Act III, Scene 4
Elsinore. The Queen’s room in Elsinore castle.
- Enter Queen Gertrude and Polonius.
Polonius1 - 5
- ’A will come straight. Look you lay home to him.
- Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
- And that your Grace hath screen’d and stood between
- Much heat and him. I’ll silence me even here;
- Pray you be round with him.
Gertrude6 - 7
- I’ll warr’nt you, fear me not. Withdraw,
- I hear him coming.
- Polonius hides behind the arras.
- Enter Hamlet.
- Now, mother, what’s the matter?
- Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
- Mother, you have my father much offended.
- Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.
- Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.
- Why, how now, Hamlet?
- What’s the matter now?
- Have you forgot me?
Hamlet16 - 18
- No, by the rood, not so:
- You are the Queen, your husband’s brother’s wife,
- And would it were not so, you are my mother.
- Nay, then I’ll set those to you that can speak.
Hamlet20 - 22
- Come, come, and sit you down, you shall not budge;
- You go not till I set you up a glass
- Where you may see the inmost part of you.
Gertrude23 - 24
- What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me?
- Help ho!
- What ho, help!
- How now? A rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!
- Kills Polonius through the arras.
- O, I am slain.
- O me, what hast thou done?
- Nay, I know not, is it the King?
- O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!
Hamlet31 - 32
- A bloody deed! Almost as bad, good mother,
- As kill a king, and marry with his brother.
- As kill a king!
Hamlet34 - 42
- Ay, lady, it was my word.
- Parts the arras and discovers Polonius.
- Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
- I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune;
- Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger.—
- Leave wringing of your hands. Peace, sit you down,
- And let me wring your heart, for so I shall
- If it be made of penetrable stuff,
- If damned custom have not brass’d it so
- That it be proof and bulwark against sense.
Gertrude43 - 44
- What have I done, that thou dar’st wag thy tongue
- In noise so rude against me?
Hamlet45 - 56
- Such an act
- That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,
- Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose
- From the fair forehead of an innocent love
- And sets a blister there, makes marriage vows
- As false as dicers’ oaths, O, such a deed
- As from the body of contraction plucks
- The very soul, and sweet religion makes
- A rhapsody of words. Heaven’s face does glow
- O’er this solidity and compound mass
- With heated visage, as against the doom;
- Is thought-sick at the act.
Gertrude57 - 58
- Ay me, what act,
- That roars so loud and thunders in the index?
Hamlet59 - 94
- Look here upon this picture, and on this,
- The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
- See what a grace was seated on this brow:
- Hyperion’s curls, the front of Jove himself,
- An eye like Mars, to threaten and command,
- A station like the herald Mercury
- New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill,
- A combination and a form indeed,
- Where every god did seem to set his seal
- To give the world assurance of a man.
- This was your husband. Look you now what follows:
- Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear,
- Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
- Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
- And batten on this moor? Ha, have you eyes?
- You cannot call it love, for at your age
- The heyday in the blood is tame, it’s humble,
- And waits upon the judgment, and what judgment
- Would step from this to this? Sense sure you have,
- Else could you not have motion, but sure that sense
- Is apoplex’d, for madness would not err,
- Nor sense to ecstasy was ne’er so thrall’d
- But it reserv’d some quantity of choice
- To serve in such a difference. What devil was’t
- That thus hath cozen’d you at hoodman-blind?
- Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
- Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
- Or but a sickly part of one true sense
- Could not so mope. O shame, where is thy blush?
- Rebellious hell,
- If thou canst mutine in a matron’s bones,
- To flaming youth let virtue be as wax
- And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame
- When the compulsive ardor gives the charge,
- Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
- And reason panders will.
Gertrude95 - 98
- O Hamlet, speak no more!
- Thou turn’st my eyes into my very soul,
- And there I see such black and grained spots
- As will not leave their tinct.
Hamlet99 - 102
- Nay, but to live
- In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
- Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love
- Over the nasty sty!
Gertrude103 - 105
- O, speak to me no more!
- These words like daggers enter in my ears.
- No more, sweet Hamlet!
Hamlet106 - 111
- A murderer and a villain!
- A slave that is not twentith part the tithe
- Of your precedent lord, a Vice of kings,
- A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
- That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
- And put it in his pocket—
- No more!
- Enter Ghost in his night-gown.
Hamlet113 - 115
- A king of shreds and patches—
- Save me, and hover o’er me with your wings,
- You heavenly guards! What would your gracious figure?
- Alas, he’s mad!
Hamlet117 - 120
- Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
- That, laps’d in time and passion, lets go by
- Th’ important acting of your dread command?
- O, say!
Ghost121 - 126
- Do not forget! This visitation
- Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
- But look, amazement on thy mother sits,
- O, step between her and her fighting soul.
- Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works,
- Speak to her, Hamlet.
- How is it with you, lady?
Gertrude128 - 136
- Alas, how is’t with you,
- That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
- And with th’ incorporal air do hold discourse?
- Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
- And as the sleeping soldiers in th’ alarm,
- Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,
- Start up and stand an end. O gentle son,
- Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
- Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?
Hamlet137 - 142
- On him, on him! Look you how pale he glares!
- His form and cause conjoin’d, preaching to stones,
- Would make them capable.—Do not look upon me,
- Lest with this piteous action you convert
- My stern effects, then what I have to do
- Will want true color—tears perchance for blood.
- To whom do you speak this?
- Do you see nothing there?
- Nothing at all, yet all that is I see.
- Nor did you nothing hear?
- No, nothing but ourselves.
Hamlet148 - 150
- Why, look you there, look how it steals away!
- My father, in his habit as he lived!
- Look where he goes, even now, out at the portal!
- Exit Ghost.
Gertrude151 - 153
- This is the very coinage of your brain,
- This bodiless creation ecstasy
- Is very cunning in.
Hamlet154 - 170
- My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time,
- And makes as healthful music. It is not madness
- That I have utt’red. Bring me to the test,
- And I the matter will reword, which madness
- Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
- Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
- That not your trespass but my madness speaks;
- It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
- Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
- Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven,
- Repent what’s past, avoid what is to come,
- And do not spread the compost on the weeds
- To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue,
- For in the fatness of these pursy times
- Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
- Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.
- O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
Hamlet172 - 195
- O, throw away the worser part of it,
- And live the purer with the other half.
- Good night, but go not to my uncle’s bed—
- Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
- That monster custom, who all sense doth eat,
- Of habits devil, is angel yet in this,
- That to the use of actions fair and good
- He likewise gives a frock or livery
- That aptly is put on. Refrain tonight,
- And that shall lend a kind of easiness
- To the next abstinence, the next more easy;
- For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
- And either lodge the devil or throw him out
- With wondrous potency. Once more good night,
- And when you are desirous to be blest,
- I’ll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,
- Pointing to Polonius.
- I do repent; but heaven hath pleas’d it so
- To punish me with this, and this with me,
- That I must be their scourge and minister.
- I will bestow him, and will answer well
- The death I gave him. So again good night.
- I must be cruel only to be kind.
- This bad begins and worse remains behind.
- One word more, good lady.
- What shall I do?
Hamlet197 - 212
- Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
- Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed,
- Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse,
- And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses,
- Or paddling in your neck with his damn’d fingers,
- Make you to ravel all this matter out,
- That I essentially am not in madness,
- But mad in craft. ’Twere good you let him know,
- For who that’s but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
- Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib,
- Such dear concernings hide? Who would do so?
- No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
- Unpeg the basket on the house’s top,
- Let the birds fly, and like the famous ape,
- To try conclusions in the basket creep,
- And break your own neck down.
Gertrude213 - 215
- Be thou assur’d, if words be made of breath,
- And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
- What thou hast said to me.
- I must to England, you know that?
Gertrude217 - 218
- I had forgot. ’Tis so concluded on.
Hamlet219 - 234
- There’s letters seal’d, and my two schoolfellows,
- Whom I will trust as I will adders fang’d,
- They bear the mandate, they must sweep my way
- And marshal me to knavery. Let it work,
- For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
- Hoist with his own petar, an’t shall go hard
- But I will delve one yard below their mines,
- And blow them at the moon. O, ’tis most sweet
- When in one line two crafts directly meet.
- This man shall set me packing;
- I’ll lug the guts into the neighbor room.
- Mother, good night indeed. This counsellor
- Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,
- Who was in life a foolish prating knave.
- Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you.
- Good night, mother.
- Exeunt severally, Hamlet tugging in Polonius.