Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    1910To feed & cloath thee. Why shold the poor be flatter'd?
    No, let the Candied tongue, like absurd pompe,
    And crooke the pregnant Hindges of the knee,
    Where thrift may follow faining? Dost thou heare,
    Since my deere Soule was Mistris of my choyse,
    1915And could of men distinguish, her election
    Hath seal'd thee for her selfe. For thou hast bene
    As one in suffering all, that suffers nothing.
    A man that Fortunes buffets, and Rewards
    Hath 'tane with equall Thankes. And blest are those,
    1920Whose Blood and Iudgement are so well co-mingled,
    That they are not a Pipe for Fortunes finger,
    To sound what stop she please. Giue me that man,
    That is not Passions Slaue, and I will weare him
    In my hearts Core: I, in my Heart of heart,
    1925As I do thee. Something too much of this.
    There is a Play to night before the King,
    One Scoene of it comes neere the Circumstance
    Which I haue told thee, of my Fathers death.
    I prythee, when thou see'st that Acte a-foot,
    1930Euen with the verie Comment of my Soule
    Obserue mine Vnkle: If his occulted guilt,
    Do not it selfe vnkennell in one speech,
    It is a damned Ghost that we haue seene:
    And my Imaginations are as foule
    1935As Vulcans Stythe. Giue him needfull note,
    For I mine eyes will riuet to his Face:
    And after we will both our iudgements ioyne,
    To censure of his seeming.
    Hora. Well my Lord.
    1940If he steale ought the whil'st this Play is Playing,
    And scape detecting, I will pay the Theft.

    Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosincrance,
    Guildensterne, and other Lords attendant with
    his Guard carrying Torches. Danish
    1945March. Sound a Flourish.

    Ham. They are comming to the Play: I must be idle.
    Get you a place.
    King. How fares our Cosin Hamlet?
    Ham. Excellent Ifaith, of the Camelions dish: I eate
    1950the Ayre promise-cramm'd, you cannot feed Capons so.
    King. I haue nothing with this answer Hamlet, these
    words are not mine.
    Ham. No, nor mine. Now my Lord, you plaid once
    i'th'Vniuersity, you say?
    1955Polon. That I did my Lord, and was accounted a good
    Ham. And what did you enact?
    Pol. I did enact Iulius Cæsar, I was kill'd i'th'Capitol:
    Brutus kill'd me.
    1960Ham. It was a bruite part of him, to kill so Capitall a
    Calfe there. Be the Players ready?
    Rosin. I my Lord, they stay vpon your patience.
    Qu. Come hither my good Hamlet, sit by me.
    Ha. No good Mother, here's Mettle more attractiue.
    1965Pol. Oh ho, do you marke that?
    Ham. Ladie, shall I lye in your Lap?
    Ophe. No my Lord.
    Ham. I meane, my Head vpon your Lap?
    Ophe. I my Lord.
    1970Ham. Do you thinke I meant Country matters?
    Ophe. I thinke nothing, my Lord.
    Ham. That's a faire thought to ly between Maids legs
    Ophe. What is my Lord?
    Ham. Nothing.
    1975Ophe. You are merrie, my Lord?
    Ham. Who I?
    Ophe. I my Lord.
    Ham. Oh God, your onely Iigge-maker: what should
    a man do, but be merrie. For looke you how cheereful-
    1980ly my Mother lookes, and my Father dyed within's two
    Ophe. Nay, 'tis twice two moneths, my Lord.
    Ham. So long? Nay then let the Diuel weare blacke,
    for Ile haue a suite of Sables. Oh Heauens! dye two mo-
    1985neths ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a
    great mans Memorie, may out-liue his life halfe a yeare:
    But byrlady he must builde Churches then: or else shall
    he suffer not thinking on, with the Hoby-horsse, whose
    Epitaph is, For o, For o, the Hoby-horse is forgot.

    Hoboyes play. The dumbe shew enters.
    Enter a King and Queene, very louingly; the Queene embra-
    cing him. She kneeles, and makes shew of Protestation vnto
    him. He takes her vp, and dcclines his head vpon her neck.
    Layes him downe vpon a Banke of Flowers. She seeing him
    1995a-sleepe, leaues him. Anon comes in a Fellow, takes off his
    Crowne, kisses it, and powres poyson in the Kings eares, and
    Exits. The Queene returnes, findes the King dead, and
    makes passionate Action. The Poysoner, with some two or
    three Mutes comes in againe, seeming to lament with her.
    2000The dead body is carried away: The Poysoner Wooes the
    Queene with Gifts, she seemes loath and vnwilling awhile,
    but in the end, accepts his loue.

    Ophe. What meanes this, my Lord?
    Ham. Marry this is Miching Malicho, that meanes
    Ophe. Belike this shew imports the Argument of the
    Ham. We shall know by these Fellowes: the Players
    cannot keepe counsell, they'l tell all.
    2010Ophe. Will they tell vs what this shew meant?
    Ham. I, or any shew that you'l shew him. Bee not
    you asham'd to shew, hee'l not shame to tell you what it
    Ophe. You are naught, you are naught, Ile marke the
    Enter Prologue.
    For vs, and for our Tragedie,
    Heere stooping to your Clemencie:
    We begge your hearing Patientlie.
    2020Ham. Is this a Prologue, or the Poesie of a Ring?
    Ophe. 'Tis briefe my Lord.
    Ham. As Womans loue.

    Enter King and his Queene.
    King. Full thirtie times hath Phoebus Cart gon round,
    2025Neptunes salt Wash, and Tellus Orbed ground:
    And thirtie dozen Moones with borrowed sheene,
    About the World haue times twelue thirties beene,
    Since loue our hearts, and Hymen did our hands
    Vnite comutuall, in most sacred Bands.
    2030Bap. So many iournies may the Sunne and Moone
    Make vs againe count o're, ere loue be done.
    But woe is me, you are so sicke of late,
    So farre from cheere, and from your forme state,
    That I distrust you: yet though I distrust,
    2035Discomfort you (my Lord) it nothing must:
    For womens Feare and Loue, holds quantitie,