Act I, Scene 4
Elsinore. A platform before Elsinore castle., Late night
- Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.
- The air bites shrewdly, it is very cold.
- It is a nipping and an eager air.
- What hour now?
- I think it lacks of twelve.
- No, it is struck.
Horatio6 - 8
Hamlet9 - 13
- The King doth wake tonight and takes his rouse,
- Keeps wassail, and the swagg’ring up-spring reels;
- And as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
- The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.
Aug 15, 2019 ZyzigusThe king is having a drink, and he wants every one in earshot to know about it.
- Is it a custom?
Hamlet15 - 40
- Ay, marry, is’t,
- But to my mind, though I am native here
- And to the manner born, it is a custom
- More honor’d in the breach than the observance.
- This heavy-headed revel east and west
- Makes us traduc’d and tax’d of other nations.
- They clip us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
- Soil our addition, and indeed it takes
- From our achievements, though perform’d at height,
- The pith 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 his origin),
- By their 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’s star,
- His virtues else, be they as pure as grace,
- As infinite as man may undergo,
- Shall in the general censure take corruption
- From that particular fault: the dram of ev’l
- Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
- To his own scandal.
- Enter Ghost.
- Look, my lord, it comes!
Hamlet42 - 60
- Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
- Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn’d,
- Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell,
- Be thy intents wicked, or charitable,
- Thou com’st 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 canoniz’d bones, hearsed in death,
- Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
- Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn’d,
- Hath op’d his ponderous and marble jaws
- To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
- That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
- Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon,
- Making night hideous, and we fools of nature
- 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.
Horatio61 - 63
- It beckons you to go away with it,
- As if it some impartment did desire
- To you alone.
Marcellus64 - 66
- 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.
Hamlet70 - 74
- Why, what should be the fear?
- I do not set my life at 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.
Horatio75 - 84
- What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
- Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
- That beetles o’er his base into the sea,
- And there assume some other horrible form
- Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,
- And draw 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.
Hamlet85 - 86
- It waves me still.—
- Go on, I’ll follow thee.
- You shall not go, my lord.
- Hold off your hands.
- Be rul’d, you shall not go.
Hamlet90 - 95
- My fate cries out,
- And makes each petty artere in this body
- As hardy as the Nemean lion’s nerve.
- 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 it.
- Nay, let’s follow him.