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Hamlet

by William Shakespeare

Act 2, Scenes 1 and 2 Easiest-to-Read Edition



Hamlet Act 2

Act 2, Scene 1 - A Room in Polonius’ House

Act 2, Scene 1

Enter POLONIUS with his man REYNALDO

Act 2, Scene 1

Enter POLONIUS with his man REYNALDO

POLONIUS

Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.

 

POLONIUS

Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.

 

REYNALDO

I will, my lord.

 

REYNALDO

I will, my lord.

 

POLONIUS

You shall do marvelous wisely, good Reynaldo,
Before you visit him, to make inquire

Of his behavior.

 

POLONIUS

You shall do marvelous wisely, good Reynaldo,

Before you visit him, to make inquire

Of his behavior.

 

REYNALDO

    My lord, I did intend it.

 

REYNALDO

    My lord, I did intend it.

 

POLONIUS

Marry, well said, very well said. Look you, sir,

marry=by the Virgin Mary

Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris,

Danskers=Danish people

And how, and who, what means, and where they keep

What company at what expense; and finding

By this encompassment and drift of question

That they do know my son, come you more nearer

come you more nearer=you learn more about him

Than your particular demands will touch it.

particular demands=specific questions

Take you, as ’twere, some distant knowledge of him,

take you=put on that you have

As thus: “I know his father and his friends,

And, in part, him.” Do you mark this, Reynaldo?

 

POLONIUS

Marry, well said, very well said. Look you, sir,

Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris,

And how, and who, what means, and where they keep

What company at what expense; and finding

By this encompassment and drift of question

That they do know my son, come you more nearer

Than your particular demands will touch it.

Take you, as ’twere, some distant knowledge of him,

As thus: “I know his father and his friends,

And, in part, him.” Do you mark this, Reynaldo?

 

REYNALDO

Ay, very well, my lord.

 

REYNALDO

Ay, very well, my lord.

 

POLONIUS

“And in part him, but,” you may say, “not well.

But, if ’t be he I mean, he’s very wild.

Addicted so and so.—” And there put on him

What forgeries you please. Marry, none so rank

rank=low

As may dishonor him. Take heed of that.

But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips

As are companions noted and most known

To youth and liberty.

 

 

POLONIUS

“And in part him, but,” you may say, “not well.

But, if ’t be he I mean, he’s very wild.

Addicted so and so.—” And there put on him

What forgeries you please. Marry, none so rank

As may dishonor him. Take heed of that.

But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips

As are companions noted and most known

To youth and liberty.

 

REYNALDO

  As gaming, my lord?

gaming=gambling

 

REYNALDO

  As gaming, my lord?

 

POLONIUS

Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing,

Quarreling, drabbing—you may go so far.

drabbing=associating with prostitutes

 

POLONIUS

Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing,

Quarreling, drabbing—you may go so far.

 

REYNALDO

My lord, that would dishonor him!

 

REYNALDO

My lord, that would dishonor him!

 

POLONIUS

'Faith, no, as you may season it in the charge.

season it in the charge=modify what you charge him with

You must not put another scandal on him

That he is open to incontinency.

incontinency=licentiousness

That’s not my meaning. But breathe his faults so quaintly

That they may seem the taints of liberty,

The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,

A savageness in unreclaimèd blood,

unreclaimed blood=undisciplined impulses

Of general assault.

of general assault=which all youth are assailed by

 

POLONIUS

'Faith, no, as you may season it in the charge.

You must not put another scandal on him

That he is open to incontinency.

That’s not my meaning. But breathe his faults so quaintly

That they may seem the taints of liberty,

The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,

A savageness in unreclaimèd blood,

Of general assault.

 

REYNALDO

  But, my good lord—

 

REYNALDO

  But, my good lord—

 

POLONIUS

Wherefore should you do this?

wherefore . . .=are you asking why you should do this

 

POLONIUS

Wherefore should you do this?

 

REYNALDO

Ay, my lord. I would know that.

would know=would like to know

 

REYNALDO

Ay, my lord. I would know that.

 

POLONIUS

Marry, sir, here’s my drift:

(And I believe it is a fetch of wit)

fetch of wit=clever trick

You, laying these slight sullies on my son

As ’twere a thing a little soiled i' th' working—

I’ th’ working=by too much use

Mark you, your party in converse, him you would sound,

converse=conversation

sound=sound out

Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes

prenominate=aforementioned

The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured

breathe of=speak of

He closes with you in this consequence:

in this consequence=as follows

“Good sir” or so, or “Friend,” or “Gentleman,”

According to the phrase or the addition

phrase=style of speech

addition=aristocratic title

Of man and country.

 

POLONIUS

Marry, sir, here’s my drift:

(And I believe it is a fetch of wit)

You, laying these slight sullies on my son

As ’twere a thing a little soiled i' th' working—

Mark you, your party in converse, him you would sound,

Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes

The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured

He closes with you in this consequence:

“Good sir” or so, or “Friend,” or “Gentleman,”

According to the phrase or the addition

Of man and country.

 

REYNALDO

  Very good, my lord.

 

REYNALDO

  Very good, my lord.

 

POLONIUS

And then, sir, does he this, he does— What was I about to say? By the mass, I was about to say something. Where did I leave?

 

POLONIUS

And then, sir, does he this, he does— What was I about to say? By the mass, I was about to say something. Where did I leave?

 

REYNALDO

At “closes in the consequence,” at “‘friend,’

Or so” and “‘gentleman.’”

 

REYNALDO

At “closes in the consequence,” at “‘friend,’

Or so” and “‘gentleman.’”

 

POLONIUS

At “closes in the consequence.” Ay, marry.

He closes thus: “I know the gentleman.

I saw him yesterday”—or “t' other day,”

Or then, or then, with such or such—“and, as you say,

There was he gaming, there o'ertook in’s rouse,

o’ertook in’s rouse=overcome in his drinking

There falling out at tennis,” or, perchance,

“I saw him enter such a house of sale”—

Videlicet a brothel, or so forth. See you now,

videlicet=that is to say

Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth.

And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,

With windlasses and with assays of bias,

windlasses=roundabout ways

assays of bias=attempts indirect

By indirections find directions out.

So by my former lecture and advice

Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?

 

POLONIUS

At “closes in the consequence.” Ay, marry.

He closes thus: “I know the gentleman.

I saw him yesterday”—or “t' other day,”

Or then, or then, with such or such—“and, as you say,

There was he gaming, there o'ertook in’s rouse,

There falling out at tennis,” or, perchance,

“I saw him enter such a house of sale”—

Videlicet a brothel, or so forth. See you now,

Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth.

And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,

With windlasses and with assays of bias,

By indirections find directions out.

So by my former lecture and advice

Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?

 

REYNALDO

My lord, I have.

 

REYNALDO

My lord, I have.

 

POLONIUS

  God be wi' you. Fare you well.

 

POLONIUS

  God be wi' you. Fare you well.

 

REYNALDO

Good my lord.

 

REYNALDO

Good my lord.

 

POLONIUS

Observe his inclination in yourself.

in=as in

 

POLONIUS

Observe his inclination in yourself.

 

REYNALDO

I shall, my lord.

 

REYNALDO

I shall, my lord.

 

POLONIUS

And let him ply his music.

ply=work at

 

POLONIUS

And let him ply his music.

 

REYNALDO

Well, my lord.

 

REYNALDO

Well, my lord.

 

POLONIUS

Farewell.

 

POLONIUS

Farewell.

 

Exit REYNALDO

Exit REYNALDO

Enter OPHELIA

Enter OPHELIA

How now, Ophelia? What’s the matter?

How now, Ophelia? What’s the matter?

 

OPHELIA

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

 

OPHELIA

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

 

POLONIUS

With what, i' th' name of God?

 

POLONIUS

With what, i' th' name of God?

 

OPHELIA

My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,

closet=room

Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;

doublet all unbraced=shirt all open

No hat upon his head; his stockings fouled,

fouled=rumpled

Ungartered, and down-gyvèd to his ankle;

down-gyved to his ankle=stockings ringed like shackles around his ankles

Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;

And with a look so piteous in purport

purport=expression

As if he had been loosèd out of hell

loosed – two syllables

To speak of horrors—he comes before me.

 

OPHELIA

My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,

Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;

No hat upon his head; his stockings fouled,

Ungartered, and down-gyvèd 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 loosèd out of hell

To speak of horrors—he comes before me.

 

POLONIUS

Mad for thy love?

 

POLONIUS

Mad for thy love?

 

OPHELIA

  My lord, I do not know.

But truly, I do fear it.

 

OPHELIA

  My lord, I do not know.

But truly, I do fear it.

 

POLONIUS

  What said he?

 

POLONIUS

  What said he?

 

OPHELIA

He took me by the wrist and held me hard.

Then goes he to the length of all his arm,

goes he=he backs away

And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,

He falls to such perusal of my face

As he would draw it. Long stayed he so.

as=as if

At last, a little shaking of mine arm

And thrice his head thus waving up and down,

He raised 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 turned,

He seemed to find his way without his eyes,

For out o' doors he went without their helps,

And to the last bended their light on me.

 

 

OPHELIA

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 stayed he so.

At last, a little shaking of mine arm

And thrice his head thus waving up and down,

He raised 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 turned,

He seemed to find his way without his eyes,

For out o' doors he went without their helps,

And to the last bended their light on me.

 

POLONIUS

Come, go with me. I will go seek the king.

This is the very ecstasy of love,

Whose violent property fordoes itself

violent property=violence

fordoes itself=self-destructs

And leads the will to desperate undertakings

As oft as any passion under heaven

That does afflict our natures. I am sorry.

What, have you given him any hard words of late?

 

POLONIUS

Come, go with me. I will go seek the king.

This is the very ecstasy of love,

Whose violent property fordoes itself

And leads the will to desperate undertakings

As oft as any passion under heaven

That does afflict our natures. I am sorry.

What, have you given him any hard words of late?

 

OPHELIA

No, my good lord. But as you did command

I did repel his fetters and denied

fetters=shackles, restraints (maybe letters, not fetters)

His access to me.

 

OPHELIA

No, my good lord. But as you did command

I did repel his fetters and denied

His access to me.

 

POLONIUS

  That hath made him mad.

I am sorry that with better heed and judgment

I had not quoted him. I feared he did but trifle

quoted=noticed

And meant to wreck thee. But beshrew my jealousy!

beshrew my jealousy=damn my suspicious thoughts

By heaven, it is as proper to our age

age=old age

To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions

cast beyond ourselves=overstep

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

close=secret

move=cause

More grief to hide than hate to utter love.

(more grief to hide love than hate to reveal love)

utter=reveal

(hate – Hamlet’s resentment at Polonius’ reporting to the king)

Come.

 

POLONIUS

  That hath made him mad.

I am sorry that with better heed and judgment

I had not quoted him. I feared he did but trifle

And meant to wreck thee. But beshrew my jealousy!

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

 

Exeunt

 





Act 2, Scene 2 - A Room in the Castle

Flourish. Enter King CLAUDIUS and Queen GERTRUDE, ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN, and attendants

Act 2, Scene 2 - A Room in the Castle

Flourish. Enter King CLAUDIUS and Queen GERTRUDE, ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN, and attendants

CLAUDIUS

Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Moreover that we much did long to see you,

moreover=in addition to the fact that

The need we have to use you did provoke

Our hasty sending. Something have you heard

Of Hamlet’s “transformation”—so call it

Since nor th' exterior nor the inward man

Resembles that it was. What it should be,

that=what

More than his father’s death, that thus hath put him

So much from th' understanding of himself,

much=far

I cannot dream of. I entreat you both

That, being of so young days brought up with him

And since so neighbored to his youth and humour,

humour=temperament

That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court

vouchsafe=grant us

Some little time so by your companies

To draw him on to pleasures and to gather,

So much as from occasion you may glean,

from occasion=upon occasion

may=can

Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus

aught=anything

That, opened, lies within our remedy.

opened=revealed

 

CLAUDIUS

Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Moreover that we much did long to see you,

The need we have to use you did provoke

Our hasty sending. Something have you heard

Of Hamlet’s “transformation”—so call it

Since 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, being of so young days brought up with him

And since so neighbored to his youth and 'havior,

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, opened, lies within our remedy.

 

GERTRUDE

Good gentlemen, he hath much talked of you.

And sure I am two men there are not living

To whom he more adheres. If it will please you

adheres=cleaves

To show us so much gentry and good will

gentry=courtesy

As to expend your time with us awhile

expend=spend

For the supply and profit of our hope,

Your visitation shall receive such thanks

As fits a king’s remembrance.

 

GERTRUDE

Good gentlemen, he hath much talked of you.

And sure I am two men there are not living

To whom he more adheres. If it will please you

To show us so much gentry and good will

As to expend your time with us awhile

For the supply and profit of our hope,

Your visitation shall receive such thanks

As fits a king’s remembrance.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

    Both your majesties

Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,

of us=over us

Put your dread pleasures more into command

dread=revered, awesome

pleasures=requests

Than to entreaty.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

    Both your majesties

Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,

Put your dread pleasures more into command

Than to entreaty.

 

GUILDENSTERN

  But we both obey

And here give up ourselves, in the full bent,

bent=extent (as a bow is bent)

To lay our service freely at your feet

To be commanded.

 

GUILDENSTERN

  But we both obey

And here give up ourselves, in the full bent,

To lay our service freely at your feet

To be commanded.

 

CLAUDIUS

Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.

 

CLAUDIUS

Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.

 

GERTRUDE

Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz.

And I beseech you instantly to visit

My too much changèd son. Go, some of you,

changed – two syllables

And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.

 

GERTRUDE

Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz.

And I beseech you instantly to visit

My too much changèd son. Go, some of you,

And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.

 

GUILDENSTERN

Heavens make our presence and our practices

Pleasant and helpful to him!

 

GUILDENSTERN

Heavens make our presence and our practices

Pleasant and helpful to him!

 

GERTRUDE

    Ay, amen!

 

GERTRUDE

    Ay, amen!

 

Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN, escorted by attendant

Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN, escorted by attendant

Enter POLONIUS

Enter POLONIUS

POLONIUS

Th' ambassadors from Norway, my good lord,

Are joyfully returned.

(returned from Norway)

 

POLONIUS

Th' ambassadors from Norway, my good lord,

Are joyfully returned.

 

CLAUDIUS

Thou still hast been the father of good news.

still=as usual

 

CLAUDIUS

Thou still hast been the father of good news.

 

POLONIUS

Have I, my lord? I assure my good liege,

liege=feudal lord

I hold my duty as I hold my soul,

Both to my God and to my gracious king.

And I do think—or else this brain of mine

Hunts not the trail of policy so sure

policy=statesmanship

As it hath used to do—that I have found

The very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy.

 

 

POLONIUS

Have I, my lord? I assure my good liege,

I hold my duty as I hold my soul,

Both to my God and to my gracious king.

And I do think—or else this brain of mine

Hunts not the trail of policy so sure

As it hath used to do—that I have found

The very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy.

 

 

CLAUDIUS

Oh, speak of that. That do I long to hear.

 

CLAUDIUS

Oh, speak of that. That do I long to hear.

 

POLONIUS

Give first admittance to th' ambassadors.

My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.

 

POLONIUS

Give first admittance to th' ambassadors.

My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.

 

CLAUDIUS

Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.

 

CLAUDIUS

Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.

 

Exit POLONIUS

Exit POLONIUS

He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found

The head and source of all your son’s distemper.

 

He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found

The head and source of all your son’s distemper.

 

GERTRUDE

I doubt it is no other but the main:

doubt=fear

main=main trouble (what we already knew)

His father’s death and our o'erhasty marriage.

 

GERTRUDE

I doubt it is no other but the main:

His father’s death and our o'erhasty marriage.

 

Enter POLONIUS with ambassadors VOLTEMAND and CORNELIUS

Enter POLONIUS with ambassadors VOLTEMAND and CORNELIUS

CLAUDIUS

Well, we shall sift him.—Welcome, my good friends!

sift=examine, question

Say, Voltemand, what from our brother Norway?

 

CLAUDIUS

Well, we shall sift him.—Welcome, my good friends!

Say, Voltemand, what from our brother Norway?

 

VOLTEMAND

Most fair return of greetings and desires.

Upon our first, he sent out to suppress

His nephew’s levies, which to him appeared

To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack,

But, better looked into, he truly found

It was against your highness. Whereat grieved

That so his sickness, age, and impotence

Was falsely borne in hand sends out arrests

borne in hand=taken into account

On Fortinbras, which he, in brief, obeys,

Receives rebuke from Norway, and in fine

in fine=in conclusion

Makes vow before his uncle never more

To give th' assay of arms against your majesty.

assay=attack

Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,

Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee

in annual fee=yearly

And his commission to employ those soldiers,

So levied as before, against the Polack,

levied=conscripted

With an entreaty, herein further shown,

That it might please you to give quiet pass

Through your dominions for this enterprise,

On such regards of safety and allowance

regards=safeguards

As therein are set down. (gives CLAUDIUS a document)

 

 

VOLTEMAND

Most fair return of greetings and desires.

Upon our first, he sent out to suppress

His nephew’s levies, which to him appeared

To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack,

But, better looked into, he truly found

It was against your highness. Whereat grieved—

That so his sickness, age, and impotence

Was falsely borne in hand—sends out arrests

On Fortinbras, which he, in brief, obeys,

Receives rebuke from Norway, and in fine

Makes vow before his uncle never more

To give th' assay of arms against your majesty.

Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,

Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee

And his commission to employ those soldiers,

So levied as before, against the Polack,

With an entreaty, herein further shown,

That it might please you to give quiet pass

Through your dominions for this enterprise,

On such regards of safety and allowance

As therein are set down. (gives CLAUDIUS a document

 

CLAUDIUS

    It likes us well,

likes us=pleases us

And at our more considered time we’ll read,

Answer, and think upon this business.

Meantime we thank you for your well-took labor.

Go to your rest. At night we’ll feast together.

Most welcome home!

 

CLAUDIUS

    It likes us well,

And at our more considered time we’ll read,

Answer, and think upon this business.

Meantime we thank you for your well-took labor.

Go to your rest. At night we’ll feast together.

Most welcome home!

 

Exeunt VOLTEMAND and CORNELIUS

Exeunt VOLTEMAND and CORNELIUS

POLONIUS

This business is well ended.

My liege and madam, to expostulate

What majesty should be, what duty is,

Why day is day, night night, and time is time,

Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit

wit=wisdom

And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,

I will be brief: your noble son is mad.

Mad call I it, for, to define true madness,

What is ’t but to be nothing else but mad?

But let that go.

 

POLONIUS

This business is well ended.

My liege and madam, to expostulate

What majesty should be, what duty is,

Why day is day, night night, and time is time,

Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit

And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,

I will be brief: your noble son is mad.

Mad call I it, for, to define true madness,

What is ’t but to be nothing else but mad?

But let that go.

 

GERTRUDE

More matter, with less art.

 

GERTRUDE

More matter, with less art.

 

POLONIUS

Madam, I swear I use no art at all.

That he is mad, ’tis true. Tis true, ’tis pity,

And pity ’tis ’tis true—a foolish figure,

But farewell it, for I will use no art.

Mad let us grant him then. And now remains

That we find out the cause of this effect,

Or rather say, the cause of this defect,

For this effect defective comes by cause.

Thus it remains, and the remainder thus. Perpend.

I have a daughter—have while she is mine—

Who in her duty and obedience, mark,

Hath given me this. Now gather and surmise.

(reads a letter) “To the celestial and my soul’s idol, the most beautified Ophelia”That’s an ill phrase, a vile phrase. “Beautified” is a vile phrase. But you shall hear. Thus: (reads the letter)“In her excellent white bosom, these,” etc.—

 

 

POLONIUS

Madam, I swear I use no art at all.

That he is mad, ’tis true. Tis true, ’tis pity,

And pity ’tis ’tis true—a foolish figure,

But farewell it, for I will use no art.

Mad let us grant him then. And now remains

That we find out the cause of this effect,

Or rather say, the cause of this defect,

For this effect defective comes by cause.

Thus it remains, and the remainder thus. Perpend.

I have a daughter—have while she is mine—

Who in her duty and obedience, mark,

Hath given me this. Now gather and surmise.

(reads a letter) “To the celestial and my soul’s idol, the most beautified Ophelia”That’s an ill phrase, a vile phrase. “Beautified” is a vile phrase. But you shall hear. Thus: (reads the letter)“In her excellent white bosom, these,” etc.—

 

 

GERTRUDE

Came this from Hamlet to her?

 

GERTRUDE

Came this from Hamlet to her?

 

POLONIUS

Good madam, stay a while. I will be faithful.

(reads the letter)

  “Doubt thou the stars are fire,

doubt thou=question that

  Doubt that the sun doth move,

  Doubt truth to be a liar,

  But never doubt I love.

 O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers. I have not

art to reckon my groans, but that I love thee best, oh, most best, believe it. Adieu.

ill at these numbers=poor at versifying

reckon=keep count of

  Thine evermore, most dear lady,

  whilst this machine is to him,

machine=body

    Hamlet.”

This in obedience hath my daughter shown me,

And more above, hath his solicitings,

more above=even more than that

As they fell out by time, by means, and place,

fell out=happened

All given to mine ear.

 

POLONIUS

Good madam, stay a while. I will be faithful.

(reads the letter)

  “Doubt thou the stars are fire,

  Doubt that the sun doth move,

  Doubt truth to be a liar,

  But never doubt I love.

 O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers. I have not art to reckon my groans, but that I love thee best, oh, most best, believe it. Adieu.

  Thine evermore, most dear lady,

  whilst this machine is to him,

    Hamlet.”

This in obedience hath my daughter shown me,

And more above, hath his solicitings,

As they fell out by time, by means, and place,

All given to mine ear.

 

CLAUDIUS

But how hath she received his love?

 

CLAUDIUS

But how hath she received his love?

 

POLONIUS

What do you think of me?

 

POLONIUS

What do you think of me?

 

CLAUDIUS

As of a man faithful and honorable.

 

CLAUDIUS

As of a man faithful and honorable.

 

POLONIUS

I would fain prove so. But what might you think,

fain=gladly

When I had seen this hot love on the wing—

As I perceived it, I must tell you that,

Before my daughter told me—what might you,

Or my dear majesty your queen here, think,

If I had played the desk or table-book,

played the desk or table-book=kept it a secret

Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb,

winking=eyes shut

Or looked upon this love with idle sight?

with idle sight=unattentively

What might you think? No, I went round to work,

round to work=straight to work

And my young mistress thus I did bespeak:

bespeak=speak to

“Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy star.

This must not be.” And then I prescripts gave her,

That she should lock herself from his resort,

resort=visits

Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.

Which done, she took the fruits of my advice;

And he, repelled—a short tale to make—

Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,

Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness,

watch=long vigil

Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension,

declension=declining

Into the madness wherein now he raves

And all we mourn for.

 

POLONIUS

I would fain prove so. But what might you think,

When I had seen this hot love on the wing—

As I perceived it, I must tell you that,

Before my daughter told me—what might you,

Or my dear majesty your queen here, think,

If I had played the desk or table-book,

Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb,

Or looked upon this love with idle sight?

What might you think? No, I went round to work,

And my young mistress thus I did bespeak:

“Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy star.

This must not be.” And then I prescripts gave her,

That she should lock herself from his resort,

Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.

Which done, she took the fruits of my advice;

And he, repelled—a short tale to make—

Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,

Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness,

Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension,

Into the madness wherein now he raves

And all we mourn for.

 

CLAUDIUS

(to GERTRUDE ) Do you think ’tis this?

 

CLAUDIUS

(to GERTRUDE ) Do you think ’tis this?

 

GERTRUDE

    It may be, very like.

 

GERTRUDE

    It may be, very like.

 

POLONIUS

Hath there been such a time—I would fain know that—

fain=be glad to

That I have positively said, “'Tis so,”

When it proved otherwise?

 

POLONIUS

Hath there been such a time—I would fain know that—

That I have positively said, “'Tis so,”

When it proved otherwise?

 

CLAUDIUS

    Not that I know.

 

CLAUDIUS

    Not that I know.

 

POLONIUS

(points to his head and shoulders)

Take this from this if this be otherwise.

If circumstances lead me, I will find

Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed

Within the center.

center=center of the earth

 

POLONIUS

(points to his head and shoulders)

Take this from this if this be otherwise.

If circumstances lead me, I will find

Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed

Within the center.

 

CLAUDIUS

  How may we try it further?

try=ascertain

 

CLAUDIUS

  How may we try it further?

 

POLONIUS

You know sometimes he walks for hours together

Here in the lobby.

 

POLONIUS

You know sometimes he walks for hours together

Here in the lobby.

 

GERTRUDE

  So he does indeed.

 

GERTRUDE

  So he does indeed.

 

POLONIUS

At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him.

loose=set her loose, as a fox before hounds

(to CLAUDIUS) Be you and I behind an arras then,

arras=tapestry hanging

Mark the encounter. If he love her not

And be not from his reason fall'n thereon,

fall’n thereon=fallen away (from love)

Let me be no assistant for a state

But keep a farm and carters.

 

POLONIUS

At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him.

(to CLAUDIUS) Be you and I behind an arras then,

Mark the encounter. If he love her not

And be not from his reason fall'n thereon,

Let me be no assistant for a state

But keep a farm and carters.

 

CLAUDIUS

    We will try it.

 

CLAUDIUS

    We will try it.

 

Enter HAMLET, reading on a book

Enter HAMLET, reading on a book

GERTRUDE

But look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.

 

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.

board=speak to

presently=at once

give me leave=let me proceed (with Hamlet)

 

POLONIUS

Away, I do beseech you, both away.

I’ll board him presently. O, give me leave.

 

Exeunt CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDE

Exeunt CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDE


How does my good Lord Hamlet?

 


How does my good Lord Hamlet?

 

HAMLET

Well, God-'a'-mercy.

God-‘a’-mercy=with God’s mercy (God have mercy)

 

HAMLET

Well, God-'a'-mercy.

 

POLONIUS

Do you know me, my lord?

 

POLONIUS

Do you know me, my lord?

 

HAMLET

Excellent well. You are a fishmonger.

 

HAMLET

Excellent well. You are a fishmonger.

 

POLONIUS

Not I, my lord.

 

POLONIUS

Not I, my lord.

 

HAMLET

Then I would you were so honest a man.

were so honest a man=were as honorable as one

 

HAMLET

Then I would you were so honest a man.

 

POLONIUS

Honest, my lord?

 

POLONIUS

Honest, my lord?

 

HAMLET

Ay, sir. To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

 

HAMLET

Ay, sir. To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

 

POLONIUS

That’s very true, my lord.

 

POLONIUS

That’s very true, my lord.

 

HAMLET

For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion— Have you a daughter?

(kissing carrion – kissed by the sun)

 

HAMLET

For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion— Have you a daughter?

 

POLONIUS

I have, my lord.

 

POLONIUS

I have, my lord.

 

HAMLET

Let her not walk i' th' sun. Conception is a blessing, but, as your daughter may conceive—Friend, look to ’t.

walk I’ th’ sun=walk where she can be kissed

conception=creativity

 

HAMLET

Let her not walk i' th' sun. Conception is a blessing, but, as your daughter may conceive—Friend, look to ’t.

 

POLONIUS

(aside) How say you by that? (what does he mean by that) Still (always) harping on my daughter. Yet he knew me not at first. He said I was a fishmonger. He is far gone, far gone. And truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love, very near this. I’ll speak to him again.—(to HAMLET) What do you read, my lord?

 

POLONIUS

(aside) How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter. Yet he knew me not at first. He said I was a fishmonger. He is far gone, far gone. And truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love, very near this. I’ll speak to him again.—(to HAMLET) What do you read, my lord?

 

HAMLET

Words, words, words.

 

HAMLET

Words, words, words.

 

POLONIUS

What is the matter, my lord?

 

POLONIUS

What is the matter, my lord?

 

HAMLET

Between whom?

 

HAMLET

Between whom?

 

POLONIUS

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

 

POLONIUS

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

 

HAMLET

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

 

HAMLET

Slanders, sir. For the satirical rogue says here that old men have gray 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 method (sense) in ’t.—(to HAMLET) Will you walk out of the air, my lord?

walk out of the air=step inside out of the air

 

POLONIUS

(aside) Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.—(to HAMLET) Will you walk out of the air, my lord?

 

HAMLET

Into my grave.

 

HAMLET

Into my grave.

 

POLONIUS

Indeed, that is out of the 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. I will leave him and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter.—(to HAMLET) My honorable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.

 

POLONIUS

Indeed, that is out of the 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. I will leave him and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter.—(to HAMLET) My honorable 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.

part=part from

withal=moreover

 

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.

 

POLONIUS

Fare you well, my lord.

 

HAMLET

(aside) These tedious old fools!

 

HAMLET

(aside) These tedious old fools!

 

Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN

Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN

POLONIUS

You go to seek the Lord Hamlet. There he is.

 

POLONIUS

You go to seek the Lord Hamlet. There he is.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

God save you, sir!

 

ROSENCRANTZ

God save you, sir!

 

Exit POLONIUS

Exit POLONIUS

GUILDENSTERN

My honored lord!

 

GUILDENSTERN

My honored lord!

 

ROSENCRANTZ

My most dear lord!

 

ROSENCRANTZ

My most dear lord!

 

HAMLET

My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern?

Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do you both?

 

HAMLET

My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern?

Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do you both?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

As the indifferent children of the earth.

indifferent=ordinary

 

ROSENCRANTZ

As the indifferent children of the earth.

 

GUILDENSTERN

Happy, in that we are not overhappy.

On Fortune’s cap we are not the very button.

button=peak

 

GUILDENSTERN

Happy, in that we are not overhappy.

On Fortune’s cap we are not the very button.

 

HAMLET

Nor the soles of her shoes?

 

HAMLET

Nor the soles of her shoes?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Neither, my lord.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Neither, my lord.

 

HAMLET

Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favors?

 

HAMLET

Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favors?

 

GUILDENSTERN

Faith, her privates we.

 

GUILDENSTERN

Faith, her privates we.

 

HAMLET

In the secret parts of Fortune? Oh, most true. She is a strumpet. What news?

 

HAMLET

In the secret parts of Fortune? Oh, most true. She is a strumpet. What news?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.

 

HAMLET

Then is doomsday (end of the world) near. But your news is not true. Let me question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune that she sends you to prison hither (this prison)?

 

HAMLET

Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune that she sends you to prison hither?

 

GUILDENSTERN

Prison, my lord?

 

GUILDENSTERN

Prison, my lord?

 

HAMLET

Denmark’s a prison.

 

HAMLET

Denmark’s a prison.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Then is the world one.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Then is the world one.

 

HAMLET

A goodly (large) one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o' th' worst.

 

HAMLET

A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o' th' worst.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

We think not so, my lord.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

We think not so, my lord.

 

HAMLET

Why, then, ’tis none (not) to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.

 

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.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

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

 

ROSENCRANTZ

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.

 

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.

 

GUILDENSTERN

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

 

GUILDENSTERN

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.

 

HAMLET

A dream itself is but a shadow.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

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

 

ROSENCRANTZ

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 (real bodies), and our monarchs and outstretched (long shadowed) heroes the beggars' shadows. Shall we to th' court? For by my fay, I cannot reason.

fay=faith

 

HAMLET

Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and outstretched heroes the beggars' shadows. Shall we to th' court? For by my fay, I cannot reason.

 

ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN

We’ll wait upon you.

 

ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN

We’ll wait upon you.

 

HAMLET

No such matter (don’t wait upon me). 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 (beaten path) of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?

 

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?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

To visit you, my lord, no other occasion.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

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 (too expensive at a halfpenny). Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, come, deal justly with me. Come, come. Nay, speak.

 

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, come, deal justly with me. Come, come. Nay, speak.

 

GUILDENSTERN

What should we say, my lord?

 

GUILDENSTERN

What should we say, my lord?

 

HAMLET

That you must teach me. But let me conjure (beseech) 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 (valuable) a better proposer could charge you withal: be even and direct with me whether you were sent for or no.

 

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.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

(to GUILDENSTERN) What say you?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

(to GUILDENSTERN) What say you?

 

HAMLET

(aside) Nay, then, I have an eye of you—If you love me, hold not off.

have an eye of you=you are in my sights

 

HAMLET

(aside) Nay, then, I have an eye of you—If you love me, hold not off.

 

GUILDENSTERN

My lord, we were sent for.

 

GUILDENSTERN

My lord, we were sent for.

 

HAMLET

I will tell you why. So shall my anticipation prevent (get ahead of) your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no feather (suffer not at all). I have of late—but wherefore (from where) 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 (sky), this majestical roof fretted with golden fire—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty (capability)! In form and moving how express (perfect) 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.

 

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 appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! 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.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

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

 

ROSENCRANTZ

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

 

HAMLET

Why did you laugh then, when I said “man delights not me”?

 

HAMLET

Why did you laugh then, when I said “man delights not me”?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what Lenten (spare) entertainment the players shall receive from you. We coted (passed) them on the way, and hither are they coming to offer you service.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what Lenten entertainment the players shall receive from you. We coted them on the way, and hither are they coming to offer you service.

 

HAMLET

He that plays the king shall be welcome. His majesty shall have tribute of me. The adventurous knight shall use his foil and target, the lover shall not sigh gratis, the humorous (jealous – one of the humours) man shall end his part in peace, the clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickle (quickly triggered) o' th' sere (part of a trigger), and the lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt for ’t. What players are they?

 

HAMLET

He that plays the king shall be welcome. His majesty shall have tribute of me. The adventurous knight shall use his foil and target, the lover shall not sigh gratis, the humorous man shall end his part in peace, the clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickle o' th' sere, and the lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt for ’t. What players are they?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Even those you were wont (disposed) to take delight in, the tragedians of the city.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Even those you were wont to take delight in, the tragedians of the city.

 

HAMLET

How chances it they travel? Their residence (in the city), both in reputation and profit, was better both ways (better in reputation and better in profit).

 

HAMLET

How chances it they travel? Their residence, both in reputation and profit, was better both ways.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

I think their inhibition (leaving the city) comes by the means of the late innovation (boys yelling out their lines).

 

ROSENCRANTZ

I think their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation.

 

HAMLET

Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? Are they so (so much) followed?

 

HAMLET

Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? Are they so followed?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

No, indeed are they not.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

No, indeed are they not.

 

HAMLET

How comes it? Do they grow rusty?

 

HAMLET

How comes it? Do they grow rusty?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Nay, their endeavor keeps in the wonted pace (is up to the same high standard). But there is, sir, an eyrie of children, little eyases (nestlings), that cry out on the top of question (topic of the day) and are most tyrannically clapped for ’t. These are now the fashion, and so berattle the common stages—so they call them—that many wearing rapiers (gallant actors) are afraid of goose quills (sarcastic allusions in newspapers) and dare scarce come thither.

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Nay, their endeavor keeps in the wonted pace. But there is, sir, an eyrie of children, little eyases, that cry out on the top of question and are most tyrannically clapped for ’t. These are now the fashion, and so berattle the common stages—so they call them—that many wearing rapiers are afraid of goose quills and dare scarce come thither.

 

HAMLET

What, are they children? Who maintains 'em? How are they escoted (maintained)? Will they pursue the quality (actor’s profession) no longer than they can sing? Will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common (professional) players (as it is most like if their means are no better) their writers do them wrong to make them exclaim against their own succession (the profession to which they will succeed)?

 

HAMLET

What, are they children? Who maintains 'em? How are they escoted? Will they pursue the quality no longer than they can sing? Will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common players (as it is most like if their means are no better), their writers do them wrong to make them exclaim against their own succession?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Faith, there has been much to-do on both sides, and the nation holds it no sin to tar them (egg them on) to controversy. There was, for a while, no money bid for argument (a plot) unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question (went to debating in the dialogue).

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Faith, there has been much to-do on both sides, and the nation holds it no sin to tar them to controversy. There was, for a while, no money bid for argument unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question.

 

HAMLET

Is ’t possible?

 

HAMLET

Is ’t possible?

 

GUILDENSTERN

Oh, there has been much throwing about of brains.

 

GUILDENSTERN

Oh, there has been much throwing about of brains.

 

HAMLET

Do the boys carry it away?

carry it away=win the day

 

HAMLET

Do the boys carry it away?

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Ay, that they do, my lord. Hercules and his load too.

his load=the globe on Hercules’ shoulders, meaning the Globe Theater, where there was a statue of Hercules supporting the globe

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Ay, that they do, my lord. Hercules and his load too.

 

HAMLET

It is not very strange. For my uncle is King of Denmark, and those that would make (made) mouths (faces) at him while my father lived give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats apiece for his picture in little (miniature). 'Sblood (God’s blood), there is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.

 

HAMLET

It is not very strange. For my uncle is King of Denmark, and those that would make mouths 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.

 

Flourish for the PLAYERS within

Flourish for the PLAYERS within

GUILDENSTERN

There are the players.

 

GUILDENSTERN

There are the players.

 

HAMLET

Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands (shakes hands), come then. Th' appurtenance of welcome (that which belongs to welcome) is fashion and ceremony. Let me comply with you in this garb (manner)—lest my extent (more extensive welcome) to the players, which, I tell you, must show fairly outwards (be showy), should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are welcome. But my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.

 

HAMLET

Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands, come then. Th' appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony. Let me comply with you in this garb—lest my extent to the players, which, I tell you, must show fairly outwards, should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are welcome. But my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.

 

GUILDENSTERN

In what, my dear lord?

 

GUILDENSTERN

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.

hawk=mortar board

 

HAMLET

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

 

Enter POLONIUS

Enter POLONIUS

POLONIUS

Well be with you, gentlemen.

 

POLONIUS

Well be with you, gentlemen.

 

HAMLET

Hark you, Guildenstern, and you (Rosencrantz), too—at each ear a hearer (listen with both ears). (indicates POLONIUS) That great baby you see there is not yet out of his swaddling-clouts (swaddling clothes).

 

HAMLET

Hark you, Guildenstern, and you too—at each ear a hearer. (indicates POLONIUS )That great baby you see there is not yet out of his swaddling-clouts

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Haply he’s the second time come to them, for they say an old man is twice a child.

haply=maybe

ROSENCRANTZ

Haply he’s the second time come to them, for they say an old man is twice a child.

 

HAMLET

(aside to ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN ) I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players. Mark it. (to POLONIUS)— You say right, sir. O' Monday morning, ’twas so indeed (Hamlet in his insane mode).

 

HAMLET

(aside to ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN ) I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players. Mark it. (to POLONIUS)— You say right, sir. O' Monday morning, ’twas so indeed.

 

POLONIUS

My lord, I have news to tell you.

 

POLONIUS

My lord, I have news to tell you.

 

HAMLET

My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor in Rome—

 

HAMLET

My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor in Rome—

 

POLONIUS

The actors are come hither, my lord.

 

POLONIUS

The actors are come hither, my lord.

 

HAMLET

Buzz, buzz.

 

HAMLET

Buzz, buzz.

 

POLONIUS

Upon my honor—

 

POLONIUS

Upon my honor—

 

HAMLET

(continuing the story of Roscius) Then came each actor on his ass—

 

HAMLET

Then came each actor on his ass—

 

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 (having unity of place), or poem unlimited. (For such actors) Seneca (writer of tragedies) cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus (writer of comedies) too light. For the law of writ (follow text exactly) and the liberty (improvisation allowed), these are the only men.

 

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.

 

HAMLET

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

(Hamlet is quoting from a ballad.)

 

HAMLET

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

 

POLONIUS

What a treasure had he, my lord?

 

POLONIUS

What a treasure had he, my lord?

 

HAMLET

Why,

One fair daughter and no more,

The which he lovèd passing well.

passing=surpassingly

 

HAMLET

Why,

One fair daughter and no more,

The which he lovèd passing well.

 

POLONIUS

(aside) Still on my daughter.

 

POLONIUS

(aside) Still on my daughter.

 

HAMLET

Am I not i' th' right, old Jephthah?

 

HAMLET

Am I not i' th' right, old Jephthah?

 

POLONIUS

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

 

POLONIUS

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

 

HAMLET

Nay, that follows not.

 

HAMLET

Nay, that follows not.

 

POLONIUS

What follows, then, my lord?

 

POLONIUS

What follows, then, my lord?

 

HAMLET

Why, As by lot, God wot, and then, you know,  It came to pass, as most like it was— The first row of the pious chanson will show you more, for look where my abridgement (cutting me short) comes.

 

HAMLET

Why, As by lot, God wot, and then, you know,  It came to pass, as most like it was— The first row of the pious chanson will show you more, for look where my abridgement comes.

 

Enter the PLAYERS

Enter the PLAYERS

HAMLET

 

You are welcome, masters, welcome, all!—I am glad to see thee well.—Welcome, good friends.—O old friend? Why, thy face is valenced (bearded) since I saw thee last. Comest thou to beard me (face up to me) in Denmark?—What, my young lady and mistress! By 'r Lady (Virgin Mary), your ladyship is nearer to heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine. (platform shoe) Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent (not legally current) gold, be not cracked within the ring (toward the center).—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.

HAMLET

 

You are welcome, masters, welcome, all!—I am glad to see thee well.—Welcome, good friends.—O old friend? Why, thy face is valenced since I saw thee last. Comest 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 cracked within the