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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    heare me old friend, can you play the murther of Gonzago?
    Play. I my Lord.
    1580 Ham. Weele hate to morrowe night, you could for neede study
    a speech of some dosen lines, or sixteene lines, which I would set
    downe and insert in't, could you not?
    Play. I my Lord.
    Ham. Very well, followe that Lord, & looke you mock him not.
    1585 My good friends, Ile leaue you tell night, you are welcome to Elson -
    oure. Exeunt Pol. and Players.
    Ros. Good my Lord. Exeunt.
    Ham. I so God buy to you, now I am alone,
    1590 O what a rogue and pesant slaue am I.
    Is it not mon strous that this player heere
    But in a fixion, in a dreame of pa s sion
    Could force his soule so to his owne conceit
    That from her working all the visage wand,
    1595 Teares in his eyes, di straction in his aspect,
    A broken voyce, an his whole function suting
    With formes to his conceit; and all for nothing,
    For Hecuba.
    What's Hecuba to him, or he to her,
    1600 That he should weepe for her? what would he doe
    Had he the motiue, and that for pa s sion
    That I haue? he would drowne the stage with teares,
    And cleaue the generall eare with horrid speech,
    Make mad the guilty, and appale the free,
    1605 Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeede
    The very faculties of eyes and eares; yet I,
    A dull and muddy metteld raskall peake,
    Like Iohn-a-dreames, vnpregnant of my cause,
    And can say nothing; no not for a King,
    1610 Vpon whose property and mo st deare life,
    A damn'd defeate was made: am I a coward,
    Who cals me villaine, breakes my pate a cro s s e,
    Pluckes off my beard, and blowes it in my face,
    Twekes me by the nose, giues me the lie i'th thraote
    1615 As deepe as to the lunges, who does me this,
    Hah, s'wounds I should take it: for it cannot be
    But I am pidgion liuerd, and lack gall