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Hamlet shakespeare

Folger Shakespeare Library
http://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org


Contents

Front
Matter

From the Director of the Folger Shakespeare
Library
Textual Introduction
Synopsis
Characters in the Play

ACT 1

Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4

Scene 5

ACT 2

Scene 1
Scene 2

ACT 3

Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4

ACT 4

Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4
Scene 5
Scene 6
Scene 7

ACT 5

Scene 1
Scene 2


From the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library

It is hard to imagine a world without Shakespeare. Since their
composition four hundred years ago, Shakespeare’s plays and poems
have traveled the globe, inviting those who see and read his works to
make them their own.
Readers of the New Folger Editions are part of this ongoing process
of “taking up Shakespeare,” finding our own thoughts and feelings in
language that strikes us as old or unusual and, for that very reason,
new. We still struggle to keep up with a writer who could think a mile


a minute, whose words paint pictures that shift like clouds. These
expertly edited texts are presented to the public as a resource for
study, artistic adaptation, and enjoyment. By making the classic texts
of the New Folger Editions available in electronic form as Folger
Digital Texts, we place a trusted resource in the hands of anyone who
wants them.
The New Folger Editions of Shakespeare’s plays, which are the basis
for the texts realized here in digital form, are special because of their
origin. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is the
single greatest documentary source of Shakespeare’s works. An
unparalleled collection of early modern books, manuscripts, and
artwork connected to Shakespeare, the Folger’s holdings have been
consulted extensively in the preparation of these texts. The Editions
also reflect the expertise gained through the regular performance of
Shakespeare’s works in the Folger’s Elizabethan Theater.
I want to express my deep thanks to editors Barbara Mowat and Paul
Werstine for creating these indispensable editions of Shakespeare’s
works, which incorporate the best of textual scholarship with a
richness of commentary that is both inspired and engaging. Readers
who want to know more about Shakespeare and his plays can follow
the paths these distinguished scholars have tread by visiting the Folger
either in-person or online, where a range of physical and digital
resources exists to supplement the material in these texts. I commend
to you these words, and hope that they inspire.
Michael Witmore
Director, Folger Shakespeare Library


Textual Introduction
By Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine
Until now, with the release of the Folger Digital Texts, readers in
search of a free online text of Shakespeare’s plays had to be content
primarily with using the Moby™ Text, which reproduces a latenineteenth century version of the plays. What is the difference? Many
ordinary readers assume that there is a single text for the plays: what
Shakespeare wrote. But Shakespeare’s plays were not published the
way modern novels or plays are published today: as a single,
authoritative text. In some cases, the plays have come down to us in
multiple published versions, represented by various Quartos (Qq) and
by the great collection put together by his colleagues in 1623, called
the First Folio (F). There are, for example, three very different
versions of Hamlet, two of King Lear, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet,
and others. Editors choose which version to use as their base text, and
then amend that text with words, lines or speech prefixes from the
other versions that, in their judgment, make for a better or more
accurate text.
Other editorial decisions involve choices about whether an unfamiliar
word could be understood in light of other writings of the period or
whether it should be changed; decisions about words that made it into
Shakespeare’s text by accident through four hundred years of
printings and misprinting; and even decisions based on cultural
preference and taste. When the Moby™ Text was created, for
example, it was deemed “improper” and “indecent” for Miranda to
chastise Caliban for having attempted to rape her. (See The Tempest,
1.2: “Abhorred slave,/Which any print of goodness wilt not
take,/Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee…”). All Shakespeare
editors at the time took the speech away from her and gave it to her
father, Prospero.
The editors of the Moby™ Shakespeare produced their text long
before scholars fully understood the proper grounds on which to make
the thousands of decisions that Shakespeare editors face. The Folger
Library Shakespeare Editions, on which the Folger Digital Texts
depend, make this editorial process as nearly transparent as is
possible, in contrast to older texts, like the Moby™, which hide
editorial interventions. The reader of the Folger Shakespeare knows
where the text has been altered because editorial interventions are
signaled by square brackets (for example, from Othello: “ If she in


chains of magic were not bound, ”), half-square brackets (for
example, from Henry V: “With blood and sword and fire to win your
right,”), or angle brackets (for example, from Hamlet: “O farewell,
honest soldier. Who hath relieved/you?”). At any point in the text,
you can hover your cursor over a bracket for more information.
Because the Folger Digital Texts are edited in accord with twenty-first
century knowledge about Shakespeare’s texts, the Folger here
provides them to readers, scholars, teachers, actors, directors, and
students, free of charge, confident of their quality as texts of the plays
and pleased to be able to make this contribution to the study and
enjoyment of Shakespeare.


Synopsis
Events before the start of Hamlet set the stage for tragedy. When the
king of Denmark, Prince Hamlet’s father, suddenly dies, Hamlet’s
mother, Gertrude, marries his uncle Claudius, who becomes the new
king.
A spirit who claims to be the ghost of Hamlet’s father describes his
murder at the hands of Claudius and demands that Hamlet avenge the
killing. When the councilor Polonius learns from his daughter,
Ophelia, that Hamlet has visited her in an apparently distracted state,
Polonius attributes the prince’s condition to lovesickness, and he sets
a trap for Hamlet using Ophelia as bait.
To confirm Claudius’s guilt, Hamlet arranges for a play that mimics
the murder; Claudius’s reaction is that of a guilty man. Hamlet, now
free to act, mistakenly kills Polonius, thinking he is Claudius.
Claudius sends Hamlet away as part of a deadly plot.
After Polonius’s death, Ophelia goes mad and later drowns. Hamlet,
who has returned safely to confront the king, agrees to a fencing
match with Ophelia’s brother, Laertes, who secretly poisons his own
rapier. At the match, Claudius prepares poisoned wine for Hamlet,
which Gertrude unknowingly drinks; as she dies, she accuses
Claudius, whom Hamlet kills. Then first Laertes and then Hamlet die,
both victims of Laertes’ rapier.


Characters in the Play

THE GHOST
HAMLET,

Prince of Denmark, son of the late King Hamlet
and Queen Gertrude
QUEEN GERTRUDE, widow of King Hamlet, now married to Claudius
KING CLAUDIUS, brother to the late King Hamlet
OPHELIA
LAERTES,

her brother
POLONIUS, father of Ophelia and Laertes, councillor to King Claudius
REYNALDO, servant to Polonius
HORATIO,

Hamlet’s friend and confidant

VOLTEMAND
CORNELIUS
ROSENCRANTZ
GUILDENSTERN

courtiers at the Danish court

OSRIC

Gentlemen
A Lord
FRANCISCO
BARNARDO

Danish soldiers

MARCELLUS
FORTINBRAS,

Prince of Norway
A Captain in Fortinbras’s army
Ambassadors to Denmark from England
Players who take the roles of Prologue, Player King, Player Queen,
and Lucianus in The Murder of Gonzago
Two Messengers
Sailors
Gravedigger
Gravedigger’s companion
Doctor of Divinity
Attendants, Lords, Guards, Musicians, Laertes’s Followers, Soldiers,
Officers


ACT 1

Scene 1
Enter Barnardo and Francisco, two sentinels.
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BARNARDO

Who’s there?

FRANCISCO
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Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself.
BARNARDO Long live the King!
FRANCISCO Barnardo.
BARNARDO He.

5

FRANCISCO
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You come most carefully upon your hour.
BARNARDO

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’Tis now struck twelve. Get thee to bed, Francisco.
FRANCISCO

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For this relief much thanks. ’Tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.
BARNARDO Have you had quiet guard?
FRANCISCO Not a mouse stirring.
BARNARDO Well, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.

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Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
FRANCISCO
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I think I hear them.—Stand ho! Who is there?
HORATIO Friends to this ground.
7

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Hamlet

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MARCELLUS

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FRANCISCO

ACT 1. SC. 1

And liegemen to the Dane.
Give you good night.

MARCELLUS
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O farewell, honest soldier. Who hath relieved
you?

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FRANCISCO
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Barnardo hath my place. Give you good night.
Francisco exits.
MARCELLUS Holla, Barnardo.
BARNARDO Say, what, is Horatio there?
HORATIO A piece of him.
BARNARDO

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Welcome, Horatio.—Welcome, good Marcellus.

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HORATIO
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What, has this thing appeared again tonight?
BARNARDO I have seen nothing.
MARCELLUS

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Horatio says ’tis but our fantasy
And will not let belief take hold of him
Touching this dreaded sight twice seen of us.
Therefore I have entreated him along
With us to watch the minutes of this night,
That, if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.

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HORATIO
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Tush, tush, ’twill not appear.
Sit down awhile,
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we have two nights seen.
HORATIO
Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Barnardo speak of this.
BARNARDO Last night of all,
When yond same star that’s westward from the pole
Had made his course t’ illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
The bell then beating one—

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BARNARDO

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Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 1

Enter Ghost.
MARCELLUS
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Peace, break thee off! Look where it comes again.
BARNARDO

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In the same figure like the King that’s dead.
MARCELLUS, to Horatio
Thou art a scholar. Speak to it, Horatio.
BARNARDO

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Looks he not like the King? Mark it, Horatio.

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HORATIO
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Most like. It harrows me with fear and wonder.
BARNARDO

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It would be spoke to.
Speak to it, Horatio.

MARCELLUS
HORATIO

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What art thou that usurp’st this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? By heaven, I charge thee,
speak.

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MARCELLUS
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It is offended.
BARNARDO

See, it stalks away.

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HORATIO
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Stay! speak! speak! I charge thee, speak!
Ghost exits.

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MARCELLUS

’Tis gone and will not answer.

BARNARDO
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How now, Horatio, you tremble and look pale.
Is not this something more than fantasy?
What think you on ’t?
HORATIO

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

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Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 1

Is it not like the King?
HORATIO As thou art to thyself.
Such was the very armor he had on
When he the ambitious Norway combated.
So frowned he once when, in an angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
’Tis strange.
MARCELLUS

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MARCELLUS
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Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
HORATIO

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In what particular thought to work I know not,
But in the gross and scope of mine opinion
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.

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MARCELLUS
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Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject of the land,
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon
And foreign mart for implements of war,
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week.
What might be toward that this sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint laborer with the day?
Who is ’t that can inform me?
HORATIO
That can I.
At least the whisper goes so: our last king,
Whose image even but now appeared to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto pricked on by a most emulate pride,
Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet
(For so this side of our known world esteemed him)
Did slay this Fortinbras, who by a sealed compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror.

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Hamlet

Against the which a moiety competent
Was gagèd by our king, which had returned
To the inheritance of Fortinbras
Had he been vanquisher, as, by the same comart
And carriage of the article designed,
His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimprovèd mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
Sharked up a list of lawless resolutes
For food and diet to some enterprise
That hath a stomach in ’t; which is no other
(As it doth well appear unto our state)
But to recover of us, by strong hand
And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands
So by his father lost. And this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The source of this our watch, and the chief head
Of this posthaste and rummage in the land.

ACT 1. SC. 1

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115

BARNARDO
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I think it be no other but e’en so.
Well may it sort that this portentous figure
Comes armèd through our watch so like the king
That was and is the question of these wars.

120

HORATIO
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A mote it is to trouble the mind’s eye.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets;
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune’s empire stands,
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse.
And even the like precurse of feared events,
As harbingers preceding still the fates
And prologue to the omen coming on,

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Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 1

Have heaven and Earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.
Enter Ghost.

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But soft, behold! Lo, where it comes again!
I’ll cross it though it blast me.—Stay, illusion!
It spreads his arms.
If thou hast any sound or use of voice,
Speak to me.
If there be any good thing to be done
That may to thee do ease and grace to me,
Speak to me.
If thou art privy to thy country’s fate,
Which happily foreknowing may avoid,
O, speak!
Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
Speak of it.
The cock crows.
Stay and speak!—Stop it, Marcellus.

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MARCELLUS
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Shall I strike it with my partisan?
HORATIO Do, if it will not stand.
BARNARDO ’Tis here.
HORATIO ’Tis here.

155

Ghost exits.
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’Tis gone.
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the show of violence,
For it is as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows malicious mockery.

MARCELLUS

BARNARDO
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It was about to speak when the cock crew.
HORATIO

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And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard

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Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 1

The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day, and at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
Th’ extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine, and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.

165

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MARCELLUS
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It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever ’gainst that season comes
Wherein our Savior’s birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is that time.

175

HORATIO
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So have I heard and do in part believe it.
But look, the morn in russet mantle clad
Walks o’er the dew of yon high eastward hill.
Break we our watch up, and by my advice
Let us impart what we have seen tonight
Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?

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MARCELLUS
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Let’s do ’t, I pray, and I this morning know
Where we shall find him most convenient.

190

They exit.


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Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 2

Scene 2
Flourish. Enter Claudius, King of Denmark, Gertrude the
Queen, the Council, as Polonius, and his son Laertes,
Hamlet, with others, among them Voltemand and
Cornelius.
KING
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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 barred
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
Now follows that you know. Young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak supposal of our worth
Or thinking by our late dear brother’s death
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
Colleaguèd with this dream of his advantage,
He hath not failed to pester us with message
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
To our most valiant brother—so much for him.
Now for ourself and for this time of meeting.
Thus much the business is: we have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,
Who, impotent and bedrid, scarcely hears

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Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 2

Of this his nephew’s purpose, to suppress
His further gait herein, in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions are all made
Out of his subject; and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltemand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway,
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the King more than the scope
Of these dilated articles allow.
Giving them a paper.
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.

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35

CORNELIUS/VOLTEMAND
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In that and all things will we show our duty.

40

KING
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We doubt it nothing. Heartily farewell.
Voltemand and Cornelius exit.
And now, Laertes, what’s the news with you?
You told us of some suit. What is ’t, Laertes?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane
And lose your voice. What wouldst thou beg,
Laertes,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes?
LAERTES
My dread lord,
Your leave and favor to return to France,
From whence though willingly I came to Denmark
To show my duty in your coronation,
Yet now I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
KING

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Have you your father’s leave? What says Polonius?

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Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 2

POLONIUS
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Hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave
By laborsome petition, and at last
Upon his will I sealed my hard consent.
I do beseech you give him leave to go.

60

KING
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Take thy fair hour, Laertes. Time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will.—
But now, my cousin Hamlet and my son—
HAMLET , aside
A little more than kin and less than kind.

65

KING
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How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
HAMLET

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Not so, my lord; I am too much in the sun.
QUEEN

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

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HAMLET
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Ay, madam, it is common.
If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?

QUEEN

HAMLET
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“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 forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly. These indeed “seem,”
For they are actions that a man might play;

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Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 2

But I have that within which passes show,
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
KING

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’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 unschooled.
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 today,
“This must be so.” We pray you, throw to earth
This unprevailing woe and think of us
As of a father; for let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our throne,
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.

90

95

100

105

110

115

120


29

Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 2

QUEEN
FTLN 0312
FTLN 0313

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

FTLN 0314

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

FTLN 0315
FTLN 0316
FTLN 0317
FTLN 0318
FTLN 0319
FTLN 0320
FTLN 0321
FTLN 0322

Why, ’tis a loving and a fair reply.
Be as ourself in Denmark.—Madam, come.
This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart, in grace whereof
No jocund health that Denmark drinks today
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,
And the King’s rouse the heaven shall bruit again,
Respeaking earthly thunder. Come away.
Flourish. All but Hamlet exit.

125

130

HAMLET
FTLN 0323
FTLN 0324
FTLN 0325
FTLN 0326
FTLN 0327
FTLN 0328
FTLN 0329
FTLN 0330
FTLN 0331
FTLN 0332
FTLN 0333
FTLN 0334
FTLN 0335
FTLN 0336
FTLN 0337
FTLN 0338
FTLN 0339
FTLN 0340
FTLN 0341
FTLN 0342

O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
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,

135

140

145

150


31
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FTLN 0349
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FTLN 0351
FTLN 0352
FTLN 0353
FTLN 0354

Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 2

Like Niobe, all tears—why she, even she
(O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason
Would have mourned longer!), married with my
uncle,
My 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 gallèd 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.

155

160

Enter Horatio, Marcellus, and Barnardo.
FTLN 0355
FTLN 0356
FTLN 0357

Hail to your Lordship.
HAMLET I am glad to see you well.
Horatio—or I do forget myself!
HORATIO

165

HORATIO
FTLN 0358

The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
HAMLET

FTLN 0359
FTLN 0360
FTLN 0361
FTLN 0362

Sir, my good friend. I’ll change that name with you.
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?—
Marcellus?
MARCELLUS My good lord.

170

HAMLET
FTLN 0363
FTLN 0364
FTLN 0365

I am very glad to see you. To Barnardo. Good
even, sir.—
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?

175

HORATIO
FTLN 0366

A truant disposition, good my lord.
HAMLET

FTLN 0367
FTLN 0368
FTLN 0369
FTLN 0370
FTLN 0371
FTLN 0372

I would not hear your enemy say so,
Nor shall you do my ear that violence
To make it truster of your own report
Against yourself. I know you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elsinore?
We’ll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.

180


33

Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 2

HORATIO
FTLN 0373

My lord, I came to see your father’s funeral.
HAMLET

FTLN 0374
FTLN 0375

I prithee, do not mock me, fellow student.
I think it was to see my mother’s wedding.

185

HORATIO
FTLN 0376

Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
HAMLET

FTLN 0377
FTLN 0378
FTLN 0379
FTLN 0380
FTLN 0381

Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio!
My father—methinks I see my father.

190

HORATIO
FTLN 0382
FTLN 0383

Where, my lord?
HAMLET

In my mind’s eye, Horatio.

HORATIO
FTLN 0384

I saw him once. He was a goodly king.
HAMLET

FTLN 0385
FTLN 0386

He was a man. Take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.

195

HORATIO
FTLN 0387
FTLN 0388

My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
HAMLET Saw who?
HORATIO

FTLN 0389
FTLN 0390

My lord, the King your father.
HAMLET

The King my father?

200

HORATIO
FTLN 0391
FTLN 0392
FTLN 0393
FTLN 0394
FTLN 0395

Season your admiration for a while
With an attent ear, till I may deliver
Upon the witness of these gentlemen
This marvel to you.
HAMLET
For God’s love, let me hear!
HORATIO

FTLN 0396
FTLN 0397

Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Barnardo, on their watch,

205


35
FTLN 0398
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FTLN 0408
FTLN 0409
FTLN 0410
FTLN 0411
FTLN 0412
FTLN 0413

Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 2

In the dead waste and middle of the night,
Been thus encountered: a figure like your father,
Armed at point exactly, cap-à-pie,
Appears before them and with solemn march
Goes slow and stately by them. Thrice he walked
By their oppressed and fear-surprisèd eyes
Within his truncheon’s length, whilst they, distilled
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did,
And I with them the third night kept the watch,
Where, as they had delivered, both in time,
Form of the thing (each word made true and good),
The apparition comes. I knew your father;
These hands are not more like.
HAMLET
But where was this?

210

215

220

MARCELLUS
FTLN 0414

My lord, upon the platform where we watch.
HAMLET

FTLN 0415
FTLN 0416
FTLN 0417
FTLN 0418
FTLN 0419
FTLN 0420
FTLN 0421
FTLN 0422
FTLN 0423

Did you not speak to it?
My lord, I did,
But answer made it none. Yet once methought
It lifted up its head and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak;
But even then the morning cock crew loud,
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away
And vanished from our sight.
HAMLET
’Tis very strange.

225

HORATIO

230

HORATIO
FTLN 0424
FTLN 0425
FTLN 0426
FTLN 0427
FTLN 0428
FTLN 0429

As I do live, my honored lord, ’tis true.
And we did think it writ down in our duty
To let you know of it.
HAMLET Indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch tonight?
ALL
We do, my lord.

235

HAMLET
FTLN 0430

Armed, say you?

240


37
FTLN 0431

ALL

FTLN 0432

HAMLET

FTLN 0433

ALL

FTLN 0434

Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 2

Armed, my lord.
From top to toe?

My lord, from head to foot.
HAMLET Then saw you not his face?
HORATIO

FTLN 0435
FTLN 0436

O, yes, my lord, he wore his beaver up.
HAMLET What, looked he frowningly?

245

HORATIO
FTLN 0437
FTLN 0438

A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
HAMLET Pale or red?
HORATIO

FTLN 0439
FTLN 0440

Nay, very pale.
And fixed his eyes upon you?

HAMLET

250

HORATIO
FTLN 0441

Most constantly.

FTLN 0442

HAMLET

FTLN 0443

HORATIO

FTLN 0444

HAMLET

I would I had been there.
It would have much amazed you.
Very like. Stayed it long?

HORATIO
FTLN 0445
FTLN 0446
FTLN 0447

While one with moderate haste might tell a
hundred.
BARNARDO/MARCELLUS Longer, longer.

255

HORATIO
FTLN 0448
FTLN 0449

Not when I saw ’t.
HAMLET

His beard was grizzled, no?

HORATIO
FTLN 0450
FTLN 0451
FTLN 0452
FTLN 0453
FTLN 0454

It was as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silvered.
HAMLET
I will watch tonight.
Perchance ’twill walk again.
HORATIO
I warrant it will.

260

HAMLET
FTLN 0455
FTLN 0456
FTLN 0457
FTLN 0458

If it assume my noble father’s person,
I’ll speak to it, though hell itself should gape
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you have hitherto concealed this sight,

265


39
FTLN 0459
FTLN 0460
FTLN 0461
FTLN 0462
FTLN 0463
FTLN 0464
FTLN 0465

Hamlet

ACT 1. SC. 3

Let it be tenable in your silence still;
And whatsomever else shall hap tonight,
Give it an understanding but no tongue.
I will requite your loves. So fare you well.
Upon the platform, ’twixt eleven and twelve,
I’ll visit you.
ALL
Our duty to your Honor.

270

275

HAMLET
FTLN 0466

FTLN 0467
FTLN 0468
FTLN 0469
FTLN 0470
FTLN 0471

Your loves, as mine to you. Farewell.
All but Hamlet exit.
My father’s spirit—in arms! All is not well.
I doubt some foul play. Would the night were come!
Till then, sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s
eyes.
He exits.

280

Scene 3
Enter Laertes and Ophelia, his sister.
LAERTES
FTLN 0472
FTLN 0473
FTLN 0474
FTLN 0475
FTLN 0476

My necessaries are embarked. Farewell.
And, sister, as the winds give benefit
And convey is assistant, do not sleep,
But let me hear from you.
OPHELIA
Do you doubt that?

5

LAERTES
FTLN 0477
FTLN 0478
FTLN 0479
FTLN 0480
FTLN 0481
FTLN 0482
FTLN 0483
FTLN 0484

For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favor,
Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood,
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute,
No more.
OPHELIA
No more but so?
LAERTES
Think it no more.

10


41
FTLN 0485
FTLN 0486
FTLN 0487
FTLN 0488
FTLN 0489
FTLN 0490
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FTLN 0498
FTLN 0499
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FTLN 0501
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FTLN 0503
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FTLN 0509
FTLN 0510
FTLN 0511
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FTLN 0513
FTLN 0514
FTLN 0515
FTLN 0516
FTLN 0517
FTLN 0518
FTLN 0519

Hamlet

For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
In thews and bulk, but, as this temple waxes,
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now,
And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch
The virtue of his will; but you must fear,
His greatness weighed, his will is not his own,
For he himself is subject to his birth.
He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself, for on his choice depends
The safety and the health of this whole state.
And therefore must his choice be circumscribed
Unto the voice and yielding of that body
Whereof he is the head. Then, if he says he loves
you,
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it
As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying deed, which is no further
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honor may sustain
If with too credent ear you list his songs
Or lose your heart or your chaste treasure open
To his unmastered importunity.
Fear it, Ophelia; fear it, my dear sister,
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Out of the shot and danger of desire.
The chariest maid is prodigal enough
If she unmask her beauty to the moon.
Virtue itself ’scapes not calumnious strokes.
The canker galls the infants of the spring
Too oft before their buttons be disclosed,
And, in the morn and liquid dew of youth,
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary, then; best safety lies in fear.
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.
OPHELIA

FTLN 0520

I shall the effect of this good lesson keep

ACT 1. SC. 3

15

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45


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