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 must translate; Tis fit we vnderstand 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 lawlesse fit
    2595Behinde the Arras, hearing something stirre,
    He whips his Rapier out, and cries a Rat, a Rat,
    And in his brainish apprehension 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, restrain'd, and out of haunt,
    This mad yong man. But so much was our loue,
    We would not vnderstand what was most 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 madnesse like some Oare
    Among a Minerall of Mettels base
    Shewes it selfe pure. He weepes for what is done.
    2615King. Oh Gertrude, come away:
    The Sun no sooner shall the Mountaines touch,
    But we will ship him hence, and this vilde deed,
    We must with all our Maiesty and Skill
    Both countenance, and excuse.
    Enter Ros. & Guild.
    2620Ho Guildenstern:
    Friends both go ioyne you with some further ayde:
    Hamlet in madnesse hath Polonius slaine,
    And from his Mother Clossets hath he drag'd him.
    Go seeke him out, speake faire, and bring the body
    2625Into the Chappell. I pray you hast in this.
    Exit Gent.
    Come Gertrude, wee'l call vp our wisest 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.