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Hamlet

by William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

Hamlet Act 5, Scene 1



A Churchyard

Hamlet Act 5 Scene 1

Enter a GRAVEDIGGER and the OTHERgravedigger

Enter a GRAVEDIGGER and the OTHERgravedigger

GRAVEDIGGER

Is she to be buried in Christian burial when she willfully seeks her own salvation?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Is she to be buried in Christian burial when she willfully seeks her own salvation?

 

OTHER

I tell thee she is. Therefore make her grave straight (straightaway). The crowner (coroner) hath sat on her (examined her case) and finds it Christian burial.

 

OTHER

I tell thee she is. Therefore make her grave straight. The crowner hath sat on her and finds it Christian burial.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defense?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defense?

 

OTHER

Why, ’tis found so.

 

OTHER

Why, ’tis found so.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

It must be se offendendo (in self defense). It cannot be else. For here lies the point: if I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act. And an act hath three branches—it is to act, to do, to perform. Argal (therefore), she drowned herself wittingly.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

It must be se offendendo. It cannot be else. For here lies the point: if I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act. And an act hath three branches—it is to act, to do, to perform. Argal, she drowned herself wittingly.

 


OTHER

Nay, but hear, you, Goodman Delver (gravedigger)—

 


OTHER

Nay, but hear, you, Goodman Delver—

GRAVEDIGGER

Give me leave (let me finish). Here lies the water. Good. Here stands the man. Good. If the man go to this water and drown himself, it is, will he nill he, he goes. Mark you that. But if the water come to him and drown him, he drowns not himself. Argal, he that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Give me leave. Here lies the water. Good. Here stands the man. Good. If the man go to this water and drown himself, it is, will he nill he, he goes. Mark you that. But if the water come to him and drown him, he drowns not himself. Argal, he that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.

 

OTHER

But is this law?

 

OTHER

But is this law?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Ay, marry, is ’t. Crowner’s quest (inquest) law.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Ay, marry, is ’t. Crowner’s quest law.

 

OTHER

Will you ha' the truth on ’t? If this had not been a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out o' Christian burial.

 

OTHER

Will you ha' the truth on ’t? If this had not been a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out o' Christian burial.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Why, there thou sayst (you tell the truth). And the more pity that great folk should have countenance (privilege) in this world to drown or hang themselves more than their even Christian. Come, my spade. There is no ancient gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers. They hold up (keep up) Adam’s profession (Adam was the gardener for the garden of Eden).

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Why, there thou sayst. And the more pity that great folk should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves more than their even Christian. Come, my spade. There is no ancient gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers. They hold up Adam’s profession.

 

OTHER

Was he a gentleman?

 

OTHER

Was he a gentleman?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

He was the first that ever bore arms (but not a coat of arms).

 

GRAVEDIGGER

He was the first that ever bore arms.

 

OTHER

Why, he had none (no coat of arms).

 

OTHER

Why, he had none.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the Scripture? The Scripture says Adam digged. Could he dig without arms? I’ll put another question to thee. If thou answerest me not to the purpose, confess thyself—

 

GRAVEDIGGER

What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the Scripture? The Scripture says Adam digged. Could he dig without arms? I’ll put another question to thee. If thou answerest me not to the purpose, confess thyself—

 

OTHER

Go to.

 

OTHER

Go to.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

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

 

GRAVEDIGGER

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

 

OTHER

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

 

OTHER

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

 

GRAVEDIGGER

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

 

GRAVEDIGGER

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

 

OTHER

“Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter?”

 

OTHER

“Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter?”

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Ay, tell me that, and unyoke (I’ll let you go).

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.

 

 OTHER

Marry, now I can tell.

 

OTHER

Marry, now I can tell.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

To ’t.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

To ’t.

 

OTHER

Mass, I cannot tell.

 

OTHER

Mass, I cannot tell.

 

Enter HAMLET and HORATIO afar off

Enter HAMLET and HORATIO afar off

GRAVEDIGGER

Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull ass will not mend (quicken) his pace with beating. And when you are asked this question next, say “A grave-maker.” The houses that he makes last till doomsday. Go, get thee in. Fetch me a stoup (cup) of liquor.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating. And when you are asked this question next, say “A grave-maker.” The houses that he makes last till doomsday. Go, get thee in. Fetch me a stoup of liquor.

 

Exit OTHER

Exit OTHER

(digs and sings)

In youth when I did love, did love,

  Methought it was very sweet

To contract–o–the time, for–a my behove (marriage)

  Oh, methought, there–a was nothing–a meet (fit).

 

(digs and sings)

In youth when I did love, did love,

  Methought it was very sweet

To contract–o–the time, for–a–my behove,

  Oh, methought, there–a–was nothing–a–meet.

 

HAMLET

Has this fellow no feeling of his business? He sings at grave-making.

 

HAMLET

Has this fellow no feeling of his business? He sings at grave-making.

 

HORATIO

Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.

 

HORATIO

Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.

 

HAMLET

'Tis e'en so. The hand of little employment hath the daintier sense.

 

HAMLET

'Tis e'en so. The hand of little employment hath the daintier sense.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

(sings)

But age with his stealing steps

  Hath clawed me in his clutch,

And hath shipped me into the land (earth)

  As if I had never been such (never been dust before).

(throws up a skull)

 

GRAVEDIGGER

(sings)

But age with his stealing steps

  Hath clawed me in his clutch,

And hath shipped me into the land

  As if I had never been such.

(throws up a skull)

 

HAMLET

That skull had a tongue in it and could sing once. How the knave jowls (casts) it to the ground, as if it were Cain’s jawbone (Shakespeare’s contemporaries thought that Cain used a jawbone to kill Abel), that did the first murder! It might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'erreaches (lords it over), one that would circumvent (outwit) God, might it not?

 

HAMLET

That skull had a tongue in it and could sing once. How the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain’s jawbone, that did the first murder! It might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'erreaches, one that would circumvent God, might it not?

 

HORATIO

It might, my lord.

 

HORATIO

It might, my lord.

 

HAMLET

Or of a courtier, which could say, “Good morrow, sweet lord!” “How dost thou, good lord?” This might be my Lord Such-a-one that praised my Lord Such-a-one’s horse when he meant to beg (borrow) it, might it not?

 

HAMLET

Or of a courtier, which could say, “Good morrow, sweet lord!” “How dost thou, good lord?” This might be my Lord Such-a-one that praised my Lord Such-a-one’s horse when he meant to beg it, might it not?

 

HORATIO

Ay, my lord.

 

HORATIO

Ay, my lord.

 

HAMLET

Why, e'en so. And now my Lady Worm’s, chapless (jawless) and knocked about the mazard (head) with a sexton’s spade. Here’s fine revolution, an (if) we had the trick to see ’t. Did these bones cost no more the breeding (bringing up) but to play at loggets (quoits) with them? Mine (my bones) ache to think on ’t.

 

HAMLET

Why, e'en so. And now my Lady Worm’s, chapless and knocked about the mazard with a sexton’s spade. Here’s fine revolution, an we had the trick to see ’t. Did these bones cost no more the breeding but to play at loggets with them? Mine ache to think on ’t.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

(sings)

A pickax and a spade, a spade,

  For and a shrouding sheet,

Oh, a pit of clay for to be made

  For such a guest is meet (appropriate).

(throws up another skull)

 

GRAVEDIGGER

(sings)

A pickax and a spade, a spade,

  For and a shrouding sheet,

Oh, a pit of clay for to be made

  For such a guest is meet.

(throws up another skull)

 

HAMLET

There’s another. Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities (wisecracks) now, his quillities (subtleties), his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? Why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce (head) with a dirty shovel and will not tell him of his action of battery? Hum! This fellow might be in ’s time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries. Is this the fine (end) of his fines and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? Will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones, too, than the length and breadth of a pair (Indenture cut in half, so that the two pieces can be identified as belonging together) of indentures (contracts)? The very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in this box (coffin), and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?

 

HAMLET

There’s another. Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillities, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? Why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel and will not tell him of his action of battery? Hum! This fellow might be in ’s time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries. Is this the fine of his fines and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? Will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in this box, and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?

 

HORATIO

Not a jot more, my lord.

 

HORATIO

Not a jot more, my lord.

 

HAMLET

Is not parchment made of sheepskins?

 

HAMLET

Is not parchment made of sheepskins?

 

HORATIO

Ay, my lord, and of calfskins too.

 

HORATIO

Ay, my lord, and of calfskins too.

 

HAMLET

They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance (titles to real estate) in that.

I will speak to this fellow.—Whose grave’s this, sirrah?

 

HAMLET

They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance in that.

I will speak to this fellow.—Whose grave’s this, sirrah?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Mine, sir.

(sings)

Oh, a pit of clay for to be made

For such a guest is meet.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Mine, sir.

(sings)

Oh, a pit of clay for to be made

For such a guest is meet.

 

 

HAMLET

I think it be thine, indeed, for thou liest (tells a lie) in ’t.

 

HAMLET

I think it be thine, indeed, for thou liest in ’t.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

You lie out on ’t, sir, and therefore it is not yours. For my part, I do not lie in ’t, and yet it is mine.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

You lie out on ’t, sir, and therefore it is not yours. For my part, I do not lie in ’t, and yet it is mine.

 

HAMLET

Thou dost lie in ’t, to be in ’t and say it is thine. 'Tis for the dead, not for the quick (living). Therefore thou liest.

 

HAMLET

Thou dost lie in ’t, to be in ’t and say it is thine. 'Tis for the dead, not for the quick. Therefore thou liest.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

'Tis a quick lie, sir. 'Twill away gain (move fast) from me to you.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

'Tis a quick lie, sir. 'Twill away gain from me to you.

 

HAMLET

What man dost thou dig it for?

 

HAMLET

What man dost thou dig it for?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

For no man, sir.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

For no man, sir.

 

HAMLET

What woman, then?

 

HAMLET

What woman, then?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

For none, neither.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

For none, neither.

 

HAMLET

Who is to be buried in ’t?

 

HAMLET

Who is to be buried in ’t?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

One that was a woman, sir, but, rest her soul, she’s dead.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

One that was a woman, sir, but, rest her soul, she’s dead.

 

HAMLET

How absolute (literal) the knave is! We must speak by the card (accurately), or equivocation will undo us. By the Lord, Horatio, these three years I have taken a note of it. The age is grown so picked (select) that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier he galls his kibe (chafes his inflamed heel).—How long hast thou been a grave-maker?

 

HAMLET

How absolute the knave is! We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us. By the Lord, Horatio, these three years I have taken a note of it. The age is grown so picked that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier he galls his kibe.—How long hast thou been a grave-maker?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Of all the days i' the year, I came to ’t that day that our last

King Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Of all the days i' the year, I came to ’t that day that our last

King Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.

 

HAMLET

How long is that since?

 

HAMLET

How long is that since?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Cannot you tell that? Every fool can tell that. It was the very day that young Hamlet was born, he that is mad and sent into England.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Cannot you tell that? Every fool can tell that. It was the very day that young Hamlet was born, he that is mad and sent into England.

 

HAMLET

Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?

 

HAMLET

Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Why, because he was mad. He shall recover his wits there, or, if he do not, it’s no great matter there.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Why, because he was mad. He shall recover his wits there, or, if he do not, it’s no great matter there.

 

HAMLET

Why?

 

HAMLET

Why?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

'Twill not be seen in him there. There the men are as mad as he.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

'Twill not be seen in him there. There the men are as mad as he.

 

HAMLET

How came he mad?

 

HAMLET

How came he mad?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Very strangely, they say.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Very strangely, they say.

 

HAMLET

How “strangely”?

 

HAMLET

How “strangely”?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Faith, e'en with losing his wits.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Faith, e'en with losing his wits.

 

HAMLET

Upon what ground?

 

HAMLET

Upon what ground?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

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

 

GRAVEDIGGER

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

 

HAMLET

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

 

HAMLET

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

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Faith, if he be not rotten before he die—as we have many pocky corses (corpse with smallpox) nowadays that will scarce hold the laying in— he will last you some eight year or nine year. A tanner will last you nine year.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Faith, if he be not rotten before he die—as we have many pocky corses nowadays that will scarce hold the laying in— he will last you some eight year or nine year. A tanner will last you nine year.

 

HAMLET

Why he more than another?

 

HAMLET

Why he more than another?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade that he will keep out water a great while, and your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson (vile) dead body. (indicates a skull) Here’s a skull now. This skull has lain in the earth three-and-twenty years.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade that he will keep out water a great while, and your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body. (indicates a skull) Here’s a skull now. This skull has lain in the earth three-and-twenty years.

 

HAMLET

Whose was it?

 

HAMLET

Whose was it?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

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

 

GRAVEDIGGER

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

 

HAMLET

Nay, I know not.

 

HAMLET

Nay, I know not.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! He poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir, was Yorick’s skull, the king’s jester.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! He poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir, was Yorick’s skull, the king’s jester.

 

HAMLET

This?

 

HAMLET

This?

 

GRAVEDIGGER

E'en that.

 

GRAVEDIGGER

E'en that.

 

HAMLET

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

 

HAMLET

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

 

HORATIO

What’s that, my lord?

 

HORATIO

What’s that, my lord?

 

HAMLET

Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i' th' earth?

 

HAMLET

Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i' th' earth?

 

HORATIO

E'en so.

 

HORATIO

E'en so.

 

HAMLET

And smelt so? Pah(puts down the skull)

 

HAMLET

And smelt so? Pah(puts down the skull)

 

HORATIO

E'en so, my lord.

 

HORATIO

E'en so, my lord.

 

HAMLET

To what base uses we may return, Horatio (when we return to dust). Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it stopping a bunghole (a hole in a beer barrel)?

 

HAMLET

To what base uses we may return, Horatio. Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it stopping a bunghole?

 

HORATIO

'Twere to consider too curiously (searchingly), to consider so.

 

HORATIO

'Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.

 

HAMLET

No, faith, not a jot. But to follow him thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it, as thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth we make loam—and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer barrel?

Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay,

Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.

Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,

Should patch a wall t' expel the winter’s flaw!

But soft, but soft a while.

    Here comes the king,

The queen, the courtiers—who is this they follow,

And with such maimed (plain and scrawny) rites? This doth betoken

The corse they follow did with desperate hand

Fordo its own life. 'Twas of some estate.

Couch we a while and mark.

 

HAMLET

No, faith, not a jot. But to follow him thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it, as thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth we make loam—and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer barrel?

Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay,

Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.

Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,

Should patch a wall t' expel the winter’s flaw!

But soft, but soft a while.

 

Enter King CLAUDIUS, Queen GERTRUDE, LAERTES, and a coffin, with a PRIEST and other lords attendant.

Enter King CLAUDIUS, Queen GERTRUDE, LAERTES, and a coffin, with a PRIEST and other lords attendant.

HAMLET and HORATIO withdraw

HAMLET and HORATIO withdraw

LAERTES

    What ceremony else?

 

LAERTES

    What ceremony else?

 

HAMLET

That is Laertes, a very noble youth, mark.

 

HAMLET

That is Laertes, a very noble youth, mark.

 

LAERTES

What ceremony else?

 

LAERTES

What ceremony else?

 

PRIEST

Her obsequies have been as far enlarged

As we have warranty. Her death was doubtful,

And, but that great command o'ersways the order,

She should in ground unsanctified have lodged

Till the last trumpet. For charitable prayers

last trumpet=Final Judgment

for charitable prayers=instead of charitable prayers

Shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her.

Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants,

crants=garlands

Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home

strewments=flowers strewn on a grave

bringing home=interment

Of bell and burial.

 

PRIEST

Her obsequies have been as far enlarged

As we have warranty. Her death was doubtful,

And, but that great command o'ersways the order,

She should in ground unsanctified have lodged

Till the last trumpet. For charitable prayers

Shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her.

Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants,

Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home

Of bell and burial.

 

LAERTES

Must there no more be done?

 

LAERTES

Must there no more be done?

 

PRIEST

No more be done.

We should profane the service of the dead

To sing a requiem and such rest to her

such rest=such other services

As to peace-parted souls.

 

PRIEST

No more be done.

We should profane the service of the dead

To sing a requiem and such rest to her

As to peace-parted souls.

 

LAERTES

    Lay her i' th' earth,

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh

May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,

A ministering angel shall my sister be

When thou liest howling.

 

LAERTES

    Lay her i' th' earth,

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh

May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,

A ministering angel shall my sister be

When thou liest howling.

 

HAMLET

(to HORATIO) What, the fair Ophelia?

 

HAMLET

(to HORATIO) What, the fair Ophelia?

 

GERTRUDE

Sweets to the sweet. Farewell! (scatters flowers)

I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet’s wife.

I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,

And not have strewed thy grave.

 

GERTRUDE

Sweets to the sweet. Farewell! (scatters flowers)

I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet’s wife.

I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,

And not have strewed thy grave.

 

LAERTES

    Oh, treble woe

Fall ten times treble on that cursčd head,

Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense

Deprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile

Till I have caught her once more in mine arms.

 

LAERTES

    Oh, treble woe

Fall ten times treble on that cursčd head,

Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense

Deprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile

Till I have caught her once more in mine arms.

 

(leaps into the grave)

(leaps into the grave)

Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead,

Till of this flat a mountain you have made,

T' o'ertop old Pelion or the skyish head

Pelion=Mount Pelion

Of blue Olympus.

Olympus=Mount Olympus

 

Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead,

Till of this flat a mountain you have made,

T' o'ertop old Pelion or the skyish head

Of blue Olympus.

 

HAMLET

(comes forward) What is he whose grief

Bears such an emphasis, whose phrase of sorrow

Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand

wandering stars=planets

Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,

Hamlet the Dane. (leaps into the grave)

 

HAMLET

(comes forward) What is he whose grief

Bears such an emphasis, whose phrase of sorrow

Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand

Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,

Hamlet the Dane. (leaps into the grave)

 

LAERTES

The devil take thy soul!

 

LAERTES

The devil take thy soul!

 

HAMLET and LAERTES grapple

HAMLET and LAERTES grapple

HAMLET

Thou pray’st not well.

I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat,

For though I am not splenitive and rash,

(the spleen was thought to be the seat of irritability)

Yet have I something in me dangerous,

something dangerous=his madness

Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand.

 

HAMLET

Thou pray’st not well.

I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat,

For though I am not splenitive and rash,

Yet have I something in me dangerous,

Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand.

 

CLAUDIUS

Pluck them asunder (pull them apart).

 

CLAUDIUS

Pluck them asunder.

 

GERTRUDE

  Hamlet, Hamlet!

 

GERTRUDE

  Hamlet, Hamlet!

 

ALL

Gentlemen—

 

ALL

Gentlemen—

 

HORATIO

(to HAMLET) Good my lord, be quiet.

 

HORATIO

(to HAMLET) Good my lord, be quiet.

 

Attendants separate HAMLET and LAERTES

Attendants separate HAMLET and LAERTES

HAMLET

Why, I will fight with him upon this theme

Until my eyelids will no longer wag.

wag=blink

 

HAMLET

Why, I will fight with him upon this theme

Until my eyelids will no longer wag.

 

GERTRUDE

O my son, what theme?

 

GERTRUDE

O my son, what theme?

 

HAMLET

I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers

Could not with all their quantity of love

Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?

 

HAMLET

I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers

Could not with all their quantity of love

Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?

 

CLAUDIUS

O, he is mad, Laertes.

 

CLAUDIUS

O, he is mad, Laertes.

 

GERTRUDE

For love of God, forbear him.

 

GERTRUDE

For love of God, forbear him.

 

HAMLET

'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do.

swounds=God’s wounds

Woo’t weep? Woo’t fight? Woo’t fast? Woo’t tear thyself?

woo’t=wilt thou

Woo’t drink up eisel, eat a crocodile?

eisel=vinegar

I’ll do ’t. Dost thou come here to whine,

To outface me with leaping in her grave?

Be buried quick with her?—and so will I.

quick=alive

And if thou prate of mountains let them throw

Millions of acres on us, till our ground,

Singeing his pate against the burning zone,

(the ground singes its head against the sun)

Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth,

Ossa=mountain in Greece used by the Greeks  in an attempt to reach heaven

I’ll rant as well as thou.

 

HAMLET

'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do.

Woo’t weep? Woo’t fight? Woo’t fast? Woo’t tear thyself?

Woo’t drink up eisel, eat a crocodile?

I’ll do ’t. Dost thou come here to whine,

To outface me with leaping in her grave?

Be buried quick with her?—and so will I.

And if thou prate of mountains let them throw

Millions of acres on us, till our ground,

Singeing his pate against the burning zone,

Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth,

I’ll rant as well as thou.

 

GERTRUDE

  This is mere madness.

And thus a while the fit will work on him.

Anon, as patient as the female dove

When that her golden couplets are disclosed,

couplets are disclosed=young are hatched

His silence will sit drooping.

 

GERTRUDE

  This is mere madness.

And thus a while the fit will work on him.

Anon, as patient as the female dove

When that her golden couplets are disclosed,

His silence will sit drooping.

 

HAMLET

    Hear, you, sir.

What is the reason that you use me thus?

I loved you ever. But it is no matter.

Let Hercules himself do what he may,

The cat will mew and dog will have his day.

 

HAMLET

    Hear you, sir.

What is the reason that you use me thus?

I loved you ever. But it is no matter.

Let Hercules himself do what he may,

The cat will mew and dog will have his day.

 

Exit HAMLET

Exit HAMLET

CLAUDIUS

I pray thee, good Horatio, wait upon him.

 

CLAUDIUS

I pray thee, good Horatio, wait upon him.

 

Exit HORATIO

Exit HORATIO

(to LAERTES) Strengthen your patience in our last night’s speech.

We’ll put the matter to the present push.—

present push=immediate execution

Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.—

This grave shall have a living monument.

living=permanent

An hour of quiet shortly shall we see.

Till then in patience our proceeding be.

 

(to LAERTES) Strengthen your patience in our last night’s speech.

We’ll put the matter to the present push.—

Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.—

This grave shall have a living monument.

An hour of quiet shortly shall we see.

Till then in patience our proceeding be.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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