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.
    3865That Rosincrance and Guildensterne are dead:
    Where should we haue our thankes?
    Hor. Not from his mouth,
    Had it th'abilitie of life to thanke you:
    He neuer gaue command'ment for their death.
    3870But since so iumpe vpon this bloodie question,
    You from the Polake warres, and you from England
    Are heere arriued. Giue order that these bodies
    High on a stage be placed to the view,
    And let me speake to th'yet vnknowing world,
    3875How these things came about. So shall you heare
    Of carnall, bloudie, and vnnaturall acts,
    Of accidentall iudgements, casuall slaughters
    Of death's put on by cunning, and forc'd cause,
    And in this vpshot, purposes mistooke,
    3880Falne on the Inuentors heads. All this can I
    Truly deliuer.
    For. Let vs hast to heare it,
    And call the Noblest to the Audience.
    For me, with sorrow, I embrace my Fortune,
    3885I haue some Rites of memory in this Kingdome,
    Which are ro claime, my vantage doth
    Inuite me,
    Hor. Of that I shall haue alwayes cause to speake,
    And from his mouth
    3890Whose voyce will draw on more:
    But let this same be presently perform'd,
    Euen whiles mens mindes are wilde,
    Lest more mischance
    On plots, and errors happen.
    3895For. Let foure Captaines
    Beare Hamlet like a Soldier to the Stage,
    For he was likely, had he beene put on
    To haue prou'd most royally:
    And for his passage,
    3900The Souldiours Musicke, and the rites of Warre
    Speake lowdly for him.
    Take vp the body; Such a sight as this
    Becomes the Field, but heere shewes much amis.
    Go, bid the Souldiers shoote.
    Exeunt Marching: after the which, a Peale of
    Ordenance are shot off.