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  • Title: Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)

    Prince of Denmarke
    For Hecuba, why what is Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba?
    1600 What would he do and if he had my lo s s e?
    1600.1 His father murdred, and a Crowne bereft him,
    He would turne all his teares to droppes of blood,
    Amaze the standers by with his laments,
    1603.1 Strike more then wonder in the iudiciall eares,
    1605 Confound the ignorant, and make mute the wise,
    1605.1 Indeede his pa s sion would be generall.
    Yet I like to an a s s e and Iohn a Dreames,
    Hauing my father murdred by a villaine,
    Stand still, and let it pa s s e, why sure I am a coward:
    Who pluckes me by the beard, or twites my nose,
    Giue's me the lie i'th throate downe to the lungs,
    Sure I should take it, or else I haue no gall,
    Or by this I should a fatted all the region kites
    1620 With this slaues offell, this damned villaine,
    1620 Treacherous, bawdy, murderous villaine:
    Why this is braue, that I the sonne of my deare father,
    Should like a scalion, like a very drabbe
    Thus raile in wordes. About my braine,
    I haue heard that guilty creatures sitting at a play,
    1630 Hath, by the very cunning of the scene, confe st a murder
    1630.1 Committed long before.
    This spirit that I haue seene may be the Diuell,
    And out of my weakene s s e and my melancholy,
    As he is very potent with such men,
    Doth seeke to damne me, I will haue sounder proofes,
    The play's the thing,
    1645 Wherein I'le catch the conscience of the King. exit.

    Enter the King, Queene, and Lordes.

    King Lordes, can you by no meanes finde
    The cause of our sonne Hamlets lunacie?
    You being so neere in loue, euen from his youth,
    1031.1 Me thinkes should gaine more than a stranger should.