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Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Der bestrafte Brudermord (Fratricide Punished)
  • Author: Anonymous
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • General textual editors: James D. Mardock, Eric Rasmussen
  • Associate textual editor: Donald Bailey
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best
  • Associate coordinating editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Anonymous
    Editor: David Bevington
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Der bestrafte Brudermord (Fratricide Punished)

    [The] Ghost [enters].
    1002 Sentinel
    Look! The spirit comes again!
    Does Your Lordship see it now?
    Your Highness, don't be afraid.
    The Ghost stalks over the stage and beckons to Hamlet.
    The spirit beckons me. Gentlemen, stand a little aside. Horatio, do not go too far. I will follow the ghost and learn his will.
    105Exit [following the Ghost].
    Gentlemen, let's follow to see that no misfortune befalls him.
    [Enter the Ghost, followed by Hamlet.] The Ghost beckons Hamlet to the middle of the stage, and opens his jaws several times.
    Speak! Who art thou? Say what thou desirest?
    What desirest thou?
    Hear me, Hamlet, for the time draws near when I must return to the place whence I came:1 listen and mark well what I shall tell thee.
    Speak, thou sacred shade of my royal father.
    Then listen, Hamlet, my son, to what I shall tell thee of thy father's unnatural death.
    What? Unnatural death?
    Ay, unnatural death. Know that it was my custom, which nature had made habitual to me, to retire every day after the noontime meal to walk in my royal garden, there to enjoy an hour's repose. One day, when doing this as usual, behold my brother comes to me, thirsting for the crown, bearing with him the subtle juice of what they call Hebenon. This oil or juice has this effect, that as soon as a few drops of it mix with the blood of man, they immediately stop up the veins, and take away life. While I slept, he poured this juice into my ear, and as it entered my head, I could not but die immediately; whereupon it was given out that I had suffered a severe apoplexy. Thus was I robbed of kingdom, wife, and life by this tyrant.
    Just heaven, if this be true, I swear to avenge thee.
    I cannot rest until my unnatural murder be avenged.
    I swear not to rest until I have taken my revenge on this fratricide.