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)

    Enter King.
    King. There's matters in these sighes.
    These profound heaues
    You mu st tran slate; Tis fit we vnder stand them.
    2590Where is your Sonne?
    Qu. Ah my good Lord, what haue I seene to night?
    King. What Gertrude? How do's Hamlet?
    Qu. Mad as the Seas, and winde, when both contend
    Which is the Mightier, in his lawle s s e fit
    2595Behinde the Arras, hearing something stirre,
    He whips his Rapier out, and cries a Rat, a Rat,
    And in his braini sh apprehen sion killes
    The vnseene good old man.
    King. On heauy deed:
    2600It had bin so with vs had we beene there:
    His Liberty is full of threats to all,
    To you your selfe, to vs, to euery one.
    Alas, how shall this bloody deede be answered?
    It will be laide to vs, whose prouidence
    2605Should haue kept short, re strain'd, and out of haunt,
    This mad yong man. But so much was our loue,
    We would not vnder stand what was mo st fit,
    But like the Owner of a foule disease,
    To keepe it from divulging, let's it feede
    2610Euen on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
    Qu. To draw apart the body he hath kild,
    O're whom his very madne s s e like some Oare
    Among a Minerall of Mettels base
    Shewes it selfe pure. He weepes for what is done.
    2615 King. Oh Gertrude, come away:
    The Sun no sooner shall the Mountaines touch,
    But we will ship him hence, and this vilde deed,
    We mu st with all our Maie sty and Skill
    Both countenance, and excuse. Enter Ros. & Guild.
    2620Ho Guilden stern:
    Friends both go ioyne you with some further ayde:
    Hamlet in madne s s e hath Polonius slaine,
    And from his Mother Clo s s ets hath he drag'd him.
    Go seeke him out, speake faire, and bring the body
    2625Into the Chappell. I pray you ha st in this. Exit Gent.
    Come Gertrude, wee'l call vp our wise st friends,
    To let them know both what we meane to do,
    And what's vntimely done. Oh come away,
    My soule is full of discord and dismay. Exeunt.