Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)

Prince of Denmarke
For Hecuba, why what is Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba?
1600What would he do and if he had my losse?
1600.1His father murdred, and a Crowne bereft him,
He would turne all his teares to droppes of blood,
Amaze the standers by with his laments,
1603.1Strike more then wonder in the iudiciall eares,
1605Confound the ignorant, and make mute the wise,
1605.1Indeede his passion would be generall.
Yet I like to an asse and Iohn a Dreames,
Hauing my father murdred by a villaine,
Stand still, and let it passe, why sure I am a coward:
Who pluckes me by the beard, or twites my nose,
Giue's me the lie i'th throate downe to the lungs,
Sure I should take it, or else I haue no gall,
Or by this I should a fatted all the region kites
1620With this slaues offell, this damned villaine,
Treacherous, bawdy, murderous villaine:
Why this is braue, that I the sonne of my deare father,
Should like a scalion, like a very drabbe
Thus raile in wordes. About my braine,
I haue heard that guilty creatures sitting at a play,
1630Hath, by the very cunning of the scene, confest a murder
1630.1Committed long before.
This spirit that I haue seene may be the Diuell,
And out of my weakenesse and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such men,
Doth seeke to damne me, I will haue sounder proofes,
The play's the thing,
1645Wherein I'le catch the conscience of the King. exit.

Enter the King, Queene, and Lordes.

King Lordes, can you by no meanes finde
The cause of our sonne Hamlets lunacie?
You being so neere in loue, euen from his youth,
1031.1Me thinkes should gaine more than a stranger should.
F Gil.