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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Prince of Denmarke.
    To make oppression bitter, or ere this
    I should a fatted all the region kytes
    1620With this slaues offall, bloody, baudy villaine,
    Remorslesse, trecherous, lecherous, kindlesse villaine.
    Why what an Asse am I, this is most braue,
    That I the sonne of a deere murthered,
    1625Prompted to my reuenge by heauen and hell,
    Must like a whore vnpacke my hart with words,
    And fall a cursing like a very drabbe; a stallyon, fie vppont, foh.
    About my braines; hum, I haue heard,
    That guilty creatures sitting at a play,
    1630Haue by the very cunning of the scene,
    Beene strooke so to the soule, that presently
    They haue proclaim'd their malefactions:
    For murther, though it haue no tongue will speake
    With most miraculous organ: Ile haue these Players
    1635Play something like the murther of my father
    Before mine Vncle, Ile obserue his lookes,
    Ile tent him to the quicke, if a doe blench
    I know my course. The spirit that I haue seene
    May be a deale, and the deale hath power
    1640T'assume a pleasing shape, yea, and perhaps,
    Out of my weakenes, and my melancholy,
    As he is very potent with such spirits,
    Abuses me to damne me; Ile haue grounds
    More relatiue then this, the play's the thing
    1645Wherein Ile catch the conscience of the King. Exit.

    Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencraus, Guyl-
    densterne, Lords.
    King. An can you by no drift of conference
    Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
    1650Grating so harshly all his dayes of quiet
    With turbulent and dangerous lunacie?
    Ros. He dooes confesse he feeles himselfe distracted,
    But from what cause, a will by no meanes speake.
    Guyl. Nor doe we find him forward to be sounded,
    1655But with a craftie madnes keepes aloofe
    When we would bring him on to some confession