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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    1695We will bestow our selues; reade on this booke,
    That show of such an exercise may cullour
    Your lowlines; we are oft too blame in this,
    Tis too much proou'd, that with deuotions visage
    And pious action, we doe sugar ore
    1700The deuill himselfe.
    King. O tis too true,
    How smart a lash that speech doth giue my conscience.
    The harlots cheeke beautied with plastring art,
    Is not more ougly to the thing that helps it,
    1705Then is my deede to my most painted word:
    O heauy burthen.

    Enter Hamlet.
    Pol. I heare him comming, with-draw my Lord.
    1710Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the question,
    Whether tis nobler in the minde to suffer
    The slings and arrowes of outragious fortune,
    Or to take Armes against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing, end them, to die to sleepe
    1715No more, and by a sleepe, to say we end
    The hart-ake, and the thousand naturall shocks
    That flesh is heire to; tis a consumation
    Deuoutly to be wisht to die to sleepe,
    To sleepe, perchance to dreame, I there's the rub,
    1720For in that sleepe of death what dreames may come
    When we haue shuffled off this mortall coyle
    Must giue vs pause, there's the respect
    That makes calamitie of so long life:
    For who would beare the whips and scornes of time,
    1725Th'oppressors wrong, the proude mans contumely,
    The pangs of despiz'd loue, the lawes delay,
    The insolence of office, and the spurnes
    That patient merrit of th'vnworthy takes,
    When he himselfe might his quietas make
    1730With a bare bodkin; who would fardels beare,
    To grunt and sweat vnder a wearie life,
    But that the dread of something after death,
    The vndiscouer'd country, from whose borne