What do you like about the ISE? What could we do better? Please tell us in this 10-minute survey!

Start Survey

Internet Shakespeare Editions

Become a FriendSign in


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • Title: Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 2, 1604)

    The Tragedie of Hamlet
    Ghost. Pitty me not, but lend thy serious hearing
    690To what I shall vnfold.
    Ham. Speake, I am bound to heare.
    Ghost. So art thou to reuenge, when thou shalt heare.
    Ham. What?
    Ghost. I am thy fathers spirit,
    695Doomd for a certaine tearme to walke the night,
    And for the day confind to fast in fires,
    Till the foule crimes done in my dayes of nature
    Are burnt and purg'd away: but that I am forbid
    To tell the secrets of my prison house,
    700I could a tale vnfolde whose lightest word
    Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy young blood,
    Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,
    Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
    And each particuler haire to stand an end,
    705Like quils vpon the fearefull Porpentine,
    But this eternall blazon must not be
    To eares of flesh and blood, list, list, ô list:
    If thou did'st euer thy deare father loue.
    Ham. O God.
    710Ghost. Reuenge his foule, and most vnnaturall murther.
    Ham. Murther.
    Ghost. Murther most foule, as in the best it is,
    But this most foule, strange and vnnaturall.
    Ham. Hast me to know't, that I with wings as swift
    As meditation, or the thoughts of loue
    May sweepe to my reuenge.
    Ghost. I find thee apt,
    And duller shouldst thou be then the fat weede
    720That rootes it selfe in ease on Lethe wharffe,
    Would'st thou not sturre in this; now Hamlet heare,
    Tis giuen out, that sleeping in my Orchard,
    A Serpent stung me, so the whole eare of Denmarke
    Is by a forged processe of my death
    725Ranckely abusde: but knowe thou noble Youth,
    The Serpent that did sting thy fathers life
    Now weares his Crowne.
    Ham. O my propheticke soule! my Vncle?