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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 oppre s sion bitter, or ere this
    I should a fatted all the region kytes
    1620 With this slaues offall, bloody, baudy villaine,
    Remor sle s s e, trecherous, lecherous, kindle s s e villaine.
    Why what an A s s e am I, this is mo st braue,
    That I the sonne of a deere murthered,
    1625 Prompted to my reuenge by heauen and hell,
    Mu st like a whore vnpacke my hart with words,
    And fall a cur sing like a very drabbe; a stallyon, fie vppont, foh.
    About my braines; hum, I haue heard,
    That guilty creatures sitting at a play,
    1630 Haue 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 mo st miraculous organ: Ile haue these Players
    1635 Play 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
    1640 T'a s s ume a plea sing 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
    1645 Wherein Ile catch the conscience of the King. Exit.

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