Act III, Scene 2
Elsinore. A hall in Elsinore castle.
- Enter Hamlet and three of the Players.
Hamlet1 - 13
- Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc’d it to
- you,trippingly on the tongue, but if you mouth it, as many
- of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my
- lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus,
- but use all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and,
- as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire
- and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it
offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated
Feb 25, 2019 MikoA periwig is a fancy wig. So “periwig-pated” describes someone wearing a periwig.
- fellow tear apassion to totters, to very rags, to spleet the
- ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable
- of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise. I would
- have such a fellow whipt for o’erdoing Termagant, it
- out-Herods Herod, pray you avoid it.
First Player (Player King)14
- I warrant your honor.
Hamlet15 - 32
- Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your
- tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action,
- with this special observance, that you o’erstep not the
- modesty of nature: for any thing so o’erdone is from the
- purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now,
- was and is, to hold as ’twere the mirror up to nature: to
- show virtue her feature, scorn her own image, and the very
- age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this
- overdone, or come tardy off, though it makes the unskillful
- laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of
- which one must in your allowance o’erweigh a whole theatre
- of others. O, there be players that I have seen play—and
- heard others praise, and that highly—not to speak it
- profanely, that, neither having th’ accent of Christians nor
- the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and
- bellow’d that I have thought some of Nature’s journeymen had
- made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so
First Player (Player King)33
- I hope we have reform’d that indifferently with us, sir.
Hamlet34 - 41
- O, reform it altogether. And let those that play your clowns
- speak no more than is set down for them, for there be of
- them that will themselves laugh to set on some quantity of
- barren spectators to laugh too, though in the mean time some
- necessary question of the play be then to be consider’d.
- That’s villainous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the
- fool that uses it. Go make you ready.
- Exeunt Players.
- Enter Polonius, Guildenstern, and Rosencrantz.
- How now, my lord? Will the King hear this piece of work?
- And the Queen too, and that presently.
Hamlet43 - 44
- Bid the players make haste.
- Exit Polonius.
- Will you two help to hasten them?
- Ay, my lord.
- Exeunt they two.
- What ho, Horatio!
- Enter Horatio.
- Here, sweet lord, at your service.
Hamlet48 - 49
- Horatio, thou art e’en as just a man
- As e’er my conversation cop’d withal.
- O my dear lord—
Hamlet51 - 82
- Nay, do not think I flatter,
- For what advancement may I hope from thee
- That no revenue hast but thy good spirits
- To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter’d?
- No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
- And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
- Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
- Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
- And could of men distinguish her election,
- Sh’ hath seal’d thee for herself, for thou hast been
- As one in suff’ring all that suffers nothing,
- A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewards
- Hast ta’en with equal thanks; and blest are those
- Whose blood and judgement are so well co-meddled,
- That they are not a pipe for Fortune’s finger
- To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
- That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him
- In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart,
- As I do thee. Something too much of this.
- There is a play tonight before the King,
- One scene of it comes near the circumstance
- Which I have told thee of my father’s death.
- I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
- Even with the very comment of thy soul
- Observe my uncle. If his occulted guilt
- Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
- It is a damned ghost that we have seen,
- And my imaginations are as foul
- As Vulcan’s stithy. Give him heedful note,
- For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
- And after we will both our judgements join
- In censure of his seeming.
Horatio83 - 85
- Well, my lord.
- If ’a steal aught the whilst this play is playing,
- And scape detecting, I will pay the theft.
- Sound a flourish. Danish march. Enter Trumpets and
- Kettle-drums, King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz,
- Guildenstern, and other Lords attendant, with his Guard
- carrying torches.
Hamlet86 - 87
- They are coming to the play. I must be idle; Get you a
- How fares our cousin Hamlet?
Hamlet89 - 90
- Excellent, i’ faith, of the chameleon’s dish: I eat the air,
- promise-cramm’d—you cannot feed capons so.
Claudius91 - 92
- I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet, these words are not
Hamlet93 - 94
- No, nor mine now.
- To Polonius.
- My lord, you play’d once i’ th’ university, you say?
- That did I, my lord, and was accounted a good actor.
- What did you enact?
Polonius97 - 98
- I did enact Julius Caesar. I was kill’d i’ th’ Capitol;
- Brutus kill’d me.
Hamlet99 - 100
- It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there.
- Be the players ready?
- Ay, my lord, they stay upon your patience.
- Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
- No, good mother, here’s metal more attractive.
- Lying down at Ophelia’s feet.
- To the King.
- O ho, do you mark that?
- Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
- No, my lord.
- I mean, my head upon your lap?
- Ay, my lord.
- Do you think I meant country matters?
- I think nothing, my lord.
- That’s a fair thought to lie between maids’ legs.
- What is, my lord?
- You are merry, my lord.
- Who, I?
- Ay, my lord.
Hamlet117 - 119
- O God, your only jig-maker. What should a man do but be
- merry, for look you how cheerfully my mother looks, and my
- father died within ’s two hours.
- Nay, ’tis twice two months, my lord.
Hamlet121 - 127
- So long? Nay then let the dev’l wear black, for I’ll have a
- suit of sables. O heavens, die two months ago, and not
- forgotten yet? Then there’s hope a great man’s memory may
- outlive his life half a year, but, by’r lady, ’a must build
- churches then, or else shall ’a suffer not thinking on, with
- the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is, “For O, for O, the
- hobby-horse is forgot.“
- The trumpets sound.
- Dumb show follows. Enter a King and a Queen very lovingly,
- the Queen embracing him and he her. She kneels and makes
- show of protestation unto him. He takes her up and declines
- his head upon her neck. He lies him down upon a bank of
- flowers. She, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon come in
- another man, takes off his crown, kisses it, pours poison in
- the sleeper’s ears, and leaves him. The Queen returns, finds
- the King dead, makes passionate action. The pois’ner with
- some three or four mutes come in again, seem to condole with
- her. The dead body is carried away. The pois’ner woos the
- Queen with gifts; she seems harsh and unwilling awhile, but
- in the end accepts love.
- What means this, my lord?
- Marry, this’ miching mallecho, it means mischief.
- Belike this show imports the argument of the play.
- Enter Player Prologue.
Hamlet131 - 132
- We shall know by this fellow. The players cannot keep
- counsel, they’ll tell all.
- Will ’a tell us what this show meant?
Hamlet134 - 135
- Ay, or any show that you will show him. Be not you asham’d
- to show, he’ll not shame to tell you what it means.
- You are naught, you are naught. I’ll mark the play.
Player Prologue137 - 139
- For us, and for our tragedy,
- Here stooping to your clemency,
- We beg your hearing patiently.
- Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?
- ’Tis brief, my lord.
- As woman’s love.
- Enter two Players, King and Queen.
First Player (Player King)143 - 148
- Full thirty times hath Phoebus’ cart gone round
- Neptune’s salt wash and Tellus’ orbed ground,
- And thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen
- About the world have times twelve thirties been,
- Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands
- Unite comutual in most sacred bands.
Player Queen149 - 160
- So many journeys may the sun and moon
- Make us again count o’er ere love be done!
- But woe is me, you are so sick of late,
- So far from cheer and from your former state,
- That I distrust you. Yet though I distrust,
- Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must,
- For women’s fear and love hold quantity,
- In neither aught, or in extremity.
- Now what my love is, proof hath made you know,
- And as my love is siz’d, my fear is so.
- Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
- Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.
First Player (Player King)161 - 165
- Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too;
- My operant powers their functions leave to do,
- And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
- Honor’d, belov’d, and haply one as kind
- For husband shalt thou—
Player Queen166 - 169
- O, confound the rest!
- Such love must needs be treason in my breast.
- In second husband let me be accurs’d!
- None wed the second but who kill’d the first.
- That’s wormwood!
Player Queen171 - 174
- The instances that second marriage move
- Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
- A second time I kill my husband dead,
- When second husband kisses me in bed.
First Player (Player King)175 - 204
- I do believe you think what now you speak,
- But what we do determine, oft we break.
- Purpose is but the slave to memory,
- Of violent birth, but poor validity,
- Which now, the fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,
- But fall unshaken when they mellow be.
- Most necessary ’tis that we forget
- To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt.
- What to ourselves in passion we propose,
- The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
- The violence of either grief or joy
- Their own enactures with themselves destroy.
- Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
- Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
- This world is not for aye, nor ’tis not strange
- That even our loves should with our fortunes change:
- For ’tis a question left us yet to prove,
- Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
- The great man down, you mark his favorite flies,
- The poor advanc’d makes friends of enemies.
- And hitherto doth love on fortune tend,
- For who not needs shall never lack a friend,
- And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
- Directly seasons him his enemy.
- But orderly to end where I begun,
- Our wills and fates do so contrary run
- That our devices still are overthrown,
- Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own:
- So think thou wilt no second husband wed,
- But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
Player Queen205 - 212
- Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light,
- Sport and repose lock from me day and night,
- To desperation turn my trust and hope,
- An anchor’s cheer in prison be my scope!
- Each opposite that blanks the face of joy
- Meet what I would have well and it destroy!
- Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
- If once I be a widow, ever I be a wife!
- If she should break it now!
First Player (Player King)214 - 216
- ’Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here a while,
- My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
- The tedious day with sleep.
Player Queen217 - 218
- Sleep rock thy brain,
- And never come mischance between us twain!
- Madam, how like you this play?
- The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
- O but she’ll keep her word.
- Have you heard the argument? Is there no offense in’t?
Hamlet223 - 224
- No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest—no offense i’ th’
- What do you call the play?
Hamlet226 - 232
- “The Mouse-trap.” Marry, how? Tropically: this play is the
- image of a murder done in Vienna; Gonzago is the duke’s
- name, his wife, Baptista. You shall see anon. ’Tis a knavish
- piece of work, but what of that? Your Majesty, and we that
- have free souls, it touches us not. Let the gall’d jade
- winch, our withers are unwrung.
- Enter Player Lucianus.
- This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.
- You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
Hamlet234 - 235
- I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see
- the puppets dallying.
- You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
- It would cost you a groaning to take off mine edge.
- Still better, and worse.
Hamlet239 - 241
- So you mistake your husbands. Begin, murderer, leave thy
- damnable faces and begin. Come, the croaking raven doth
- bellow for revenge.
Player Lucianus242 - 247
- Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing,
- Confederate season, else no creature seeing,
- Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
- With Hecat’s ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
- Thy natural magic and dire property
- On wholesome life usurps immediately.
- Pours the poison in his ears.
Hamlet248 - 251
- ’A poisons him i’ th’ garden for his estate. His name’s
- Gonzago, the story is extant, and written in very choice
- Italian. You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love
- of Gonzago’s wife.
- The King rises.
- What, frighted with false fire?
- How fares my lord?
- Give o’er the play.
- Give me some light. Away!
- Lights, lights, lights!
- Exeunt all but Hamlet and Horatio.
Hamlet258 - 264
- “Why, let the strucken deer go weep,
- The hart ungalled play,
- For some must watch while some must sleep,
- Thus runs the world away.”
- Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers—if the rest of
- my fortunes turn Turk with me—with two Provincial roses on
- my raz’d shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of players?
- Half a share.
Hamlet266 - 270
- A whole one, I.
- “For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
- This realm dismantled was
- Of Jove himself, and now reigns here
- A very, very”—pajock.
- You might have rhym’d.
Hamlet272 - 273
- O good Horatio, I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand
- pound. Didst perceive?
- Very well, my lord.
- Upon the talk of the pois’ning?
- I did very well note him.
Hamlet277 - 280
- Ah, ha! Come, some music! Come, the recorders!
- For if the King like not the comedy,
- Why then belike he likes it not, perdy.
- Come, some music!
- Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
- Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
- Sir, a whole history.
- The King, sir—
- Ay, sir, what of him?
- Is in his retirement marvelous distemp’red.
- With drink, sir?
- No, my lord, with choler.
Hamlet288 - 290
- Your wisdom should show itself more richer to signify this
- to the doctor, for for me to put him to his purgation would
- perhaps plunge him into more choler.
Guildenstern291 - 292
- Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and start
- not so wildly from my affair.
- I am tame, sir. Pronounce.
Guildenstern294 - 295
- The Queen, your mother, in most great affliction of spirit,
- hath sent me to you.
- You are welcome.
Guildenstern297 - 300
- Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed.
- If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will
- do your mother’s commandment; if not, your pardon and my
- return shall be the end of my business.
- Sir, I cannot.
- What, my lord?
Hamlet303 - 306
- Make you a wholesome answer—my wit’s diseas’d. But, sir,
- such answer as I can make, you shall command, or rather, as
- you say, my mother. Therefore no more, but to the matter: my
- mother, you say—
Rosencrantz307 - 308
- Then thus she says: your behavior hath struck her into
- amazement and admiration.
Hamlet309 - 310
- O wonderful son, that can so ’stonish a mother! But is there
- no sequel at the heels of this mother’s admiration? Impart.
Rosencrantz311 - 312
- She desires to speak with you in her closet ere you go to
Hamlet313 - 314
- We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any
- further trade with us?
- My lord, you once did love me.
- And do still, by these pickers and stealers.
Rosencrantz317 - 319
- Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? You do surely
- bar the door upon your own liberty if you deny your griefs
- to your friend.
- Sir, I lack advancement.
Rosencrantz321 - 322
- How can that be, when you have the voice of the King himself
- for your succession in Denmark?
Hamlet323 - 327
- Ay, sir, but “While the grass grows”—the proverb is
- something musty.
- Enter the Players with recorders.
- O, the recorders! Let me see one.—To withdraw with you—why
- do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would
- drive me into a toil?
Guildenstern328 - 329
- O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too
- I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe?
- My lord, I cannot.
- I pray you.
- Believe me, I cannot.
- I do beseech you.
- I know no touch of it, my lord.
Hamlet336 - 339
- It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages with your
- fingers and thumbs, give it breath with your mouth, and it
- will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the
Guildenstern340 - 341
- But these cannot I command to any utt’rance of harmony. I
- have not the skill.
Hamlet342 - 350
- Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You
- would play upon me, you would seem to know my stops, you
- would pluck out the heart of my mystery, you would sound me
- from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is
- much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet
- cannot you make it speak. ’Sblood, do you think I am easier
- to be play’d on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you
- will, though you fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.
- Enter Polonius.
- God bless you, sir.
- My lord, the Queen would speak with you, and presently.
- Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?
- By th’ mass and ’tis, like a camel indeed.
- Methinks it is like a weasel.
- It is back’d like a weasel.
- Or like a whale.
- Very like a whale.
Hamlet358 - 359
- Then I will come to my mother by and by.
- They fool me to the top of my bent.—I will come by and by.
- I will say so.
Hamlet361 - 373
- “By and by” is easily said. Leave me, friends.
- Exeunt all but Hamlet.
- ’Tis now the very witching time of night,
- When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
- Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood,
- And do such bitter business as the day
- Would quake to look on. Soft, now to my mother.
- O heart, lose not thy nature! Let not ever
- The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom,
- Let me be cruel, not unnatural;
- I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
- My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites—
- How in my words somever she be shent,
- To give them seals never my soul consent!