.2.575
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Link: 2.2.576
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
Link: 2.2.577
And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
Link: 2.2.578
Upon whose property and most dear life
Link: 2.2.579
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward?
Link: 2.2.580
Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
Link: 2.2.581
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face?
Link: 2.2.582
Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat,
Link: 2.2.583
As deep as to the lungs? who does me this?
Link: 2.2.584
'Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot be
Link: 2.2.586
But I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gall
Link: 2.2.587
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
Link: 2.2.588
I should have fatted all the region kites
Link: 2.2.589
With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain!
Link: 2.2.590
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
Link: 2.2.591
O, vengeance!
Link: 2.2.592
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
Link: 2.2.593
That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Link: 2.2.594
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Link: 2.2.595
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
Link: 2.2.596
And fall a-cursing, like a very drab,
Link: 2.2.597
A scullion!
Link: 2.2.598
Fie upon't! foh! About, my brain! I have heard
Link: 2.2.599
That guilty creatures sitting at a play
Link: 2.2.600
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Link: 2.2.601
Been struck so to the soul that presently
Link: 2.2.602
They have proclaim'd their malefactions;
Link: 2.2.603
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
Link: 2.2.604
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
Link: 2.2.605
Play something like the murder of my father
Link: 2.2.606
Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks;
Link: 2.2.607
I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench,
Link: 2.2.608
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
Link: 2.2.609
May be the devil: and the devil hath power
Link: 2.2.610
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Link: 2.2.611
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
Link: 2.2.612
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Link: 2.2.613
Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds
Link: 2.2.614
More relative than this: the play 's the thing
Link: 2.2.615
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
Link: 2.2.616



Act 3 of Hamlet is an important turning point in the play, as it features several key events that drive the plot forward and set the stage for the rest of the story.

The act opens with Claudius and Gertrude attempting to figure out what is troubling Hamlet, as they are worried that he may pose a threat to the stability of the kingdom. Meanwhile, Hamlet is plotting his revenge against Claudius for the murder of his father.

The famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy occurs in this act, as Hamlet contemplates the nature of life and death. He ultimately decides to continue his plan for revenge, despite the risks involved.

Hamlet's interactions with Ophelia also take center stage in Act 3. He is cruel to her, telling her to go to a nunnery and accusing her of being dishonest. This is a significant moment in their relationship and foreshadows the tragic events that will unfold later in the play.

The act concludes with Hamlet staging a play that reenacts the murder of his father in order to see if Claudius will react. When Claudius does react, Hamlet knows that he has confirmed his guilt and is now even more determined to carry out his revenge.

Overall, Act 3 of Hamlet is a pivotal moment in the play, as it sets the stage for the final acts and reveals the true nature of the characters' motivations and desires.

SCENE I. A room in the castle.

In Scene 1 of Act 3, the King and Queen arrange for Hamlet's friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to spy on him and find out what is causing his strange behavior. They hope to learn if he is truly mad or simply pretending.

When Hamlet enters, he immediately realizes that they are there to spy on him. He mocks them and refuses to give them any information about his state of mind. Instead, he asks them questions about their loyalty to the King and suggests that they are betraying him by working against him.

Polonius enters and announces that a group of actors has arrived at the castle. Hamlet is delighted and asks them to perform a specific play that he has chosen. The play's plot involves a king who is murdered by his brother and whose wife then marries the murderer. Hamlet tells his friends that he believes the play will reveal the guilt of his uncle, the current king, who he suspects of murdering his own brother to take the throne.

As the scene ends, Hamlet is left alone on stage, contemplating his plan to use the play to expose his uncle's guilt. He delivers one of the most famous soliloquies in literature, beginning with the words "To be, or not to be." In this speech, he questions the value of life and considers suicide as an option to escape his troubles.


And can you, by no drift of circumstance,
Link: 3.1.1
Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
Link: 3.1.2
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
Link: 3.1.3
With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?
Link: 3.1.4

He does confess he feels himself distracted;
Link: 3.1.5
But from what cause he will by no means speak.
Link: 3.1.6

Nor do we find him forward to be sounded,
Link: 3.1.7
But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof,
Link: 3.1.8
When we would bring him on to some confession
Link: 3.1.9
Of his true state.
Link: 3.1.10

Did he receive you well?
Link: 3.1.11

Most like a gentleman.
Link: 3.1.12

But with much forcing of his disposition.
Link: 3.1.13

Niggard of question; but, of our demands,
Link: 3.1.14
Most free in his reply.
Link: 3.1.15

Did you assay him?
Link: 3.1.16
To any pastime?
Link: 3.1.17

Madam, it so fell out, that certain players
Link: 3.1.18
We o'er-raught on the way: of these we told him;
Link: 3.1.19
And there did seem in him a kind of joy
Link: 3.1.20
To hear of it: they are about the court,
Link: 3.1.21
And, as I think, they have already order
Link: 3.1.22
This night to play before him.
Link: 3.1.23

'Tis most true:
Link: 3.1.24
And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties
Link: 3.1.25
To hear and see the matter.
Link: 3.1.26

With all my heart; and it doth much content me
Link: 3.1.27
To hear him so inclined.
Link: 3.1.28
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
Link: 3.1.29
And drive his purpose on to these delights.
Link: 3.1.30

We shall, my lord.
Link: 3.1.31


Sweet Gertrude, leave us too;
Link: 3.1.32
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
Link: 3.1.33
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Link: 3.1.34
Affront Ophelia:
Link: 3.1.35
Her father and myself, lawful espials,
Link: 3.1.36
Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing, unseen,
Link: 3.1.37
We may of their encounter frankly judge,
Link: 3.1.38
And gather by him, as he is behaved,
Link: 3.1.39
If 't be the affliction of his love or no
Link: 3.1.40
That thus he suffers for.
Link: 3.1.41

I shall obey you.
Link: 3.1.42
And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish
Link: 3.1.43
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Link: 3.1.44
Of Hamlet's wildness: so shall I hope your virtues
Link: 3.1.45
Will bring him to his wonted way again,
Link: 3.1.46
To both your honours.
Link: 3.1.47

Madam, I wish it may.
Link: 3.1.48


Ophelia, walk you here. Gracious, so please you,
Link: 3.1.49
We will bestow ourselves.
Link: 3.1.50
Read on this book;
Link: 3.1.51
That show of such an exercise may colour
Link: 3.1.52
Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this,--
Link: 3.1.53
'Tis too much proved--that with devotion's visage
Link: 3.1.54
And pious action we do sugar o'er
Link: 3.1.55
The devil himself.
Link: 3.1.56

(Aside) O, 'tis too true!
Link: 3.1.57
How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!
Link: 3.1.58
The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art,
Link: 3.1.59
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it
Link: 3.1.60
Than is my deed to my most painted word:
Link: 3.1.61
O heavy burthen!
Link: 3.1.62

I hear him coming: let's withdraw, my lord.
Link: 3.1.63



To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Link: 3.1.64
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
Link: 3.1.65
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Link: 3.1.66
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
Link: 3.1.67
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
Link: 3.1.68
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
Link: 3.1.69
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
Link: 3.1.70
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Link: 3.1.71
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
Link: 3.1.72
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
Link: 3.1.73
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
Link: 3.1.74
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Link: 3.1.75
Must give us pause: there's the respect
Link: 3.1.76
That makes calamity of so long life;
Link: 3.1.77
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Link: 3.1.78
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
Link: 3.1.79
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
Link: 3.1.80
The insolence of office and the spurns
Link: 3.1.81
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
Link: 3.1.82
When he himself might his quietus make
Link: 3.1.83
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
Link: 3.1.84
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
Link: 3.1.85
But that the dread of something after death,
Link: 3.1.86
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
Link: 3.1.87
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
Link: 3.1.88
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Link: 3.1.89
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Link: 3.1.90
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
Link: 3.1.91
And thus the native hue of resolution
Link: 3.1.92
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
Link: 3.1.93
And enterprises of great pith and moment
Link: 3.1.94
With this regard their currents turn awry,
Link: 3.1.95
And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
Link: 3.1.96
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Link: 3.1.97
Be all my sins remember'd.
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Good my lord,
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How does your honour for this many a day?
Link: 3.1.100

I humbly thank you; well, well, well.
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My lord, I have remembrances of yours,
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That I have longed long to re-deliver;
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I pray you, now receive them.
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No, not I;
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I never gave you aught.
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My honour'd lord, you know right well you did;
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And, with them, words of so sweet breath composed
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As made the things more rich: their perfume lost,
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Take these again; for to the noble mind
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Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
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There, my lord.
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Ha, ha! are you honest?
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My lord?
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Are you fair?
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What means your lordship?
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That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should
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admit no discourse to your beauty.
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Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than
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with honesty?
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Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner
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transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the
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force of honesty can translate beauty into his
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likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the
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time gives it proof. I did love you once.
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Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.
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You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot
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so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of
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it: I loved you not.
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I was the more deceived.
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Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a
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breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest;
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but yet I could accuse me of such things that it
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were better my mother had not borne me: I am very
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proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at
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my beck than I have thoughts to put them in,
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imagination to give them shape, or time to act them
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in. What should such fellows as I do crawling
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between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves,
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all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery.
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Where's your father?
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At home, my lord.
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Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the
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fool no where but in's own house. Farewell.
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O, help him, you sweet heavens!
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If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for
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thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as
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snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a
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nunnery, go: farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs
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marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough
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what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go,
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and quickly too. Farewell.
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O heavenly powers, restore him!
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I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; God
Link: 3.1.154
has given you one face, and you make yourselves
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another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and
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nick-name God's creatures, and make your wantonness
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your ignorance. Go to, I'll no more on't; it hath
Link: 3.1.158
made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages:
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those that are married already, all but one, shall
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live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a
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nunnery, go.
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O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
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The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword;
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The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
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The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
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The observed of all observers, quite, quite down!
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And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
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That suck'd the honey of his music vows,
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Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
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Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
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That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth
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Blasted with ecstasy: O, woe is me,
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To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!
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Love! his affections do not that way tend;
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Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little,
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Was not like madness. There's something in his soul,
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O'er which his melancholy sits on brood;
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And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose
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Will be some danger: which for to prevent,
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I have in quick determination
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Thus set it down: he shall with speed to England,
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For the demand of our neglected tribute
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Haply the seas and countries different
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With variable objects shall expel
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This something-settled matter in his heart,
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Whereon his brains still beating puts him thus
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From fashion of himself. What think you on't?
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It shall do well: but yet do I believe
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The origin and commencement of his grief
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Sprung from neglected love. How now, Ophelia!
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You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said;
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We heard it all. My lord, do as you please;
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But, if you hold it fit, after the play
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Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
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To show his grief: let her be round with him;
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And I'll be placed, so please you, in the ear
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Of all their conference. If she find him not,
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To England send him, or confine him where
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Your wisdom best shall think.
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It shall be so:
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Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.
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SCENE II. A hall in the castle.

In Scene 2 of Act 3, the main character meets with a group of actors and asks them to perform a play for him that he has written himself. He explains that the play is based on the murder of his father and that he hopes it will help him to determine if his uncle, who is now king, is guilty of the crime.

The actors agree to perform the play and Hamlet gives them instructions on how to act out the murder scene. He wants it to be as realistic as possible so that he can gauge his uncle's reaction. After the actors leave, Hamlet is left alone to reflect on his plan and his own sanity.

He questions whether or not he is crazy for wanting revenge on his uncle and for the way he has been acting lately. He also expresses his love for Ophelia, but at the same time, he insults her and tells her to go to a nunnery.

Overall, Scene 2 of Act 3 is a pivotal moment in the play as it sets up the plot for the rest of the story. Hamlet's plan to use the play to trap his uncle is the beginning of the end for both characters and leads to the tragic ending of the play.

Enter HAMLET and Players

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to
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you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it,
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as many of your players do, I had as lief the
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town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air
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too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently;
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for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say,
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the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget
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a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it
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offends me to the soul to hear a robustious
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periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to
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very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who
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for the most part are capable of nothing but
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inexplicable dumbshows and noise: I would have such
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a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it
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out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it.
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First Player
I warrant your honour.
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Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion
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be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the
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word to the action; with this special o'erstep not
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the modesty of nature: for any thing so overdone is
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from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the
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first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the
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mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature,
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scorn her own image, and the very age and body of
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the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone,
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or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful
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laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the
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censure of the which one must in your allowance
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o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be
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players that I have seen play, and heard others
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praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely,
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that, neither having the accent of Christians nor
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the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so
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strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of
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nature's journeymen had made men and not made them
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well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
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First Player
I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us,
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O, reform it altogether. And let those that play
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your clowns speak no more than is set down for them;
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for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to
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set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh
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too; though, in the mean time, some necessary
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question of the play be then to be considered:
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that's villanous, and shows a most pitiful ambition
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in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.
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How now, my lord! I will the king hear this piece of work?
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And the queen too, and that presently.
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Bid the players make haste.
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Will you two help to hasten them?
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We will, my lord.
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What ho! Horatio!
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Here, sweet lord, at your service.
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Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
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As e'er my conversation coped withal.
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O, my dear lord,--
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Nay, do not think I flatter;
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For what advancement may I hope from thee
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That no revenue hast but thy good spirits,
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To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd?
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No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
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And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
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Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
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Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
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And could of men distinguish, her election
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Hath seal'd thee for herself; for thou hast been
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As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing,
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A man that fortune's buffets and rewards
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Hast ta'en with equal thanks: and blest are those
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Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled,
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That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
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To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
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That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
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In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
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As I do thee.--Something too much of this.--
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There is a play to-night before the king;
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One scene of it comes near the circumstance
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Which I have told thee of my father's death:
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I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
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Even with the very comment of thy soul
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Observe mine uncle: if his occulted guilt
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Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
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It is a damned ghost that we have seen,
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And my imaginations are as foul
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As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note;
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For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
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And after we will both our judgments join
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In censure of his seeming.
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Well, my lord:
Link: 3.2.89
If he steal aught the whilst this play is playing,
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And 'scape detecting, I will pay the theft.
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They are coming to the play; I must be idle:
Link: 3.2.92
Get you a place.
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How fares our cousin Hamlet?
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Excellent, i' faith; of the chameleon's dish: I eat
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the air, promise-crammed: you cannot feed capons so.
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I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words
Link: 3.2.97
are not mine.
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No, nor mine now.
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My lord, you played once i' the university, you say?
Link: 3.2.100

That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.
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What did you enact?
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I did enact Julius Caesar: I was killed i' the
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Capitol; Brutus killed me.
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It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf
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there. Be the players ready?
Link: 3.2.106

Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience.
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Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
Link: 3.2.108

No, good mother, here's metal more attractive.
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(To KING CLAUDIUS) O, ho! do you mark that?
Link: 3.2.110

Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
Link: 3.2.111

Lying down at OPHELIA's feet

No, my lord.
Link: 3.2.112

I mean, my head upon your lap?
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Ay, my lord.
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Do you think I meant country matters?
Link: 3.2.115

I think nothing, my lord.
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That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.
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What is, my lord?
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You are merry, my lord.
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Ay, my lord.
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O God, your only jig-maker. What should a man do
Link: 3.2.123
but be merry? for, look you, how cheerfully my
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mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.
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Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.
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So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for
Link: 3.2.127
I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens! die two
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months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's
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hope a great man's memory may outlive his life half
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a year: but, by'r lady, he must build churches,
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then; or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with
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the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is 'For, O, for, O,
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the hobby-horse is forgot.'
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Enter a King and a Queen very lovingly; the Queen embracing him, and he her. She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck: lays him down upon a bank of flowers: she, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the King's ears, and exit. The Queen returns; finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The Poisoner, with some two or three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The Poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts: she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but in the end accepts his love


What means this, my lord?
Link: 3.2.135

Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.
Link: 3.2.136

Belike this show imports the argument of the play.
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Enter Prologue

We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot
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keep counsel; they'll tell all.
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Will he tell us what this show meant?
Link: 3.2.140

Ay, or any show that you'll show him: be not you
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ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.
Link: 3.2.142

You are naught, you are naught: I'll mark the play.
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For us, and for our tragedy,
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Here stooping to your clemency,
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We beg your hearing patiently.
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Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?
Link: 3.2.147

'Tis brief, my lord.
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As woman's love.
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Enter two Players, King and Queen

Player King
Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round
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Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,
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And thirty dozen moons with borrow'd sheen
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About the world have times twelve thirties been,
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Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands
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Unite commutual in most sacred bands.
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Player Queen
So many journeys may the sun and moon
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Make us again count o'er ere love be done!
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But, woe is me, you are so sick of late,
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So far from cheer and from your former state,
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That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
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Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must:
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For women's fear and love holds quantity;
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In neither aught, or in extremity.
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Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know;
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And as my love is sized, my fear is so:
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Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
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Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.
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Player King
'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too;
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My operant powers their functions leave to do:
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And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
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Honour'd, beloved; and haply one as kind
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For husband shalt thou--
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Player Queen
O, confound the rest!
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Such love must needs be treason in my breast:
Link: 3.2.174
In second husband let me be accurst!
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None wed the second but who kill'd the first.
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(Aside) Wormwood, wormwood.
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Player Queen
The instances that second marriage move
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Are base respects of thrift, but none of love:
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A second time I kill my husband dead,
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When second husband kisses me in bed.
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Player King
I do believe you think what now you speak;
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But what we do determine oft we break.
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Purpose is but the slave to memory,
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Of violent birth, but poor validity;
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Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree;
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But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
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Most necessary 'tis that we forget
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To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt:
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What to ourselves in passion we propose,
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The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
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The violence of either grief or joy
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Their own enactures with themselves destroy:
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Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
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Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
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This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange
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That even our loves should with our fortunes change;
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For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
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Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
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The great man down, you mark his favourite flies;
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The poor advanced makes friends of enemies.
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And hitherto doth love on fortune tend;
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For who not needs shall never lack a friend,
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And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
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Directly seasons him his enemy.
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But, orderly to end where I begun,
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Our wills and fates do so contrary run
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That our devices still are overthrown;
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Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own:
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So think thou wilt no second husband wed;
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But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
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Player Queen
Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light!
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Sport and repose lock from me day and night!
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To desperation turn my trust and hope!
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An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope!
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Each opposite that blanks the face of joy
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Meet what I would have well and it destroy!
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Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
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If, once a widow, ever I be wife!
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If she should break it now!
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Player King
'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile;
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My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
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The tedious day with sleep.
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Player Queen
Sleep rock thy brain,
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And never come mischance between us twain!
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Madam, how like you this play?
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The lady protests too much, methinks.
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O, but she'll keep her word.
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Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in 't?
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No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest; no offence
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i' the world.
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What do you call the play?
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The Mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play
Link: 3.2.233
is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is
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the duke's name; his wife, Baptista: you shall see
Link: 3.2.235
anon; 'tis a knavish piece of work: but what o'
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that? your majesty and we that have free souls, it
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touches us not: let the galled jade wince, our
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withers are unwrung.
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This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.
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You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
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I could interpret between you and your love, if I
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could see the puppets dallying.
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You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
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It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.
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Still better, and worse.
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So you must take your husbands. Begin, murderer;
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pox, leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come:
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'the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.'
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Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing;
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Confederate season, else no creature seeing;
Link: 3.2.251
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
Link: 3.2.252
With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Link: 3.2.253
Thy natural magic and dire property,
Link: 3.2.254
On wholesome life usurp immediately.
Link: 3.2.255

Pours the poison into the sleeper's ears

He poisons him i' the garden for's estate. His
Link: 3.2.256
name's Gonzago: the story is extant, and writ in
Link: 3.2.257
choice Italian: you shall see anon how the murderer
Link: 3.2.258
gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
Link: 3.2.259

The king rises.
Link: 3.2.260

What, frighted with false fire!
Link: 3.2.261

How fares my lord?
Link: 3.2.262

Give o'er the play.
Link: 3.2.263

Give me some light: away!
Link: 3.2.264

Lights, lights, lights!
Link: 3.2.265

Exeunt all but HAMLET and HORATIO

Why, let the stricken deer go weep,
Link: 3.2.266
The hart ungalled play;
Link: 3.2.267
For some must watch, while some must sleep:
Link: 3.2.268
So runs the world away.
Link: 3.2.269
Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers-- if
Link: 3.2.270
the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me--with two
Link: 3.2.271
Provincial roses on my razed shoes, get me a
Link: 3.2.272
fellowship in a cry of players, sir?
Link: 3.2.273

Half a share.
Link: 3.2.274

A whole one, I.
Link: 3.2.275
For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
Link: 3.2.276
This realm dismantled was
Link: 3.2.277
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
Link: 3.2.278
A very, very--pajock.
Link: 3.2.279

You might have rhymed.
Link: 3.2.280

O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a
Link: 3.2.281
thousand pound. Didst perceive?
Link: 3.2.282

Very well, my lord.
Link: 3.2.283

Upon the talk of the poisoning?
Link: 3.2.284

I did very well note him.
Link: 3.2.285

Ah, ha! Come, some music! come, the recorders!
Link: 3.2.286
For if the king like not the comedy,
Link: 3.2.287
Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy.
Link: 3.2.288
Come, some music!
Link: 3.2.289


Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
Link: 3.2.290

Sir, a whole history.
Link: 3.2.291

The king, sir,--
Link: 3.2.292

Ay, sir, what of him?
Link: 3.2.293

Is in his retirement marvellous distempered.
Link: 3.2.294

With drink, sir?
Link: 3.2.295

No, my lord, rather with choler.
Link: 3.2.296

Your wisdom should show itself more richer to
Link: 3.2.297
signify this to his doctor; for, for me to put him
Link: 3.2.298
to his purgation would perhaps plunge him into far
Link: 3.2.299
more choler.
Link: 3.2.300

Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame and
Link: 3.2.301
start not so wildly from my affair.
Link: 3.2.302

I am tame, sir: pronounce.
Link: 3.2.303

The queen, your mother, in most great affliction of
Link: 3.2.304
spirit, hath sent me to you.
Link: 3.2.305

You are welcome.
Link: 3.2.306

Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right
Link: 3.2.307
breed. If it shall please you to make me a
Link: 3.2.308
wholesome answer, I will do your mother's
Link: 3.2.309
commandment: if not, your pardon and my return
Link: 3.2.310
shall be the end of my business.
Link: 3.2.311

Sir, I cannot.
Link: 3.2.312

What, my lord?
Link: 3.2.313

Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseased: but,
Link: 3.2.314
sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command;
Link: 3.2.315
or, rather, as you say, my mother: therefore no
Link: 3.2.316
more, but to the matter: my mother, you say,--
Link: 3.2.317

Then thus she says; your behavior hath struck her
Link: 3.2.318
into amazement and admiration.
Link: 3.2.319

O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother! But
Link: 3.2.320
is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's
Link: 3.2.321
admiration? Impart.
Link: 3.2.322

She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you
Link: 3.2.323
go to bed.
Link: 3.2.324

We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have
Link: 3.2.325
you any further trade with us?
Link: 3.2.326

My lord, you once did love me.
Link: 3.2.327

So I do still, by these pickers and stealers.
Link: 3.2.328

Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? you
Link: 3.2.329
do, surely, bar the door upon your own liberty, if
Link: 3.2.330
you deny your griefs to your friend.
Link: 3.2.331

Sir, I lack advancement.
Link: 3.2.332

How can that be, when you have the voice of the king
Link: 3.2.333
himself for your succession in Denmark?
Link: 3.2.334

Ay, but sir, 'While the grass grows,'--the proverb
Link: 3.2.335
is something musty.
Link: 3.2.336
O, the recorders! let me see one. To withdraw with
Link: 3.2.337
you:--why do you go about to recover the wind of me,
Link: 3.2.338
as if you would drive me into a toil?
Link: 3.2.339

O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too
Link: 3.2.340
Link: 3.2.341

I do not well understand that. Will you play upon
Link: 3.2.342
this pipe?
Link: 3.2.343

My lord, I cannot.
Link: 3.2.344

I pray you.
Link: 3.2.345

Believe me, I cannot.
Link: 3.2.346

I do beseech you.
Link: 3.2.347

I know no touch of it, my lord.
Link: 3.2.348

'Tis as easy as lying: govern these ventages with
Link: 3.2.349
your lingers and thumb, give it breath with your
Link: 3.2.350
mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music.
Link: 3.2.351
Look you, these are the stops.
Link: 3.2.352

But these cannot I command to any utterance of
Link: 3.2.353
harmony; I have not the skill.
Link: 3.2.354

Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of
Link: 3.2.355
me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know
Link: 3.2.356
my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my
Link: 3.2.357
mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to
Link: 3.2.358
the top of my compass: and there is much music,
Link: 3.2.359
excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot
Link: 3.2.360
you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am
Link: 3.2.361
easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what
Link: 3.2.362
instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you
Link: 3.2.363
cannot play upon me.
Link: 3.2.364
God bless you, sir!
Link: 3.2.365

My lord, the queen would speak with you, and
Link: 3.2.366
Link: 3.2.367

Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?
Link: 3.2.368

By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.
Link: 3.2.369

Methinks it is like a weasel.
Link: 3.2.370

It is backed like a weasel.
Link: 3.2.371

Or like a whale?
Link: 3.2.372

Very like a whale.
Link: 3.2.373

Then I will come to my mother by and by. They fool
Link: 3.2.374
me to the top of my bent. I will come by and by.
Link: 3.2.375

I will say so.
Link: 3.2.376

By and by is easily said.
Link: 3.2.377
Leave me, friends.
Link: 3.2.378
Tis now the very witching time of night,
Link: 3.2.379
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Link: 3.2.380
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
Link: 3.2.381
And do such bitter business as the day
Link: 3.2.382
Would quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother.
Link: 3.2.383
O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
Link: 3.2.384
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom:
Link: 3.2.385
Let me be cruel, not unnatural:
Link: 3.2.386
I will speak daggers to her, but use none;
Link: 3.2.387
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites;
Link: 3.2.388
How in my words soever she be shent,
Link: 3.2.389
To give them seals never, my soul, consent!
Link: 3.2.390


SCENE III. A room in the castle.

Scene 3 of Act 3 of this play opens with King Claudius, Polonius, Gertrude, and Hamlet in the throne room. Claudius is speaking to Hamlet, asking him why he is still upset about his father's death. Hamlet responds with a long and sarcastic speech, mocking Claudius and his own grief. Polonius interrupts to inform Claudius that he has arranged for Hamlet to meet with Ophelia, hoping to observe their interaction and determine whether Hamlet's madness is caused by love.

After Polonius leaves, Hamlet continues his conversation with Claudius, revealing that he knows Claudius murdered his father and demanding that he confess. Claudius denies the accusation and orders Hamlet to be sent away to England. As Hamlet is leaving, he sees Ophelia and launches into a bitter tirade against her, accusing her of being complicit in her father's plan to spy on him. Ophelia is left confused and distraught as Hamlet exits the scene.

This scene is significant in the play as it reveals the extent of Hamlet's anger and disillusionment with the people around him. His conversation with Claudius shows that he is aware of the truth about his father's death and is willing to confront the killer. However, his interactions with Ophelia demonstrate how his grief and anger have driven him to lash out at those closest to him, including the woman he claims to love. The scene also sets the stage for the tragic events to come, as Hamlet's behavior becomes increasingly erratic and dangerous.


I like him not, nor stands it safe with us
Link: 3.3.1
To let his madness range. Therefore prepare you;
Link: 3.3.2
I your commission will forthwith dispatch,
Link: 3.3.3
And he to England shall along with you:
Link: 3.3.4
The terms of our estate may not endure
Link: 3.3.5
Hazard so dangerous as doth hourly grow
Link: 3.3.6
Out of his lunacies.
Link: 3.3.7

We will ourselves provide:
Link: 3.3.8
Most holy and religious fear it is
Link: 3.3.9
To keep those many many bodies safe
Link: 3.3.10
That live and feed upon your majesty.
Link: 3.3.11

The single and peculiar life is bound,
Link: 3.3.12
With all the strength and armour of the mind,
Link: 3.3.13
To keep itself from noyance; but much more
Link: 3.3.14
That spirit upon whose weal depend and rest
Link: 3.3.15
The lives of many. The cease of majesty
Link: 3.3.16
Dies not alone; but, like a gulf, doth draw
Link: 3.3.17
What's near it with it: it is a massy wheel,
Link: 3.3.18
Fix'd on the summit of the highest mount,
Link: 3.3.19
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things
Link: 3.3.20
Are mortised and adjoin'd; which, when it falls,
Link: 3.3.21
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Link: 3.3.22
Attends the boisterous ruin. Never alone
Link: 3.3.23
Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.
Link: 3.3.24

Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage;
Link: 3.3.25
For we will fetters put upon this fear,
Link: 3.3.26
Which now goes too free-footed.
Link: 3.3.27

We will haste us.
Link: 3.3.28



My lord, he's going to his mother's closet:
Link: 3.3.29
Behind the arras I'll convey myself,
Link: 3.3.30
To hear the process; and warrant she'll tax him home:
Link: 3.3.31
And, as you said, and wisely was it said,
Link: 3.3.32
'Tis meet that some more audience than a mother,
Link: 3.3.33
Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear
Link: 3.3.34
The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege:
Link: 3.3.35
I'll call upon you ere you go to bed,
Link: 3.3.36
And tell you what I know.
Link: 3.3.37

Thanks, dear my lord.
Link: 3.3.38
O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven;
Link: 3.3.39
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,
Link: 3.3.40
A brother's murder. Pray can I not,
Link: 3.3.41
Though inclination be as sharp as will:
Link: 3.3.42
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;
Link: 3.3.43
And, like a man to double business bound,
Link: 3.3.44
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
Link: 3.3.45
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Link: 3.3.46
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,
Link: 3.3.47
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
Link: 3.3.48
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy
Link: 3.3.49
But to confront the visage of offence?
Link: 3.3.50
And what's in prayer but this two-fold force,
Link: 3.3.51
To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Link: 3.3.52
Or pardon'd being down? Then I'll look up;
Link: 3.3.53
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Link: 3.3.54
Can serve my turn? 'Forgive me my foul murder'?
Link: 3.3.55
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Link: 3.3.56
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
Link: 3.3.57
My crown, mine own ambition and my queen.
Link: 3.3.58
May one be pardon'd and retain the offence?
Link: 3.3.59
In the corrupted currents of this world
Link: 3.3.60
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice,
Link: 3.3.61
And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself
Link: 3.3.62
Buys out the law: but 'tis not so above;
Link: 3.3.63
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
Link: 3.3.64
In his true nature; and we ourselves compell'd,
Link: 3.3.65
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
Link: 3.3.66
To give in evidence. What then? what rests?
Link: 3.3.67
Try what repentance can: what can it not?
Link: 3.3.68
Yet what can it when one can not repent?
Link: 3.3.69
O wretched state! O bosom black as death!
Link: 3.3.70
O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Link: 3.3.71
Art more engaged! Help, angels! Make assay!
Link: 3.3.72
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart with strings of steel,
Link: 3.3.73
Be soft as sinews of the newborn babe!
Link: 3.3.74
All may be well.
Link: 3.3.75

Retires and kneels


Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;
Link: 3.3.76
And now I'll do't. And so he goes to heaven;
Link: 3.3.77
And so am I revenged. That would be scann'd:
Link: 3.3.78
A villain kills my father; and for that,
Link: 3.3.79
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
Link: 3.3.80
To heaven.
Link: 3.3.81
O, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
Link: 3.3.82
He took my father grossly, full of bread;
Link: 3.3.83
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
Link: 3.3.84
And how his audit stands who knows save heaven?
Link: 3.3.85
But in our circumstance and course of thought,
Link: 3.3.86
'Tis heavy with him: and am I then revenged,
Link: 3.3.87
To take him in the purging of his soul,
Link: 3.3.88
When he is fit and season'd for his passage?
Link: 3.3.89
Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent:
Link: 3.3.91
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Link: 3.3.92
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed;
Link: 3.3.93
At gaming, swearing, or about some act
Link: 3.3.94
That has no relish of salvation in't;
Link: 3.3.95
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
Link: 3.3.96
And that his soul may be as damn'd and black
Link: 3.3.97
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
Link: 3.3.98
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.
Link: 3.3.99


(Rising) My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Link: 3.3.100
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.
Link: 3.3.101


SCENE IV. The Queen's closet.

In Scene 4 of Act 3, a group of people are discussing the recent behavior of Hamlet. They are concerned about his mental state after he had a strange encounter with his mother, Queen Gertrude. Polonius suggests that they should hide and observe Hamlet's behavior when he meets with Ophelia.

Hamlet enters, and he is initially rude and insulting to Ophelia. He accuses her of being dishonest and tells her to go to a nunnery. Ophelia is confused and hurt by his behavior.

Polonius believes that Hamlet's behavior is a result of his love for Ophelia and that he is acting out of madness. He decides to tell the King and Queen about his suspicions.

Before leaving, Hamlet delivers a soliloquy in which he reflects on his own state of mind. He questions his own existence and contemplates suicide. He also reveals his distrust of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two of his childhood friends who have been sent by the King to spy on him.

The scene ends with Polonius leaving to inform the King and Queen about Hamlet's behavior, and Hamlet continuing to contemplate his own despair and anguish.


He will come straight. Look you lay home to him:
Link: 3.4.1
Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
Link: 3.4.2
And that your grace hath screen'd and stood between
Link: 3.4.3
Much heat and him. I'll sconce me even here.
Link: 3.4.4
Pray you, be round with him.
Link: 3.4.5

(Within) Mother, mother, mother!
Link: 3.4.6

I'll warrant you,
Link: 3.4.7
Fear me not: withdraw, I hear him coming.
Link: 3.4.8

POLONIUS hides behind the arras


Now, mother, what's the matter?
Link: 3.4.9

Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
Link: 3.4.10

Mother, you have my father much offended.
Link: 3.4.11

Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.
Link: 3.4.12

Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.
Link: 3.4.13

Why, how now, Hamlet!
Link: 3.4.14

What's the matter now?
Link: 3.4.15

Have you forgot me?
Link: 3.4.16

No, by the rood, not so:
Link: 3.4.17
You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife;
Link: 3.4.18
And--would it were not so!--you are my mother.
Link: 3.4.19

Nay, then, I'll set those to you that can speak.
Link: 3.4.20

Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge;
Link: 3.4.21
You go not till I set you up a glass
Link: 3.4.22
Where you may see the inmost part of you.
Link: 3.4.23

What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murder me?
Link: 3.4.24
Help, help, ho!
Link: 3.4.25

(Behind) What, ho! help, help, help!
Link: 3.4.26

(Drawing) How now! a rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!
Link: 3.4.27

Makes a pass through the arras

(Behind) O, I am slain!
Link: 3.4.28

Falls and dies

O me, what hast thou done?
Link: 3.4.29

Nay, I know not:
Link: 3.4.30
Is it the king?
Link: 3.4.31

O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!
Link: 3.4.32

A bloody deed! almost as bad, good mother,
Link: 3.4.33
As kill a king, and marry with his brother.
Link: 3.4.34

As kill a king!
Link: 3.4.35

Ay, lady, 'twas my word.
Link: 3.4.36
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
Link: 3.4.37
I took thee for thy better: take thy fortune;
Link: 3.4.38
Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.
Link: 3.4.39
Leave wringing of your hands: peace! sit you down,
Link: 3.4.40
And let me wring your heart; for so I shall,
Link: 3.4.41
If it be made of penetrable stuff,
Link: 3.4.42
If damned custom have not brass'd it so
Link: 3.4.43
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.
Link: 3.4.44

What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue
Link: 3.4.45
In noise so rude against me?
Link: 3.4.46

Such an act
Link: 3.4.47
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,
Link: 3.4.48
Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose
Link: 3.4.49
From the fair forehead of an innocent love
Link: 3.4.50
And sets a blister there, makes marriage-vows
Link: 3.4.51
As false as dicers' oaths: O, such a deed
Link: 3.4.52
As from the body of contraction plucks
Link: 3.4.53
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
Link: 3.4.54
A rhapsody of words: heaven's face doth glow:
Link: 3.4.55
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
Link: 3.4.56
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Link: 3.4.57
Is thought-sick at the act.
Link: 3.4.58

Ay me, what act,
Link: 3.4.59
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?
Link: 3.4.60

Look here, upon this picture, and on this,
Link: 3.4.61
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
Link: 3.4.62
See, what a grace was seated on this brow;
Link: 3.4.63
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
Link: 3.4.64
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
Link: 3.4.65
A station like the herald Mercury
Link: 3.4.66
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
Link: 3.4.67
A combination and a form indeed,
Link: 3.4.68
Where every god did seem to set his seal,
Link: 3.4.69
To give the world assurance of a man:
Link: 3.4.70
This was your husband. Look you now, what follows:
Link: 3.4.71
Here is your husband; like a mildew'd ear,
Link: 3.4.72
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Link: 3.4.73
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
Link: 3.4.74
And batten on this moor? Ha! have you eyes?
Link: 3.4.75
You cannot call it love; for at your age
Link: 3.4.76
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
Link: 3.4.77
And waits upon the judgment: and what judgment
Link: 3.4.78
Would step from this to this? Sense, sure, you have,
Link: 3.4.79
Else could you not have motion; but sure, that sense
Link: 3.4.80
Is apoplex'd; for madness would not err,
Link: 3.4.81
Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thrall'd
Link: 3.4.82
But it reserved some quantity of choice,
Link: 3.4.83
To serve in such a difference. What devil was't
Link: 3.4.84
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
Link: 3.4.85
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Link: 3.4.86
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
Link: 3.4.87
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Link: 3.4.88
Could not so mope.
Link: 3.4.89
O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
Link: 3.4.90
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
Link: 3.4.91
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
Link: 3.4.92
And melt in her own fire: proclaim no shame
Link: 3.4.93
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,
Link: 3.4.94
Since frost itself as actively doth burn
Link: 3.4.95
And reason panders will.
Link: 3.4.96

O Hamlet, speak no more:
Link: 3.4.97
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul;
Link: 3.4.98
And there I see such black and grained spots
Link: 3.4.99
As will not leave their tinct.
Link: 3.4.100

Nay, but to live
Link: 3.4.101
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
Link: 3.4.102
Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love
Link: 3.4.103
Over the nasty sty,--
Link: 3.4.104

O, speak to me no more;
Link: 3.4.105
These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears;
Link: 3.4.106
No more, sweet Hamlet!
Link: 3.4.107

A murderer and a villain;
Link: 3.4.108
A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
Link: 3.4.109
Of your precedent lord; a vice of kings;
Link: 3.4.110
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
Link: 3.4.111
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
Link: 3.4.112
And put it in his pocket!
Link: 3.4.113

No more!
Link: 3.4.114

A king of shreds and patches,--
Link: 3.4.115
Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings,
Link: 3.4.116
You heavenly guards! What would your gracious figure?
Link: 3.4.117

Alas, he's mad!
Link: 3.4.118

Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
Link: 3.4.119
That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by
Link: 3.4.120
The important acting of your dread command? O, say!
Link: 3.4.121

Do not forget: this visitation
Link: 3.4.122
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
Link: 3.4.123
But, look, amazement on thy mother sits:
Link: 3.4.124
O, step between her and her fighting soul:
Link: 3.4.125
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works:
Link: 3.4.126
Speak to her, Hamlet.
Link: 3.4.127

How is it with you, lady?
Link: 3.4.128

Alas, how is't with you,
Link: 3.4.129
That you do bend your eye on vacancy
Link: 3.4.130
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
Link: 3.4.131
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
Link: 3.4.132
And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
Link: 3.4.133
Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,
Link: 3.4.134
Starts up, and stands on end. O gentle son,
Link: 3.4.135
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Link: 3.4.136
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?
Link: 3.4.137

On him, on him! Look you, how pale he glares!
Link: 3.4.138
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Link: 3.4.139
Would make them capable. Do not look upon me;
Link: 3.4.140
Lest with this piteous action you convert
Link: 3.4.141
My stern effects: then what I have to do
Link: 3.4.142
Will want true colour; tears perchance for blood.
Link: 3.4.143

To whom do you speak this?
Link: 3.4.144

Do you see nothing there?
Link: 3.4.145

Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.
Link: 3.4.146

Nor did you nothing hear?
Link: 3.4.147

No, nothing but ourselves.
Link: 3.4.148

Why, look you there! look, how it steals away!
Link: 3.4.149
My father, in his habit as he lived!
Link: 3.4.150
Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal!
Link: 3.4.151

Exit Ghost

This the very coinage of your brain:
Link: 3.4.152
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Link: 3.4.153
Is very cunning in.
Link: 3.4.154

Link: 3.4.155
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,
Link: 3.4.156
And makes as healthful music: it is not madness
Link: 3.4.157
That I have utter'd: bring me to the test,
Link: 3.4.158
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Link: 3.4.159
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Link: 3.4.160
Lay not that mattering unction to your soul,
Link: 3.4.161
That not your trespass, but my madness speaks:
Link: 3.4.162
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Link: 3.4.163
Whilst rank corruption, mining all within,
Link: 3.4.164
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;
Link: 3.4.165
Repent what's past; avoid what is to come;
Link: 3.4.166
And do not spread the compost on the weeds,
Link: 3.4.167
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue;
Link: 3.4.168
For in the fatness of these pursy times
Link: 3.4.169
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
Link: 3.4.170
Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.
Link: 3.4.171

O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
Link: 3.4.172

O, throw away the worser part of it,
Link: 3.4.173
And live the purer with the other half.
Link: 3.4.174
Good night: but go not to mine uncle's bed;
Link: 3.4.175
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
Link: 3.4.176
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat,
Link: 3.4.177
Of habits devil, is angel yet in this,
Link: 3.4.178
That to the use of actions fair and good
Link: 3.4.179
He likewise gives a frock or livery,
Link: 3.4.180
That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night,
Link: 3.4.181
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
Link: 3.4.182
To the next abstinence: the next more easy;
Link: 3.4.183
For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
Link: 3.4.184
And either ... the devil, or throw him out
Link: 3.4.185
With wondrous potency. Once more, good night:
Link: 3.4.186
And when you are desirous to be bless'd,
Link: 3.4.187
I'll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,
Link: 3.4.188
I do repent: but heaven hath pleased it so,
Link: 3.4.189
To punish me with this and this with me,
Link: 3.4.190
That I must be their scourge and minister.
Link: 3.4.191
I will bestow him, and will answer well
Link: 3.4.192
The death I gave him. So, again, good night.
Link: 3.4.193
I must be cruel, only to be kind:
Link: 3.4.194
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.
Link: 3.4.195
One word more, good lady.
Link: 3.4.196

What shall I do?
Link: 3.4.197

Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
Link: 3.4.198
Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed;
Link: 3.4.199
Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his mouse;
Link: 3.4.200
And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses,
Link: 3.4.201
Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
Link: 3.4.202
Make you to ravel all this matter out,
Link: 3.4.203
That I essentially am not in madness,
Link: 3.4.204
But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him know;
Link: 3.4.205
For who, that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Link: 3.4.206
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib,
Link: 3.4.207
Such dear concernings hide? who would do so?
Link: 3.4.208
No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
Link: 3.4.209
Unpeg the basket on the house's top.
Link: 3.4.210
Let the birds fly, and, like the famous ape,
Link: 3.4.211
To try conclusions, in the basket creep,
Link: 3.4.212
And break your own neck down.
Link: 3.4.213

Be thou assured, if words be made of breath,
Link: 3.4.214
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
Link: 3.4.215
What thou hast said to me.
Link: 3.4.216

I must to England; you know that?
Link: 3.4.217

I had forgot: 'tis so concluded on.
Link: 3.4.219

There's letters seal'd: and my two schoolfellows,
Link: 3.4.220
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,
Link: 3.4.221
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way,
Link: 3.4.222
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
Link: 3.4.223
For 'tis the sport to have the engineer
Link: 3.4.224
Hoist with his own petard: and 't shall go hard
Link: 3.4.225
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
Link: 3.4.226
And blow them at the moon: O, 'tis most sweet,
Link: 3.4.227
When in one line two crafts directly meet.
Link: 3.4.228
This man shall set me packing:
Link: 3.4.229
I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room.
Link: 3.4.230
Mother, good night. Indeed this counsellor
Link: 3.4.231
Is now most still, most secret and most grave,
Link: 3.4.232
Who was in life a foolish prating knave.
Link: 3.4.233
Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Link: 3.4.234
Good night, mother.
Link: 3.4.235

Exeunt severally; HAMLET dragging in POLONIUS

Act IV

In Act 4 of Hamlet, the audience sees a dramatic shift in the story as Hamlet becomes more focused on seeking revenge against his uncle Claudius for killing his father. Hamlet's behavior becomes more erratic and unpredictable, causing concern among those around him.

Early in the act, Hamlet confronts his mother Gertrude about her role in his father's death. He becomes increasingly agitated and accuses her of being complicit in the murder. His behavior becomes so erratic that Gertrude becomes frightened and cries out for help. Polonius, who is hiding behind a tapestry, also cries out for help, and Hamlet stabs him through the fabric, killing him.

Later in the act, Hamlet is sent away to England by Claudius, who fears for his safety. Hamlet manages to escape and returns to Denmark, where he learns of Ophelia's death. He is grief-stricken and confronts her brother Laertes, who blames Hamlet for her death. Hamlet and Laertes engage in a heated argument that ultimately leads to a duel.

The act ends with Hamlet's famous soliloquy, in which he reflects on the nature of life and death. He expresses his desire for revenge against Claudius and his frustration with his own lack of action. The audience is left wondering what will happen in the final act of the play.

SCENE I. A room in the castle.

Scene 1 of Act 4 begins with Gertrude informing Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius. Claudius is angry and concerned about the potential consequences of this action. He orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to find Hamlet and bring him to him.

Meanwhile, Hamlet is in possession of Polonius' body and is taunting Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as they attempt to get information from him. He eventually agrees to see Claudius, but not before delivering a soliloquy about the nature of life and death.

When Hamlet finally sees Claudius, he is confrontational and accusatory. He refuses to reveal where he has hidden Polonius' body and instead turns the conversation to his own grievances against Claudius. In the end, Claudius decides to send Hamlet to England, hoping to rid himself of the problem.

The scene is full of tension and conflict, with each character trying to assert their own power and protect their own interests. It sets the stage for the rest of the play, which will see Hamlet seeking revenge for his father's murder and struggling with his own sense of identity and purpose.


There's matter in these sighs, these profound heaves:
Link: 4.1.1
You must translate: 'tis fit we understand them.
Link: 4.1.2
Where is your son?
Link: 4.1.3

Bestow this place on us a little while.
Link: 4.1.4
Ah, my good lord, what have I seen to-night!
Link: 4.1.5

What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
Link: 4.1.6

Mad as the sea and wind, when both contend
Link: 4.1.7
Which is the mightier: in his lawless fit,
Link: 4.1.8
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Link: 4.1.9
Whips out his rapier, cries, 'A rat, a rat!'
Link: 4.1.10
And, in this brainish apprehension, kills
Link: 4.1.11
The unseen good old man.
Link: 4.1.12

O heavy deed!
Link: 4.1.13
It had been so with us, had we been there:
Link: 4.1.14
His liberty is full of threats to all;
Link: 4.1.15
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Link: 4.1.16
Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answer'd?
Link: 4.1.17
It will be laid to us, whose providence
Link: 4.1.18
Should have kept short, restrain'd and out of haunt,
Link: 4.1.19
This mad young man: but so much was our love,
Link: 4.1.20
We would not understand what was most fit;
Link: 4.1.21
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
Link: 4.1.22
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Link: 4.1.23
Even on the pith of Life. Where is he gone?
Link: 4.1.24

To draw apart the body he hath kill'd:
Link: 4.1.25
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore
Link: 4.1.26
Among a mineral of metals base,
Link: 4.1.27
Shows itself pure; he weeps for what is done.
Link: 4.1.28

O Gertrude, come away!
Link: 4.1.29
The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch,
Link: 4.1.30
But we will ship him hence: and this vile deed
Link: 4.1.31
We must, with all our majesty and skill,
Link: 4.1.32
Both countenance and excuse. Ho, Guildenstern!
Link: 4.1.33
Friends both, go join you with some further aid:
Link: 4.1.34
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,
Link: 4.1.35
And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd him:
Link: 4.1.36
Go seek him out; speak fair, and bring the body
Link: 4.1.37
Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this.
Link: 4.1.38
Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends;
Link: 4.1.39
And let them know, both what we mean to do,
Link: 4.1.40
And what's untimely done...
Link: 4.1.41
Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
Link: 4.1.42
As level as the cannon to his blank,
Link: 4.1.43
Transports his poison'd shot, may miss our name,
Link: 4.1.44
And hit the woundless air. O, come away!
Link: 4.1.45
My soul is full of discord and dismay.
Link: 4.1.46


SCENE II. Another room in the castle.

Scene 2 of Act 4 takes place in the palace of Elsinore where Hamlet has just returned from his journey to England. He is met by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who inform him that his mother wishes to see him. Hamlet is now convinced of his uncle's guilt and decides to confront him.

As he enters the palace, he sees Claudius praying. Hamlet draws his sword and contemplates killing him then and there, but decides against it because he fears that Claudius would go straight to heaven if killed while praying. He decides to wait for a better opportunity to avenge his father's murder.

Meanwhile, Polonius enters and Hamlet mistakes him for Claudius. He stabs him through the arras, killing him. When he realizes his mistake, he shows no remorse and continues to mock Polonius. He then turns his attention to his mother, who is shocked and confused by his behavior. Hamlet accuses her of being complicit in his father's murder and demands that she confess and repent.

During their conversation, Hamlet hears a noise behind the arras and, thinking it is Claudius, stabs through it. He discovers that it is actually Polonius's body and again shows no remorse. He then continues to berate his mother, telling her that she must renounce her marriage to Claudius and that he will make her see the error of her ways.

The scene ends with Hamlet dragging Polonius's body out of the room and his mother crying out in despair.


Safely stowed.
Link: 4.2.1

(Within) Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
Link: 4.2.2

What noise? who calls on Hamlet?
Link: 4.2.3
O, here they come.
Link: 4.2.4


What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
Link: 4.2.5

Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
Link: 4.2.6

Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence
Link: 4.2.7
And bear it to the chapel.
Link: 4.2.8

Do not believe it.
Link: 4.2.9

Believe what?
Link: 4.2.10

That I can keep your counsel and not mine own.
Link: 4.2.11
Besides, to be demanded of a sponge! what
Link: 4.2.12
replication should be made by the son of a king?
Link: 4.2.13

Take you me for a sponge, my lord?
Link: 4.2.14

Ay, sir, that soaks up the king's countenance, his
Link: 4.2.15
rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the
Link: 4.2.16
king best service in the end: he keeps them, like
Link: 4.2.17
an ape, in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to
Link: 4.2.18
be last swallowed: when he needs what you have
Link: 4.2.19
gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you
Link: 4.2.20
shall be dry again.
Link: 4.2.21

I understand you not, my lord.
Link: 4.2.22

I am glad of it: a knavish speech sleeps in a
Link: 4.2.23
foolish ear.
Link: 4.2.24

My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go
Link: 4.2.25
with us to the king.
Link: 4.2.26

The body is with the king, but the king is not with
Link: 4.2.27
the body. The king is a thing--
Link: 4.2.28

A thing, my lord!
Link: 4.2.29

Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.
Link: 4.2.30


SCENE III. Another room in the castle.

In Scene 3 of Act 4, two characters are discussing a grave being dug in the churchyard. One of the characters is a clown, who is tasked with digging the grave. The other character is a fellow gravedigger who is trying to engage the clown in conversation.

As they work, they discuss death and suicide, and the gravedigger tells the clown about the various types of people who end up in the graves he digs. Eventually, they come across the skull of a court jester, which the gravedigger recognizes. The two men discuss the irony of the jester's fate, and the gravedigger sings a song about death and the inevitability of dying.

The scene is darkly humorous and serves as a counterpoint to the more serious and dramatic events of the play. It also highlights the themes of mortality and the fleeting nature of life that run throughout the play.

Enter KING CLAUDIUS, attended

I have sent to seek him, and to find the body.
Link: 4.3.1
How dangerous is it that this man goes loose!
Link: 4.3.2
Yet must not we put the strong law on him:
Link: 4.3.3
He's loved of the distracted multitude,
Link: 4.3.4
Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;
Link: 4.3.5
And where tis so, the offender's scourge is weigh'd,
Link: 4.3.6
But never the offence. To bear all smooth and even,
Link: 4.3.7
This sudden sending him away must seem
Link: 4.3.8
Deliberate pause: diseases desperate grown
Link: 4.3.9
By desperate appliance are relieved,
Link: 4.3.10
Or not at all.
Link: 4.3.11
How now! what hath befall'n?
Link: 4.3.12

Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
Link: 4.3.13
We cannot get from him.
Link: 4.3.14

But where is he?
Link: 4.3.15

Without, my lord; guarded, to know your pleasure.
Link: 4.3.16

Bring him before us.
Link: 4.3.17

Ho, Guildenstern! bring in my lord.
Link: 4.3.18


Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?
Link: 4.3.19

At supper.
Link: 4.3.20

At supper! where?
Link: 4.3.21

Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a certain
Link: 4.3.22
convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your
Link: 4.3.23
worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all
Link: 4.3.24
creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for
Link: 4.3.25
maggots: your fat king and your lean beggar is but
Link: 4.3.26
variable service, two dishes, but to one table:
Link: 4.3.27
that's the end.
Link: 4.3.28

Alas, alas!
Link: 4.3.29

A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a
Link: 4.3.30
king, and cat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
Link: 4.3.31

What dost you mean by this?
Link: 4.3.32

Nothing but to show you how a king may go a
Link: 4.3.33
progress through the guts of a beggar.
Link: 4.3.34

Where is Polonius?
Link: 4.3.35

In heaven; send hither to see: if your messenger
Link: 4.3.36
find him not there, seek him i' the other place
Link: 4.3.37
yourself. But indeed, if you find him not within
Link: 4.3.38
this month, you shall nose him as you go up the
Link: 4.3.39
stairs into the lobby.
Link: 4.3.40

Go seek him there.
Link: 4.3.41

To some Attendants

He will stay till ye come.
Link: 4.3.42

Exeunt Attendants

Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety,--
Link: 4.3.43
Which we do tender, as we dearly grieve
Link: 4.3.44
For that which thou hast done,--must send thee hence
Link: 4.3.45
With fiery quickness: therefore prepare thyself;
Link: 4.3.46
The bark is ready, and the wind at help,
Link: 4.3.47
The associates tend, and every thing is bent
Link: 4.3.48
For England.
Link: 4.3.49

For England!
Link: 4.3.50

Ay, Hamlet.
Link: 4.3.51


So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.
Link: 4.3.53

I see a cherub that sees them. But, come; for
Link: 4.3.54
England! Farewell, dear mother.
Link: 4.3.55

Thy loving father, Hamlet.
Link: 4.3.56

My mother: father and mother is man and wife; man
Link: 4.3.57
and wife is one flesh; and so, my mother. Come, for England!
Link: 4.3.58


Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed aboard;
Link: 4.3.59
Delay it not; I'll have him hence to-night:
Link: 4.3.60
Away! for every thing is seal'd and done
Link: 4.3.61
That else leans on the affair: pray you, make haste.
Link: 4.3.62
And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught--
Link: 4.3.63
As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
Link: 4.3.64
Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
Link: 4.3.65
After the Danish sword, and thy free awe
Link: 4.3.66
Pays homage to us--thou mayst not coldly set
Link: 4.3.67
Our sovereign process; which imports at full,
Link: 4.3.68
By letters congruing to that effect,
Link: 4.3.69
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
Link: 4.3.70
For like the hectic in my blood he rages,
Link: 4.3.71
And thou must cure me: till I know 'tis done,
Link: 4.3.72
Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun.
Link: 4.3.73


SCENE IV. A plain in Denmark.

In Scene 4 of Act 4, the audience witnesses a conversation between Hamlet and Gertrude, his mother.

Hamlet confronts Gertrude about her role in the death of his father and her hasty remarriage to his uncle, the current king. He accuses her of being complicit in the murder and urges her to repent for her actions.

Gertrude is initially defensive but eventually succumbs to Hamlet's accusations and agrees to help him seek revenge against his uncle. Hamlet tells her to stop sleeping with her husband and to keep his secret.

Their conversation is interrupted by the ghost of Hamlet's father, who reminds Hamlet of his mission to avenge his death. Hamlet becomes agitated and begins to speak in riddles, confusing Gertrude.

The scene ends with Hamlet dragging Polonius's body out of the room, mistaking him for the king. Gertrude is left alone, frightened and confused by the events that have just transpired.

Enter FORTINBRAS, a Captain, and Soldiers, marching

Go, captain, from me greet the Danish king;
Link: 4.4.1
Tell him that, by his licence, Fortinbras
Link: 4.4.2
Craves the conveyance of a promised march
Link: 4.4.3
Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous.
Link: 4.4.4
If that his majesty would aught with us,
Link: 4.4.5
We shall express our duty in his eye;
Link: 4.4.6
And let him know so.
Link: 4.4.7

I will do't, my lord.
Link: 4.4.8

Go softly on.
Link: 4.4.9

Exeunt FORTINBRAS and Soldiers


Good sir, whose powers are these?
Link: 4.4.10

They are of Norway, sir.
Link: 4.4.11

How purposed, sir, I pray you?
Link: 4.4.12

Against some part of Poland.
Link: 4.4.13

Who commands them, sir?
Link: 4.4.14

The nephews to old Norway, Fortinbras.
Link: 4.4.15

Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Link: 4.4.16
Or for some frontier?
Link: 4.4.17

Truly to speak, and with no addition,
Link: 4.4.18
We go to gain a little patch of ground
Link: 4.4.19
That hath in it no profit but the name.
Link: 4.4.20
To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it;
Link: 4.4.21
Nor will it yield to Norway or the Pole
Link: 4.4.22
A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.
Link: 4.4.23

Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Link: 4.4.24

Yes, it is already garrison'd.
Link: 4.4.25

Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats
Link: 4.4.26
Will not debate the question of this straw:
Link: 4.4.27
This is the imposthume of much wealth and peace,
Link: 4.4.28
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
Link: 4.4.29
Why the man dies. I humbly thank you, sir.
Link: 4.4.30

God be wi' you, sir.
Link: 4.4.31


Wilt please you go, my lord?
Link: 4.4.32

I'll be with you straight go a little before.
Link: 4.4.33
How all occasions do inform against me,
Link: 4.4.34
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
Link: 4.4.35
If his chief good and market of his time
Link: 4.4.36
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
Link: 4.4.37
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Link: 4.4.38
Looking before and after, gave us not
Link: 4.4.39
That capability and god-like reason
Link: 4.4.40
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
Link: 4.4.41
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Link: 4.4.42
Of thinking too precisely on the event,
Link: 4.4.43
A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom
Link: 4.4.44
And ever three parts coward, I do not know
Link: 4.4.45
Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do;'
Link: 4.4.46
Sith I have cause and will and strength and means
Link: 4.4.47
To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me:
Link: 4.4.48
Witness this army of such mass and charge
Link: 4.4.49
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Link: 4.4.50
Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd
Link: 4.4.51
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Link: 4.4.52
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
Link: 4.4.53
To all that fortune, death and danger dare,
Link: 4.4.54
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
Link: 4.4.55
Is not to stir without great argument,
Link: 4.4.56
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
Link: 4.4.57
When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
Link: 4.4.58
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
Link: 4.4.59
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
Link: 4.4.60
And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I see
Link: 4.4.61
The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
Link: 4.4.62
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame,
Link: 4.4.63
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Link: 4.4.64
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Link: 4.4.65
Which is not tomb enough and continent
Link: 4.4.66
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
Link: 4.4.67
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
Link: 4.4.68


SCENE V. Elsinore. A room in the castle.

Scene 5 of Act 4 of this play takes place in a room within a castle. A queen, a king, and several other attendants are present. The queen is upset and afraid because her son, Hamlet, has killed Polonius, the lord chamberlain. She thinks that Hamlet is crazy and dangerous. Suddenly, a messenger arrives and tells the group that Hamlet is coming. The king decides to hide Polonius' body and pretends that he is still alive. He orders the queen to talk to Hamlet and try to calm him down.

Hamlet enters the room and starts to speak with the queen. He is angry and accuses her of being part of the reason for his madness. He also tells her that he knows that the king is behind his father's death. The queen tries to defend herself and tells Hamlet that he is wrong. She begs him to stop being crazy and to behave like a normal person. Hamlet continues to be angry and rants about how unfair life is.

Finally, the ghost of Hamlet's father appears and speaks to him. The ghost reminds Hamlet of his duty to avenge his father's death. He tells him that he must not harm his mother and that he should be strong and brave. Hamlet agrees to follow his father's orders and promises to be a good son.

The scene ends with Hamlet leaving the room, determined to seek revenge against his father's murderer. The queen is left behind, feeling confused and frightened, unsure of what will happen next.

Enter QUEEN GERTRUDE, HORATIO, and a Gentleman

I will not speak with her.
Link: 4.5.1

She is importunate, indeed distract:
Link: 4.5.2
Her mood will needs be pitied.
Link: 4.5.3

What would she have?
Link: 4.5.4

She speaks much of her father; says she hears
Link: 4.5.5
There's tricks i' the world; and hems, and beats her heart;
Link: 4.5.6
Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in doubt,
Link: 4.5.7
That carry but half sense: her speech is nothing,
Link: 4.5.8
Yet the unshaped use of it doth move
Link: 4.5.9
The hearers to collection; they aim at it,
Link: 4.5.10
And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts;
Link: 4.5.11
Which, as her winks, and nods, and gestures
Link: 4.5.12
yield them,
Link: 4.5.13
Indeed would make one think there might be thought,
Link: 4.5.14
Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.
Link: 4.5.15

'Twere good she were spoken with; for she may strew
Link: 4.5.16
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
Link: 4.5.17

Let her come in.
Link: 4.5.18
To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is,
Link: 4.5.19
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss:
Link: 4.5.20
So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
Link: 4.5.21
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.
Link: 4.5.22

Re-enter HORATIO, with OPHELIA

Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark?
Link: 4.5.23

How now, Ophelia!
Link: 4.5.24

Link: 4.5.25
How should I your true love know
Link: 4.5.26
From another one?
Link: 4.5.27
By his cockle hat and staff,
Link: 4.5.28
And his sandal shoon.
Link: 4.5.29

Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?
Link: 4.5.30

Say you? nay, pray you, mark.
Link: 4.5.31
He is dead and gone, lady,
Link: 4.5.32
He is dead and gone;
Link: 4.5.33
At his head a grass-green turf,
Link: 4.5.34
At his heels a stone.
Link: 4.5.35

Nay, but, Ophelia,--
Link: 4.5.36

Pray you, mark.
Link: 4.5.37
White his shroud as the mountain snow,--
Link: 4.5.38


Alas, look here, my lord.
Link: 4.5.39

Link: 4.5.40
Larded with sweet flowers
Link: 4.5.41
Which bewept to the grave did go
Link: 4.5.42
With true-love showers.
Link: 4.5.43

How do you, pretty lady?
Link: 4.5.44

Well, God 'ild you! They say the owl was a baker's
Link: 4.5.45
daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not
Link: 4.5.46
what we may be. God be at your table!
Link: 4.5.47

Conceit upon her father.
Link: 4.5.48

Pray you, let's have no words of this; but when they
Link: 4.5.49
ask you what it means, say you this:
Link: 4.5.50
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
Link: 4.5.51
All in the morning betime,
Link: 4.5.52
And I a maid at your window,
Link: 4.5.53
To be your Valentine.
Link: 4.5.54
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
Link: 4.5.55
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Link: 4.5.56
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Link: 4.5.57
Never departed more.
Link: 4.5.58

Pretty Ophelia!
Link: 4.5.59

Indeed, la, without an oath, I'll make an end on't:
Link: 4.5.60
By Gis and by Saint Charity,
Link: 4.5.61
Alack, and fie for shame!
Link: 4.5.62
Young men will do't, if they come to't;
Link: 4.5.63
By cock, they are to blame.
Link: 4.5.64
Quoth she, before you tumbled me,
Link: 4.5.65
You promised me to wed.
Link: 4.5.66
So would I ha' done, by yonder sun,
Link: 4.5.67
An thou hadst not come to my bed.
Link: 4.5.68

How long hath she been thus?
Link: 4.5.69

I hope all will be well. We must be patient: but I
Link: 4.5.70
cannot choose but weep, to think they should lay him
Link: 4.5.71
i' the cold ground. My brother shall know of it:
Link: 4.5.72
and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my
Link: 4.5.73
coach! Good night, ladies; good night, sweet ladies;
Link: 4.5.74
good night, good night.
Link: 4.5.75


Follow her close; give her good watch,
Link: 4.5.76
I pray you.
Link: 4.5.77
O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs
Link: 4.5.78
All from her father's death. O Gertrude, Gertrude,
Link: 4.5.79
When sorrows come, they come not single spies
Link: 4.5.80
But in battalions. First, her father slain:
Link: 4.5.81
Next, your son gone; and he most violent author
Link: 4.5.82
Of his own just remove: the people muddied,
Link: 4.5.83
Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers,
Link: 4.5.84
For good Polonius' death; and we have done but greenly,
Link: 4.5.85
In hugger-mugger to inter him: poor Ophelia
Link: 4.5.86
Divided from herself and her fair judgment,
Link: 4.5.87
Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts:
Link: 4.5.88
Last, and as much containing as all these,
Link: 4.5.89
Her brother is in secret come from France;
Link: 4.5.90
Feeds on his wonder, keeps himself in clouds,
Link: 4.5.91
And wants not buzzers to infect his ear
Link: 4.5.92
With pestilent speeches of his father's death;
Link: 4.5.93
Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd,
Link: 4.5.94
Will nothing stick our person to arraign
Link: 4.5.95
In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this,
Link: 4.5.96
Like to a murdering-piece, in many places
Link: 4.5.97
Gives me superfluous death.
Link: 4.5.98

A noise within

Alack, what noise is this?
Link: 4.5.99

Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door.
Link: 4.5.100
What is the matter?
Link: 4.5.101

Save yourself, my lord:
Link: 4.5.102
The ocean, overpeering of his list,
Link: 4.5.103
Eats not the flats with more impetuous haste
Link: 4.5.104
Than young Laertes, in a riotous head,
Link: 4.5.105
O'erbears your officers. The rabble call him lord;
Link: 4.5.106
And, as the world were now but to begin,
Link: 4.5.107
Antiquity forgot, custom not known,
Link: 4.5.108
The ratifiers and props of every word,
Link: 4.5.109
They cry 'Choose we: Laertes shall be king:'
Link: 4.5.110
Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds:
Link: 4.5.111
'Laertes shall be king, Laertes king!'
Link: 4.5.112

How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
Link: 4.5.113
O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs!
Link: 4.5.114

The doors are broke.
Link: 4.5.115

Noise within

Enter LAERTES, armed; Danes following

Where is this king? Sirs, stand you all without.
Link: 4.5.116

No, let's come in.
Link: 4.5.117

I pray you, give me leave.
Link: 4.5.118

We will, we will.
Link: 4.5.119

They retire without the door

I thank you: keep the door. O thou vile king,
Link: 4.5.120
Give me my father!
Link: 4.5.121

Calmly, good Laertes.
Link: 4.5.122

That drop of blood that's calm proclaims me bastard,
Link: 4.5.123
Cries cuckold to my father, brands the harlot
Link: 4.5.124
Even here, between the chaste unsmirched brow
Link: 4.5.125
Of my true mother.
Link: 4.5.126

What is the cause, Laertes,
Link: 4.5.127
That thy rebellion looks so giant-like?
Link: 4.5.128
Let him go, Gertrude; do not fear our person:
Link: 4.5.129
There's such divinity doth hedge a king,
Link: 4.5.130
That treason can but peep to what it would,
Link: 4.5.131
Acts little of his will. Tell me, Laertes,
Link: 4.5.132
Why thou art thus incensed. Let him go, Gertrude.
Link: 4.5.133
Speak, man.
Link: 4.5.134

Where is my father?
Link: 4.5.135


But not by him.
Link: 4.5.137

Let him demand his fill.
Link: 4.5.138

How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with:
Link: 4.5.139
To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil!
Link: 4.5.140
Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!
Link: 4.5.141
I dare damnation. To this point I stand,
Link: 4.5.142
That both the worlds I give to negligence,
Link: 4.5.143
Let come what comes; only I'll be revenged
Link: 4.5.144
Most thoroughly for my father.
Link: 4.5.145

Who shall stay you?
Link: 4.5.146

My will, not all the world:
Link: 4.5.147
And for my means, I'll husband them so well,
Link: 4.5.148
They shall go far with little.
Link: 4.5.149

Good Laertes,
Link: 4.5.150
If you desire to know the certainty
Link: 4.5.151
Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge,
Link: 4.5.152
That, swoopstake, you will draw both friend and foe,
Link: 4.5.153
Winner and loser?
Link: 4.5.154

None but his enemies.
Link: 4.5.155

Will you know them then?
Link: 4.5.156

To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms;
Link: 4.5.157
And like the kind life-rendering pelican,
Link: 4.5.158
Repast them with my blood.
Link: 4.5.159

Why, now you speak
Link: 4.5.160
Like a good child and a true gentleman.
Link: 4.5.161
That I am guiltless of your father's death,
Link: 4.5.162
And am most sensible in grief for it,
Link: 4.5.163
It shall as level to your judgment pierce
Link: 4.5.164
As day does to your eye.
Link: 4.5.165

(Within) Let her come in.
Link: 4.5.166

How now! what noise is that?
Link: 4.5.167
O heat, dry up my brains! tears seven times salt,
Link: 4.5.168
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!
Link: 4.5.169
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight,
Link: 4.5.170
Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May!
Link: 4.5.171
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!
Link: 4.5.172
O heavens! is't possible, a young maid's wits
Link: 4.5.173
Should be as moral as an old man's life?
Link: 4.5.174
Nature is fine in love, and where 'tis fine,
Link: 4.5.175
It sends some precious instance of itself
Link: 4.5.176
After the thing it loves.
Link: 4.5.177

They bore him barefaced on the bier;
Link: 4.5.179
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny;
Link: 4.5.180
And in his grave rain'd many a tear:--
Link: 4.5.181
Fare you well, my dove!
Link: 4.5.182

Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
Link: 4.5.183
It could not move thus.
Link: 4.5.184

You must sing a-down a-down,
Link: 4.5.186
An you call him a-down-a.
Link: 4.5.187
O, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false
Link: 4.5.188
steward, that stole his master's daughter.
Link: 4.5.189

This nothing's more than matter.
Link: 4.5.190

There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray,
Link: 4.5.191
love, remember: and there is pansies. that's for thoughts.
Link: 4.5.192

A document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted.
Link: 4.5.193

There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue
Link: 4.5.194
for you; and here's some for me: we may call it
Link: 4.5.195
herb-grace o' Sundays: O you must wear your rue with
Link: 4.5.196
a difference. There's a daisy: I would give you
Link: 4.5.197
some violets, but they withered all when my father
Link: 4.5.198
died: they say he made a good end,--
Link: 4.5.199
For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.
Link: 4.5.200

Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
Link: 4.5.201
She turns to favour and to prettiness.
Link: 4.5.202

And will he not come again?
Link: 4.5.204
And will he not come again?
Link: 4.5.205
No, no, he is dead:
Link: 4.5.206
Go to thy death-bed:
Link: 4.5.207
He never will come again.
Link: 4.5.208
His beard was as white as snow,
Link: 4.5.209
All flaxen was his poll:
Link: 4.5.210
He is gone, he is gone,
Link: 4.5.211
And we cast away moan:
Link: 4.5.212
God ha' mercy on his soul!
Link: 4.5.213
And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God be wi' ye.
Link: 4.5.214


Do you see this, O God?
Link: 4.5.215

Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
Link: 4.5.216
Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
Link: 4.5.217
Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will.
Link: 4.5.218
And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me:
Link: 4.5.219
If by direct or by collateral hand
Link: 4.5.220
They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
Link: 4.5.221
Our crown, our life, and all that we can ours,
Link: 4.5.222
To you in satisfaction; but if not,
Link: 4.5.223
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
Link: 4.5.224
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
Link: 4.5.225
To give it due content.
Link: 4.5.226

Let this be so;
Link: 4.5.227
His means of death, his obscure funeral--
Link: 4.5.228
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
Link: 4.5.229
No noble rite nor formal ostentation--
Link: 4.5.230
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
Link: 4.5.231
That I must call't in question.
Link: 4.5.232

So you shall;
Link: 4.5.233
And where the offence is let the great axe fall.
Link: 4.5.234
I pray you, go with me.
Link: 4.5.235


SCENE VI. Another room in the castle.

Scene 6 of Act 4 of this play involves a conversation between two gravediggers as they dig a grave. They discuss the recent death of Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius. One of the gravediggers wonders whether Ophelia deserves a Christian burial, given that she may have committed suicide. The other gravedigger argues that Ophelia deserves a Christian burial regardless of how she died.

Hamlet and Horatio then enter the scene. Hamlet is shocked to find that the gravediggers are joking about death and asks them whose grave they are digging. The gravediggers respond that the grave is for someone who was a "woman" and a "great one." Hamlet then realizes that the grave is for Ophelia and becomes emotional.

He jumps into the grave and starts to hold the skull of Yorick, a jester Hamlet knew as a child. Hamlet then reflects on the inevitability of death and the fact that even great people like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar have died and been forgotten. He also reflects on the fact that death is the great equalizer and that everyone, regardless of their station in life, will eventually die.

After Hamlet exits the grave, he sees Laertes, Ophelia's brother, who is angry with him for causing Ophelia's death. They fight, but are separated by Horatio. The scene ends with Hamlet and Horatio leaving the graveyard.

Enter HORATIO and a Servant

What are they that would speak with me?
Link: 4.6.1

Sailors, sir: they say they have letters for you.
Link: 4.6.2

Let them come in.
Link: 4.6.3
I do not know from what part of the world
Link: 4.6.4
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
Link: 4.6.5

Enter Sailors

First Sailor
God bless you, sir.
Link: 4.6.6

Let him bless thee too.
Link: 4.6.7

First Sailor
He shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for
Link: 4.6.8
you, sir; it comes from the ambassador that was
Link: 4.6.9
bound for England; if your name be Horatio, as I am
Link: 4.6.10
let to know it is.
Link: 4.6.11

(Reads) 'Horatio, when thou shalt have overlooked
Link: 4.6.12
this, give these fellows some means to the king:
Link: 4.6.13
they have letters for him. Ere we were two days old
Link: 4.6.14
at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us
Link: 4.6.15
chase. Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on
Link: 4.6.16
a compelled valour, and in the grapple I boarded
Link: 4.6.17
them: on the instant they got clear of our ship; so
Link: 4.6.18
I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with
Link: 4.6.19
me like thieves of mercy: but they knew what they
Link: 4.6.20
did; I am to do a good turn for them. Let the king
Link: 4.6.21
have the letters I have sent; and repair thou to me
Link: 4.6.22
with as much speed as thou wouldst fly death. I
Link: 4.6.23
have words to speak in thine ear will make thee
Link: 4.6.24
dumb; yet are they much too light for the bore of
Link: 4.6.25
the matter. These good fellows will bring thee
Link: 4.6.26
where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their
Link: 4.6.27
course for England: of them I have much to tell
Link: 4.6.28
thee. Farewell.
Link: 4.6.29
'He that thou knowest thine, HAMLET.'
Link: 4.6.30
Come, I will make you way for these your letters;
Link: 4.6.31
And do't the speedier, that you may direct me
Link: 4.6.32
To him from whom you brought them.
Link: 4.6.33


SCENE VII. Another room in the castle.

Scene 7 of Act 4 of this play begins with King Claudius expressing his fear and guilt over his actions. He confesses to having killed his own brother, the previous king, in order to take the throne and marry his sister-in-law, Queen Gertrude.

As he ponders his own damnation, he also worries about Hamlet's growing hostility towards him. He decides to send the prince to England under the guise of a diplomatic mission, but with secret instructions for his execution upon arrival.

Meanwhile, Hamlet is being held captive by his old schoolmates, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who have been tasked by the king with spying on him. Hamlet sees through their deceit and tricks them into revealing their orders to deliver him to the English court.

He then decides to turn the tables on them and drafts a letter to the English authorities, instructing them to execute Rosencrantz and Guildenstern instead. He seals the letter and returns to the Danish court with his captors in tow.

As the scene ends, Hamlet and his companions are met by a group of soldiers who are marching towards the court. Hamlet recognizes them as a Norwegian army led by Prince Fortinbras, who seeks to reclaim the lands his father lost to the previous king of Denmark. Hamlet realizes that he must now confront his destiny and prepare for the inevitable battle to come.


Now must your conscience my acquaintance seal,
Link: 4.7.1
And you must put me in your heart for friend,
Link: 4.7.2
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
Link: 4.7.3
That he which hath your noble father slain
Link: 4.7.4
Pursued my life.
Link: 4.7.5

It well appears: but tell me
Link: 4.7.6
Why you proceeded not against these feats,
Link: 4.7.7
So crimeful and so capital in nature,
Link: 4.7.8
As by your safety, wisdom, all things else,
Link: 4.7.9
You mainly were stirr'd up.
Link: 4.7.10

O, for two special reasons;
Link: 4.7.11
Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd,
Link: 4.7.12
But yet to me they are strong. The queen his mother
Link: 4.7.13
Lives almost by his looks; and for myself--
Link: 4.7.14
My virtue or my plague, be it either which--
Link: 4.7.15
She's so conjunctive to my life and soul,
Link: 4.7.16
That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,
Link: 4.7.17
I could not but by her. The other motive,
Link: 4.7.18
Why to a public count I might not go,
Link: 4.7.19
Is the great love the general gender bear him;
Link: 4.7.20
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Link: 4.7.21
Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Link: 4.7.22
Convert his gyves to graces; so that my arrows,
Link: 4.7.23
Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind,
Link: 4.7.24
Would have reverted to my bow again,
Link: 4.7.25
And not where I had aim'd them.
Link: 4.7.26

And so have I a noble father lost;
Link: 4.7.27
A sister driven into desperate terms,
Link: 4.7.28
Whose worth, if praises may go back again,
Link: 4.7.29
Stood challenger on mount of all the age
Link: 4.7.30
For her perfections: but my revenge will come.
Link: 4.7.31

Break not your sleeps for that: you must not think
Link: 4.7.32
That we are made of stuff so flat and dull
Link: 4.7.33
That we can let our beard be shook with danger
Link: 4.7.34
And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more:
Link: 4.7.35
I loved your father, and we love ourself;
Link: 4.7.36
And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine--
Link: 4.7.37
How now! what news?
Link: 4.7.38

Letters, my lord, from Hamlet:
Link: 4.7.39
This to your majesty; this to the queen.
Link: 4.7.40

From Hamlet! who brought them?
Link: 4.7.41

Sailors, my lord, they say; I saw them not:
Link: 4.7.42
They were given me by Claudio; he received them
Link: 4.7.43
Of him that brought them.
Link: 4.7.44

Laertes, you shall hear them. Leave us.
Link: 4.7.45
'High and mighty, You shall know I am set naked on
Link: 4.7.46
your kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see
Link: 4.7.47
your kingly eyes: when I shall, first asking your
Link: 4.7.48
pardon thereunto, recount the occasion of my sudden
Link: 4.7.49
and more strange return. 'HAMLET.'
Link: 4.7.50
What should this mean? Are all the rest come back?
Link: 4.7.51
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?
Link: 4.7.52

Know you the hand?
Link: 4.7.53

'Tis Hamlets character. 'Naked!
Link: 4.7.54
And in a postscript here, he says 'alone.'
Link: 4.7.55
Can you advise me?
Link: 4.7.56

I'm lost in it, my lord. But let him come;
Link: 4.7.57
It warms the very sickness in my heart,
Link: 4.7.58
That I shall live and tell him to his teeth,
Link: 4.7.59
'Thus didest thou.'
Link: 4.7.60

If it be so, Laertes--
Link: 4.7.61
As how should it be so? how otherwise?--
Link: 4.7.62
Will you be ruled by me?
Link: 4.7.63

Ay, my lord;
Link: 4.7.64
So you will not o'errule me to a peace.
Link: 4.7.65

To thine own peace. If he be now return'd,
Link: 4.7.66
As checking at his voyage, and that he means
Link: 4.7.67
No more to undertake it, I will work him
Link: 4.7.68
To an exploit, now ripe in my device,
Link: 4.7.69
Under the which he shall not choose but fall:
Link: 4.7.70
And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe,
Link: 4.7.71
But even his mother shall uncharge the practise
Link: 4.7.72
And call it accident.
Link: 4.7.73

My lord, I will be ruled;
Link: 4.7.74
The rather, if you could devise it so
Link: 4.7.75
That I might be the organ.
Link: 4.7.76

It falls right.
Link: 4.7.77
You have been talk'd of since your travel much,
Link: 4.7.78
And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality
Link: 4.7.79
Wherein, they say, you shine: your sum of parts
Link: 4.7.80
Did not together pluck such envy from him
Link: 4.7.81
As did that one, and that, in my regard,
Link: 4.7.82
Of the unworthiest siege.
Link: 4.7.83

What part is that, my lord?
Link: 4.7.84

A very riband in the cap of youth,
Link: 4.7.85
Yet needful too; for youth no less becomes
Link: 4.7.86
The light and careless livery that it wears
Link: 4.7.87
Than settled age his sables and his weeds,
Link: 4.7.88
Importing health and graveness. Two months since,
Link: 4.7.89
Here was a gentleman of Normandy:--
Link: 4.7.90
I've seen myself, and served against, the French,
Link: 4.7.91
And they can well on horseback: but this gallant
Link: 4.7.92
Had witchcraft in't; he grew unto his seat;
Link: 4.7.93
And to such wondrous doing brought his horse,
Link: 4.7.94
As he had been incorpsed and demi-natured
Link: 4.7.95
With the brave beast: so far he topp'd my thought,
Link: 4.7.96
That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
Link: 4.7.97
Come short of what he did.
Link: 4.7.98

A Norman was't?
Link: 4.7.99

A Norman.
Link: 4.7.100

Upon my life, Lamond.
Link: 4.7.101

The very same.
Link: 4.7.102

I know him well: he is the brooch indeed
Link: 4.7.103
And gem of all the nation.
Link: 4.7.104

He made confession of you,
Link: 4.7.105
And gave you such a masterly report
Link: 4.7.106
For art and exercise in your defence
Link: 4.7.107
And for your rapier most especially,
Link: 4.7.108
That he cried out, 'twould be a sight indeed,
Link: 4.7.109
If one could match you: the scrimers of their nation,
Link: 4.7.110
He swore, had had neither motion, guard, nor eye,
Link: 4.7.111
If you opposed them. Sir, this report of his
Link: 4.7.112
Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy
Link: 4.7.113
That he could nothing do but wish and beg
Link: 4.7.114
Your sudden coming o'er, to play with him.
Link: 4.7.115
Now, out of this,--
Link: 4.7.116

What out of this, my lord?
Link: 4.7.117

Laertes, was your father dear to you?
Link: 4.7.118
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
Link: 4.7.119
A face without a heart?
Link: 4.7.120

Why ask you this?
Link: 4.7.121

Not that I think you did not love your father;
Link: 4.7.122
But that I know love is begun by time;
Link: 4.7.123
And that I see, in passages of proof,
Link: 4.7.124
Time qualifies the spark and fire of it.
Link: 4.7.125
There lives within the very flame of love
Link: 4.7.126
A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it;
Link: 4.7.127
And nothing is at a like goodness still;
Link: 4.7.128
For goodness, growing to a plurisy,
Link: 4.7.129
Dies in his own too much: that we would do
Link: 4.7.130
We should do when we would; for this 'would' changes
Link: 4.7.131
And hath abatements and delays as many
Link: 4.7.132
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
Link: 4.7.133
And then this 'should' is like a spendthrift sigh,
Link: 4.7.134
That hurts by easing. But, to the quick o' the ulcer:--
Link: 4.7.135
Hamlet comes back: what would you undertake,
Link: 4.7.136
To show yourself your father's son in deed
Link: 4.7.137
More than in words?
Link: 4.7.138

To cut his throat i' the church.
Link: 4.7.139

No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize;
Link: 4.7.140
Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes,
Link: 4.7.141
Will you do this, keep close within your chamber.
Link: 4.7.142
Hamlet return'd shall know you are come home:
Link: 4.7.143
We'll put on those shall praise your excellence
Link: 4.7.144
And set a double varnish on the fame
Link: 4.7.145
The Frenchman gave you, bring you in fine together
Link: 4.7.146
And wager on your heads: he, being remiss,
Link: 4.7.147
Most generous and free from all contriving,
Link: 4.7.148
Will not peruse the foils; so that, with ease,
Link: 4.7.149
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
Link: 4.7.150
A sword unbated, and in a pass of practise
Link: 4.7.151
Requite him for your father.
Link: 4.7.152

I will do't:
Link: 4.7.153
And, for that purpose, I'll anoint my sword.
Link: 4.7.154
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
Link: 4.7.155
So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,
Link: 4.7.156
Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Link: 4.7.157
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Link: 4.7.158
Under the moon, can save the thing from death
Link: 4.7.159
That is but scratch'd withal: I'll touch my point
Link: 4.7.160
With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
Link: 4.7.161
It may be death.
Link: 4.7.162

Let's further think of this;
Link: 4.7.163
Weigh what convenience both of time and means
Link: 4.7.164
May fit us to our shape: if this should fail,
Link: 4.7.165
And that our drift look through our bad performance,
Link: 4.7.166
'Twere better not assay'd: therefore this project
Link: 4.7.167
Should have a back or second, that might hold,
Link: 4.7.168
If this should blast in proof. Soft! let me see:
Link: 4.7.169
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings: I ha't.
Link: 4.7.170
When in your motion you are hot and dry--
Link: 4.7.171
As make your bouts more violent to that end--
Link: 4.7.172
And that he calls for drink, I'll have prepared him
Link: 4.7.173
A chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping,
Link: 4.7.174
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
Link: 4.7.175
Our purpose may hold there.
Link: 4.7.176
How now, sweet queen!
Link: 4.7.177

One woe doth tread upon another's heel,
Link: 4.7.178
So fast they follow; your sister's drown'd, Laertes.
Link: 4.7.179

Drown'd! O, where?
Link: 4.7.180

There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
Link: 4.7.181
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
Link: 4.7.182
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Link: 4.7.183
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
Link: 4.7.184
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
Link: 4.7.185
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them:
Link: 4.7.186
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Link: 4.7.187
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
Link: 4.7.188
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Link: 4.7.189
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
Link: 4.7.190
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:
Link: 4.7.191
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;
Link: 4.7.192
As one incapable of her own distress,
Link: 4.7.193
Or like a creature native and indued
Link: 4.7.194
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Link: 4.7.195
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Link: 4.7.196
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
Link: 4.7.197
To muddy death.
Link: 4.7.198

Alas, then, she is drown'd?
Link: 4.7.199

Drown'd, drown'd.
Link: 4.7.200

Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
Link: 4.7.201
And therefore I forbid my tears: but yet
Link: 4.7.202
It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
Link: 4.7.203
Let shame say what it will: when these are gone,
Link: 4.7.204
The woman will be out. Adieu, my lord:
Link: 4.7.205
I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze,
Link: 4.7.206
But that this folly douts it.
Link: 4.7.207


Let's follow, Gertrude:
Link: 4.7.208
How much I had to do to calm his rage!
Link: 4.7.209
Now fear I this will give it start again;
Link: 4.7.210
Therefore let's follow.
Link: 4.7.211


Act V

Act 5 of Hamlet begins with two gravediggers discussing the recent death of Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius and the former love interest of Hamlet. Hamlet and Horatio then enter the scene, and Hamlet engages in a witty and philosophical conversation with the gravediggers.

As the funeral procession for Ophelia approaches, Hamlet and Laertes, Ophelia's brother, engage in a heated argument. This leads to a physical altercation, which is broken up by the King and Queen.

The final scene takes place during a fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes. The match is a trap set by the King, who has poisoned Laertes' sword and prepared a poisoned cup for Hamlet to drink from. During the match, both men are wounded by the poisoned sword. In the chaos, the Queen drinks from the poisoned cup and dies.

Laertes confesses to his involvement in the plot and asks for Hamlet's forgiveness before dying. Hamlet then stabs and kills the King before dying from his own wounds. The play ends with Fortinbras, the Prince of Norway, arriving to take control of Denmark in the aftermath of the tragic events.

SCENE I. A churchyard.

Scene 1 of Act 5 begins in a churchyard where two gravediggers are digging a grave. Hamlet and Horatio arrive and observe the gravediggers. Hamlet engages in a witty and philosophical conversation with one of the gravediggers, who is digging the grave for Ophelia, Hamlet's love interest who has recently died.

As the gravediggers throw skulls out of the grave, Hamlet picks up one of them and begins a soliloquy on the inevitability of death and the futility of human existence. He reflects on the fact that even the greatest men in history, such as Julius Caesar, have ended up as mere dust and bones.

As the funeral procession arrives, Hamlet realizes that the person being buried is Ophelia. He becomes emotional and jumps into the grave, embracing Ophelia's corpse. Laertes, Ophelia's brother, arrives and confronts Hamlet, blaming him for Ophelia's death.

Hamlet denies any wrongdoing and the two engage in a physical fight. Eventually, they are separated and the funeral continues. Hamlet and Horatio leave, with Hamlet reflecting on the inevitability of death and his own impending fate.

Enter two Clowns, with spades, c

First Clown
Is she to be buried in Christian burial that
Link: 5.1.1
wilfully seeks her own salvation?
Link: 5.1.2

Second Clown
I tell thee she is: and therefore make her grave
Link: 5.1.3
straight: the crowner hath sat on her, and finds it
Link: 5.1.4
Christian burial.
Link: 5.1.5

First Clown
How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her
Link: 5.1.6
own defence?
Link: 5.1.7

Second Clown
Why, 'tis found so.
Link: 5.1.8

First Clown
It must be 'se offendendo;' it cannot be else. For
Link: 5.1.9
here lies the point: if I drown myself wittingly,
Link: 5.1.10
it argues an act: and an act hath three branches: it
Link: 5.1.11
is, to act, to do, to perform: argal, she drowned
Link: 5.1.12
herself wittingly.
Link: 5.1.13

Second Clown
Nay, but hear you, goodman delver,--
Link: 5.1.14

First Clown
Give me leave. Here lies the water; good: here
Link: 5.1.15
stands the man; good; if the man go to this water,
Link: 5.1.16
and drown himself, it is, will he, nill he, he
Link: 5.1.17
goes,--mark you that; but if the water come to him
Link: 5.1.18
and drown him, he drowns not himself: argal, he
Link: 5.1.19
that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.
Link: 5.1.20

Second Clown
But is this law?
Link: 5.1.21

First Clown
Ay, marry, is't; crowner's quest law.
Link: 5.1.22

Second Clown
Will you ha' the truth on't? If this had not been
Link: 5.1.23
a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out o'
Link: 5.1.24
Christian burial.
Link: 5.1.25

First Clown
Why, there thou say'st: and the more pity that
Link: 5.1.26
great folk should have countenance in this world to
Link: 5.1.27
drown or hang themselves, more than their even
Link: 5.1.28
Christian. Come, my spade. There is no ancient
Link: 5.1.29
gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers:
Link: 5.1.30
they hold up Adam's profession.
Link: 5.1.31

Second Clown
Was he a gentleman?
Link: 5.1.32

First Clown
He was the first that ever bore arms.
Link: 5.1.33

Second Clown
Why, he had none.
Link: 5.1.34

First Clown
What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the
Link: 5.1.35
Scripture? The Scripture says 'Adam digged:'
Link: 5.1.36
could he dig without arms? I'll put another
Link: 5.1.37
question to thee: if thou answerest me not to the
Link: 5.1.38
purpose, confess thyself--
Link: 5.1.39

Second Clown

First Clown
What is he that builds stronger than either the
Link: 5.1.41
mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
Link: 5.1.42

Second Clown
The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a
Link: 5.1.43
thousand tenants.
Link: 5.1.44

First Clown
I like thy wit well, in good faith: the gallows
Link: 5.1.45
does well; but how does it well? it does well to
Link: 5.1.46
those that do in: now thou dost ill to say the
Link: 5.1.47
gallows is built stronger than the church: argal,
Link: 5.1.48
the gallows may do well to thee. To't again, come.
Link: 5.1.49

Second Clown
'Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or
Link: 5.1.50
a carpenter?'
Link: 5.1.51

First Clown
Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
Link: 5.1.52

Second Clown
Marry, now I can tell.
Link: 5.1.53

First Clown

Second Clown
Mass, I cannot tell.
Link: 5.1.55

Enter HAMLET and HORATIO, at a distance

First Clown
Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull
Link: 5.1.56
ass will not mend his pace with beating; and, when
Link: 5.1.57
you are asked this question next, say 'a
Link: 5.1.58
grave-maker: 'the houses that he makes last till
Link: 5.1.59
doomsday. Go, get thee to Yaughan: fetch me a
Link: 5.1.60
stoup of liquor.
Link: 5.1.61
In youth, when I did love, did love,
Link: 5.1.62
Methought it was very sweet,
Link: 5.1.63
To contract, O, the time, for, ah, my behove,
Link: 5.1.64
O, methought, there was nothing meet.
Link: 5.1.65

Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he
Link: 5.1.66
sings at grave-making?
Link: 5.1.67

Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
Link: 5.1.68

'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employment hath
Link: 5.1.69
the daintier sense.
Link: 5.1.70

First Clown
Link: 5.1.71
But age, with his stealing steps,
Link: 5.1.72
Hath claw'd me in his clutch,
Link: 5.1.73
And hath shipped me intil the land,
Link: 5.1.74
As if I had never been such.
Link: 5.1.75

Throws up a skull

That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once:
Link: 5.1.76
how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were
Link: 5.1.77
Cain's jaw-bone, that did the first murder! It
Link: 5.1.78
might be the pate of a politician, which this ass
Link: 5.1.79
now o'er-reaches; one that would circumvent God,
Link: 5.1.80
might it not?
Link: 5.1.81

It might, my lord.
Link: 5.1.82

Or of a courtier; which could say 'Good morrow,
Link: 5.1.83
sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord?' This might
Link: 5.1.84
be my lord such-a-one, that praised my lord
Link: 5.1.85
such-a-one's horse, when he meant to beg it; might it not?
Link: 5.1.86

Ay, my lord.
Link: 5.1.87

Why, e'en so: and now my Lady Worm's; chapless, and
Link: 5.1.88
knocked about the mazzard with a sexton's spade:
Link: 5.1.89
here's fine revolution, an we had the trick to
Link: 5.1.90
see't. Did these bones cost no more the breeding,
Link: 5.1.91
but to play at loggats with 'em? mine ache to think on't.
Link: 5.1.92

First Clown
A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade,
Link: 5.1.93
For and a shrouding sheet:
Link: 5.1.94
O, a pit of clay for to be made
Link: 5.1.95
For such a guest is meet.
Link: 5.1.96

Throws up another skull

There's another: why may not that be the skull of a
Link: 5.1.97
lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets,
Link: 5.1.98
his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? why does he
Link: 5.1.99
suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the
Link: 5.1.100
sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of
Link: 5.1.101
his action of battery? Hum! This fellow might be
Link: 5.1.102
in's time a great buyer of land, with his statutes,
Link: 5.1.103
his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers,
Link: 5.1.104
his recoveries: is this the fine of his fines, and
Link: 5.1.105
the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine
Link: 5.1.106
pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him
Link: 5.1.107
no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than
Link: 5.1.108
the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The
Link: 5.1.109
very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in
Link: 5.1.110
this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?
Link: 5.1.111

Not a jot more, my lord.
Link: 5.1.112

Is not parchment made of sheepskins?
Link: 5.1.113

Ay, my lord, and of calf-skins too.
Link: 5.1.114

They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance
Link: 5.1.115
in that. I will speak to this fellow. Whose
Link: 5.1.116
grave's this, sirrah?
Link: 5.1.117

First Clown
Mine, sir.
Link: 5.1.118
O, a pit of clay for to be made
Link: 5.1.119
For such a guest is meet.
Link: 5.1.120

I think it be thine, indeed; for thou liest in't.
Link: 5.1.121

First Clown
You lie out on't, sir, and therefore it is not
Link: 5.1.122
yours: for my part, I do not lie in't, and yet it is mine.
Link: 5.1.123

'Thou dost lie in't, to be in't and say it is thine:
Link: 5.1.124
'tis for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou liest.
Link: 5.1.125

First Clown
'Tis a quick lie, sir; 'twill away gain, from me to
Link: 5.1.126

What man dost thou dig it for?
Link: 5.1.128

First Clown
For no man, sir.
Link: 5.1.129

What woman, then?
Link: 5.1.130

First Clown
For none, neither.
Link: 5.1.131

Who is to be buried in't?
Link: 5.1.132

First Clown
One that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul, she's dead.
Link: 5.1.133

How absolute the knave is! we must speak by the
Link: 5.1.134
card, or equivocation will undo us. By the Lord,
Link: 5.1.135
Horatio, these three years I have taken a note of
Link: 5.1.136
it; the age is grown so picked that the toe of the
Link: 5.1.137
peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he
Link: 5.1.138
gaffs his kibe. How long hast thou been a
Link: 5.1.139
Link: 5.1.140

First Clown
Of all the days i' the year, I came to't that day
Link: 5.1.141
that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.
Link: 5.1.142

How long is that since?
Link: 5.1.143

First Clown
Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that: it
Link: 5.1.144
was the very day that young Hamlet was born; he that
Link: 5.1.145
is mad, and sent into England.
Link: 5.1.146

Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?
Link: 5.1.147

First Clown
Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his wits
Link: 5.1.148
there; or, if he do not, it's no great matter there.
Link: 5.1.149


First Clown
'Twill, a not be seen in him there; there the men
Link: 5.1.151
are as mad as he.
Link: 5.1.152

How came he mad?
Link: 5.1.153

First Clown
Very strangely, they say.
Link: 5.1.154

How strangely?
Link: 5.1.155

First Clown
Faith, e'en with losing his wits.
Link: 5.1.156

Upon what ground?
Link: 5.1.157

First Clown
Why, here in Denmark: I have been sexton here, man
Link: 5.1.158
and boy, thirty years.
Link: 5.1.159

How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot?
Link: 5.1.160

First Clown
I' faith, if he be not rotten before he die--as we
Link: 5.1.161
have many pocky corses now-a-days, that will scarce
Link: 5.1.162
hold the laying in--he will last you some eight year
Link: 5.1.163
or nine year: a tanner will last you nine year.
Link: 5.1.164

Why he more than another?
Link: 5.1.165

First Clown
Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that
Link: 5.1.166
he will keep out water a great while; and your water
Link: 5.1.167
is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body.
Link: 5.1.168
Here's a skull now; this skull has lain in the earth
Link: 5.1.169
three and twenty years.
Link: 5.1.170

Whose was it?
Link: 5.1.171

First Clown
A whoreson mad fellow's it was: whose do you think it was?
Link: 5.1.172

Nay, I know not.
Link: 5.1.173

First Clown
A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! a' poured a
Link: 5.1.174
flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull,
Link: 5.1.175
sir, was Yorick's skull, the king's jester.
Link: 5.1.176


First Clown
E'en that.
Link: 5.1.178

Let me see.
Link: 5.1.179
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
Link: 5.1.180
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
Link: 5.1.181
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
Link: 5.1.182
abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at
Link: 5.1.183
it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
Link: 5.1.184
not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
Link: 5.1.185
gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
Link: 5.1.186
that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
Link: 5.1.187
now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?
Link: 5.1.188
Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let
Link: 5.1.189
her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must
Link: 5.1.190
come; make her laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tell
Link: 5.1.191
me one thing.
Link: 5.1.192

What's that, my lord?
Link: 5.1.193

Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i'
Link: 5.1.194
the earth?
Link: 5.1.195

E'en so.
Link: 5.1.196

And smelt so? pah!
Link: 5.1.197

Puts down the skull

E'en so, my lord.
Link: 5.1.198

To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may
Link: 5.1.199
not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander,
Link: 5.1.200
till he find it stopping a bung-hole?
Link: 5.1.201

'Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.
Link: 5.1.202

No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with
Link: 5.1.203
modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: as
Link: 5.1.204
thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried,
Link: 5.1.205
Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; of
Link: 5.1.206
earth we make loam; and why of that loam, whereto he
Link: 5.1.207
was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?
Link: 5.1.208
Imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay,
Link: 5.1.209
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
Link: 5.1.210
O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Link: 5.1.211
Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!
Link: 5.1.212
But soft! but soft! aside: here comes the king.
Link: 5.1.213
The queen, the courtiers: who is this they follow?
Link: 5.1.214
And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken
Link: 5.1.215
The corse they follow did with desperate hand
Link: 5.1.216
Fordo its own life: 'twas of some estate.
Link: 5.1.217
Couch we awhile, and mark.
Link: 5.1.218

Retiring with HORATIO

What ceremony else?
Link: 5.1.219

That is Laertes,
Link: 5.1.220
A very noble youth: mark.
Link: 5.1.221

What ceremony else?
Link: 5.1.222

First Priest
Her obsequies have been as far enlarged
Link: 5.1.223
As we have warrantise: her death was doubtful;
Link: 5.1.224
And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
Link: 5.1.225
She should in ground unsanctified have lodged
Link: 5.1.226
Till the last trumpet: for charitable prayers,
Link: 5.1.227
Shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her;
Link: 5.1.228
Yet here she is allow'd her virgin crants,
Link: 5.1.229
Her maiden strewments and the bringing home
Link: 5.1.230
Of bell and burial.
Link: 5.1.231

Must there no more be done?
Link: 5.1.232

First Priest
No more be done:
Link: 5.1.233
We should profane the service of the dead
Link: 5.1.234
To sing a requiem and such rest to her
Link: 5.1.235
As to peace-parted souls.
Link: 5.1.236

Lay her i' the earth:
Link: 5.1.237
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
Link: 5.1.238
May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
Link: 5.1.239
A ministering angel shall my sister be,
Link: 5.1.240
When thou liest howling.
Link: 5.1.241

What, the fair Ophelia!
Link: 5.1.242

Sweets to the sweet: farewell!
Link: 5.1.243
I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;
Link: 5.1.244
I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid,
Link: 5.1.245
And not have strew'd thy grave.
Link: 5.1.246

O, treble woe
Link: 5.1.247
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head,
Link: 5.1.248
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
Link: 5.1.249
Deprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile,
Link: 5.1.250
Till I have caught her once more in mine arms:
Link: 5.1.251
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead,
Link: 5.1.252
Till of this flat a mountain you have made,
Link: 5.1.253
To o'ertop old Pelion, or the skyish head
Link: 5.1.254
Of blue Olympus.
Link: 5.1.255

(Advancing) What is he whose grief
Link: 5.1.256
Bears such an emphasis? whose phrase of sorrow
Link: 5.1.257
Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand
Link: 5.1.258
Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
Link: 5.1.259
Hamlet the Dane.
Link: 5.1.260

Leaps into the grave

The devil take thy soul!
Link: 5.1.261

Grappling with him

Thou pray'st not well.
Link: 5.1.262
I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat;
Link: 5.1.263
For, though I am not splenitive and rash,
Link: 5.1.264
Yet have I something in me dangerous,
Link: 5.1.265
Which let thy wiseness fear: hold off thy hand.
Link: 5.1.266

Pluck them asunder.
Link: 5.1.267

Hamlet, Hamlet!
Link: 5.1.268

Link: 5.1.269

Good my lord, be quiet.
Link: 5.1.270

The Attendants part them, and they come out of the grave

Why I will fight with him upon this theme
Link: 5.1.271
Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
Link: 5.1.272

O my son, what theme?
Link: 5.1.273

I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers
Link: 5.1.274
Could not, with all their quantity of love,
Link: 5.1.275
Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?
Link: 5.1.276

O, he is mad, Laertes.
Link: 5.1.277

For love of God, forbear him.
Link: 5.1.278

'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do:
Link: 5.1.279
Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't tear thyself?
Link: 5.1.280
Woo't drink up eisel? eat a crocodile?
Link: 5.1.281
I'll do't. Dost thou come here to whine?
Link: 5.1.282
To outface me with leaping in her grave?
Link: 5.1.283
Be buried quick with her, and so will I:
Link: 5.1.284
And, if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Link: 5.1.285
Millions of acres on us, till our ground,
Link: 5.1.286
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
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Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth,
Link: 5.1.288
I'll rant as well as thou.
Link: 5.1.289

This is mere madness:
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And thus awhile the fit will work on him;
Link: 5.1.291
Anon, as patient as the female dove,
Link: 5.1.292
When that her golden couplets are disclosed,
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His silence will sit drooping.
Link: 5.1.294

Hear you, sir;
Link: 5.1.295
What is the reason that you use me thus?
Link: 5.1.296
I loved you ever: but it is no matter;
Link: 5.1.297
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
Link: 5.1.298
The cat will mew and dog will have his day.
Link: 5.1.299


I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.
Link: 5.1.300
Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech;
Link: 5.1.301
We'll put the matter to the present push.
Link: 5.1.302
Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.
Link: 5.1.303
This grave shall have a living monument:
Link: 5.1.304
An hour of quiet shortly shall we see;
Link: 5.1.305
Till then, in patience our proceeding be.
Link: 5.1.306


SCENE II. A hall in the castle.

Scene 2 of Act 5 begins with Hamlet and Horatio in the graveyard, where they witness the gravedigger digging a grave for Ophelia. Hamlet engages in a witty conversation with the gravedigger, questioning him on the nature of death and the decay of the body. As they continue to talk, Hamlet discovers that the grave is for Ophelia and becomes overcome with grief.

Laertes and a group of attendants enter the graveyard, and he jumps into Ophelia's grave, expressing his love for her and his desire to be buried with her. Hamlet and Laertes engage in a heated argument, which leads to a physical fight. They are eventually separated, and Hamlet apologizes for his behavior, stating that he loved Ophelia as well.

The funeral procession for Ophelia enters the graveyard, and Hamlet hides to watch. Laertes jumps into the grave once again, expressing his grief and anger towards Hamlet. The two men fight once more, and during the scuffle, the coffin is knocked over, revealing Ophelia's body.

Hamlet and Laertes are once again separated, and the funeral procession continues. Hamlet and Horatio exit the graveyard, with Hamlet expressing his sadness and regret over the deaths of Ophelia, Polonius, and himself. The scene ends as Hamlet receives a letter from the king, summoning him to a fencing match with Laertes.


So much for this, sir: now shall you see the other;
Link: 5.2.1
You do remember all the circumstance?
Link: 5.2.2

Remember it, my lord?
Link: 5.2.3

Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting,
Link: 5.2.4
That would not let me sleep: methought I lay
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Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly,
Link: 5.2.6
And praised be rashness for it, let us know,
Link: 5.2.7
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well,
Link: 5.2.8
When our deep plots do pall: and that should teach us
Link: 5.2.9
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Link: 5.2.10
Rough-hew them how we will,--
Link: 5.2.11

That is most certain.
Link: 5.2.12

Up from my cabin,
Link: 5.2.13
My sea-gown scarf'd about me, in the dark
Link: 5.2.14
Groped I to find out them; had my desire.
Link: 5.2.15
Finger'd their packet, and in fine withdrew
Link: 5.2.16
To mine own room again; making so bold,
Link: 5.2.17
My fears forgetting manners, to unseal
Link: 5.2.18
Their grand commission; where I found, Horatio,--
Link: 5.2.19
O royal knavery!--an exact command,
Link: 5.2.20
Larded with many several sorts of reasons
Link: 5.2.21
Importing Denmark's health and England's too,
Link: 5.2.22
With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,
Link: 5.2.23
That, on the supervise, no leisure bated,
Link: 5.2.24
No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
Link: 5.2.25
My head should be struck off.
Link: 5.2.26

Is't possible?
Link: 5.2.27

Here's the commission: read it at more leisure.
Link: 5.2.28
But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed?
Link: 5.2.29

I beseech you.
Link: 5.2.30

Being thus be-netted round with villanies,--
Link: 5.2.31
Ere I could make a prologue to my brains,
Link: 5.2.32
They had begun the play--I sat me down,
Link: 5.2.33
Devised a new commission, wrote it fair:
Link: 5.2.34
I once did hold it, as our statists do,
Link: 5.2.35
A baseness to write fair and labour'd much
Link: 5.2.36
How to forget that learning, but, sir, now
Link: 5.2.37
It did me yeoman's service: wilt thou know
Link: 5.2.38
The effect of what I wrote?
Link: 5.2.39

Ay, good my lord.
Link: 5.2.40

An earnest conjuration from the king,
Link: 5.2.41
As England was his faithful tributary,
Link: 5.2.42
As love between them like the palm might flourish,
Link: 5.2.43
As peace should stiff her wheaten garland wear
Link: 5.2.44
And stand a comma 'tween their amities,
Link: 5.2.45
And many such-like 'As'es of great charge,
Link: 5.2.46
That, on the view and knowing of these contents,
Link: 5.2.47
Without debatement further, more or less,
Link: 5.2.48
He should the bearers put to sudden death,
Link: 5.2.49
Not shriving-time allow'd.
Link: 5.2.50

How was this seal'd?
Link: 5.2.51

Why, even in that was heaven ordinant.
Link: 5.2.52
I had my father's signet in my purse,
Link: 5.2.53
Which was the model of that Danish seal;
Link: 5.2.54
Folded the writ up in form of the other,
Link: 5.2.55
Subscribed it, gave't the impression, placed it safely,
Link: 5.2.56
The changeling never known. Now, the next day
Link: 5.2.57
Was our sea-fight; and what to this was sequent
Link: 5.2.58
Thou know'st already.
Link: 5.2.59

So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't.
Link: 5.2.60

Why, man, they did make love to this employment;
Link: 5.2.61
They are not near my conscience; their defeat
Link: 5.2.62
Does by their own insinuation grow:
Link: 5.2.63
'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
Link: 5.2.64
Between the pass and fell incensed points
Link: 5.2.65
Of mighty opposites.
Link: 5.2.66

Why, what a king is this!
Link: 5.2.67

Does it not, think'st thee, stand me now upon--
Link: 5.2.68
He that hath kill'd my king and whored my mother,
Link: 5.2.69
Popp'd in between the election and my hopes,
Link: 5.2.70
Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
Link: 5.2.71
And with such cozenage--is't not perfect conscience,
Link: 5.2.72
To quit him with this arm? and is't not to be damn'd,
Link: 5.2.73
To let this canker of our nature come
Link: 5.2.74
In further evil?
Link: 5.2.75

It must be shortly known to him from England
Link: 5.2.76
What is the issue of the business there.
Link: 5.2.77

It will be short: the interim is mine;
Link: 5.2.78
And a man's life's no more than to say 'One.'
Link: 5.2.79
But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
Link: 5.2.80
That to Laertes I forgot myself;
Link: 5.2.81
For, by the image of my cause, I see
Link: 5.2.82
The portraiture of his: I'll court his favours.
Link: 5.2.83
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Link: 5.2.84
Into a towering passion.
Link: 5.2.85

Peace! who comes here?
Link: 5.2.86


Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.
Link: 5.2.87

I humbly thank you, sir. Dost know this water-fly?
Link: 5.2.88

No, my good lord.
Link: 5.2.89

Thy state is the more gracious; for 'tis a vice to
Link: 5.2.90
know him. He hath much land, and fertile: let a
Link: 5.2.91
beast be lord of beasts, and his crib shall stand at
Link: 5.2.92
the king's mess: 'tis a chough; but, as I say,
Link: 5.2.93
spacious in the possession of dirt.
Link: 5.2.94

Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I
Link: 5.2.95
should impart a thing to you from his majesty.
Link: 5.2.96

I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of
Link: 5.2.97
spirit. Put your bonnet to his right use; 'tis for the head.
Link: 5.2.98

I thank your lordship, it is very hot.
Link: 5.2.99

No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind is
Link: 5.2.100
Link: 5.2.101

It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.
Link: 5.2.102

But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my
Link: 5.2.103
Link: 5.2.104

Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry,--as
Link: 5.2.105
'twere,--I cannot tell how. But, my lord, his
Link: 5.2.106
majesty bade me signify to you that he has laid a
Link: 5.2.107
great wager on your head: sir, this is the matter,--
Link: 5.2.108

I beseech you, remember--
Link: 5.2.109

HAMLET moves him to put on his hat

Nay, good my lord; for mine ease, in good faith.
Link: 5.2.110
Sir, here is newly come to court Laertes; believe
Link: 5.2.111
me, an absolute gentleman, full of most excellent
Link: 5.2.112
differences, of very soft society and great showing:
Link: 5.2.113
indeed, to speak feelingly of him, he is the card or
Link: 5.2.114
calendar of gentry, for you shall find in him the
Link: 5.2.115
continent of what part a gentleman would see.
Link: 5.2.116

Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you;
Link: 5.2.117
though, I know, to divide him inventorially would
Link: 5.2.118
dizzy the arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw
Link: 5.2.119
neither, in respect of his quick sail. But, in the
Link: 5.2.120
verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of
Link: 5.2.121
great article; and his infusion of such dearth and
Link: 5.2.122
rareness, as, to make true diction of him, his
Link: 5.2.123
semblable is his mirror; and who else would trace
Link: 5.2.124
him, his umbrage, nothing more.
Link: 5.2.125

Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.
Link: 5.2.126

The concernancy, sir? why do we wrap the gentleman
Link: 5.2.127
in our more rawer breath?
Link: 5.2.128


Is't not possible to understand in another tongue?
Link: 5.2.130
You will do't, sir, really.
Link: 5.2.131

What imports the nomination of this gentleman?
Link: 5.2.132

Of Laertes?
Link: 5.2.133

His purse is empty already; all's golden words are spent.
Link: 5.2.134

Of him, sir.
Link: 5.2.135

I know you are not ignorant--
Link: 5.2.136

I would you did, sir; yet, in faith, if you did,
Link: 5.2.137
it would not much approve me. Well, sir?
Link: 5.2.138

You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is--
Link: 5.2.139

I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with
Link: 5.2.140
him in excellence; but, to know a man well, were to
Link: 5.2.141
know himself.
Link: 5.2.142

I mean, sir, for his weapon; but in the imputation
Link: 5.2.143
laid on him by them, in his meed he's unfellowed.
Link: 5.2.144

What's his weapon?
Link: 5.2.145

Rapier and dagger.
Link: 5.2.146

That's two of his weapons: but, well.
Link: 5.2.147

The king, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary
Link: 5.2.148
horses: against the which he has imponed, as I take
Link: 5.2.149
it, six French rapiers and poniards, with their
Link: 5.2.150
assigns, as girdle, hangers, and so: three of the
Link: 5.2.151
carriages, in faith, are very dear to fancy, very
Link: 5.2.152
responsive to the hilts, most delicate carriages,
Link: 5.2.153
and of very liberal conceit.
Link: 5.2.154

What call you the carriages?
Link: 5.2.155

I knew you must be edified by the margent ere you had done.
Link: 5.2.156

The carriages, sir, are the hangers.
Link: 5.2.157

The phrase would be more german to the matter, if we
Link: 5.2.158
could carry cannon by our sides: I would it might
Link: 5.2.159
be hangers till then. But, on: six Barbary horses
Link: 5.2.160
against six French swords, their assigns, and three
Link: 5.2.161
liberal-conceited carriages; that's the French bet
Link: 5.2.162
against the Danish. Why is this 'imponed,' as you call it?
Link: 5.2.163

The king, sir, hath laid, that in a dozen passes
Link: 5.2.164
between yourself and him, he shall not exceed you
Link: 5.2.165
three hits: he hath laid on twelve for nine; and it
Link: 5.2.166
would come to immediate trial, if your lordship
Link: 5.2.167
would vouchsafe the answer.
Link: 5.2.168

How if I answer 'no'?
Link: 5.2.169

I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person in trial.
Link: 5.2.170

Sir, I will walk here in the hall: if it please his
Link: 5.2.171
majesty, 'tis the breathing time of day with me; let
Link: 5.2.172
the foils be brought, the gentleman willing, and the
Link: 5.2.173
king hold his purpose, I will win for him an I can;
Link: 5.2.174
if not, I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits.
Link: 5.2.175

Shall I re-deliver you e'en so?
Link: 5.2.176

To this effect, sir; after what flourish your nature will.
Link: 5.2.177

I commend my duty to your lordship.
Link: 5.2.178

Yours, yours.
Link: 5.2.179
He does well to commend it himself; there are no
Link: 5.2.180
tongues else for's turn.
Link: 5.2.181

This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head.
Link: 5.2.182

He did comply with his dug, before he sucked it.
Link: 5.2.183
Thus has he--and many more of the same bevy that I
Link: 5.2.184
know the dressy age dotes on--only got the tune of
Link: 5.2.185
the time and outward habit of encounter; a kind of
Link: 5.2.186
yesty collection, which carries them through and
Link: 5.2.187
through the most fond and winnowed opinions; and do
Link: 5.2.188
but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out.
Link: 5.2.189

Enter a Lord

My lord, his majesty commended him to you by young
Link: 5.2.190
Osric, who brings back to him that you attend him in
Link: 5.2.191
the hall: he sends to know if your pleasure hold to
Link: 5.2.192
play with Laertes, or that you will take longer time.
Link: 5.2.193

I am constant to my purpose; they follow the king's
Link: 5.2.194
pleasure: if his fitness speaks, mine is ready; now
Link: 5.2.195
or whensoever, provided I be so able as now.
Link: 5.2.196

The king and queen and all are coming down.
Link: 5.2.197

In happy time.
Link: 5.2.198

The queen desires you to use some gentle
Link: 5.2.199
entertainment to Laertes before you fall to play.
Link: 5.2.200

She well instructs me.
Link: 5.2.201

Exit Lord

You will lose this wager, my lord.
Link: 5.2.202

I do not think so: since he went into France, I
Link: 5.2.203
have been in continual practise: I shall win at the
Link: 5.2.204
odds. But thou wouldst not think how ill all's here
Link: 5.2.205
about my heart: but it is no matter.
Link: 5.2.206

Nay, good my lord,--
Link: 5.2.207

It is but foolery; but it is such a kind of
Link: 5.2.208
gain-giving, as would perhaps trouble a woman.
Link: 5.2.209

If your mind dislike any thing, obey it: I will
Link: 5.2.210
forestall their repair hither, and say you are not
Link: 5.2.211

Not a whit, we defy augury: there's a special
Link: 5.2.213
providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now,
Link: 5.2.214
'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
Link: 5.2.215
now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the
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readiness is all: since no man has aught of what he
Link: 5.2.217
leaves, what is't to leave betimes?
Link: 5.2.218

Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, LAERTES, Lords, OSRIC, and Attendants with foils, c

Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
Link: 5.2.219


Give me your pardon, sir: I've done you wrong;
Link: 5.2.220
But pardon't, as you are a gentleman.
Link: 5.2.221
This presence knows,
Link: 5.2.222
And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd
Link: 5.2.223
With sore distraction. What I have done,
Link: 5.2.224
That might your nature, honour and exception
Link: 5.2.225
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Link: 5.2.226
Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet:
Link: 5.2.227
If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away,
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And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,
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Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
Link: 5.2.230
Who does it, then? His madness: if't be so,
Link: 5.2.231
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;
Link: 5.2.232
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.
Link: 5.2.233
Sir, in this audience,
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Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil
Link: 5.2.235
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts,
Link: 5.2.236
That I have shot mine arrow o'er the house,
Link: 5.2.237
And hurt my brother.
Link: 5.2.238

I am satisfied in nature,
Link: 5.2.239
Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
Link: 5.2.240
To my revenge: but in my terms of honour
Link: 5.2.241
I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement,
Link: 5.2.242
Till by some elder masters, of known honour,
Link: 5.2.243
I have a voice and precedent of peace,
Link: 5.2.244
To keep my name ungored. But till that time,
Link: 5.2.245
I do receive your offer'd love like love,
Link: 5.2.246
And will not wrong it.
Link: 5.2.247

I embrace it freely;
Link: 5.2.248
And will this brother's wager frankly play.
Link: 5.2.249
Give us the foils. Come on.
Link: 5.2.250

Come, one for me.
Link: 5.2.251

I'll be your foil, Laertes: in mine ignorance
Link: 5.2.252
Your skill shall, like a star i' the darkest night,
Link: 5.2.253
Stick fiery off indeed.
Link: 5.2.254

You mock me, sir.
Link: 5.2.255

No, by this hand.
Link: 5.2.256

Give them the foils, young Osric. Cousin Hamlet,
Link: 5.2.257
You know the wager?
Link: 5.2.258

Very well, my lord
Link: 5.2.259
Your grace hath laid the odds o' the weaker side.
Link: 5.2.260

I do not fear it; I have seen you both:
Link: 5.2.261
But since he is better'd, we have therefore odds.
Link: 5.2.262

This is too heavy, let me see another.
Link: 5.2.263

This likes me well. These foils have all a length?
Link: 5.2.264

They prepare to play

Ay, my good lord.
Link: 5.2.265

Set me the stoops of wine upon that table.
Link: 5.2.266
If Hamlet give the first or second hit,
Link: 5.2.267
Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
Link: 5.2.268
Let all the battlements their ordnance fire:
Link: 5.2.269
The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath;
Link: 5.2.270
And in the cup an union shall he throw,
Link: 5.2.271
Richer than that which four successive kings
Link: 5.2.272
In Denmark's crown have worn. Give me the cups;
Link: 5.2.273
And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
Link: 5.2.274
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
Link: 5.2.275
The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth,
Link: 5.2.276
'Now the king dunks to Hamlet.' Come, begin:
Link: 5.2.277
And you, the judges, bear a wary eye.
Link: 5.2.278

Come on, sir.
Link: 5.2.279

Come, my lord.
Link: 5.2.280

They play



Link: 5.2.283

A hit, a very palpable hit.
Link: 5.2.284

Well; again.
Link: 5.2.285

Stay; give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine;
Link: 5.2.286
Here's to thy health.
Link: 5.2.287
Give him the cup.
Link: 5.2.288

I'll play this bout first; set it by awhile. Come.
Link: 5.2.289
Another hit; what say you?
Link: 5.2.290

A touch, a touch, I do confess.
Link: 5.2.291

Our son shall win.
Link: 5.2.292

He's fat, and scant of breath.
Link: 5.2.293
Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows;
Link: 5.2.294
The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
Link: 5.2.295

Good madam!
Link: 5.2.296

Gertrude, do not drink.
Link: 5.2.297

I will, my lord; I pray you, pardon me.
Link: 5.2.298

(Aside) It is the poison'd cup: it is too late.
Link: 5.2.299

I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by.
Link: 5.2.300

Come, let me wipe thy face.
Link: 5.2.301

My lord, I'll hit him now.
Link: 5.2.302

I do not think't.
Link: 5.2.303

(Aside) And yet 'tis almost 'gainst my conscience.
Link: 5.2.304

Come, for the third, Laertes: you but dally;
Link: 5.2.305
I pray you, pass with your best violence;
Link: 5.2.306
I am afeard you make a wanton of me.
Link: 5.2.307

Say you so? come on.
Link: 5.2.308

They play

Nothing, neither way.
Link: 5.2.309

Have at you now!
Link: 5.2.310

LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then in scuffling, they change rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES

Part them; they are incensed.
Link: 5.2.311

Nay, come, again.
Link: 5.2.312


Look to the queen there, ho!
Link: 5.2.313

They bleed on both sides. How is it, my lord?
Link: 5.2.314

How is't, Laertes?
Link: 5.2.315

Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric;
Link: 5.2.316
I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery.
Link: 5.2.317

How does the queen?
Link: 5.2.318

She swounds to see them bleed.
Link: 5.2.319

No, no, the drink, the drink,--O my dear Hamlet,--
Link: 5.2.320
The drink, the drink! I am poison'd.
Link: 5.2.321


O villany! Ho! let the door be lock'd:
Link: 5.2.322
Treachery! Seek it out.
Link: 5.2.323

It is here, Hamlet: Hamlet, thou art slain;
Link: 5.2.324
No medicine in the world can do thee good;
Link: 5.2.325
In thee there is not half an hour of life;
Link: 5.2.326
The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,
Link: 5.2.327
Unbated and envenom'd: the foul practise
Link: 5.2.328
Hath turn'd itself on me lo, here I lie,
Link: 5.2.329
Never to rise again: thy mother's poison'd:
Link: 5.2.330
I can no more: the king, the king's to blame.
Link: 5.2.331

The point!--envenom'd too!
Link: 5.2.332
Then, venom, to thy work.
Link: 5.2.333


Treason! treason!
Link: 5.2.334

O, yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt.
Link: 5.2.335

Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,
Link: 5.2.336
Drink off this potion. Is thy union here?
Link: 5.2.337
Follow my mother.
Link: 5.2.338


He is justly served;
Link: 5.2.339
It is a poison temper'd by himself.
Link: 5.2.340
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet:
Link: 5.2.341
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee,
Link: 5.2.342
Nor thine on me.
Link: 5.2.343


Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.
Link: 5.2.344
I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu!
Link: 5.2.345
You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
Link: 5.2.346
That are but mutes or audience to this act,
Link: 5.2.347
Had I but time--as this fell sergeant, death,
Link: 5.2.348
Is strict in his arrest--O, I could tell you--
Link: 5.2.349
But let it be. Horatio, I am dead;
Link: 5.2.350
Thou livest; report me and my cause aright
Link: 5.2.351
To the unsatisfied.
Link: 5.2.352

Never believe it:
Link: 5.2.353
I am more an antique Roman than a Dane:
Link: 5.2.354
Here's yet some liquor left.
Link: 5.2.355

As thou'rt a man,
Link: 5.2.356
Give me the cup: let go; by heaven, I'll have't.
Link: 5.2.357
O good Horatio, what a wounded name,
Link: 5.2.358
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me!
Link: 5.2.359
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart
Link: 5.2.360
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
Link: 5.2.361
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
Link: 5.2.362
To tell my story.
Link: 5.2.363
What warlike noise is this?
Link: 5.2.364

Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland,
Link: 5.2.365
To the ambassadors of England gives
Link: 5.2.366
This warlike volley.
Link: 5.2.367

O, I die, Horatio;
Link: 5.2.368
The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit:
Link: 5.2.369
I cannot live to hear the news from England;
Link: 5.2.370
But I do prophesy the election lights
Link: 5.2.371
On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
Link: 5.2.372
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Link: 5.2.373
Which have solicited. The rest is silence.
Link: 5.2.374


Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
Link: 5.2.375
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
Link: 5.2.376
Why does the drum come hither?
Link: 5.2.377

March within

Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors, and others

Where is this sight?
Link: 5.2.378

What is it ye would see?
Link: 5.2.379
If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.
Link: 5.2.380

This quarry cries on havoc. O proud death,
Link: 5.2.381
What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
Link: 5.2.382
That thou so many princes at a shot
Link: 5.2.383
So bloodily hast struck?
Link: 5.2.384

First Ambassador
The sight is dismal;
Link: 5.2.385
And our affairs from England come too late:
Link: 5.2.386
The ears are senseless that should give us hearing,
Link: 5.2.387
To tell him his commandment is fulfill'd,
Link: 5.2.388
That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:
Link: 5.2.389
Where should we have our thanks?
Link: 5.2.390

Not from his mouth,
Link: 5.2.391
Had it the ability of life to thank you:
Link: 5.2.392
He never gave commandment for their death.
Link: 5.2.393
But since, so jump upon this bloody question,
Link: 5.2.394
You from the Polack wars, and you from England,
Link: 5.2.395
Are here arrived give order that these bodies
Link: 5.2.396
High on a stage be placed to the view;
Link: 5.2.397
And let me speak to the yet unknowing world
Link: 5.2.398
How these things came about: so shall you hear
Link: 5.2.399
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Link: 5.2.400
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Link: 5.2.401
Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
Link: 5.2.402
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Link: 5.2.403
Fall'n on the inventors' reads: all this can I
Link: 5.2.404
Truly deliver.
Link: 5.2.405

Let us haste to hear it,
Link: 5.2.406
And call the noblest to the audience.
Link: 5.2.407
For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune:
Link: 5.2.408
I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
Link: 5.2.409
Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
Link: 5.2.410

Of that I shall have also cause to speak,
Link: 5.2.411
And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more;
Link: 5.2.412
But let this same be presently perform'd,
Link: 5.2.413
Even while men's minds are wild; lest more mischance
Link: 5.2.414
On plots and errors, happen.
Link: 5.2.415

Let four captains
Link: 5.2.416
Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
Link: 5.2.417
For he was likely, had he been put on,
Link: 5.2.418
To have proved most royally: and, for his passage,
Link: 5.2.419
The soldiers' music and the rites of war
Link: 5.2.420
Speak loudly for him.
Link: 5.2.421
Take up the bodies: such a sight as this
Link: 5.2.422
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Link: 5.2.423
Go, bid the soldiers shoot.
Link: 5.2.424

A dead march. Exeunt, bearing off the dead bodies; after which a peal of ordnance is shot off