William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564 – died 23 April
1616) was an English poet
and playwright, widely regarded as
the greatest writer
in the English language and the world's
pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England
poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviv-
consist of 38 plays
, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems
, and several other
poems. His plays have been trans-
lated into every major living
language, and are performed
more often than
those of any other playwright. Shakespeare
was born and raised in Stratford- upon
-Avon. At the age of 18
, who bore
him three children
, and twins Hamnet and Judith
1585 and 1592
he began a successful career
in London as an actor
writer, and part owner
of the playing
company the Lord
Chamberlain's Men, later known
as the King
's Men. He ap- pears
to have retired to Stratford around 1613
, where he died
later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive
, and there
has been considerable
speculation about such matters
as his sexuality, religious beliefs
, and whether the
works attributed to him were written by others
produced most of his known work
between 1590 and 1613. His early
plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he
raised to the peak
of sophistication and artistry by the end of
the sixteenth century
. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until
Hamlet, King Lear
, and Macbeth
sidered some of the finest examples
in the English language. In
his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as ro-
mances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his
plays were published in editions of varying quality
, and in 1623 two of his former
colleagues published the First
Folio, a collected edition of his
dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now re-
cognised as Shakespeare's. Shakespeare was a respected poet
and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise
to its present
heights until the nineteenth century. The Ro-
mantics, in particular
, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius
the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence
that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth
century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by
new movements in scholarship and performance
. His plays re-
and are consistently performed and
reinterpreted in diverse cultural
the world. Source: Wikipedia
Also available on Feedbooks for Shakespeare:
• Romeo and Juliet
• A Midsummer Night 's Dream
• Julius Caesar
• The Merchant of Venice
• Much Ado About Nothing
• King Lear
• The Taming of the Shrew
• The Comedy of Errors
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SCENE I. Elsinore. A platform before the castle .
FRANCISCO at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO
, and unfold yourself.
most carefully upon your hour
'Tis now struck twelve
; get thee to bed, Francisco.
For this relief much thanks
: 'tis bitter cold
And I am sick at heart
Have you had quiet
Not a mouse
If you do meet Horatio
of my watch, bid them
I think I hear
them. Stand, ho! Who's there?Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS
to this ground
And liegemen to the Dane
Give you good night.
, honest soldier:
Who hath relieved you?
Bernardo has my place
Give you good night. Exit
What, is Horatio there?
, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.
What, has this thing
I have seen
'tis but our fantasy
And will not let belief
Touching this dreaded sight
, twice seen of us: Therefore
I have entreated him along
With us to watch the minutes of this night;
That if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes
, tush, 'twill not appear.
Sit down awhile;
And let us once
again assail your ears
That are so fortified against our story
What we have two nights seen.
Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Last night of all,
When yond same star
that's westward from the pole
Had made his course
to illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns
, Marcellus and myself
The bell then beating one,—Enter Ghost
, break thee off; look
, where it comes
In the same figure
, like the king that's dead.
Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.
Most like: it harrows me with fear
It would be spoke
Question it, Horatio.
What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
Together with that fair
and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march
? by heaven I charge
It is offended.
See, it stalks away
! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!Exit Ghost
, and will not answer.
How now, Horatio! you tremble and look pale
Is not this something
more than fantasy?
What think you on't?
Before my God, I might not this believe Without
the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.
Is it not like the king?
As thou art to thyself:
Such was the very armour he had on
When he the ambitious Norway
So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
Thus twice before, and jump
at this dead hour,
With martial stalk
hath he gone by our watch.
In what particular thought
to work I know
But in the gross and scope
of my opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Good now, sit down, and tell
me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject
of the land
And why such daily cast
of brazen cannon
mart for implements of war;
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide
from the week;
What might be toward
, that this sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint
-labourer with the day:
Who is't that can inform
That can I;
, the whisper goes
so. Our last king,
Whose image even
but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dared to the combat
; in which our valiant Hamlet—
For so this side of our known world esteem
this Fortinbras; who by a seal'd compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
Which he stood
seized of, to the conqueror:
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king; which had return
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same covenant,
And carriage of the article design'd,
to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full
Hath in the skirts of Norway here
Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,
For food and diet
, to some enterprise
That hath a stomach in't; which is no other—
As it doth well appear unto our state—
But to recover of us, by strong hand
compulsatory, those foresaid lands
So by his father lost
: and this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The source of this our watch and the chief
Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
I think it be no other but e'en so:
Well may it sort that this portentous figure
Comes armed through
our watch; so like the king
That was and is the question of these wars
A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
ere the mightiest Julius fell,
stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman
and dews of blood
Disasters in the sun; and the moist star
Upon whose influence
Neptune's empire stands
Was sick almost
And even the like precurse of fierce events
As harbingers preceding still
And prologue to the omen coming
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.—
, behold! lo, where it comes again!Re-enter Ghost
it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
If thou hast any sound
, or use of voice
Speak to me:
If there be any good thing to be done
That may to thee do ease
Speak to me: Cock crows
If thou art privy
to thy country
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid
, O, speak!
Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
in the womb of earth,
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk
Speak of it: stay, and speak! Stop it, Marcellus.
I strike at it with my partisan?
Do, if it will not stand.
'Tis gone!Exit Ghost
We do it wrong
, being so majestical,
it the show of violence
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain
blows malicious mockery.
It was about to speak, when the cock crew
And then it started
like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn
Doth with his lofty
and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit
To his confine: and of the truth
This present object
on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever 'gainst that season
Wherein our Saviour's birth
of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes
, nor witch
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
So have I heard and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill
Break we our watch up; and by my advice
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves
, fitting our duty
Let's do't, I pray
; and I this morning
Where we shall find
him most conveniently.Exeunt
13SCENE II. A room of state in the castle.
Enter KING CLAUDIUS , QUEEN GERTRUDE , HAMLET,
POLONIUS , LAERTES , VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS ,
Lords , and Attendants
Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother
, and that it us befitted
our hearts in grief and our whole
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister
, now our queen,
jointress to this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,—
With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage
In equal scale
Taken to wife
: nor have we herein barr
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair
along. For all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras, Holding
supposal of our worth,
by our late
dear brother's death
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame
Colleagued with the dream of his advantage
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
Now for ourself and for this time of meeting
Thus much the business is: we have here writ
To Norway, uncle
of young Fortinbras,—
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew
gait herein; in that the levies,
and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subject: and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway; Giving
to you no further personal power
To business with the king, more than the scope
Of these delated articles allow
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
In that and all things will we show our duty.
it nothing: heartily farewell.Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
us of some suit
; what is't, Laertes?
speak of reason
to the Dane,
And loose your voice: what wouldst thou beg, Laertes,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking
The head is not more native
to the heart,
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes?
My dread lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France
From whence though willingly I came
To show my duty in your coronation
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend
again toward France
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
Have you your father's leave? What says Polonius?
He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow
By laboursome petition, and at last
Upon his will I seal'd my hard
I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,
And thy best
graces spend it at thy will!
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,—
[Aside] A little more than kin, and less than kind.
How is it that the clouds still hang
Not so, my lord; I am too much i' the sun.
Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour
And let thine eye look like a friend
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids Seek
for thy noble
father in the dust
Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives
must die, Passing
through nature to eternity.
, it is common.
If it be,
it so particular with thee?
Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not 'seems.'
'Tis not alone
my inky cloak, good mother
Nor customary suits of solemn black
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,
Together with all forms
, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly: these indeed seem
For they are actions
that a man might play:
But I have that within
which passeth show;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
To give these mourning duties to your father:
But, you must know, your father lost a father;
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
obligation for some term
To do obsequious sorrow: but to persever
In obstinate condolement is a course
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief;
a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple
For what we know must be and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense
Why should we in our peevish opposition
Take it to heart? Fie! 'tis a fault
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd: whose common theme
Is death of fathers
, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse till
he that died to-day,
'This must be so.' We pray you, throw
This unprevailing woe, and think of us
As of a father: for let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our throne;
And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back
to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here, in the cheer
and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
Let not thy mother lose
her prayers, Hamlet:
I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg.
I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply
Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come;
This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart: in grace whereof,
No jocund health that Denmark drinks
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,
And the king's rouse
the heavens all bruit again,
Re-speaking earthly thunder
. Come away.Exeunt all but HAMLET
O, that this too too solid
flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve
itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
, stale, flat
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden
; things rank
and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit
too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember
? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase
of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month
Let me not think on't—Frailty, thy name is woman
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow
'd my poor
Like Niobe, all tears
:—why she, even she—
O, God! a beast
, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer—married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt
of most unrighteous tears
in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed
, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO
to your lordship!
I am glad
to see you well:
Horatio,—or I do forget
The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
Sir, my good friend; I'll change
that name with you:
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?
My good lord—
I am very glad to see you. Good even, sir.
But what, in faith
, make you from Wittenberg?
A truant disposition, good my lord.
I would not hear your enemy say so,
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
To make it truster of your own report
Against yourself: I know you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elsinore?
you to drink deep
ere you depart
My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
I pray thee, do not mock
me, fellow- student
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon.
Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked
Did coldly furnish forth
the marriage tables.
Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio!
My father!—methinks I see my father.
Where, my lord?
In my mind's eye, Horatio.
I saw him once; he was a goodly king.
He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
My lord, the king your father.
The king my father!
Season your admiration for awhile
With an attent ear, till I may deliver
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
For God's love, let me hear.
Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead vast and middle
of the night,
Been thus encounter
'd. A figure like your father,
Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pe, Appears
before them, and with solemn march
Goes slow and stately by them: thrice he walk'd
By their oppress'd and fear- surprised
Within his truncheon's length
; whilst they, distilled
Almost to jelly
with the act of fear,
Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did;
And I with them the third night kept
Where, as they had deliver'd, both
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes: I knew your father;
are not more like.
But where was this?
My lord, upon the platform where we watch'd.
Did you not speak to it?
My lord, I did;
But answer made it none
: yet once methought
It lifted up its head and did address
Itself to motion
, like as it would speak;
But even then the morning cock crew loud
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
And vanish'd from our sight.
'Tis very strange.
As I do live, my honour
'd lord, 'tis true;
And we did think it writ down in our duty
To let you know of it.
Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to-night?
We do, my lord.
Arm'd, say you?
Arm'd, my lord.
From top to toe?
My lord, from head to foot
Then saw you not his face?
O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver
What, look'd he frowningly?
A countenance more in sorrow than in anger
Pale or red?
Nay, very pale.
And fix'd his eyes upon you?
I would I had been there.
It would have much amazed you.
Very like, very like. Stay'd it long?
one with moderate haste might tell a hundred
Not when I saw't.
It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silver
I will watch to-night;
Perchance 'twill walk again.
I warrant it will.
If it assume my noble father's person
I'll speak to it, though hell
itself should gape
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight,
Let it be tenable in your silence still;
And whatsoever else
shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue:
I will requite your loves. So, fare
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven
I'll visit you.
Our duty to your honour.
Your loves, as mine to you: farewell.Exeunt all but HAMLET
My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;
I doubt some foul play: would the night were come!
Till then sit still, my soul
: foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.Exit
26SCENE III. A room in Polonius' house.
Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA
My necessaries are embark'd: farewell:
And, sister, as the winds give benefit
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep
But let me hear from you.
Do you doubt that?
For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour,
Hold it a fashion
and a toy in blood,
A violet in the youth
of primy nature, Forward
, not permanent
, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute
; No more.
No more but so?
Think it no more;
For nature, crescent, does not grow
In thews and bulk
, but, as this temple waxes,
The inward service
of the mind and soul
he loves you now,
And now no soil
nor cautel doth besmirch
of his will: but you must fear,
His greatness weigh
'd, his will is not his own;
For he himself
is subject to his birth:
He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself; for on his choice
and health of this whole state;
And therefore must his choice be circumscribed
Unto the voice and yielding
of that body
Whereof he is the head. Then if he says he loves you,
It fits your wisdom
so far to believe it
As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying deed; which is no further
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain
If with too credent ear you list his songs
Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open
To his unmaster'd importunity.
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister,
you in the rear
of your affection
Out of the shot
The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
If she unmask her beauty
to the moon
Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes:
The canker galls the infants
of the spring
Too oft before their buttons be disclosed,
And in the morn and liquid
dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent
Be wary then; best safety lies
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near
I shall the effect
of this good lesson keep,
As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep
and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path
of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.
O, fear me not.
I stay too long: but here my father comes.Enter POLONIUS
blessing is a double grace,
Occasion smiles upon a second leave.
Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame!
The wind sits in the shoulder
of your sail
And you are stay'd for. There; my blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character
. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel
But do not dull thy palm
Of each new- hatch
'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve
Costly thy habit
as thy purse can buy,
But not express
'd in fancy
, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select
and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender
both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge
all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false
to any man.
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!
Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
The time invites you; go; your servants tend
Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
What I have said to you.
'Tis in my memory lock'd,
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.
What is't, Ophelia, be hath said to you?
you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.
LORD POLONIUS Marry
, well bethought:
'Tis told me, he hath very oft of late Given
private time to you; and you yourself
Have of your audience
been most free and bounteous:
If it be so, as so 'tis put on me,
And that in way of caution, I must tell you,
You do not understand
yourself so clearly
As it behoves my daughter
and your honour.
What is between you? give me up the truth.
He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders
Of his affection to me.
Affection! pooh! you speak like a green girl,
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
Do you believe his tenders, as you call
I do not know, my lord, what I should think.
Marry, I'll teach you: think yourself a baby;
That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay,
Which are not sterling. Tender
yourself more dearly;
Or—not to crack
the wind of the poor phrase
it thus—you'll tender me a fool
My lord, he hath importuned me with love
In honourable fashion.
Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to.
And hath given countenance to his speech
, my lord,
With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
Ay, springes to catch
woodcocks. I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Lends the tongue vows: these blazes, daughter,
Giving more light
Even in their promise, as it is a- making
You must not take for fire. From this time
Be somewhat scanter of your maiden
Set your entreatments at a higher rate
Than a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet,
Believe so much in him, that he is young
And with a larger tether may he walk
Than may be given you: in few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers,
Not of that dye which their investments show,
But mere implorators of unholy suits,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds,
The better to beguile. This is for all:
I would not, in plain
terms, from this time forth,
Have you so slander any moment leisure
As to give words
with the Lord Hamlet.
Look to't, I charge you: come your ways
I shall obey, my lord.Exeunt
32SCENE IV. The platform.
Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, and MARCELLUS
The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
It is a nipping and an eager
What hour now?
I think it lacks of twelve.
No, it is struck.
Indeed? I heard it not: then it draws near the season
Wherein the spirit held
his wont to walk.A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within
What does this mean
, my lord?
The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
Keeps wassail, and the swaggering up-spring reels;
And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
and trumpet thus bray out
of his pledge
Is it a custom
Ay, marry, is't:
But to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner
born, it is a custom
More honour'd in the breach
than the observance.
-headed revel east
and west Makes
us traduced and tax'd of other nations:
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition
; and indeed it takes
From our achievements, though perform
'd at height,
and marrow of our attribute
So, oft it chances in particular men,
That for some vicious mole
of nature in them,
As, in their birth—wherein they are not guilty, Since
nature cannot choose
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason,
Or by some habit that too much o'er-leavens
The form of plausive manners, that these men,
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect
Being nature's livery, or fortune
Their virtues else—be they as pure
As infinite as man may undergo—
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault: the dram
Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
To his own scandal.
Look, my lord, it comes!Enter Ghost
and ministers of grace defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents
wicked or charitable,
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee: I'll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal
Dane: O, answer me!
Let me not burst
in ignorance; but tell
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again in complete
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous; and we fools
So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond
the reaches of our souls?
Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we do?Ghost beckons HAMLET
It beckons you to go away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.
Look, with what courteous action
It waves you to a more removed ground:
But do not go with it.
No, by no means.
It will not speak; then I will follow it.
Do not, my lord.
Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life in a pin's fee;
And for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself?
It waves me forth again: I'll follow it.
What if it tempt you toward the flood
, my lord,
Or to the dreadful summit
of the cliff
o'er his base
into the sea,
And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason
you into madness? think of it:
The very place puts
toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain
That looks so many fathoms to the sea
And hears it roar beneath.
It waves me still.
Go on; I'll follow thee.
You shall not go, my lord.
Hold off your hands.
Be ruled; you shall not go.
My fate cries out,
And makes each petty
artery in this body
as the Nemean lion
Still am I call'd. Unhand me, gentlemen.
By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!
I say, away! Go on; I'll follow thee.Exeunt Ghost and HAMLET
He waxes desperate with imagination.
Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.
Have after. To what issue
will this come?
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Heaven will direct
Nay, let's follow him.Exeunt
37SCENE V. Another part of the platform.
Enter GHOST and HAMLET
Where wilt thou lead
me? speak; I'll go no further.
My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.
, poor ghost!
Pity me not, but lend thy serious
To what I shall unfold.
Speak; I am bound to hear.
So art thou to revenge
, when thou shalt hear.