Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)


Prince of Denmarke.
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should a fatted all the region kytes
1620With this slaues offall, bloody, baudy villaine,
Remorslesse, trecherous, lecherous, kindlesse villaine.
Why what an Asse am I, this is most braue,
That I the sonne of a deere murthered,
1625Prompted to my reuenge by heauen and hell,
Must like a whore vnpacke my hart with words,
And fall a cursing like a very drabbe; a stallyon, fie vppont, foh.
About my braines; hum, I haue heard,
That guilty creatures sitting at a play,
1630Haue by the very cunning of the scene,
Beene strooke so to the soule, that presently
They haue proclaim'd their malefactions:
For murther, though it haue no tongue will speake
With most miraculous organ: Ile haue these Players
1635Play something like the murther of my father
Before mine Vncle, Ile obserue his lookes,
Ile tent him to the quicke, if a doe blench
I know my course. The spirit that I haue seene
May be a deale, and the deale hath power
1640T'assume a pleasing shape, yea, and perhaps,
Out of my weakenes, and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damne me; Ile haue grounds
More relatiue then this, the play's the thing
1645Wherein Ile catch the conscience of the King.
Exit.

Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencraus, Guyl-
densterne, Lords.
King. An can you by no drift of conference
Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
1650Grating so harshly all his dayes of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous lunacie?
Ros. He dooes confesse he feeles himselfe distracted,
But from what cause, a will by no meanes speake.
Guyl. Nor doe we find him forward to be sounded,
1655But with a craftie madnes keepes aloofe
When we would bring him on to some confession
G.
Of