Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Der bestrafte Brudermord (Fratricide Punished)
  • Author: Anonymous
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • General textual editors: James D. Mardock, Eric Rasmussen
  • Associate textual editor: Donald Bailey
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best
  • Associate coordinating editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Anonymous
    Editor: David Bevington
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Der bestrafte Brudermord (Fratricide Punished)

    King, Hamlet, Horatio, Two Attendants.
    Where is the body of Corambus bestowed? Has it not yet been removed?
    He is still lying in the place where he was stabbed.
    It grieves us that Corambus has lost his life so unexpectedly. Go, have him carried away; we wish him to have honorable burial. Ah, Prince Hamlet, what have you done, stabbing that innocent old man? It grieves us deeply; still, because it was done unwittingly this murderous deed is perhaps somewhat to be pardoned. Nevertheless I fear that when this gets known amongst the nobles, it may easily excite a rising among my subjects, and they may avenge his death on you.5 But out of our paternal care we have devised a way of avoiding this misfortune.
    I am sorry for it, my uncle and father? I wished to discuss something privately with the Queen, and this spy lay in wait for us. But I did not realize that it could be this silly old fool. What now does Your Majesty propose it were best to do with me?
    We have determined to send you to England, because that crown is friendly to our own, so that you may cool down there somewhat, since the air is wholesomer, and may aid your recovery better than here. We shall give you some of our attendants, who accompany you, and serve you faithfully.
    Ay ay, King, just send me off to Portugal, that I may never come back again, that is the best plan.
    No, not to Portugal, but to England, and these two shall accompany you on the journey. But when you arrive in England, you shall have more attendants.
    Are those the lackeys? A pair of fine fellows!
    [Secretly to the two attendants] Listen, both of you! As soon as ye reach England, do as I have commanded you. Take a dagger or pistol each, and kill him. But should your attempt miscarry, take this letter and bring it along with the prince to the place written down on it; there he will be so well cared for that he will never come back from England again. But this I warn you, that ye make known this to no man. Your reward shall be given you immediately on your return.
    Well, Your Majesty, who are these fine fellows that are to travel with me?
    These two. The gods be with you, and give you a fair wind to reach your destination.
    Now farewell, Mother!
    What, Prince! Why do you call us Mother?
    Man and wife is one flesh ? Father or Mother, it is the same to me.
    Well, fare ye well. May Heaven be with you.
    Now! you sprigs of nobility, are you to be my companions?
    Yes, Your Highness.
    Come then, my noble sirs, [Taking each by the hand] let's go, let's go to England! Take your little messages in your hand; you are indeed an honest fellow. Let's go, let's go to England!