act v scene ii by MalsD5xC


									   Enter HAMLET and               HAMLET and
            HORATIO            HORATIO enter.
HAMLET                    HAMLET
So much for this, sir.    That's enough about
Now shall you see the     that. Now I'll tell you
other.                    the other story about
You do remember all       my journey. Do you
the circumstance?         remember the
HORATIO                   HORATIO
Remember it, my lord?     How could I forget, my
 HAMLET                   HAMLET
 Sir, in my heart there   There was a kind of
 was a kind of fighting   war in my brain that
5 That would not let me     wouldn't let me sleep.
  sleep. Methought I lay    It was worse than
  Worse than the            being a captive in
  mutines in the bilboes.   chains. Sometimes it's
  Rashly—                   good to be rash—
  And praised be            sometimes it works out
  rashness for it: let us   well to act impulsively
  know                      when our careful plans
  Our indiscretion          lose steam. This
  sometimes serves us       should show us that
  well                      there's a God in
  When our deep plots       heaven who's always
  do pall, and that         guiding us in the right
  should teach us           direction, however
10There's a divinity that   often we screw up—
  shapes our ends,
  Rough-hew them how
  we will—
 HORATIO                   HORATIO
 That is most certain.     Well, of course.
  HAMLET                   HAMLET
  Up from my cabin,        So I came up from my
  My sea-gown scarfed      cabin with my robe
  about me, in the dark    tied around me,
15Groped I to find out     groped in the dark to
  them, had my desire,     find what I was
  Fingered their packet,   looking for, found it,
  and in fine withdrew     looked through their
  To mine own room         packet of papers, and
  again, making so bold    returned to my cabin
  (My fears forgetting       again. I was bold
  manners) to unseal         enough (I guess my
  Their grand                fears made me forget
  commission, where I        my manners) to open
  found, Horatio—            the document
20O royal knavery!—an        containing the king's
  exact command,             instructions. And there
  Larded with many           I found, Horatio, such
  several sorts of reasons   royal mischief—a
  Importing Denmark's        precisely worded
  health, and England's      order, sugared with
  too,                       lots of talk about
  With—ho!—such bugs         Denmark's well-being
  and goblins in my life     and England's too, to
  That, on the supervise     cut off my head,
  (no leisure bated,    without even waiting
25No, not to stay the   to sharpen the ax.
  grinding of the ax)
  My head should be
  struck off.
 HORATIO                    HORATIO
                  Is 't     Is it possible?
 HAMLET                     HAMLET
 (shows HORATIO a           (he shows HORATIO a
 document)                  document) Here's the
 Here's the commission.     document. Read it in
 Read it at more leisure.   your free time. But do
 But wilt thou hear me      you want to hear what
 how I did proceed?         I did then?
  HORATIO                   HORATIO
30I beseech you.            Yes, please tell me.
  HAMLET                    HAMLET
  Being thus benetted       So there I was, caught
  round with villainies—    in their evil net. Before
  Ere I could make a        I could even start
  prologue to my brains,    processing the
  They had begun the        situation, they had
  play—I sat me down,       started the ball rolling.
  HAMLET                   HAMLET
  Why, even in that was    Heaven helped me out
  heaven ordinant.         with that too. I had my
  I had my father's        father's signet ring in
  signet in my purse,      my pocket, with the
  Which was the model      royal seal of Denmark
  of that Danish seal.     on it. I folded up the
55Folded the writ up in    new document, signed
  form of th' other,       it, sealed it, and put it
  Subscribed it, gave 't   safely back so that no
  th' impression, placed   one noticed any
  it safely,               difference. The next
  The changeling never     day we had our fight at
  known. Now, the next     sea, and you know
  day                      what happened after
  Was our sea fight, and   that.
  what to this was
  Thou know'st already.
  HORATIO                  HORATIO
60So Guildenstern and      So Rosencrantz and
  Rosencrantz go to 't.    Guildenstern are in for
  HAMLET                   HAMLET
  Why, man, they did       Man, they were asking
  make love to this        for it. I don't feel guilty
  employment.              about them at all. They
  They are not near my     got what they
  conscience. Their        deserved. It's always
  defeat                     dangerous when little
  Does by their own          people get caught in
  insinuation grow.          the crossfire of mighty
  'Tis dangerous when        opponents.
  the baser nature comes
65Between the pass and
  fell incensèd points
  Of mighty opposites.
 HORATIO                     HORATIO
 Why, what a king is         What a king Claudius
 this!                       is!
  HAMLET                     HAMLET
  Does it not, think thee,   Don't you think it's my
  stand me now upon—         duty now to kill him
  He that hath killed my     with this weapon? This
  king and whored my         man who killed my
  mother,                    king, made my mother
70Popped in between th'      a whore, took the
  election and my hopes,     throne that I hoped
  Thrown out his angle       for, and set a trap to
  for my proper life         kill me. Isn't it
  (And with such             completely moral to
  cozenage!)—is 't not       kill him now with this
  perfect conscience         sword—and an easy
  To quit him with this      conscience? And
  arm? And is 't not to be   wouldn't I be damned
  damned                     if I let this monster live
  To let this canker of      to do more harm?
  our nature come
75In further evil?
 HORATIO                    HORATIO
 It must be shortly         He'll find out soon
 known to him from          what happened in
 England                    England.
 What is the issue of the
 business there.

  HAMLET                    HAMLET
  It will be short. The     Soon enough. But I
  interim's mine.           have the meantime. A
  And a man's life's no     human life is hardly
  more than to say          long enough to count
  “one.”                    to one in. But I really
80But I am very sorry,      feel bad, Horatio,
  good Horatio,             about losing control of
  That to Laertes I forgot   myself with Laertes.
  myself,                    His situation is very
  For by the image of my     much like my own. I'll
  cause I see                be nice to him. It was
  The portraiture of his.    just that the showiness
  I'll court his favors.     of his grief sent me
  But sure the bravery of    into a fury.
  his grief did put me
85Into a towering
 HORATIO                     HORATIO
 Peace.—Who comes            Hang on a minute—
 here?                       who are you?
  Enter young OSRIC, a            OSRIC, a young
     courtier, hat in hand     courtier, enters with
                              his hat in his hand.
OSRIC                      OSRIC
Your lordship is right     Welcome back to
welcome back to            Denmark, my lord.
HAMLET                     HAMLET
I humbly thank you, sir.   Thank you kindly, sir.
(aside to HORATIO)         (speaking so that only
Dost know this water-      HORATIO can hear)
fly?                       Do you know this
HORATIO                    HORATIO
(aside to HAMLET) No,      (speaking so that only
my good lord.              HAMLET can hear)
                           No, my lord.
  HAMLET                     HAMLET
90(aside to HORATIO)         (speaking so that only
  Thy state is the more      HORATIO can hear)
  gracious, for 'tis a       You're lucky, since
  vice to know him. He       knowing him is most
  hath much land, and        unpleasant. He owns a
  fertile. Let a             lot of good land. Give
  beast be lord of beasts    an animal a lot of
  and his crib shall stand   money, and he'll be
  at the king's              welcome at the king's
  mess. 'Tis a chough,       table. He's a jerk, but
  but, as I say, spacious    he owns a whole lot of
  in the possession          dirt, so he's treated
  of dirt.                   well.
  OSRIC                      OSRIC
95Sweet lord, if your           My lord, if you have a
  lordship were at              free moment, I have a
  leisure, I should             message from His
  impart                        Majesty.
  a thing to you from His
 HAMLET                         HAMLET
 I will receive it, sir, with   I'll hang on every word
 all diligence of spirit.       you say. Put your hat
 Put your                       back on, where it
 bonnet to his right use.       belongs: it's for your
 'Tis for the head.             head, not for your
                                hands to hold.
 OSRIC                          OSRIC
 I thank your lordship. It      No thank you, my lord.
 is very hot.                 It's very hot.

    HAMLET                    HAMLET
100No, believe me, 'tis       No, I'm telling you, it's
    very cold. The wind is    very cold, with a
    northerly.                northerly wind.
 OSRIC                        OSRIC
 It is indifferent cold, my   It is rather cold,
 lord, indeed.                indeed, my lord.
 HAMLET                       HAMLET
 But yet methinks it is       And yet I feel it's very
 very sultry and hot for      hot and humid, which
 my                           is bad for my
 complexion.                  complexion.
    OSRIC                     OSRIC
    Exceedingly, my lord.   Yes indeed it is, sir.
    It is very sultry—as    Very humid, I can't tell
    'twere—I cannot         you how humid it is.
105tell how. My lord, his   My lord, His Majesty
    majesty bade me         wanted me to tell you
    signify to you that     that he's placed a large
    he has laid a great     bet on you. This is
    wager on your head.     what it's all about—
    Sir, this is the
 HAMLET                     HAMLET
 I beseech you,             Please, I beg you—(he
 remember—(indicates        points to OSRIC 's hat)
 that OSRIC should put
 on his hat)
   OSRIC                    OSRIC
   Nay, good my lord,       No, my lord, I'm
   for mine ease, in good   comfortable like this,
   faith. Sir, here is      thank you. Sir, there's
110newly come to court      someone named
   Laertes, believe me,     Laertes who's recently
   an absolute              come to the court. He's
   gentleman, full of       an absolute gentleman,
   most excellent           totally outstanding in
   differences, of very     so many respects, very
   soft                     easy in society, and
   society and great        displaying all his
   showing. Indeed, to      excellent qualities. If I
   speak feelingly of       were to expose my true
   him, he is the card or   feelings about him, I'd
   calendar of gentry,    have to say he's like a
   for you shall find     business card for the
   in him the continent   upper classes—he's
   of what part a         that wonderful. You'll
   gentleman would see.   find that he's the sum
                          total of what a perfect
                          gentleman should be.*
   HAMLET                 HAMLET
115Sir, his definement    Sir, your description of
   suffers no perdition   him doesn't detract
   in you, though I       from his good
   know to divide him     qualities, though I
   inventorially would    know that trying to list
   dizzy th'              them all would make
   arithmetic of          your head spin, and
   memory, and yet but     even so you wouldn't
   yaw neither, in         be able to keep up with
   respect of his quick    him.

   But in the verity of    Speaking the very
   extolment, I take him   truth of high praise, I
   to be a soul of great   can honestly say that I
   article, and his        find him to possess a
   infusion of such        soul of such great
   dearth and rareness     importance, and so
   as, to                  rare and unique in
120make true diction of    every respect, that—to
   him, his semblable is   speak the absolute
   his mirror. And         truth—he can find an
   who else would trace    equal only when he
   him? His umbrage,       gazes into a mirror.
   nothing more.           Anyone else is just a
                           pale copy of him.
 OSRIC                     OSRIC
 Your lordship speaks      You speak absolutely
 most infallibly of him.   correctly, sir.
 HAMLET                    HAMLET
 The concernancy, sir?     And what's the point,
 Why do we wrap the        sir? Why are we
 gentleman in              talking about him like
 our more rawer breath?    this?
   OSRIC                   OSRIC
125Sir?                    Sorry, sir?
 HORATIO                   HORATIO
 (aside to HAMLET) Is 't   (speaking so that only
 not possible to           HAMLET can hear)
 understand in another     Can't you talk to him
 tongue? You will do 't,   in a different way?
 sir, really.
 HAMLET                    HAMLET
 What imports the          (to OSRIC) What is the
 nomination of this        significance of
 gentleman?                referring to this
 OSRIC                     OSRIC
 Of Laertes?               Laertes, you mean?
   HORATIO                 HORATIO
130(aside to HAMLET)       (speaking so that only
   His purse is empty      HAMLET can hear)
   already. All 's golden   All his fancy language
   words are spent.         has run out finally; his
                            pockets are empty.
 HAMLET                     HAMLET
 Of him, sir.               Yes, Laertes, sir.
 OSRIC                      OSRIC
 I know you are not         I know you know
 ignorant—                  something—
    HAMLET                  HAMLET
    I would you did, sir.   Thanks for the
    Yet in faith, if you    compliment, I'm
    did, it would not       happy you know that.
135much approve me.         But in fact it doesn't
    Well, sir?              say much. I'm sorry,
                            you were saying?
OSRIC                     OSRIC
You are not ignorant of   I know you know
what excellence Laertes   something about how
is—                       excellent Laertes is—

HAMLET                    HAMLET
I dare not confess that   I can't admit that,
lest I should compare     since you'd have to
with him in               compare his excellence
excellence, but to know   to mine. But knowing a
a man well were to        person well is a bit like
know himself.             knowing oneself.
   OSRIC                  OSRIC
   I mean, sir, for his   Excellent in fencing, I
   weapon. But in the     mean, sir. His
   imputation laid on    reputation in fencing is
140him by them, in his   unrivaled.
   meed he's
 HAMLET                  HAMLET
 What's his weapon?      What kind of weapon
                         does he use?
 OSRIC                   OSRIC
 Rapier and dagger.      The rapier and the
 HAMLET                  HAMLET
 That's two of his       Those are only two of
 weapons. But well.      his weapons. But, go
   OSRIC                 OSRIC
   The king, sir, hath        The king has bet six
   wagered with him six       Barbary horses, and he
   Barbary horses,            has prepared six
145against the which he       French rapiers and
   has impawned, as I         daggers with all their
   take it, six French        accessories. Three of
   rapiers and poniards       the carriages are very
   with their assigns—as      imaginatively
   girdle, hangers,           designed, and they
   and so. Three of the       match the fencing
   carriages, in faith, are   accessories.
   very dear to
   fancy, very
   responsive to the
   hilts, most delicate
   and of very liberal
   HAMLET                  HAMLET
150What call you the       What do you mean by
   carriages?              “carriages”?
 HORATIO                   HORATIO
 (aside to HAMLET) I       (speaking so that only
 knew you must be          HAMLET can hear) I
 edified by the margin     knew you'd have to
 ere                       look something up in
 you had done.             the dictionary before
                           we were finished.
 OSRIC                     OSRIC
 The carriages, sir, are   The carriages, sir, are
 the hangers.                the hangers—where
                             the swords hang.
   HAMLET                    HAMLET
   The phrase would be       “Carriage” makes it
   more germane to the       sound like it's pulling
   matter if we              around a cannon. I
155could carry cannon        prefer to call it a
   by our sides. I would     “hanger.” But anyway.
   it might be               Six Barbary horses, six
   hangers till then. But,   French swords with
   on: six Barbary           accessories, and three
   horses against six        imaginatively designed
   French swords, their      carriages—sounds like
   assigns, and three        a French bet against
   liberal-conceited         the Danish. Why has
   carriages—that's the   all this been put on the
   French bet against     table?
   the Danish. Why is
   this “impawned,” as
   you call it?
   OSRIC                  OSRIC
160The king, sir, hath    The king, sir, has bet
   laid that in a dozen   that in a dozen rounds
   passes between         between you and
   yourself and him, he   Laertes, he won't beat
   shall not exceed you   you by more than
   three hits. He hath    three hits. You could
   laid on twelve for     get started
   nine, and it would     immediately if you'll
   come to immediate      give me your answer.
   if your lordship
   would vouchsafe the

 HAMLET                       HAMLET
 How if I answer “No”?        But what if my
                              answer's no?
   OSRIC                      OSRIC
165I mean, my lord, the       I mean, if you'd agree
   opposition of your         to play against Laertes,
   person in trial.           sir.
   HAMLET                     HAMLET
   Sir, I will walk here in   Sir, I'm going to go for
   the hall. If it please     a walk in the hall here
   His Majesty, 'tis       whether the king likes
   the breathing time of   it or not. It's my
   day with me. Let the    exercise time. Bring in
   foils be brought,       the swords, if the king
   the gentleman           still wants to go
   willing, and the king   through with it and if
   hold his purpose. I     Laertes is still willing.
   will                    I'll have the king win
   win for him an I can.   his bet if I can. If not,
   If not, I will gain     I'll only have suffered
   nothing but my          some embarrassment
170shame and the odd       and a few sword hits.
 OSRIC                     OSRIC
 Shall I redeliver you     Shall I quote you in
 e'en so?                     those exact words, sir?
 HAMLET                       HAMLET
 To this effect, sir, after   Just get the point
 what flourish your           across, however
 nature will.                 flowery you want to be.
 OSRIC                        OSRIC
 I commend my duty to         My services are at your
 your lordship.               command.
 HAMLET                       HAMLET
 Yours, yours.                Thank you.
               Exit OSRIC               OSRIC exits.
175He does well to            It's a good thing he's
    commend it himself.       here to recommend
    There are no tongues      himself. No one else
    else for 's turn.         would.
 HORATIO                   HORATIO
 This lapwing runs away    That crazy bird's only
 with the shell on his     half-hatched.
   HAMLET                  HAMLET
   He did comply, sir,     He used to praise his
   with his dug before     mother's nipple before
   he sucked it. Thus      he sucked it. He's like
   has                     so many successful
   he—and many more        people in these trashy
   of the same bevy that   times—he's patched
   I know the drossy       together enough fancy
180age dotes on—only       phrases and trendy
   got the tune of the     opinions to carry him
   time and outward        along. But blow a little
habit                   on this bubbly talk,
of encounter, a kind    and it'll burst. There's
of yeasty collection,   no substance here.
which carries them
through and through
the most fond and
winnowed opinions;
and do but blow them
to their trial, the
bubbles are out.
        Enter a LORD           A LORD enters.

LORD                    LORD
My lord, his majesty    My lord, Osric has told
commended him to        the king about your
   you by young               agreeing to the fencing
185Osric, who brings          match. The king
   back to him that you       wishes to know if you
   attend him in the          want to play against
   hall. He sends to          him right away, or wait
   know if your pleasure      awhile.
   hold to play with
   Laertes, or that you
   will take longer time.
   HAMLET                     HAMLET
   I am constant to my        I'll do whatever the
   purpose. They follow       king wants. If he's
   the king's                 ready now, so am I.
   pleasure. If his fitness   Otherwise, I'll do it
   speaks, mine is ready,     anytime, as long as I'm
    now or                 able.
190whensoever, provided
    I be so able as now.
 LORD                      LORD
 The king and queen and    The king and queen
 all are coming down.      are coming down with
                           everyone else.
 HAMLET                    HAMLET
 In happy time.            Right on cue.
 LORD                      LORD
 The queen desires you     The queen wants you
 to use some gentle        to chat with Laertes—
 entertainment to          politely—before you
 Laertes before you fall   begin your match.
 to play.
              Exit LORD             The LORD exits.
   HAMLET                    HAMLET
195She well instructs me.    She's full of good
 HORATIO                     HORATIO
 You will lose this wager,   You're going to lose
 my lord.                    this bet, my lord.
   HAMLET                    HAMLET
   I do not think so.        I don't think so. I've
   Since he went into        been practicing
   France, I have been       fencing constantly
   in                        since he went off to
   continual practice. I     France. With the
   shall win at the odds.    handicap they've given
   But thou wouldst          me, I think I'll win. But
    not think how ill all's     I have a sinking feeling
    here about my heart.        anyway. Oh well.
    But it is no
 HORATIO                        HORATIO
 Nay, good my lord—             Wait, my lord—
 HAMLET                         HAMLET
 It is but foolery, but it is   I know I'm being
 such a kind of gain-           foolish, but I have the
 giving as would                kind of vague
 perhaps trouble a              misgiving women
 woman.                         often get.

    HORATIO                     HORATIO
    If your mind dislike        If something is telling
   anything, obey it. I        you not to play, listen
   will forestall their        to it. I'll say you're not
205repair hither and say       feeling well.
   you are not fit.
   HAMLET                      HAMLET
   Not a whit. We defy         You'll do no such
   augury. There's a           thing. I thumb my
   special providence in       nose at superstitions.
   the fall of a sparrow.      God controls
   If it be now, 'tis not to   everything—even
   come. If it be              something as trivial as
   not to come, it will be     a sparrow's death.
   now. If it be not now,      Everything will work
   yet it will come—           out as it is destined. If
   the readiness is all.       something is supposed
   Since no man of       to happen now, it will.
   aught he leaves       If it's supposed to
   knows,                happen later, it won't
210what is 't to leave   happen now. What's
   betimes? Let be.      important is to be
                         prepared. Since
                         nobody knows
                         anything about what
                         he leaves behind, then
                         what does it mean to
                         leave early? Let it be.
          Enter King         CLAUDIUS enters
    CLAUDIUS, Queen           with GERTRUDE,
        GERTRUDE,           LAERTES, OSRIC,
    LAERTES, OSRIC,               lords, and other
         lords, and other           attendants with
         attendants with          trumpets, drums,
trumpets, drums, foils, a        fencing swords, a
    table, and flagons of     table, and pitchers of
                     wine                      wine.
 CLAUDIUS                   CLAUDIUS
 Come, Hamlet, come,        Come shake hands
 and take this hand from    with Laertes, Hamlet.
 me. (puts LAERTES'         (CLAUDIUS places
 hand into HAMLET's)        LAERTES' and
                            HAMLET's hands
  HAMLET                    HAMLET
  Give me your pardon,      (to LAERTES) I beg
  sir. I've done you        your pardon, sir. I've
   wrong.                   done you wrong.
   But pardon 't, as you    Forgive me as a
   are a gentleman.         gentleman. Everyone
   This presence knows,     here knows—and I'm
215And you must needs       sure you've heard—
   have heard, how I am     that I'm suffering from
   punished                 a serious mental
   With sore distraction.   illness. When I
   What I have done,        insulted you it was due
   That might your          to insanity. Was
   nature, honor, and       Hamlet the one who
   exception                insulted Laertes? No,
   Roughly awake, I         not Hamlet. If Hamlet
   here proclaim was        is robbed of his own
   madness.                 mind, and insults
   Was 't Hamlet            Laertes when he's not
   wronged Laertes?         really himself, then
   Never Hamlet.            Hamlet's not guilty of
220If Hamlet from           the offense. Who is
   himself be ta'en away,   guilty, then? Hamlet's
   And when he's not        mental illness is.
   himself does wrong
   Then Hamlet does it
   not. Hamlet denies it.
   Who does it, then?
   His madness. If't be
   Hamlet is of the
   faction that is
225His madness is poor
   Hamlet's enemy.
   Sir, in this audience,

   Let my disclaiming       And if that's true, then
   from a purposed evil     Hamlet is the victim of
   Free me so far in your   his own illness—his
   most generous            illness is his enemy.
   thoughts                 Sir, with this audience
   That I have shot mine    as witness, let me
   arrow o'er the house     declare that I'm as
230And hurt my brother.     innocent of
                            premeditated evil
                            against you as I would
                          be if I had happened to
                          shoot an arrow over
                          my house and
                          accidentally hit my
LAERTES                   LAERTES
                  I       My feelings are
am satisfied in           satisfied—even though
nature,                   what you have done to
Whose motive in this      my father and sister
case should stir me       should drive me to
most                      revenge. Yet when it
To my revenge. But in     comes to my honor, I
my terms of honor         can't forgive you so
I stand aloof, and will   fast. I will accept no
   no reconcilement         apology until experts
   Till by some elder       in matters of honor
   masters, of known        show me how to make
   honor,                   peace with you without
235I have a voice and       staining my own
   precedent of peace       reputation in doing so.
   To keep my name          Until then I will accept
   ungored. But till that   your love as love.
   I do receive your
   offered love like love
   And will not wrong it.
   HAMLET                   HAMLET
                      I     I'm grateful for your
   embrace it freely,       love. Come on, give us
   And will this                 the swords, and we
   brother's wager               will play this friendly
   frankly play.—                fencing match
240Give us the foils.            enthusiastically.
   Come on.
 LAERTES                         LAERTES
                         Come,   Yes, hand me one too.
one for me.
 HAMLET                          HAMLET
 I'll be your foil, Laertes.     I'm going to make you
 In mine ignorance               look sharp, Laertes.
 Your skill shall, like a        I'm so bad at the game
 star i' th' darkest night,      that your skill will
 Stick fiery off indeed.         shine like the brightest
                                 star in the darkest
 LAERTES                    LAERTES
 You mock me, sir.          You're making fun of
   HAMLET                   HAMLET
245No, by this hand.        No, I swear I'm not.
 CLAUDIUS                   CLAUDIUS
 Give them the foils,       Give them the swords,
 young Osric.—Cousin        Osric. Hamlet, you
 Hamlet,                    know the bet?
 You know the wager?
 HAMLET                     HAMLET
                  Very      Yes, my lord, quite
 well, my lord.             well. You've bet on the
 Your grace hath laid the   weaker fencer.
 odds o' th' weaker side.

   CLAUDIUS                   CLAUDIUS
   I do not fear it. I have   I'm not worried. I've
   seen you both.             seen both of you fence.
250But since he is better     But since Laertes is
   we have therefore          better, we've given him
   odds.                      a handicap. He's got to
                              outdo you by three hits
                              to win.
 LAERTES                      LAERTES
 (tests a rapier) This is     This sword's too heavy.
 too heavy. Let me see        Show me another one.
 HAMLET                       HAMLET
 (tests a rapier) This        I like this one. Are they
 likes me well. These         all the same length?
 foils have all a length?
 OSRIC                        OSRIC
 Ay, my good lord.            Yes, my lord.
             HAMLET and                HAMLET and
   LAERTES prepare to           LAERTES get ready
                       play                   to fence.
    CLAUDIUS                  CLAUDIUS
    Set me the stoups of      Put the goblets of wine
    wine upon that table.     on that table. If
255If Hamlet give the         Hamlet makes the first
    first or second hit       or second hit, or gets
    Or quit in answer of      back at Laertes by
    the third exchange,       making the third hit,
   Let all the             then let my soldiers
   battlements their       give him a military
   ordnance fire!          salute. I'll drink to
   The king shall drink    Hamlet's health, and
   to Hamlet's better      into his goblet I'll drop
   breath,                 a pearl even more
   And in the cup an       costly than those in the
   union shall he throw    crowns of the last four
260Richer than that        Danish kings. Give me
   which four successive   the goblets. And now
   kings                   let the drum and the
   In Denmark's crown      trumpet play, and the
   have worn. Give me      trumpet signal the
   the cups.               cannon outside to fire,
   And let the kettle to   and let the cannon tell
   the trumpet speak,     the heavens, and the
   The trumpet to the     heavens tell all the
   cannoneer without,     earth that the king is
   The cannons to the     drinking now to
   heavens, the heavens   Hamlet's health. Come
   to earth,              on, let's begin. Judges,
265“Now the king dunks    pay close attention.
   to Hamlet.” Come,
   And you, the judges,
   bear a wary eye.
               Trumpets         Trumpets play.
 HAMLET                   HAMLET
 Come on, sir.            Come on, sir.
 LAERTES                  LAERTES
Come, my lord.   Come on, my lord.
            HAMLET and              HAMLET and
          LAERTES play           LAERTES fence.
 HAMLET                    HAMLET
 One.                      That was one hit.
   LAERTES                 LAERTES
270No.                     No, it wasn't.
 HAMLET                    HAMLET
 Judgment?                 Referee!
 OSRIC                     OSRIC
 A hit, a very palpable    It was obviously a hit.
 LAERTES                   LAERTES
 Well, again.              Well, let's go on.
   CLAUDIUS                CLAUDIUS
   Stay, give me drink.—   Give me a goblet.—
   Hamlet, this pearl is   Hamlet, this pearl's
   thine.                  yours. Here's to your
275Here's to thy health.   health.
    HAMLET                 HAMLET
285Good madam.             Thank you, madam.
 CLAUDIUS                  CLAUDIUS
          Gertrude, do     Gertrude, don't drink
 not drink.                that.
 GERTRUDE                  GERTRUDE
 I will, my lord. I pray   Excuse me. I'll drink it
 you, pardon me.           if I like. (she drinks)
 CLAUDIUS                  CLAUDIUS
 (aside) It is the         (to himself) That was
 poisoned cup. It is too   the poisoned drink. It's
 late.                     too late.
 HAMLET                    HAMLET
 I dare not drink yet,      I'd better not drink
 madam. By and by.          now. I'll drink later.
 GERTRUDE                   GERTRUDE
 Come, let me wipe thy      Come on, let me wipe
 face.                      your face.
    LAERTES                 LAERTES
290(aside to CLAUDIUS)      (to CLAUDIUS) I'll get
    My lord, I'll hit him   him now.
 CLAUDIUS                   CLAUDIUS
 I do not think 't.         I doubt it.
 LAERTES                    LAERTES
 (aside) And yet it is      (to himself) But I
 almost 'gainst my          almost feel guilty.
   HAMLET                   HAMLET
   Come, for the third,     Get ready for the third
   Laertes. You do but      hit, Laertes. You're just
   dally.                   playing around. Come
   I pray you, pass with    on, give me your best
   your best violence.      shot. I sense you're
295I am afeard you make     treating me like a
   a wanton of me.          child.
 LAERTES                    LAERTES
 Say you so? Come on.       You think so? Come
         HAMLET and                   HAMLET and
        LAERTES play               LAERTES fence.
OSRIC                       OSRIC
                 Nothing,   They're neck and neck.
neither way.
 LAERTES                   LAERTES
 Have at you now!          Take this!
     LAERTES wounds           LAERTES wounds
  HAMLET In scuffling,       HAMLET. Then in a
    they change rapiers.       scuffle they end up
      HAMLET wounds              with each other's
              LAERTES                 swords, and
                               HAMLET wounds
CLAUDIUS                   CLAUDIUS
Part them! They are        Separate them. They're
incensed.                  overdoing it.

HAMLET                     HAMLET
 Nay, come, again.        No, come on, one more
      GERTRUDE falls               GERTRUDE
 OSRIC                    OSRIC
          Look to the     Take care of the queen!
 queen there, ho!
   HORATIO                HORATIO
300They bleed on both     Both fencers are
   sides.—How is it, my   bleeding—how do you
   lord?                  feel, my lord?
 OSRIC                    OSRIC
 How is 't, Laertes?      How do you feel,
 LAERTES                  LAERTES
 Why, as a woodcock to      Like a mouse caught in
 mine own springe,          my own trap, Osric.
 Osric. I am justly         (he collapses) I've been
 killed with mine own       killed by my own evil
 treachery. (falls)         tricks.
 HAMLET                     HAMLET
 How does the queen?        How's the queen?
 CLAUDIUS                   CLAUDIUS
                    She     She fainted at the sight
 swoons to see them         of them bleeding.
    GERTRUDE                GERTRUDE
305No, no, the drink, the   No, no, the drink, the
    drink!—O my dear        drink! Oh, my dear
    Hamlet!                 Hamlet! The drink, the
   The drink, the drink!   drink! I've been
   I am poisoned. (dies)   poisoned. (she dies)
 HAMLET                    HAMLET
 O villainy! Ho, let the   Oh, what evil! Lock the
 door be locked.           door.
             Exit OSRIC               OSRIC exits
 Treachery! Seek it out.   We've been betrayed!
                           Find out who did it!
   LAERTES                 LAERTES
   It is here, Hamlet.     I'm the one, Hamlet.
   Hamlet, thou art        Hamlet, you're dead.
   slain.                  No medicine in the
310No medicine in the      world can cure you.
   world can do thee       You don't have more
   good.                   than half an hour to
   In thee there is not    live. The treacherous
   half an hour of life.   weapon is right in your
   The treacherous         hand, sharp and
   instrument is in thy    dipped in poison. The
   hand,                   foul plan backfired on
   Unbated and             me. Here I lie and will
   envenomed. The foul     never get up again.
   practice                Your mother's been
   Hath turned itself on   poisoned. I can't speak
   me. Lo, here I lie,     anymore. The king, the
315Never to rise again.    king's to blame.
   Thy mother's
   I can no more. The
   king, the king's to
HAMLET                    HAMLET
The point envenomed       The blade poisoned!
too!—Then, venom, to      Then get to work,
thy work.                 poison!

        HAMLET hurts           HAMLET wounds
          CLAUDIUS                   CLAUDIUS.
ALL                       ALL
Treason! Treason!         Treason! Treason!
CLAUDIUS                  CLAUDIUS
O, yet defend me,         Protect me, my
friends. I am but hurt.   friends. I've only been
                          hurt, not killed.
  HAMLET                  HAMLET
320Here, thou               Here, you goddamn
   incestuous,              incest-breeding
   murderous, damnèd        Danish murderer,
   Dane,                    drink this. Is your little
   Drink off this potion.   pearl in there? Follow
   Is thy union here?       my mother.
   Follow my mother.
          HAMLET forces           HAMLET forces
   CLAUDIUS to drink         CLAUDIUS to drink.
         CLAUDIUS dies           CLAUDIUS dies.
   LAERTES                  LAERTES
             He is justly   He got what he
   served.                  deserved. He mixed
   It is a poison           that poison himself.
   tempered by himself.     Please forgive me as I
   Exchange forgiveness   forgive you, Hamlet.
   with me, noble         You're not responsible
   Hamlet.                for my death and my
325Mine and my father's   father's, and I'm not
   death come not upon    responsible for yours.
   thee,                  (he dies)
   Nor thine on me.
   HAMLET                 HAMLET
   Heaven make thee       God will free you from
   free of it. I follow   blame. I'll follow you
   thee.—                 to heaven in a
   I am dead, Horatio.—   minute.—I'm dying,
   Wretched queen,        Horatio.—Goodbye,
   adieu!—                miserable queen.—And
   You that look pale          all you people
   and tremble at this         watching, pale and
   chance,                     trembling, speechless
330That are but mutes or       spectators of these
   audience to this act,       acts, I could tell you a
   Had I but time (as          thing or two if I had
   this fell sergeant,         the time (though this
   Death,                      cruel officer, Death,
   Is strict in his arrest),   doesn't allow much
   O, I could tell you—        free time). Let it be.—
   But let it be.—             Horatio, I'm dying.
   Horatio, I am dead.         You're alive. Tell
   Thou livest. Report         everyone what
   me and my cause             happened; set the
   aright                      story straight.
335To the unsatisfied.
 HORATIO                    HORATIO
            Never believe   Not for a second. I'm
 it.                        more like an ancient
 I am more an antique       Roman than a corrupt
 Roman than a Dane.         modern Dane. Some of
 Here's yet some liquor     this liquor's still left in
 left.                      the goblet. (he picks up
 (lifts the poisoned cup)   the poisoned cup to
   HAMLET                 HAMLET
                   As     Please, give me that
   thou'rt a man,         goblet, if you love me.
   Give me the cup. Let   Let go of it! I'll get it
   go! By heaven, I'll    from you, I swear. Oh
   have 't.               God, Horatio, what a
340(takes cup from        damaged reputation
   HORATIO)               I'm leaving behind me,
   O God, Horatio, what   as no one knows the
   a wounded name,        truth. If you ever loved
   Things standing thus   me, then please
   unknown, shall live    postpone the sweet
   behind me!             relief of death awhile,
   If thou didst ever     and stay in this harsh
   hold me in thy heart   world long enough to
   Absent thee from       tell my story.
   felicity a while,
345And in this harsh
   world draw thy
 Where is this sight?        What do I see here?
 HORATIO                     HORATIO
 What is it ye would see?    What would you like to
 If aught of woe or          see? If it's a tragedy,
 wonder, cease your          you've come to the
 search.                     right place.
    This quarry cries on     These corpses suggest
    havoc. O proud           mayhem. Oh, proud
    death,                   Death, what banquet
365What feast is toward      are you preparing that
    in thine eternal cell,   you've needed to knock
    That thou so many        off so many princes at
   princes at a shot        one stroke?
   So bloodily hast
                     The    This is a horrible sight.
   sight is dismal,         Our news arrives from
   And our affairs from     England too late, since
   England come too         the people that should
   late.                    have heard it are dead.
   The ears are senseless   We meant to tell the
   that should give us      king that his orders
   hearing,                 have been carried out,
370To tell him his          and Rosencrantz and
   commandment is           Guildenstern are dead.
   fulfilled,               Who will thank us
   That Rosencrantz and     now?
   Guildenstern are
   Where should we
   have our thanks?
   HORATIO                  HORATIO
   (indicates               (indicates CLAUDIUS)
   CLAUDIUS)          Not   Not the king, even if he
   from his mouth,          were still alive to thank
   Had it th' ability of    you. He never ordered
   life to thank you.       their deaths. But since
375He never gave            you've come so soon
   commandment for          after this bloodbath,
   their death.             you from battles in
   But since so jump        Poland and you from
   upon this bloody         England, then give
   question,                your men orders to
   You from the Polack      display these corpses
   wars, and you from       on a high platform,
   England,                 and let me tell the
   Are here arrived, give   world how all this
   order that these         happened.You'll hear
   bodies                   of violent and
   High on a stage be       unnatural acts, terrible
   placèd to the view,      accidents, casual
380And let me speak to      murders, deaths
   th' yet-unknowing        caused by trickery and
   world                    by threat, and finally
   How these things         murderous plans that
   came about. So shall     backfired on their
   you hear                perpetrators. All this I
   Of carnal, bloody,      can explain.
   and unnatural acts,
   Of accidental
   judgments, casual
   Of deaths put on by
   cunning and forced
385And, in this upshot,
   purposes mistook
   Fall'n on th'
   inventors' heads. All
   this can I
   Truly deliver.
             Let us haste   Let's hear about it
   to hear it,              right away and invite
   And call the noblest     all the noblemen to
   to the audience.         listen. As for me, I
   For me, with sorrow I    welcome my good luck
   embrace my fortune.      with sadness. I have
390I have some rights of    some rights to claim
   memory in this           this kingdom, and by
   kingdom,                 arriving at this
   Which now to claim       moment I have an
   my vantage doth          opportunity to put
   invite me.               them into effect.

   HORATIO                  HORATIO
   Of that I shall have    I also have a few things
   also cause to speak,    to say about that,
   And from his mouth      which Hamlet just told
   whose voice will draw   me. But let's get down
   on more.                to business—even
   But let this same be    though people are in a
   presently performed,    frenzy of grief—to
395Even while men's        avoid any further plots
   minds are wild, lest    and mishaps.
   more mischance
   On plots and errors
   Let four captains       Let four captains carry
   Bear Hamlet like a      Hamlet like a soldier
   soldier to the stage,    onto the stage. He
   For he was likely, had   would have been a
   he been put on,          great king if he had
400To have proved most      had the chance to
   royally. And, for his    prove himself. Military
   passage,                 music and military
   The soldiers' music      rites will speak for his
   and the rites of war     heroic qualities. Pick
   Speak loudly for him.    up the corpses. A sight
   Take up the bodies.      like this suits a
   Such a sight as this     battlefield, but here at
   Becomes the field,       court it shows that
   but here shows much      much went wrong. Go
   amiss.                   outside and tell the
405Go, bid the soldiers     soldiers to fire their
  shoot.                    guns in honor of
       Exeunt marching,       They exit marching,
    carrying the bodies,      carrying the bodies.
after the which a peal of       Cannons are fired.
   ordnance are shot off

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