rayvanfox

madness with method in it

[this is the text of of Shakespeare’s Hamlet cut down to only 4 characters and edited such that Hamlet is definitely going mad. All lines are Shakespeare’s own, just sometimes attributed to different speakers.]

Hamlet

Act I, Scene 1
Elsinore. A room of state in the Castle.

[Enter Claudius, King of Denmark, Gertrude the Queen, Hamlet, Polonius]

Claudius. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
Th’ imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Have we, as ’twere with a defeated joy,
With an auspicious, and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife; nor have we herein barr’d
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son-

Hamlet. [aside] A little more than kin, and less than kind!

Claudius. How is it that the clouds still hang on you?

Hamlet. Not so, my lord. I am too much i’ th’ sun.

Gertrude. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust.
Thou know’st ’tis common. All that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

Hamlet. Ay, madam, it is common.

Gertrude. If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?

Hamlet. Seems, madam, Nay, it is. I know not ‘seems.’
‘Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forc’d breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
‘That can denote me truly. These indeed seem,
For they are actions that a man might play;
But I have that within which passeth show-
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.

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

Gertrude. Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet.
I pray thee stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.

Hamlet. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.

Claudius. Why, ’tis a loving and a fair reply.
Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come.
This gentle and unforc’d accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart; Come away.

[Exeunt all but Hamlet.]

Hamlet. O that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah, fie! ‘Tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead! Nay, not so much, not two.
So excellent a king, that was to this
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on; and yet, within a month-
Let me not think on’t! Frailty, thy name is woman!-
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she followed my poor father’s body
Like Niobe, all tears- why she, even she
(O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason
Would have mourn’d longer) married with my uncle;
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules. Within a month,
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue!
All is not well.
I doubt some foul play.
Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.

[Exit.]

 

Act I, Scene 2

[hamlet wakes from sleep ]

Hamlet. Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn’d,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou com’st in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee. I’ll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane. O, answer me?
Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
Why thy canoniz’d bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn’d,
Hath op’d his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again. What may this mean
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel,
Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous, and we fools of nature
So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
Say, why is this? wherefore? What should we do?

Hamlet. It will not speak. Then will I follow it.

Hamlet. Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life at a pin’s fee;
And for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself?
It waves me forth again. I’ll follow it.

Hamlet. It waves me still.
Go on. I’ll follow thee.

Hamlet. My fate cries out
And makes each petty artire in this body
As hardy as the Nemean lion’s nerve.
Go on. I’ll follow thee.

Hamlet. Whither wilt thou lead me? Speak! I’ll go no further.

Hamlet. Alas, poor ghost!

Hamlet. Speak. I am bound to hear.

Hamlet. What?

Hamlet. O God!

Hamlet. Murther?

Hamlet. Haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.

Hamlet. O my prophetic soul!
My uncle?

Hamlet. O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!

Hamlet. O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?
And shall I couple hell? Hold, hold, my heart!
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee?
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee?
Yea, from the table of my memory
I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past
That youth and observation copied there,
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix’d with baser matter. Yes, by heaven!
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My tables! Meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark. [Writes.]
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word:
It is ‘Adieu, adieu! Remember me.’
I have sworn’t.

Hamlet. There’s neer a villain dwelling in all Denmark
But he’s an arrant knave.
[picks up mirror, talks to self]

Hamlet. How say you then? Would heart of man once think it?
But you’ll be secret?

Hamlet. Upon my sword.
Consent to swear.
Never to speak of this that you have heard:
So grace and mercy at your most need help you,
Swear. [he swears]

Hamlet. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
The time is out of joint. O cursed spite
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let’s go together.

[Exit with mirror]

Act II, Scene 1

Gertrude. O my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!

Polonius. With what, i’ th’ name of God?

Gertrude. My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbrac’d,
No hat upon his head, his stockings foul’d,
Ungart’red, and down-gyved to his ankle;
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a look so piteous in purport
As if he had been loosed out of hell
To speak of horrors- he comes before me.

Polonius. What said he?

Gertrude. He took me by the wrist and held me hard;
Then goes he to the length of all his arm,
And, with his other hand thus o’er his brow,
He falls to such perusal of my face
As he would draw it. Long stay’d he so.
At last, a little shaking of mine arm,
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
He rais’d a sigh so piteous and profound
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk
And end his being. That done, he lets me go,
And with his head over his shoulder turn’d
He seem’d to find his way without his eyes,
For out o’ doors he went without their help
And to the last bended their light on me.

Polonius. Come, go with me. I will go seek the King.
I am sorry.
What, have you given him any hard words of late?

[gertrude shakes head no]

Polonius. I am sorry that with better heed and judgment
I had not quoted him. I fear’d he did but trifle
By heaven, it is as proper to our age
To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions
As it is common for the younger sort
To lack discretion. Come, go we to the King.
This must be known; which, being kept close, might move
More grief to hide than hate to utter love.
Come.

[Exeunt. ]

 

Act II, Scene 2

[Enter King and Queen, polonius]

polonius. Something have you heard
Of Hamlet’s transformation. So I call it,
Sith nor th’ exterior nor the inward man
Resembles that it was. What it should be,
More than his father’s death, that thus hath put him
So much from th’ understanding of himself,
I cannot dream of. I entreat you both
That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
Some little time; so by your companies
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
So much as from occasion you may glean,
Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus
That, open’d, lies within our remedy.

Gertrude. [to polonius]
And I beseech you instantly to visit
My too much changed son.

Claudius. How may we try it further?

Polonius. You know sometimes he walks for hours together
Here in the lobby.

Gertrude. So he does indeed.

Polonius. If circumstances lead me, I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.

Claudius. We will try it.
Heavens make our presence and our practices
Pleasant and helpful to him!

Gertrude. Ay, amen!

[Enter Hamlet, reading on a book.]

Gertrude. But look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.

Polonius. Away, I do beseech you, both away
I’ll board him presently. O, give me leave.

[King and Queen, withdraw]

Polonius. How does my good Lord Hamlet?
Hamlet. Well, God-a-mercy.

Polonius. Do you know me, my lord?

Hamlet. Excellent well. You are a fishmonger.

Polonius. Not I, my lord.

Hamlet. Then I would you were so honest a man.

Polonius. Honest, my lord?

Hamlet. Ay, sir. To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man
pick’d out of ten thousand.

Polonius. That’s very true, my lord.

Hamlet. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god
kissing carrion- Friend, look to’t.

Polonius. [aside] How say you by that?
he knew me not at first. He said I was a fishmonger. He is far
gone, far gone! I’ll speak to him again.- What do you
read, my lord?

Hamlet. Words, words, words.

Polonius. What is the matter, my lord?

Hamlet. Between who?

Polonius. I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

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

Polonius. [aside] Though this be madness, yet there is a method in’t.-
Will You walk out of the air, my lord?

Hamlet. Into my grave?

Polonius. Indeed, that is out o’ th’ air. [Aside] How pregnant sometimes
his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on, which
reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. My honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.

Hamlet. You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more
willingly part withal- except my life, except my life, except my
life,

Polonius. Fare you well, my lord.

Hamlet. These tedious old fools!

[reenter claudius and gertrude]

Hamlet. My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern? Ah,
Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both?

claudius [deciding to play along] Happy in that we are not over-happy.

Hamlet. On Fortune’s cap you are not the very button.
Nor the soles of her shoe?

gertrude. Neither, my lord.

Hamlet. Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her
favours? In the secret parts of Fortune? O! most true! she is a
strumpet. What news ?
What have you, my good friends,
deserved at the hands of Fortune that she sends you to prison
hither?

claudius. Prison, my lord?

Hamlet. Denmark’s a prison.

gertrude. Then is the world one.

Hamlet. A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards, and

dungeons, Denmark being one o’ th’ worst.

gertrude. We think not so, my lord.

Hamlet. Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good
or bad but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.

gertrude. Why, then your ambition makes it one. ‘Tis too narrow for your
mind.

Hamlet. O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.

claudius. Which dreams indeed are ambition; for the very substance of
the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

Hamlet. A dream itself is but a shadow.

claudius. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality that
it is but a shadow’s shadow.

Hamlet. Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and outstretch’d
heroes the beggars’ shadows. Shall we to th’ court? for, by my
fay, I cannot reason.

gertrude & claudius. We’ll wait upon you.

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

claudius. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.

Hamlet. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you;
and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear a halfpenny. Were
you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free
visitation? Come, deal justly with me. Come, come! Nay, speak.

gertrude. What should we say, my lord?

Hamlet. Why, anything- but to th’ purpose. You were sent for; and
there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties
have not craft enough to colour. I know the good King and Queen
have sent for you.

claudius. To what end, my lord?

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

gertrude. [aside] What say you?

Hamlet. [aside] Nay then, I have an eye of you.- If you love me, hold
not off.

gertrude. My lord, we were sent for.

Hamlet. I will tell you why. So shall my anticipation prevent your
discovery, and your secrecy to the King and Queen moult no
feather. I have of late- but wherefore I know not- lost all my
mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so
heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth,
seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the
air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical
roof fretted with golden fire- why, it appeareth no other thing
to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a
piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in
faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! in
action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the
beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! And yet to me what
is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me- no, nor woman
neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

claudius. My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.

Hamlet. It is not very strange; for my uncle is King of Denmark, and
those that would make mows at him while my father lived give
twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats apiece for his picture in
little. ‘Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if
philosophy could find it out.
Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands, come! Th’
appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony.
You are welcome. But my uncle-father
and aunt-mother are deceiv’d.

gertrude. In what, my dear lord?

Hamlet. I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly I
know a hawk from a handsaw.

[Enter Polonius.]

Polonius. Well be with you, gentlemen!

Hamlet. Hark you, Guildenstern- and you too- at each ear a hearer!
That great baby you see there is not yet out of his swaddling
clouts.

Hamlet. I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players.
The actors are come hither, my lord. [hamlet acts as if he’s throwing his voice to polonius]

hamlet. [does impression of polonius] The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy,
history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral,
tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral; scene
individable, or poem unlimited. Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor
Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the liberty, these are
the only men.

Polonius. What follows then, my lord?

Hamlet. [acting as if a group of people has walked in]
You are welcome, masters; welcome, all.- I am glad to see thee
well.- Welcome, good friends.- O, my old friend? Why, thy face is
valanc’d since I saw thee last. Com’st’ thou to’ beard me in
Denmark?- What, my young lady and mistress? By’r Lady, your
ladyship is nearer to heaven than when I saw you last by the
altitude of a chopine. Pray God your voice, like a piece of
uncurrent gold, be not crack’d within the ring.- Masters, you are
all welcome. We’ll e’en to’t like French falconers, fly at
anything we see. We’ll have a speech straight. Come, give us a
taste of your quality. Come, a passionate speech.
I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was never acted;
or if it was, not above once; for the play, I remember, pleas’d
not the million, ’twas caviary to the general; but it was
an excellent play, well digested in the scenes,
set down with as much modesty as cunning. One speech in’t
I chiefly lov’d. ‘Twas AEneas’ tale to Dido, and thereabout of it
especially where he speaks of Priam’s slaughter. If it live in
your memory, begin at this line- let me see, let me see:
‘The rugged Pyrrhus, like th’ Hyrcanian beast-‘
‘Tis not so; it begins with Pyrrhus:
‘The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,
Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
When he lay couched in the ominous horse,
And thus o’ersized with coagulate gore,
With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
Old grandsire Priam seeks.’

Polonius. Fore God, my lord, well spoken, with good accent and good discretion.

Hamlet. ‘Anon he finds him,
Striking too short at Greeks.
So, proceed you. [motions for invisible player to continue]

[hamlet sits and listens to nothing]

Polonius. This is too long.

Hamlet. It shall to the barber’s, with your beard.- Prithee say on.
He’s for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps. Say on; come to
Hecuba.

claudius [taking over the speech and gesturing to gertrude, who is crying]
‘But who, O who, had seen the mobled queen-‘

Hamlet. ‘The mobled queen’?

Polonius. That’s good! ‘Mobled queen’ is good.

claudius. ‘Run barefoot up and down, threat’ning the flames
With bisson rheum; a clout upon that head
Where late the diadem stood, and for a robe,
About her lank and all o’erteemed loins,
A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up-
Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep’d
‘Gainst Fortune’s state would treason have pronounc’d.
But if the gods themselves did see her then,
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
In Mincing with his sword her husband’s limbs,
The instant burst of clamour that she made
(Unless things mortal move them not at all)
Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven
And passion in the gods.’

Polonius. Look, whe’r he has not turn’d his colour, and has tears in’s
eyes. Prithee no more!

Hamlet. ‘Tis well. I’ll have thee speak out the rest of this soon.-
Good my lord, will you see the players well bestow’d? Do you
hear? Let them be well us’d; for they are the abstract and brief
chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a
bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.

Polonius. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.

Hamlet. God’s bodykins, man, much better! Use every man after his
desert, and who should scape whipping? Use them after your own
honour and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in
your bounty. Take them in.

Hamlet. [speaking both to invisible players and C&G]
Follow him, friends. We’ll hear a play to-morrow.

[all but hamlet exit]

Now I am alone.
O what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That, from her working, all his visage wann’d,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in’s aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing!
For Hecuba!
What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech;
Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears.
Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing! No, not for a king,
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damn’d defeat was made. Am I a coward?
Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by th’ nose? gives me the lie i’ th’ throat
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this, ha?
‘Swounds, I should take it! for it cannot be
But I am pigeon-liver’d and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave’s offal. Bloody bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
O, vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murther’d,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must (like a whore) unpack my heart with words
And fall a-cursing like a very drab,
A scullion!
Fie upon’t! foh! About, my brain! Hum, I have heard
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaim’d their malefactions;
For murther, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ, I’ll have these Players
Play something like the murther of my father
Before mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks;
I’ll tent him to the quick. If he but blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be a devil; and the devil hath power
T’ assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me. I’ll have grounds
More relative than this. The play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King. [Exit]

Act III, Scene 1

Claudius. And can we by no drift of circumstance
Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?

gertrude. He does confess he feels himself distracted,
But from what cause he will by no means speak.

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

Polonius. I hear him coming. Let’s withdraw, my lord.

[Exeunt King and Polonius]. [gertrude makes to leave but doesn’t, observes]

[Enter Hamlet.]

Hamlet. To be, or not to be- that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep-
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die- to sleep.
To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death-
The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns- puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.- Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia!- Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins rememb’red.

gertrude. [from behind] Good my lord,
How does your honour for this many a day?

Hamlet. Ha, ha! Are you honest?

gertrude. My lord?

Hamlet. Are you fair?

gertrude. What means your lordship?

Hamlet. That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no
discourse to your beauty.

gertrude. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty?

Hamlet. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform
honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can
translate beauty into his likeness. This was sometime a paradox,
but now the time gives it proof.
Get thee to a nunnery! Why wouldst thou be a breeder of
sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse
me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me.
I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with more offences at my
beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give
them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I
do, crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves all;
believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where’s your
husband?

gertrude. At home, my lord.

Hamlet. Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool
nowhere but in’s own house. [opens door to reveal C&P]

gertrude. O, help him, you sweet heavens!

Hamlet. [spoken to G] If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry:
be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape
calumny. Get thee to a nunnery. Go, farewell. Or if thou wilt
needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what
monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too.
Farewell.

gertrude. O heavenly powers, restore him!

Hamlet. [spoken to C&P] I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God hath
given you one face, and you make yourselves another. You jig, you
amble, and you lisp; you nickname God’s creatures and make your
wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I’ll no more on’t! it hath made
me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages. Those that are
married already- all but one- shall live; the rest shall keep as
they are. To a nunnery, go.

[Exit].

gertrude. O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!
The courtier’s, scholar’s, soldier’s, eye, tongue, sword,
Th’ expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th’ observ’d of all observers- quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatch’d form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy. O, woe is me
T’ have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

Claudius. There’s something in his soul
O’er which his melancholy sits on brood;
And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose
Will be some danger; What think you on’t?

Polonius. My lord, do as you please;
But if you hold it fit, after the play
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
To show his grief. Let her be round with him;
And I’ll be plac’d so please you, in the ear
Of all their conference. If she find him not,
confine him where your wisdom best shall think.

Claudius. It shall be so.
Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go. [Exeunt.]

Act III, Scene 2

[Enter Hamlet speaking as if to someone behind a screen]

Hamlet. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc’d it to you,
trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our
players do, I had as live the town crier spoke my lines. Nor do
not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all
gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say)
whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a
temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the
soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to
tatters, to very rags, to split the cars of the groundlings, who
(for the most part) are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb
shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipp’d for o’erdoing
Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you avoid it.

[Enter Polonius]

Hamlet. How now, my lord? Will the King hear this piece of work?

Polonius. And the Queen too, and that presently.

Hamlet. Bid the players make haste,
[Exit Polonius.]

Hamlet. What, ho, Horatio! [addresses the audience]
Horatio, thou art e’en as just a man
As e’er my conversation cop’d withal.
Nay, do not think I flatter; Dost thou hear?
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath seal’d thee for herself. For thou hast been
As one, in suff’ring all, that suffers nothing;
A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewards
Hast ta’en with equal thanks; and blest are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled
That they are not a pipe for Fortune’s finger
To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him
In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee. Something too much of this I
There is a play to-night before the King.
One scene of it comes near the circumstance,
Which I have told thee, of my father’s death.
I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul
Observe my uncle. If his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
It is a damned ghost that we have seen,
And my imaginations are as foul
As Vulcan’s stithy. Give him heedful note;
For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
And after we will both our judgments join
In censure of his seeming.
They are coming to the play. I must be idle.
Get you a place.

Claudius. How fares our cousin Hamlet?

Hamlet. Excellent, i’ faith; of the chameleon’s dish. I eat the air,
promise-cramm’d. You cannot feed capons so.

Claudius. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet. These words are not
mine.

Hamlet. No, nor mine now. [To Polonius] My lord, you play’d once
i’ th’ university, you say?

Polonius. That did I, my lord, and was accounted a good actor.

Hamlet. What did you enact?

Polonius. I did enact Julius Caesar; I was kill’d i’ th’ Capitol; Brutus
kill’d me.

Hamlet. It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there.

Polonius. You are merry, my lord.

Hamlet. Who, I?

Polonius. Ay, my lord.

Hamlet. O God, your only jig-maker! What should a man do but be merry?
For look you how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died
within ‘s two hours.

Polonius. Nay ’tis twice two months, my lord.

Hamlet. So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for I’ll have a
suit of sables. O heavens! die two months ago, and not forgotten
yet? Then there’s hope a great man’s memory may outlive his life
half a year.

[screen is where the film is projected onto. all watch. it’s a silent movie of the charlie chaplin ilk. black and white, slapstick routines.]

gertrude. What means this, my lord?

Hamlet. Marry, this is miching malhecho; it means mischief.

[they watch]

Hamlet. [aside] Wormwood, wormwood!

[they watch in tense silence]

Hamlet. If she should break it now!

[end of first the first reel. polonius changes to second.]

Hamlet. Madam, how like you this play?

Gertrude. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Hamlet. O, but she’ll keep her word.

Claudius. Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in’t?

Hamlet. No, no! They do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i’ th’
world.

Claudius. What do you call the play?

Hamlet. ‘The Mousetrap.’ Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the
image of a murther done in Vienna. Gonzago is the duke’s name;
his wife, Baptista. You shall see anon. ‘Tis a knavish piece of
work; but what o’ that? Your Majesty, and we that have free
souls, it touches us not. Let the gall’d jade winch; our withers
are unwrung. This is one Lucianus, nephew to the King.

gertrude. You are as good as a chorus, my lord.

Hamlet. [to polonius as he finishes chaning reel] Begin, murtherer. Pox, leave
thy damnable faces, and begin! Come, the croaking raven doth
bellow for revenge.

Hamlet. He poisons him i’ th’ garden for’s estate. His name’s Gonzago.
The story is extant, and written in very choice Italian. You
shall see anon how the murtherer gets the love of Gonzago’s wife.

[The King rises. ]

Hamlet. What, frighted with false fire?

Gertrude. How fares my lord?

Claudius. Give me some light! Away!

Hamlet. Why, let the strucken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play;
For some must watch, while some must sleep:
Thus runs the world away.
O good Horatio, I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand
pound! Didst perceive?
Upon the talk of the poisoning?
Aha! Come, some music! Come, the recorders!
For if the King like not the comedy,
Why then, belike he likes it not, perdy.
Come, some music!

[enter polonius]

Polonius.Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.

Hamlet. Sir, a whole history.

Polonius.The King, sir-

Hamlet. Ay, sir, what of him?

Polonius. Is in his retirement, marvellous distemper’d.

Hamlet. With drink, sir?

Polonius. No, my lord; rather with choler.

Hamlet. Your wisdom should show itself more richer to signify this to
the doctor; for me to put him to his purgation would perhaps
plunge him into far more choler.

Polonius. Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and start
not so wildly from my affair.

Hamlet. I am tame, sir; pronounce.

Polonius. The Queen, your mother, in most great affliction of spirit
hath sent me to you.

Hamlet. You are welcome.

Polonius. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed.
If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will do
your mother’s commandment; if not, your pardon and my return
shall be the end of my business.

Hamlet. Sir, I cannot.

Polonius. What, my lord?

Hamlet. Make you a wholesome answer; my wit’s diseas’d. But, sir, such
answer as I can make, you shall command; or rather, as you say,
my mother. Therefore no more, but to the matter! My mother, you
say-

Polonius. Then thus she says: your behaviour hath struck her into
amazement and admiration.

Hamlet. O wonderful son, that can so stonish a mother! But is there no
sequel at the heels of this mother’s admiration? Impart.

Polonius. She desires to speak with you in her closet ere you go to bed.

Hamlet. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any
further trade with us?

Polonius. My lord, you once did love me.

Hamlet. And do still, by these pickers and stealers!

Polonius. Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? You do surely
bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your griefs to
your friend.

Hamlet. Sir, I lack advancement.

Polonius. How can that be, when you have the voice of the King himself
for your succession in Denmark?

Hamlet. Ay, sir, but ‘while the grass grows’- the proverb is something
musty.
O, the recorders! Let me see one. To withdraw with you- why do
you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive me
into a toil?

Polonius. O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.

Hamlet. I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe?

Polonius. My lord, I cannot.

Hamlet. I pray you.

Polonius. Believe me, I cannot.

Hamlet. I do beseech you.

Polonius. I know, no touch of it, my lord.

Hamlet. It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages with your
fingers and thumbs, give it breath with your mouth, and it will
discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.

Polonius. But these cannot I command to any utt’rance of harmony. I
have not the skill.

Hamlet. Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You
would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would
pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my
lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music,
excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it
speak. ‘Sblood, do you think I am easier to be play’d on than a
pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me,
you cannot play upon me.

Polonius. My lord, the Queen would speak with you, and presently.

Hamlet. Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?

Polonius. By th’ mass, and ’tis like a camel indeed.

Hamlet. Methinks it is like a weasel.

Polonius. It is back’d like a weasel.

Hamlet. Or like a whale.

Polonius. Very like a whale.

Hamlet. Then will I come to my mother by-and-by.- They fool me to the
top of my bent.- I will come by-and-by.

Polonius. I will say so.

[Exit.]

Hamlet. ‘By-and-by’ is easily said.
‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother!
O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom.
Let me be cruel, not unnatural;
I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites-
How in my words somever she be shent,
To give them seals never, my soul, consent!

[Exit]

Act III, Scene 3

Claudius. I like him not, nor stands it safe with us
To let his madness range. Therefore prepare you;
The terms of our estate may not endure
Hazard so near us as doth hourly grow
Out of his lunacies.

gertrude. Most holy and religious fear it is
To keep those many many bodies safe
That live and feed upon your Majesty.
The single and peculiar life is bound
With all the strength and armour of the mind
To keep itself from noyance; but much more
That spirit upon whose weal depends and rests
The lives of many.

claudius. Never alone
Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.
For we will fetters put upon this fear,
Which now goes too free-footed.

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

Claudius. Thanks, dear my lord.

[Exit Polonius and Gertrude]

claudius. O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn?
O wretched state! Help, angels! Make assay.
Bow, stubborn knees; and heart with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!
All may be well. [He kneels.]

[Enter Hamlet.]

Hamlet. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;
And now I’ll do’t. And so he goes to heaven,
And so am I reveng’d. That would be scann’d.
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.
Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge!
He took my father grossly, full of bread,
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
And how his audit stands, who knows save heaven?
But in our circumstance and course of thought,
‘Tis heavy with him; and am I then reveng’d,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?
No.
Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent.
When he is drunk asleep; or in his rage;
Or in th’ incestuous pleasure of his bed;
At gaming, swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in’t-
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damn’d and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays.
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days. [Exit.]

Claudius. [rises] My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go. [Exit.]

Act III, Scene 4

[Enter Queen and Polonius.]

Polonius. He will come straight. Look you lay home to him.
Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
And that your Grace hath screen’d and stood between
Much heat and him. I’ll silence me even here.
Pray you be round with him.

Hamlet. [within] Mother, mother, mother!

Gertrude. I’ll warrant you; fear me not. Withdraw; I hear him coming.

[Polonius hides behind the arras.]

[Enter Hamlet.]

Hamlet. Now, mother, what’s the matter?

Gertrude. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

Hamlet. Mother, you have my father much offended.

Gertrude. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.

Hamlet. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.

Gertrude. Why, how now, Hamlet?

Hamlet. What’s the matter now?

Gertrude. Have you forgot me?

Hamlet. No, by the rood, not so!
You are the Queen, your husband’s brother’s wife,
And (would it were not so!) you are my mother.

Gertrude. Nay, then I’ll set those to you that can speak.

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

Gertrude. What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murther me?
Help, help, ho!

Polonius. [behind] What, ho! help, help, help!

Hamlet. [draws] How now? a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!

[Makes a pass through the arras and kills Polonius.]

Polonius. [behind] O, I am slain!

Gertrude. O me, what hast thou done?

Hamlet. Nay, I know not. Is it the King?

Gertrude. O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!

Hamlet. A bloody deed- almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

Gertrude. As kill a king?

Hamlet. Ay, lady, it was my word.

[Lifts up the arras and sees Polonius.]

Hamlet. Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune.
Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger.
Leave wringing of your hands. Peace! sit you down
And let me wring your heart; for so I shall
If it be made of penetrable stuff;

Gertrude. What have I done that thou dar’st wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?

Hamlet. Such an act
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers’ oaths.

Gertrude. Ah me, what act,
That roars so loud and thunders in the index?

Hamlet. Look here upon th’s picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow;
Hyperion’s curls; the front of Jove himself;
A combination and a form indeed
Where every god did seem to set his seal
To give the world assurance of a man.
This was your husband. Look you now what follows.
Here is your husband, like a mildew’d ear
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor? Ha! have you eyes
You cannot call it love; for at your age
The heyday in the blood is tame, it’s humble,
And waits upon the judgment; and what judgment
Would step from this to this?
O shame! where is thy blush?

Gertrude. O Hamlet, speak no more!
Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul.

Hamlet. Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty!

Gertrude. O, speak to me no more!
These words like daggers enter in mine ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet!

Hamlet. A murtherer and a villain!
A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord; a vice of kings;
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole
And put it in his pocket!

Gertrude. No more!

Hamlet. A king of shreds and patches!-
Save me and hover o’er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards! What would your gracious figure?

Gertrude. Alas, he’s mad!

Hamlet. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, laps’d in time and passion, lets go by
Th’ important acting of your dread command?
O, say!

[listening to ghost]

Hamlet. How is it with you, lady?

Gertrude. Alas, how is’t with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with th’ encorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
And, as the sleeping soldiers in th’ alarm,
Your bedded hairs, like life in excrements,
Start up and stand an end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience! Whereon do you look?

Hamlet. On him, on him! Look you how pale he glares!
His form and cause conjoin’d, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.- Do not look upon me,
Lest with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects. Then what I have to do
Will want true colour- tears perchance for blood.

Gertrude. To whom do you speak this?

Hamlet. Do you see nothing there?

Gertrude. Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.

Hamlet. Nor did you nothing hear?

Gertrude. No, nothing but ourselves.

Hamlet. Why, look you there! Look how it steals away!
My father, in his habit as he liv’d!
Look where he goes even now out at the portal!

Gertrude. This is the very coinage of your brain.
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.

Hamlet. Ecstasy?
My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time
And makes as healthful music. It is not madness
That I have utt’red. Bring me to the test,
And I the matter will reword; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul
That not your trespass but my madness speaks.
Repent what’s past; avoid what is to come;
And do not spread the compost on the weeds
To make them ranker.

Gertrude. O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.

Hamlet. O, throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half,
Good night- but go not to my uncle’s bed.
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
Refrain to-night,
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence; the next more easy;
Once more, good night;
And when you are desirous to be blest,
I’ll blessing beg of you.- So again, good night.
I must be cruel, only to be kind;
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.
One word more, good lady.

Gertrude. What shall I do? [rhetorical, or at least not to hamlet]

Hamlet. Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
Let the bloat King tempt you again to bed;
Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his mouse;
And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses,
Or paddling in your neck with his damn’d fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft.

Gertrude. If words be made of breath,
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou hast said to me.

Hamlet. This man shall set me packing.

Gertrude. Alack, I had forgot!

Hamlet. I’ll lug the guts into the neighbour room.-
For this same lord,
I do repent; but heaven hath pleas’d it so,
To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their scourge and minister.
I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gave him.
Mother, good night.- Indeed, this counsellor
Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,
Who was in life a foolish prating knave.
Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Good night, mother.

[Exit the Queen. Exit Hamlet, tugging in
Polonius.]

Act IV, Scene 1

[Enter King and Queen, ]

Claudius. There’s matter in these sighs. These profound heaves
You must translate; ’tis fit we understand them.
Where is your son?

Gertrude. Ah, mine own lord, what have I seen to-night!

Claudius. What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?

Gertrude. Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries ‘A rat, a rat!’
And in this brainish apprehension kills
The unseen good old man.

Claudius. O heavy deed!
It had been so with us, had we been there.
His liberty is full of threats to all-
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answer’d?
It will be laid to us, whose providence
Should have kept short, restrain’d, and out of haunt
This mad young man. But so much was our love
We would not understand what was most fit,
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?

Gertrude. To draw apart the body he hath kill’d;
O’er whom his very madness, like some ore
Among a mineral of metals base,
Shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done.

Claudius. O Gertrude, come away! and this vile deed
We must with all our majesty and skill
Both countenance and excuse.
Come, Gertrude, we’ll call up our wisest friends
And let them know both what we mean to do
And what’s untimely done. O, come away!
My soul is full of discord and dismay.

[Exeunt.]

Act IV, Scene 2

[Enter King.]

Claudius. I have sent to seek him and to find the body.
How dangerous is it that this man goes loose!
Yet must not we put the strong law on him.
Diseases desperate grown
By desperate appliance are reliev’d,
Or not at all.

[enter hamlet]

Claudius. Now, Hamlet, where’s Polonius?

Hamlet. At supper.

Claudius. At supper? Where?

Hamlet. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain
convocation of politic worms are e’en at him. Your worm is your
only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and
we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar
is but variable service- two dishes, but to one table. That’s the
end.

Claudius. Alas, alas!

Hamlet. A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat
of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

Claudius. What dost thou mean by this?

Hamlet. Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through
the guts of a beggar.

Claudius. Where is Polonius?

Hamlet. In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger find him not
there, seek him i’ th’ other place yourself. But indeed, if you
find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up
the stair, into the lobby.

Claudius. Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety,-
Which we do tender as we dearly grieve
For that which thou hast done,- must send thee hence
With fiery quickness.

Hamlet. Farewell, dear mother.

Claudius. Thy loving father, Hamlet.

Hamlet. My mother! Father and mother is man and wife; man and wife is
one flesh; and so, my mother.

[Exit.]

Act IV, Scene 3

Hamlet. How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unus’d. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’ event,-
A thought which, quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward,- I do not know
Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do,’
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me.
Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour’s at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep,
O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!

[orderlies come and strip him and put him in hospital gown and take him away Exit.]

Act IV, Scene 5

claudius. I will not speak with him.

gertrude. he is importunate, indeed distract.
His mood will needs be pitied.

claudius. What would he have?

gertrude. he speaks much of his father; says he hears
There’s tricks i’ th’ world, and hems, and beats his heart;
Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in doubt,
That carry but half sense.

claudius. Let him come in.
[Aside] To my sick soul (as sin’s true nature is)
Each toy seems Prologue to some great amiss.
So full of artless jealousy is guilt
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.

[Enter hamlet drugged]

hamlet. Where is the beauteous Majesty of Denmark?

Gertrude. How now, dear hamlet?

hamlet. Nay, pray You mark.
(Sings) He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,
At his heels a stone.
O, ho!

Claudius. Conceit upon his father? [gertrude nods]

hamlet. Pray let’s have no words of this; but when they ask, you what
it means, say you this:
[Sings] By Gis and by Saint Charity,
Alack, and fie for shame!
Young men will do’t if they come to’t
By Cock, they are to blame.
Quoth she, ‘Before you tumbled me,
You promis’d me to wed.’
He answers:
‘So would I ‘a’ done, by yonder sun,
An thou hadst not come to my bed.’

Claudius. How long hath he been thus?

hamlet. I hope all will be well. We must be patient; but I cannot
choose but weep to think they would lay him i’ th’ cold ground.
Come, my coach! Good night, ladies. Good night, sweet
ladies. Good night, good night.
[Exit]

Claudius. O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs
All from his father’s death. O Gertrude, Gertrude,
When sorrows come, they come not single spies.
But in battalions! First, his father slain;
Next, polonius, and he most violent author
Of his own just remove; the people muddied,
Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers
For good Polonius’ death, and we have done but greenly
In hugger-mugger to inter him; poor hamlet
Divided from himself and his fair judgment,
Without the which we are pictures or mere beasts;
O my dear Gertrude, this,
Like to a murd’ring piece, in many places
Give me superfluous death.

[enter hamlet]

hamlet. [sings]
They bore him barefac’d on the bier
(Hey non nony, nony, hey nony)
And in his grave rain’d many a tear.
Fare you well, my dove!

hamlet. There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love,
remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.

gertrude. A document in madness! Thoughts and remembrance fitted.

hamlet. There’s fennel for you, and columbines. There’s rue for you,
and here’s some for me. We may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays.
O, you must wear your rue with a difference! There’s a daisy. I
would give you some violets, but they wither’d all when my father
died. They say he made a good end.
[Sings] For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.
And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead;
Go to thy deathbed;
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll.
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan.
God ‘a’mercy on his soul!
And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God b’ wi’ you.

[Exit.]

claudius. Do you see this, O God?

gertrude. claudius, I must commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right.

Claudius. I pray you go with me.

[Exeunt]

Act V, Scene 1

[hamlet alone eating lunch still in hospital garb, apple, orange, roll, he starts having them talk to each other]

orange. What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the
shipwright, or the carpenter?

apple. The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand
tenants.

orange. I like thy wit well, in good faith. The gallows does well.
But how does it well? It does well to those that do ill. Now,
thou dost ill to say the gallows is built stronger than the
church. Argal, the gallows may do well to thee. To’t again, come!

apple. Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a
carpenter?

orange. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.

apple. Marry, now I can tell!

orange. To’t.

apple. Mass, I cannot tell.

orange. Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull ass will
not mend his pace with beating; and when you are ask’d this
question next, say ‘a grave-maker.’ The houses he makes lasts
till doomsday.

[eats a few bites of the apple, then throws it onto the floor. addresses audience referencing apple]

Hamlet. That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once. How the
knave jowls it to the ground, as if ’twere Cain’s jawbone, that
did the first murther! This might be the pate of a Politician,
which this ass now o’erreaches; one that would circumvent God,
might it not?
Or of a courtier, which could say ‘Good morrow, sweet lord!
How dost thou, good lord?’ This might be my Lord Such-a-one, that
prais’d my Lord Such-a-one’s horse when he meant to beg it- might
it not?
Why, e’en so! and now my Lady Worm’s, chapless, and knock’d
about the mazzard with a sexton’s spade. Here’s fine revolution,
and we had the trick to see’t. Did these bones cost no more the
breeding but to play at loggets with ’em? Mine ache to think
on’t.

Hamlet.[referencing orange] There’s another. Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer?
Where be his quiddits now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures,
and his tricks? Why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock
him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him
of his action of battery? Hum!

Hamlet. [addressing orange] How long hast thou been a grave-maker?

orange. Of all the days i’ th’ year, I came to’t that day that our
last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.

Hamlet. How long is that since?

orange. Cannot you tell that? Every fool can tell that. It was the
very day that young Hamlet was born- he that is mad.

Hamlet. How came he mad?

orange. Very strangely, they say.

Hamlet. How strangely?

orange. Faith, e’en with losing his wits.

Hamlet. Upon what ground?

orange. Why, here in Denmark. I have been sexton here, man and boy
thirty years.

orange. [referencing roll] Here’s a skull now. This skull hath lien
you i’ th’ earth three-and-twenty years.

Hamlet. Whose was it?

orange. A whoreson, mad fellow’s it was. Whose do you think it was?

Hamlet. Nay, I know not.

orange. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! ‘A pour’d a flagon of
Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir, was Yorick’s
skull, the King’s jester.

Hamlet. This?

orange. E’en that.

Hamlet. Let me see. [Takes the skull.] Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him,
Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He
hath borne me on his back a thousand times. And now how abhorred
in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those
lips that I have kiss’d I know not how oft. Where be your gibes
now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment that
were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your
own grinning? Quite chap- fall’n? Now get you to my lady’s
chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this
favour she must come. Make her laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio,
tell me one thing.

Hamlet. Dost thou think Alexander look’d o’ this fashion i’ th’ earth?

Hamlet. And smelt so? Pah!

[stuffs entire roll into mouth]

Hamlet. To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not
imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it
stopping a bunghole?
as thus: Alexander died,
Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is
earth; of earth we make loam; and why of that loam (whereto he
was converted) might they not stop a beer barrel?
Imperious Caesar, dead and turn’d to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
But soft! but soft! aside! Here comes the King-

[Enter King, Queen [both upset by hamlet’s behaviour, claudius especially. he possibly watched this whole scene.]

Claudius. O, treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
Depriv’d thee of!

Hamlet. [comes forward] What is he whose grief
Bears such an emphasis? whose phrase of sorrow
Conjures the wand’ring stars, and makes them stand
Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
Hamlet the Dane.

[Leaps at claudius]

Gertrude. Hamlet, Hamlet!

Hamlet. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme
Until my eyelids will no longer wag.

Gertrude. O my son, what theme?

Hamlet. I lov’d my father. Forty thousand brothers
Could not (with all their quantity of love)
Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for him?

Claudius. O, he is mad, gertrude.

Gertrude. For love of God, forbear him!

Hamlet. ‘Swounds, show me what thou’t do.
Woo’t weep? woo’t fight? woo’t fast? woo’t tear thyself?
Woo’t drink up esill? eat a crocodile?
I’ll do’t. Dost thou come here to whine?
To outface me with leaping in his grave?
Be buried quick with him, and so will I.
And if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us, till our ground,
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou’lt mouth,
I’ll rant as well as thou.

Gertrude. This is mere madness;
And thus a while the fit will work on him.
Anon, as patient as the female dove
When that her golden couplets are disclos’d,
His silence will sit drooping.

Hamlet. Hear you, sir!
What is the reason that you use me thus?
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.

Claudius. Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.

[exit claudius]

Act V, Scene 2

[hamlet raging to himself, gertrude not far off, watching but out of earshot]

Hamlet. Why, what a king is this!
Does it not, thinks’t thee, stand me now upon-
He that hath kill’d my king, and whor’d my mother;
Popp’d in between th’ election and my hopes;
Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
And with such coz’nage- is’t not perfect conscience
To quit him with this arm? And is’t not to be damn’d
To let this canker of our nature come
In further evil?
And a man’s life is no more than to say ‘one.’
Sir, I will walk here in the hall. If it please his Majesty,
it is the breathing time of day with me. Let the foils be
brought, the gentleman willing – the King hold his purpose-
I will win if I can; if not, I will gain nothing but my
shame and the odd hits.
I am constant to my purposes; they follow the King’s pleasure.
If his fitness speaks, mine is ready; now or whensoever, provided
I be so able as now.

Hamlet. [addressing audience] But thou wouldst not
think how ill all’s here about my heart. But it is no matter.
Not a whit, we defy augury; there’s a special providence in
the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be
not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come:
the readiness is all. Since no man knows aught of what he leaves,
what is’t to leave betimes? Let be.

[enter claudius]

Claudius. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
Give me your pardon, sir.
If Hamlet from himself be taken away,
And when he’s not himself does wrong claudius
Then Hamlet does it not.
Who does it, then? His madness. If’t be so,
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong’d;
His madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy.

Hamlet. You mock me, sir.

claudius. No, by this hand.

Hamlet. Come on, sir.

[hamlet attacks claudius with a knife.]

Hamlet. One.

gertrude. No.

hamlet. A hit, a very palpable hit.

Hamlet. Come. [They fight.] Another hit. What say you?

claudius. A touch, a touch; I do confess’t. [possibly bleeding]

Gertrude. Come, let me wipe thy face. [to claudius]

Hamlet. Come for the third, my lord! You but dally.
Pray you pass with your best violence;
I am afeard you make a wanton of me.

claudius. Say you so? Come on. Play.

hamlet. Have at you now!

[in their grappling they knock over/hurt gertrude]

claudius. Look to the Queen there, ho!

[in the confusion, hamlet is stabbed with his own knife.]

Gertrude. O my dear Hamlet!

Hamlet. I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu!
You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
That are but mutes or audience to this act,
Had I but time (as this fell sergeant, Death,
Is strict in his arrest) O, I could tell you-
But let it be. Horatio, I am dead;
Thou liv’st; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.
O good Horatio, what a wounded name
(Things standing thus unknown) shall live behind me!
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.
O, I die, Horatio! [spoken to claudius]
the rest is silence.

[Dies.]

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

[the end]

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