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.
    Without the which we are Pictures, or meere Bea sts.
    La st, and as much containing as all these,
    2825Her Brother is in secret come from France,
    Keepes on his wonder, keepes himselfe in clouds,
    And wants not Buzzers to infect his eare
    With pe stilent Speeches of his Fathers death,
    Where in nece s sitie of matter Beggard,
    2830Will nothing sticke our persons to Arraigne
    In eare and eare. O my deere Gertrude, this,
    Like to a murdering Peece in many places,
    Giues me superfluous death. A Noise within.

    Enter a Me s s enger.
    2835 Qu. Alacke, what noyse is this?
    King. Where are my Switzers?
    Let them guard the doore. What is the matter?
    Mes. Saue your selfe, my Lord.
    The Ocean (ouer-peering of his Li st)
    2840Eates not the Flats with more impittious ha ste
    Then young Laertes, in a Riotous head,
    Ore-beares your Officers, the rabble call him Lord,
    And as the world were now but to begin,
    Antiquity forgot, Cu stome not knowne,
    2845The Ratifiers and props of euery word,
    They cry choose we? Laertes shall be King,
    Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds,
    Laertes shall be King, Laertes King.
    Qu. How cheerefully on the false Traile they cry,
    2850Oh this is Counter you false Dani sh Dogges.
    Noise within. Enter Laertes.
    King. The doores are broke.
    Laer. Where is the King, sirs? Stand you all without.
    All. No, let's come in.
    2855 Laer. I pray you giue me leaue.
    Al. We will, we will.
    Laer. I thanke you: Keepe the doore.
    Oh thou vilde King, giue me my Father.
    Qu. Calmely good Laertes.
    2860 Laer. That drop of blood, that calmes
    Proclaimes me Ba stard:
    Cries Cuckold to my Father, brands the Harlot
    Euen heere betweene the cha ste vnsmirched brow
    Of my true Mother.
    2865 King. What is the cause Laertes,
    That thy Rebellion lookes so Gyant-like?
    Let him go Gertrude: Do not feare our person:
    There's such Diuinity doth hedge a King,
    That Treason can but peepe to what it would,
    2870Acts little of his will. Tell me Laertes,
    Why thou art thus Incen st? Let him go Gertrude.
    Speake man.
    Laer. Where's my Father?
    King. Dead.
    2875 Qu. But not by him.
    King. Let him demand his fill.
    Laer. How came he dead? Ile not be Iuggel'd with.
    To hell Allegeance: Vowes, to the blacke st diuell.
    Conscience and Grace, to the profounde st Pit.
    2880I dare Damnation: to this point I stand,
    That both the worlds I giue to negligence,
    Let come what comes: onely Ile be reueng'd
    Mo st throughly for my Father.
    King. Who shall stay you?
    2885 Laer. My Will, not all the world,
    And for my meanes, Ile husband them so well,
    They shall go farre with little.
    King. Good Laertes:
    If you de sire to know the certaintie
    2890Of your deere Fathers death, if writ in your reuenge,
    That Soop- stake you will draw both Friend and Foe,
    Winner and Looser.
    Laer. None but his Enemies.
    King. Will you know them then.
    2895 La. To his good Friends, thus wide Ile ope my Armes:
    And like the kinde Life-rend'ring Politician,
    Repa st them with my blood.
    King. Why now you speake
    Like a good Childe, and a true Gentleman.
    2900That I am guiltle s s e of your Fathers death,
    And am mo st sen sible in greefe for it,
    It shall as leuell to your Iudgement pierce
    As day do's to your eye.
    A noise within. Let her come in.
    2905 Enter Ophelia.
    Laer. How now? what noise is that?
    Oh heate drie vp my Braines, teares seuen times salt,
    Burne out the Sence and Vertue of mine eye.
    By Heauen, thy madne s s e shall be payed by waight,
    2910Till our Scale turnes the beame. Oh Rose of May,
    Deere Maid, kinde Si ster, sweet Ophelia:
    Oh Heauens, is't po s sible, a yong Maids wits,
    Should be as mortall as an old mans life?
    Nature is fine in Loue, and where 'tis fine,
    2915It sends some precious in stance of it selfe
    After the thing it loues.
    They bore him bare fac'd on the Beer,
    Hey non nony, nony, hey nony:
    And on his graue raines many a teare,
    2920 Fare you well my Doue.
    Laer. Had' st thou thy wits, and did' st perswade Re-
    uenge, it could not moue thus.
    Ophe. You mu st sing downe a-downe, and you call
    him a-downe-a. Oh, how the wheele becomes it? It is
    2925the false Steward that stole his ma sters daughter.
    Laer. This nothings more then matter.
    Ophe. There's Rosemary, that's for Remembraunce.
    Pray loue remember: and there is Paconcies, that's for
    2930 Laer. A document in madne s s e, thoughts & remem-
    brance fitted.
    Ophe. There's Fennell for you, and Columbines: ther's
    Rew for you, and heere's some for me. Wee may call it
    Herbe-Grace a Sundaies: Oh you mu st weare your Rew
    2935with a difference. There's a Day sie, I would giue you
    some Violets, but they wither'd all when my Father dy-
    ed: They say, he made a good end;
    For bonny sweet Robin is all my ioy.
    Laer. Thought, and Affliction, Pa s sion, Hell it selfe:
    2940She turnes to Fauour, and to prettine s s e.
    And will he not come againe,
    And will he not come againe:
    No, no, he is dead, go to thy Death-bed,
    He neuer wil come againe.
    2945 His Beard as white as Snow,
    All Flaxen was his Pole:
    He is gone, he is gone, and we ca st away mone,
    Gramercy on his Soule.
    And of all Chri stian Soules, I pray God.
    2950God buy ye. Exeunt Ophelia
    Laer. Do you see this, you Gods?
    King. Laertes, I mu st common with your greefe,
    Or you deny me right: go but apart,