Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Modern, Editor's Version)

Enter King, with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
There's matter in these sighs, these profound heaves.
You must translate; 'tis fit we understand them.
2590Where is your son?
[To Rosencrantz and Guildenstern] Bestow this place on us a little while.
[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
Ah, my good lord, what have I seen tonight!
What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit,
2595Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries, "A rat, a rat!"
And in this brainish apprehension kills
The unseen good old man.
Oh, heavy deed!
2600It had been so with us had we been there.
His liberty is full of threats to all--
To you yourself, to us, to everyone.
Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered?
It will be laid to us, whose providence
2605Should have kept short, restrained, and out of haunt
This mad young man. But so much was our love,
We would not understand what was most fit,
But like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
2610Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
To draw apart the body he hath killed,
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore
Among a mineral of metals base,
Shows itself pure: 'a weeps for what is done.
Oh, Gertrude, come away!
The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch
But we will ship him hence, and this vile deed
We must with all our majesty and skill
Both countenance and excuse.--Ho, Guildenstern!
Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Friends both, go join you with some further aid.
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,
And from his mother's closet hath he dragged him.
Go seek him out, speak fair, and bring the body
2625Into the chapel. I pray you haste in this.
Exit Gentlemen [Rosencrantz and Guildenstern].
Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends
To let them know both what we mean to do
And what's untimely done. [So envious slander,]
2628.1Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
As level as the cannon to his blank,
Transports his poisoned shot, may miss our name
And hit the woundless air. Oh, come away!
My soul is full of discord and dismay.