Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)

The Tragedie of Hamlet
heare me old friend, can you play the murther of Gonzago?
Play. I my Lord.
1580Ham. Weele hate to morrowe night, you could for neede study
a speech of some dosen lines, or sixteene lines, which I would set
downe and insert in't, could you not?
Play. I my Lord.
Ham. Very well, followe that Lord, & looke you mock him not.
1585My good friends, Ile leaue you tell night, you are welcome to Elson-
Exeunt Pol. and Players.
Ros. Good my Lord.
Ham. I so God buy to you, now I am alone,
1590O what a rogue and pesant slaue am I.
Is it not monstrous that this player heere
But in a fixion, in a dreame of passion
Could force his soule so to his owne conceit
That from her working all the visage wand,
1595Teares in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,
A broken voyce, an his whole function suting
With formes to his conceit; and all for nothing,
For Hecuba.
What's Hecuba to him, or he to her,
1600That he should weepe for her? what would he doe
Had he the motiue, and that for passion
That I haue? he would drowne the stage with teares,
And cleaue the generall eare with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty, and appale the free,
1605Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeede
The very faculties of eyes and eares; yet I,
A dull and muddy metteld raskall peake,
Like Iohn-a-dreames, vnpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no not for a King,
1610Vpon whose property and most deare life,
A damn'd defeate was made: am I a coward,
Who cals me villaine, breakes my pate a crosse,
Pluckes off my beard, and blowes it in my face,
Twekes me by the nose, giues me the lie i'th thraote
1615As deepe as to the lunges, who does me this,
Hah, s'wounds I should take it: for it cannot be
But I am pidgion liuerd, and lack gall