log out

Hamlet: Act I, Scene 1

38 annotations

Hamlet
Act I, Scene 1

Scene 1

Elsinore. A platform before the castle., Late night

  1. Enter Barnardo and Francisco, two sentinels, meeting.

Barnardo

1
  1. Who’s there?
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Something isn't right in the very first line of the play. Francisco is the sentinel on duty. He is the one who should say “Who's there?” Bernardo has come to relieve him and should expect to encounter Francisco and not have to ask “Who's there?”

Francisco

2
  1. Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Exactly!

Barnardo

3
  1. Long live the King!

Francisco

4
  1. Barnardo?
    Jul 9, 2019 Miko
    The First Folio has a question mark here. The second quarto has a period. Modern editions are in disagreement about which to use.

Barnardo

5
  1. He.

Francisco

6
  1. You come most carefully upon your hour.

Barnardo

7
  1. ’Tis now struck twelve. Get thee to bed, Francisco.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Notice the time.

Francisco

8 - 9
  1. For this relief much thanks. ’Tis bitter cold,
  2. And I am sick at heart.

Barnardo

10
  1. Have you had quiet guard?

Francisco

11
  1.                           Not a mouse stirring.
    Feb 16, 2019 shakespearegeek
    Just collecting the most well known quotes

Barnardo

12 - 14
  1. Well, good night.
  2. If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
  3. The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    partners
  1. Enter Horatio and Marcellus.

Francisco

15
  1. I think I hear them. Stand ho! Who is there?

Horatio

16
  1. Friends to this ground.

Marcellus

17
  1.                         And liegemen to the Dane.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    subjects to the king of Denmark (Notice how often “the Dane” means "the king of Denmark.)

Francisco

18
  1. Give you good night.

Marcellus

19 - 20
  1.                      O, farewell, honest soldier.
  2. Who hath reliev’d you?

Francisco

21 - 22
  1.                        Barnardo hath my place.
  2. Give you good night.
  1. Exit Francisco.

Marcellus

23
  1.                      Holla, Barnardo!

Barnardo

24 - 25
  1.                  Say
  2. What, is Horatio there?

Horatio

26
  1.                         A piece of him.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    “This is ridiculous! I don't want to be here!”

Barnardo

27
  1. Welcome, Horatio, welcome, good Marcellus.

Horatio

28
  1. What, has this thing appear’d again tonight?

Barnardo

29
  1. I have seen nothing.

Marcellus

30 - 36
  1. Horatio says ’tis but our fantasy,
  2. And will not let belief take hold of him
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    “Horatio says that we're just imagining things and doesn't believe us.”
  3. Touching this dreaded sight twice seen of us;
  4. Therefore I have entreated him along,
  5. With us to watch the minutes of this night,
  6. That if again this apparition come,
  7. He may approve our eyes and speak to it.

Horatio

37
  1. Tush, tush, ’twill not appear.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Notice Horatio's firm disbelief.

Barnardo

38 - 41
  1. Sit down a while,
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    (stage direction)
  2. And let us once again assail your ears,
  3. That are so fortified against our story,
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Once again, emphasizing Horatio's closed-mindedness.
  4. What we have two nights seen.

Horatio

42 - 43
  1.                               Well, sit we down,
  2. And let us hear Barnardo speak of this.

Barnardo

44 - 48
  1. Last night of all,
  2. When yond same star that’s westward from the pole
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    (stage direction, pointing)
  3. Had made his course t’ illume that part of heaven
  4. Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
  5. The bell then beating one
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    In most productions, a bell is heard striking once. Notice the time.
  1. Enter Ghost.

Marcellus

49
  1. Peace, break thee off! Look where it comes again!

Barnardo

50
  1. In the same figure like the King that’s dead.

Marcellus

51
  1. Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    intellectual

Barnardo

52
  1. Looks ’a not like the King? Mark it, Horatio.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Equivalent to “he” commonly used in Shakespeare.

Horatio

53
  1. Most like; it harrows me with fear and wonder.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Used in farming to this day, “harrow” means “plow.” The smug disbeliever, Horatio, is being plowed with fear and wonder.

Barnardo

54
  1. It would be spoke to.

Marcellus

55
  1.                       Speak to it, Horatio.

Horatio

56 - 59
  1. What art thou that usurp’st this time of night,
  2. Together with that fair and warlike form
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    in armor
  3. In which the majesty of buried Denmark
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    the dead king of Denmark
  4. Did sometimes march? By heaven I charge thee speak!

Marcellus

60
  1. It is offended.

Barnardo

61
  1.                 See, it stalks away!

Horatio

62
  1. Stay! Speak, speak, I charge thee speak!
  1. Exit Ghost.

Marcellus

63
  1. ’Tis gone, and will not answer.

Barnardo

64 - 66
  1. How now, Horatio? You tremble and look pale.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Notice Horatio's complete transformation. He is no longer smirking but is trembling and looks pale.
  2. Is not this something more than fantasy?
  3. What think you on’t?

Horatio

67 - 69
  1. Before my God, I might not this believe
  2. Without the sensible and true avouch
  3. Of mine own eyes.

Marcellus

70
  1.                   Is it not like the King?

Horatio

71 - 76
  1. As thou art to thyself.
  2. Such was the very armor he had on
  3. When he the ambitious Norway combated.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    the king of Norway
  4. So frown’d he once when in an angry parle
  5. He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    There are differing theories about what this means. Don't worry about it.
  6. ’Tis strange.

Marcellus

77 - 78
  1. Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    “exactly at this same time” Confirming that it is 1AM DST (Denmark Standard Time).
  2. With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.

Horatio

79 - 81
  1. In what particular thought to work I know not,
  2. But in the gross and scope of mine opinion,
  3. This bodes some strange eruption to our state.

Marcellus

82 - 91
  1. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    (stage direction)
  2. Why this same strict and most observant watch
  3. So nightly toils the subject of the land,
  4. And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    manufacture
  5. And foreign mart for implements of war,
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    trade
  6. Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    recruiting of ship builders
  7. Does not divide the Sunday from the week,
  8. What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
  9. Doth make the night joint-laborer with the day:
  10. Who is’t that can inform me?
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Who can tell me why these things are happening 24/7?

Horatio

92 - 120
  1.                              That can I,
  2. At least the whisper goes so: our last king,
  3. Whose image even but now appear’d to us,
  4. Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
  5. Thereto prick’d on by a most emulate pride,
  6. Dar’d to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet
  7. (For so this side of our known world esteem’d him)
  8. Did slay this Fortinbras, who, by a seal’d compact
  9. Well ratified by law and heraldy,
  10. Did forfeit (with his life) all those his lands
  11. Which he stood seiz’d of, to the conqueror;
  12. Against the which a moi’ty competent
  13. Was gaged by our king, which had return’d
  14. To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
  15. Had he been vanquisher; as by the same comart
  16. And carriage of the article design’d,
  17. His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Our former King, whose ghost we just saw, was challenged by Fortinbras, the king of Norway, to do battle with each side wagering some territory. This wager was certified by a legal contract. Since Fortinbras was killed by King Hamlet, his lands were forfeited, as would have been the case the other way around.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Fortinbras Junior
  18. Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    unproven spirit
  19. Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    outskirts
  20. Shark’d up a list of lawless resolutes
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    raised an army of goons
  21. For food and diet to some enterprise
  22. That hath a stomach in’t, which is no other,
  23. As it doth well appear unto our state,
  24. But to recover of us, by strong hand
  25. And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands
  26. So by his father lost; and this, I take it,
  27. Is the main motive of our preparations,
  28. The source of this our watch, and the chief head
  29. Of this post-haste and romage in the land.

Barnardo

121 - 124
  1. I think it be no other but e’en so.
  2. Well may it sort that this portentous figure
  3. Comes armed through our watch so like the King
  4. That was and is the question of these wars.

Horatio

125 - 153
  1. A mote it is to trouble the mind’s eye.
    Feb 16, 2019 shakespearegeek
    Quote collecting.
  2. In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
  3. A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
  4. The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
  5. Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.
  6. As stars with trains of fire, and dews of blood,
  7. Disasters in the sun; and the moist star
  8. Upon whose influence Neptune’s empire stands
  9. Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse.
  10. And even the like precurse of fear’d events,
  11. As harbingers preceding still the fates
  12. And prologue to the omen coming on,
  13. Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
  14. Unto our climatures and countrymen.
  15. Enter Ghost.
  16. But soft, behold! Lo where it comes again!
  17. It spreads his arms.
  18. I’ll cross it though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
  19. If thou hast any sound or use of voice,
  20. Speak to me.
  21. If there be any good thing to be done
  22. That may to thee do ease, and grace to me,
  23. Speak to me.
  24. If thou art privy to thy country’s fate,
  25. Which happily foreknowing may avoid,
  26. O speak!
  27. Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
  28. Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
  29. For which, they say, your spirits oft walk in death,
  30. Speak of it, stay and speak!
  31. The cock crows.
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    What time is it?
  32. Stop it, Marcellus.

Marcellus

154
  1. Shall I strike it with my partisan?
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    spear

Horatio

155
  1. Do, if it will not stand.

Barnardo

156
  1.                           ’Tis here!

Horatio

157
  1.            ’Tis here!

Marcellus

158 - 162
  1. ’Tis gone!
  2. Exit Ghost.
  3. We do it wrong, being so majestical,
  4. To offer it the show of violence,
  5. For it is as the air, invulnerable,
  6. And our vain blows malicious mockery.

Barnardo

163
  1. It was about to speak when the cock crew.

Horatio

164 - 172
  1. And then it started like a guilty thing
  2. Upon a fearful summons. I have heard
  3. The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
  4. Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
  5. Awake the god of day, and at his warning,
  6. Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
  7. Th’ extravagant and erring spirit hies
  8. To his confine; and of the truth herein
  9. This present object made probation.

Marcellus

173 - 180
  1. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
  2. Some say that ever ’gainst that season comes
  3. Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
  4. This bird of dawning singeth all night long,
  5. And then they say no spirit dare stir abroad,
  6. The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
  7. No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
  8. So hallowed, and so gracious, is that time.

Horatio

181 - 189
  1. So have I heard and do in part believe it.
  2. But look, the morn in russet mantle clad
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    During the few minutes it takes to read or to perform this scene, time has advanced from midnight until dawn.
  3. Walks o’er the dew of yon high eastward hill.
  4. Break we our watch up, and by my advice
  5. Let us impart what we have seen tonight
  6. Unto young Hamlet, for, upon my life,
    Jul 3, 2019 Zyzigus
    Hamlet Junior
  7. This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
  8. Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
  9. As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?

Marcellus

190 - 191
  1. Let’s do’t, I pray, and I this morning know
  2. Where we shall find him most convenient.
  1. Exeunt.
© 2019 Unotate.comcontactprivacy policyCreative Commons text from PlayShakespeare.comAll illustrations are public domain or Creative CommonsHeader illustration by Byam Shaw