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Hamlet

by William Shakespeare

Act 1, Scene 5 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 



http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs26/f/2008/152/6/4/Ghost_of_Hamlet__s_Father_by_faxtar.jpg

 

Another Part of the Platform

Enter GHOST and HAMLET

Enter GHOST and HAMLET

HAMLET

Where wilt thou lead me? Speak, I’ll go no further.

 

HAMLET

Where wilt thou lead me? Speak, I’ll go no further.

 

GHOST

Mark me.

mark me=give me your attention

 

GHOST

Mark me.

 

HAMLET

 I will.

 

HAMLET

 I will.

 

GHOST

  My hour is almost come

When I to sulfurous and tormenting flames

flames=flames of purgatory

Must render up myself.

 

GHOST

  My hour is almost come

When I to sulfurous and tormenting flames

Must render up myself.

 

HAMLET

   Alas, poor ghost!

 

HAMLET

   Alas, poor ghost!

 

GHOST

Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing

To what I shall unfold.

 

GHOST

Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing

To what I shall unfold.

 

HAMLET

   Speak. I am bound to hear.

 

HAMLET

   Speak. I am bound to hear.

 

GHOST

So art thou to revenge when thou shalt hear.

 

GHOST

So art thou to revenge when thou shalt hear.

 

HAMLET

What?

 

HAMLET

What?

 

GHOST

I am thy father’s spirit,

Doomed for a certain term to walk the night

And for the day confined to fast in fires,

fast=suffer

Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature

days of nature=youth

Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid

To tell the secrets of my prison house,

I could a tale unfold whose lightest word

Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,

harrow up=slice through, as soil broken up by a harrow

Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,

Thy knotted and combinèd locks to part

combined locks=tangled hair

(combined – three syllables)

And each particular hair to stand on end,

Like quills upon the fearful porpentine.

fearful porpentine=fearsome porcupine

But this eternal blazon must not be

eternal blazon=news of Hell

be=be told

To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!

If thou didst ever thy dear father love—

 

GHOST

I am thy father’s spirit,

Doomed for a certain term to walk the night

And for the day confined to fast in fires,

Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature

Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid

To tell the secrets of my prison house,

I could a tale unfold whose lightest word

Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,

Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,

Thy knotted and combinèd locks to part

And each particular hair to stand on end,

Like quills upon the fearful porpentine.

But this eternal blazon must not be

To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!

If thou didst ever thy dear father love—

 

HAMLET

O God!

 

HAMLET

O God!

 

GHOST

Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.

unnatural murder – murder within a family (?)

 

GHOST

Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.

 

HAMLET

Murder?

 

HAMLET

Murder?

 

GHOST

Murder most foul, as in the best it is.
as in the best it is=always foul

But this most foul, strange and unnatural.

 

GHOST

Murder most foul, as in the best it is.

But this most foul, strange and unnatural.

 

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

Haste me to know ’t, that I, with wings as swift

As meditation or the thoughts of love,

May sweep to my revenge.

 

GHOST

    I find thee apt,

And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed

shouldst=would

That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,

Lethe=a river in Hades (classical mythology)

Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear.

wouldst thou not stir=if you did not take action

'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,

A serpent stung me. So the whole ear of Denmark

serpent=snake

Is by a forgèd process of my death

(forged – two syllables)

process=statement

Rankly abused. But know, thou noble youth,

rankly=grossly

abused=deceived

The serpent that did sting thy father’s life

Now wears his crown.

 

GHOST

    I find thee apt,

And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed

That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,

Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear.

'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,

A serpent stung me. So the whole ear of Denmark

Is by a forgèd process of my death

Rankly abused. But know, thou noble youth,

The serpent that did sting thy father’s life

Now wears his crown.

 

HAMLET

O my prophetic soul! My uncle?

 

HAMLET

O my prophetic soul! My uncle?

 

GHOST

Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,

With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts—

gifts=personal charm

O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power

So to seduce!—won to his shameful lust

The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen.

O Hamlet, what a falling off was there!

From me, whose love was of that dignity

That it went hand in hand even with the vow

I made to her in marriage, and to decline

Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor

To those of mine.

But virtue, as it never will be moved,

Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,

So lust, though to a radiant angel linked,

Will sate itself in a celestial bed

And prey on garbage.

But soft! Methinks I scent the morning air.

Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,

My custom always of the afternoon,

Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole

secure hour=hour of rest

With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,

hebenon=henbane

And in the porches of my ears did pour

The leperous distilment, whose effect

leperous=causing a skin crust

Holds such an enmity with blood of man

That swift as quicksilver it courses through

The natural gates and alleys of the body

And with a sudden vigor doth posset

posset=solidify

And curd, like eager droppings into milk,

curd=curdle

eager=acid

The thin and wholesome blood. So did it mine.

And a most instant tetter barked about,

tetter barked about=scale encased

Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust

lazar=leperous

All my smooth body.

Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother’s hand

Of life, of crown, of queen at once dispatched,

dispatched=robbed

Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,

Unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled.

(without receiving Last Rites of the church)

No reckoning made, but sent to my account

(reckoning – payment for sins)

With all my imperfections on my head.

Oh, horrible, oh, horrible, most horrible!

If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not.

nature=natural impulse

Let not the royal bed of Denmark be

A couch for luxury and damnèd incest.

luxury=licentiousness

(damned - two syllables)

But howsoever thou pursuest this act,

Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive

Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven

aught=in any way

And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge

thorns=her guiltiness

To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once.

The glowworm shows the matin to be near,

matin=morning

And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire.

and ‘gins=by beginning

(uneffectual – becoming obscure in the dawn)

Adieu, adieu, adieu. Remember me.

 

GHOST

Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,

With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts—

O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power

So to seduce!—won to his shameful lust

The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen.

O Hamlet, what a falling off was there!

From me, whose love was of that dignity

That it went hand in hand even with the vow

I made to her in marriage, and to decline

Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor

To those of mine.

But virtue, as it never will be moved,

Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,

So lust, though to a radiant angel linked,

Will sate itself in a celestial bed

And prey on garbage.

But soft! Methinks I scent the morning air.

Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,

My custom always of the afternoon,

Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole

With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,

And in the porches of my ears did pour

The leperous distilment, whose effect

Holds such an enmity with blood of man

That swift as quicksilver it courses through

The natural gates and alleys of the body

And with a sudden vigor doth posset

And curd, like eager droppings into milk,

The thin and wholesome blood. So did it mine.

And a most instant tetter barked about,

Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust

All my smooth body.

Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother’s hand

Of life, of crown, of queen at once dispatched,

Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,

Unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled.

No reckoning made, but sent to my account

With all my imperfections on my head.

Oh, horrible, oh, horrible, most horrible!

If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not.

Let not the royal bed of Denmark be

A couch for luxury and damnèd incest.

But howsoever thou pursuest this act,

Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive

Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven

And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge

To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once.

The glowworm shows the matin to be near,

And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire.

Adieu, adieu, adieu. Remember me.

 

 

 

Exit

Exit

HAMLET

O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?

And shall I couple hell? Oh, fie! Hold, hold, my heart,

And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,

But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!

Ay, thou poor ghost, whiles memory holds a seat

In this distracted globe. Remember thee!

globe=head

Yea, from the table of my memory

table=tablet

I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records,

All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past

pressures=impressions

That youth and observation copied there,

And thy commandment all alone shall live

Within the book and volume of my brain,

Unmixed with baser matter. Yes, by heaven!

O most pernicious woman!

pernicious=evil

O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!

(damned – two syllables)

My tables!—Meet it is I set it down

tables=notebooks

meet=appropriate

That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

At least I’m sure it may be so in Denmark. (writes)

may be=is

So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word.

there you are=there you are in my notebook

word=promise

It is “Adieu, adieu. Remember me.”

I have sworn ’t.

 

HAMLET

O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?

And shall I couple hell? Oh, fie! Hold, hold, my heart,

And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,

But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!

Ay, thou poor ghost, whiles 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,

Unmixed with baser matter. Yes, by heaven!

O most pernicious woman!

O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!

My tables!—Meet it is I set it down

That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

At least I’m 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.

 

Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS (within)

Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS (within)

HORATIO

My lord, my lord!

 

HORATIO

My lord, my lord!

 

MARCELLUS

Lord Hamlet—

 

MARCELLUS

Lord Hamlet—

 

HORATIO

Heaven secure him!

secure him=keep him safe

 

HORATIO

Heaven secure him!

 

HAMLET

So be it.

 

HAMLET

So be it.

 

HORATIO

Illo, ho, ho, my lord!

 

HORATIO

Illo, ho, ho, my lord!

 

HAMLET

Hillo, ho, ho, boy. Come, bird, come.

bird=young friend (Marcellus)

 

HAMLET

Hillo, ho, ho, boy. Come, bird, come.

 

Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS

Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS

 

MARCELLUS

How is ’t, my noble lord?

 

MARCELLUS

How is ’t, my noble lord?

 

HORATIO

What news, my lord?

 

HORATIO

What news, my lord?

 

HAMLET

Oh, wonderful!

 

HAMLET

Oh, wonderful!

 

HORATIO

Good my lord, tell it.

 

HORATIO

Good my lord, tell it.

 

HAMLET

  No. You’ll reveal it.

 

HAMLET

  No. You’ll reveal it.

 

HORATIO

Not I, my lord, by heaven.

 

HORATIO

Not I, my lord, by heaven.

 

MARCELLUS

Nor I, my lord.

 

MARCELLUS

Nor I, my lord.

 

HAMLET

How say you, then? Would heart of man once think it?

But you’ll be secret?

 

HAMLET

How say you, then? Would heart of man once think it?

But you’ll be secret?

 

HORATIO, MARCELLUS

  Ay, by heaven, my lord.

 

HORATIO, MARCELLUS

  Ay, by heaven, my lord.

 

HAMLET

There’s ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark . . .

But he’s an arrant knave.

(Hamlet interrupts himself)

arrant knave=downright rascal

 

HAMLET

There’s ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark

But he’s an arrant knave.

 

HORATIO

There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave

To tell us this.

 

HORATIO

There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave

To tell us this.

 

HAMLET

  Why, right, you are in the right.

And so, without more circumstance at all,

I hold it fit that we shake hands and part.

You, as your business and desire shall point you—

For every man has business and desire,

Such as it is—and for my own poor part,

Look you, I’ll go pray.

 

HAMLET

  Why, right, you are in the right.

And so, without more circumstance at all,

I hold it fit that we shake hands and part.

You, as your business and desire shall point you—

For every man has business and desire,

Such as it is—and for my own poor part,

Look you, I’ll go pray.

 

HORATIO

These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.

 

HORATIO

These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.

 

HAMLET

I’m sorry they offend you, heartily.

Yes faith, heartily.

faith=really

 

HAMLET

I’m sorry they offend you, heartily.

Yes faith, heartily.

 

HORATIO

  There’s no offense, my lord.

 

HORATIO

  There’s no offense, my lord.

 

HAMLET

Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,

And much offense too. Touching this vision here,

It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you.

For your desire to know what is between us,

O'ermaster ’t as you may. And now, good friends,

As you are friends, scholars and soldiers,

Give me one poor request.

 

HAMLET

Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,

And much offense too. Touching this vision here,

It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you.

For your desire to know what is between us,

O'ermaster ’t as you may. And now, good friends,

As you are friends, scholars and soldiers,

Give me one poor request.

 

HORATIO

    What is ’t, my lord? We will.

 

HORATIO

    What is ’t, my lord? We will.

 

HAMLET

Never make known what you have seen tonight.

 

HAMLET

Never make known what you have seen tonight.

 

HORATIO, MARCELLUS

My lord, we will not.

 

HORATIO, MARCELLUS

My lord, we will not.

 

HAMLET

Nay, but swear ’t.

 

HAMLET

    Nay, but swear ’t.

 

HORATIO

In faith, my lord, not I.

 

HORATIO

In faith, my lord, not I.

 

MARCELLUS

    Nor I, my lord, in faith.

 

MARCELLUS

    Nor I, my lord, in faith.

 

HAMLET

Upon my sword.

 

HAMLET

Upon my sword.

 

MARCELLUS

  We have sworn, my lord, already.

 

MARCELLUS

  We have sworn, my lord, already.

 

HAMLET

Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.

 

HAMLET

Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.

 

GHOST

(cries under the stage) Swear!

 

GHOST

(cries under the stage) Swear!

 

HAMLET

Ha, ha, boy! Sayst thou so? Art thou there, truepenny?

boy=Ghost (Hamlet makes light of the ghost.)

Come on, you hear this fellow in the cellarage.

Consent to swear.

 

HAMLET

Ha, ha, boy! Sayst thou so? Art thou there, truepenny?

Come on, you hear this fellow in the cellarage.

Consent to swear.

 

HORATIO

Propose the oath, my lord.

 

HORATIO

Propose the oath, my lord.

 

HAMLET

Never to speak of this that you have seen.

Swear by my sword.

 

HAMLET

Never to speak of this that you have seen.

Swear by my sword.

 

GHOST

(beneath) Swear.

 

GHOST

(beneath) Swear.

 

HAMLET

Hic et ubique? Then we’ll shift our ground.

hic et ubique=here and everywhere

Come hither, gentlemen,

And lay your hands again upon my sword.

Swear by my sword

Never to speak of this that you have heard.

 

HAMLET

Hic et ubique? Then we’ll shift our ground.

Come hither, gentlemen,

And lay your hands again upon my sword.

Swear by my sword

Never to speak of this that you have heard.

 

GHOST

(beneath) Swear by his sword.

 

GHOST

(beneath) Swear by his sword.

 

HAMLET

Well said, old mole! Canst work i' th' earth so fast?

A worthy pioneer! Once more remove, good friends.

remove=move away

 

HAMLET

Well said, old mole! Canst work i' th' earth so fast?

A worthy pioneer! Once more remove, good friends.

 

HORATIO

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

 

HORATIO

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

 

HAMLET

And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come,

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,

How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself

how…soe’er=however

(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet

meet=appropriate

To put an antic disposition on),

antic=crazy

That you, at such times seeing me, never shall

With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake

encumbered=solemnly folded

Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,

As “Well, well, we know,” or “We could an if we would,”

Or “If we list to speak,” or “There be an if they might,”

list=choose

Or such ambiguous giving out—to note

note=signify

That you know aught of me. This not to do,

So grace and mercy at your most need help you,

Swear.

 

HAMLET

And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come,

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,

How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself

(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet

To put an antic disposition on),

That you, at such times seeing me, never shall—

With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake,

Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,

As “Well, well, we know,” or “We could an if we would,”

Or “If we list to speak,” or “There be an if they might,”

Or such ambiguous giving out—to note

That you know aught of me. This not to do,

So grace and mercy at your most need help you,

Swear.

 

GHOST

(beneath) Swear!

 

GHOST

(beneath) Swear!

 

(They swear.)

 

HAMLET

Rest, rest, perturbèd spirit!—So, gentlemen,

perturbed – three syllables

With all my love I do commend me to you,

commend me to you=promise you my friendship

And what so poor a man as Hamlet is

May do to express his love and friending to you,

(what so poor a man . . .can do to express . . .shall not lack)

God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together,

And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.

still=always

The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite,

cursed – two syllables

That ever I was born to set it right!

Nay, come, let’s go together.

 

(They swear.)

 

HAMLET

Rest, rest, perturbèd spirit!—So, gentlemen,

With all my love I do commend me to you,

And what so poor a man as Hamlet is

May do, to express his love and friending to you,

God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together,

And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.

The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite,

That ever I was born to set it right!

Nay, come, let’s go together.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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