log out

Hamlet: Act III, Scene 4

Hamlet
Act III, Scene 4

Elsinore. The Queen’s room in Elsinore castle.

  1. Enter Queen Gertrude and Polonius.

Polonius

1 - 5
  1. ’A will come straight. Look you lay home to him.
  2. Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
  3. And that your Grace hath screen’d and stood between
  4. Much heat and him. I’ll silence me even here;
  5. Pray you be round with him.

Gertrude

6 - 7
  1. I’ll warr’nt you, fear me not. Withdraw,
  2. I hear him coming.
  1. Polonius hides behind the arras.
  1. Enter Hamlet.

Hamlet

8
  1. Now, mother, what’s the matter?

Gertrude

9
  1. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

Hamlet

10
  1. Mother, you have my father much offended.

Gertrude

11
  1. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.

Hamlet

12
  1. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.

Gertrude

13
  1. Why, how now, Hamlet?

Hamlet

14
  1.                       What’s the matter now?

Gertrude

15
  1. Have you forgot me?

Hamlet

16 - 18
  1.                     No, by the rood, not so:
  2. You are the Queen, your husband’s brother’s wife,
  3. And would it were not so, you are my mother.

Gertrude

19
  1. Nay, then I’ll set those to you that can speak.

Hamlet

20 - 22
  1. Come, come, and sit you down, you shall not budge;
  2. You go not till I set you up a glass
  3. Where you may see the inmost part of you.

Gertrude

23 - 24
  1. What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me?
  2. Help ho!

Polonius

25
  1. Behind.
  2. What ho, help!

Hamlet

26
  1. Drawing.
  2. How now? A rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!
  1. Kills Polonius through the arras.

Polonius

27
  1. Behind.
  2. O, I am slain.

Gertrude

28
  1.                O me, what hast thou done?

Hamlet

29
  1. Nay, I know not, is it the King?

Gertrude

30
  1. O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!

Hamlet

31 - 32
  1. A bloody deed! Almost as bad, good mother,
  2. As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

Gertrude

33
  1. As kill a king!

Hamlet

34 - 42
  1.                 Ay, lady, it was my word.
  2. Parts the arras and discovers Polonius.
  3. Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
  4. I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune;
  5. Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger.—
  6. Leave wringing of your hands. Peace, sit you down,
  7. And let me wring your heart, for so I shall
  8. If it be made of penetrable stuff,
  9. If damned custom have not brass’d it so
  10. That it be proof and bulwark against sense.

Gertrude

43 - 44
  1. What have I done, that thou dar’st wag thy tongue
  2. In noise so rude against me?

Hamlet

45 - 56
  1.                              Such an act
  2. That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,
  3. Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose
  4. From the fair forehead of an innocent love
  5. And sets a blister there, makes marriage vows
  6. As false as dicers’ oaths, O, such a deed
  7. As from the body of contraction plucks
  8. The very soul, and sweet religion makes
  9. A rhapsody of words. Heaven’s face does glow
  10. O’er this solidity and compound mass
  11. With heated visage, as against the doom;
  12. Is thought-sick at the act.

Gertrude

57 - 58
  1.                             Ay me, what act,
  2. That roars so loud and thunders in the index?

Hamlet

59 - 94
  1. Look here upon this picture, and on this,
  2. The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
  3. See what a grace was seated on this brow:
  4. Hyperion’s curls, the front of Jove himself,
  5. An eye like Mars, to threaten and command,
  6. A station like the herald Mercury
  7. New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill,
  8. A combination and a form indeed,
  9. Where every god did seem to set his seal
  10. To give the world assurance of a man.
  11. This was your husband. Look you now what follows:
  12. Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear,
  13. Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
  14. Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
  15. And batten on this moor? Ha, have you eyes?
  16. You cannot call it love, for at your age
  17. The heyday in the blood is tame, it’s humble,
  18. And waits upon the judgment, and what judgment
  19. Would step from this to this? Sense sure you have,
  20. Else could you not have motion, but sure that sense
  21. Is apoplex’d, for madness would not err,
  22. Nor sense to ecstasy was ne’er so thrall’d
  23. But it reserv’d some quantity of choice
  24. To serve in such a difference. What devil was’t
  25. That thus hath cozen’d you at hoodman-blind?
  26. Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
  27. Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
  28. Or but a sickly part of one true sense
  29. Could not so mope. O shame, where is thy blush?
  30. Rebellious hell,
  31. If thou canst mutine in a matron’s bones,
  32. To flaming youth let virtue be as wax
  33. And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame
  34. When the compulsive ardor gives the charge,
  35. Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
  36. And reason panders will.

Gertrude

95 - 98
  1.                          O Hamlet, speak no more!
  2. Thou turn’st my eyes into my very soul,
  3. And there I see such black and grained spots
  4. As will not leave their tinct.

Hamlet

99 - 102
  1.                                Nay, but to live
  2. In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
  3. Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love
  4. Over the nasty sty!

Gertrude

103 - 105
  1.                     O, speak to me no more!
  2. These words like daggers enter in my ears.
  3. No more, sweet Hamlet!

Hamlet

106 - 111
  1.                        A murderer and a villain!
  2. A slave that is not twentith part the tithe
  3. Of your precedent lord, a Vice of kings,
  4. A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
  5. That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
  6. And put it in his pocket

Gertrude

112
  1.                           No more!
  1. Enter Ghost in his night-gown.

Hamlet

113 - 115
  1. A king of shreds and patches
  2. Save me, and hover o’er me with your wings,
  3. You heavenly guards! What would your gracious figure?

Gertrude

116
  1. Alas, he’s mad!

Hamlet

117 - 120
  1. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
  2. That, laps’d in time and passion, lets go by
  3. Th’ important acting of your dread command?
  4. O, say!

Ghost

121 - 126
  1. Do not forget! This visitation
  2. Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
  3. But look, amazement on thy mother sits,
  4. O, step between her and her fighting soul.
  5. Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works,
  6. Speak to her, Hamlet.

Hamlet

127
  1.                       How is it with you, lady?

Gertrude

128 - 136
  1. Alas, how is’t with you,
  2. That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
  3. And with th’ incorporal air do hold discourse?
  4. Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
  5. And as the sleeping soldiers in th’ alarm,
  6. Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,
  7. Start up and stand an end. O gentle son,
  8. Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
  9. Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?

Hamlet

137 - 142
  1. On him, on him! Look you how pale he glares!
  2. His form and cause conjoin’d, preaching to stones,
  3. Would make them capable.—Do not look upon me,
  4. Lest with this piteous action you convert
  5. My stern effects, then what I have to do
  6. Will want true colortears perchance for blood.

Gertrude

143
  1. To whom do you speak this?

Hamlet

144
  1.                            Do you see nothing there?

Gertrude

145
  1. Nothing at all, yet all that is I see.

Hamlet

146
  1. Nor did you nothing hear?

Gertrude

147
  1.                           No, nothing but ourselves.

Hamlet

148 - 150
  1. Why, look you there, look how it steals away!
  2. My father, in his habit as he lived!
  3. Look where he goes, even now, out at the portal!
  1. Exit Ghost.

Gertrude

151 - 153
  1. This is the very coinage of your brain,
  2. This bodiless creation ecstasy
  3. Is very cunning in.

Hamlet

154 - 170
  1.                     Ecstasy?
  2. My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time,
  3. And makes as healthful music. It is not madness
  4. That I have utt’red. Bring me to the test,
  5. And I the matter will reword, which madness
  6. Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
  7. Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
  8. That not your trespass but my madness speaks;
  9. It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
  10. Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
  11. Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven,
  12. Repent what’s past, avoid what is to come,
  13. And do not spread the compost on the weeds
  14. To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue,
  15. For in the fatness of these pursy times
  16. Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
  17. Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.

Gertrude

171
  1. O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.

Hamlet

172 - 195
  1. O, throw away the worser part of it,
  2. And live the purer with the other half.
  3. Good night, but go not to my uncle’s bed
  4. Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
  5. That monster custom, who all sense doth eat,
  6. Of habits devil, is angel yet in this,
  7. That to the use of actions fair and good
  8. He likewise gives a frock or livery
  9. That aptly is put on. Refrain tonight,
  10. And that shall lend a kind of easiness
  11. To the next abstinence, the next more easy;
  12. For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
  13. And either lodge the devil or throw him out
  14. With wondrous potency. Once more good night,
  15. And when you are desirous to be blest,
  16. I’ll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,
  17. Pointing to Polonius.
  18. I do repent; but heaven hath pleas’d it so
  19. To punish me with this, and this with me,
  20. That I must be their scourge and minister.
  21. I will bestow him, and will answer well
  22. The death I gave him. So again good night.
  23. I must be cruel only to be kind.
  24. This bad begins and worse remains behind.
  25. One word more, good lady.

Gertrude

196
  1.                           What shall I do?

Hamlet

197 - 212
  1. Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
  2. Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed,
  3. Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse,
  4. And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses,
  5. Or paddling in your neck with his damn’d fingers,
  6. Make you to ravel all this matter out,
  7. That I essentially am not in madness,
  8. But mad in craft. ’Twere good you let him know,
  9. For who that’s but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
  10. Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib,
  11. Such dear concernings hide? Who would do so?
  12. No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
  13. Unpeg the basket on the house’s top,
  14. Let the birds fly, and like the famous ape,
  15. To try conclusions in the basket creep,
  16. And break your own neck down.

Gertrude

213 - 215
  1. Be thou assur’d, if words be made of breath,
  2. And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
  3. What thou hast said to me.

Hamlet

216
  1. I must to England, you know that?

Gertrude

217 - 218
  1.                                   Alack,
  2. I had forgot. ’Tis so concluded on.

Hamlet

219 - 234
  1. There’s letters seal’d, and my two schoolfellows,
  2. Whom I will trust as I will adders fang’d,
  3. They bear the mandate, they must sweep my way
  4. And marshal me to knavery. Let it work,
  5. For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
  6. Hoist with his own petar, an’t shall go hard
  7. But I will delve one yard below their mines,
  8. And blow them at the moon. O, ’tis most sweet
  9. When in one line two crafts directly meet.
  10. This man shall set me packing;
  11. I’ll lug the guts into the neighbor room.
  12. Mother, good night indeed. This counsellor
  13. Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,
  14. Who was in life a foolish prating knave.
  15. Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you.
  16. Good night, mother.
  1. Exeunt severally, Hamlet tugging in Polonius.
© 2019 Unotate.comcontactprivacy policyCreative Commons text from PlayShakespeare.comAll illustrations are public domain or Creative Commons