Macb. Why should I play the Roman fool,
On mine own sword ? whiles I see lives, the gashes
Do better upon them.
Macd. Turn, hell-hound, turn !
Macb. Of all men else I have avoided thee :
But get thee back ; my soul is too much charged
With blood of thine already.
Macd. I have no words :
My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out ! They fight.
Macb. Thou losest labour :
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed :
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests ;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield
To one of woman born.
Macd. Despair thy charm ;
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb
Macb. Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cow'd my better part of man !
And be these juggling fiends no more believed,
That palter with us in a double sense ;
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope. I '11 not fight with
Macd. Then yield thee, coward,
And live to be the show and gaze o' the time :
We '11 have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted upon a pole, and underwrit,
Here may you see the tyrant.
Macb. I will not yield,
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet
And- to be baited with the rabble's curse.
Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,
And thou opposed, being of no woman born,
Yet I will try the last. Before my body
I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,
And damn'd be him that first cries Hold, enough !
Exeunt, fighting. Alarums.
Retreat. Flourish. Enter, with drum and
colours, Malcolm, old Siward, Ross, the other
Thanes, and Soldiers.
Mai. I would the friends we miss were safe
Siw. Some must go off : and yet, by these I see,
So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
Mai. Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
Ross. Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's
He only lived but till he was a man ;
The which no sooner had his prowess confirm'd
In the unshrinking station where he fought,
But like a man he died.
Siw. Then he is dead ?
Ross. Ay, and brought off the field : your cause
Must not be measured by his worth, for then
It hath no end.
Siw. Had he his hurts before ?
Ross. Ay, on the front.
Siw. Why then, God's soldier be he !
Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
I would not wish them to a fairer death :
And so his knell is knoll'd.
ACT V., Sc. 8.
Mai. He 's worth more sorrow,
And that I '11 spend for him.
Siw. He 's worth no more :
They say he parted well and paid his score :
And so God be with him ! Here comes newer
Re-enter Macduff, ivith Macbeth' s head.
Macd. Hail, king! for so thou art: behold,
The usurper's cursed head : the time is free :
I see thee compass'd with thy kingdom's pearl,
That speak my salutation in their minds ;
Whose voices I desire aloud with mine :
Hail, King of Scotland !
All. Hail, King of Scotland ! Flourish.
Mai. We shall not spend a large expense of time
Before we reckon with your several loves,
And make us even with you. My thanes and
Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland
In such an honour named. What 's more to do,
Which would be planted newly with the time,
As calling home our exiled friends abroad
That fled the snares of watchful tyranny ;
Producing forth the cruel ministers
Of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen,
Who, as 'tis thought, by self and violent hands
Took off her life ; this, and what needful else
That calls upon us, by the grace of Grace
We will perform in measure, time and place :
So, thanks to all at once and to each one,
Whom we invite to see us crown' d at Scone.
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
NAMES OF THE ACTORS.
CLAUDIUS, king of Denmark.
HAMLET, son to the late and nephew to the present king.
FORTINBRAS, prince of Norway.
POLONIUS, lord chamberlain.
HORATIO, friend to Hamlet.
LAERTES, son to Polonius.
GUILDENSTERN, > courtiers.
MARCELLUS, ") ffl
BERNARDO, j officers -
FRANCISCO, a soldier.
REYNALDO, servant to Polonius.
Two Clowns, grave-diggers.
GERTRUDE, queen of Denmark and mother to Hamlet.
OPHELIA, daughter to Polonius.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, Messengers and other
Attendants. Ghost of Hamlet's Father.
The only known copy of the first quarto edition is in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire. It
has been carefully reprinted, and bears Shakespeare's name on the title and the date 1603.
A copy, believed to be of the same edition, but wanting the title, is in the British
Museum. It was reprinted in 1604 with additions, and again in 1605 and
later. The story is found in Belief orest's Novels, and occurs
originally in Saxo Grammaticus. Elsinore is an ancient
castle in Denmark, still shown to travellers. The
period is that of the tenth or eleventh
century, and the Bayeux Tapes-
try is almost the only
authority for the
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
Scene I. Elsinore. A Platform before the
Francisco at his post. Enter to him Bernardo.
Ber. Who 's there ?
Fra. Nay, answer me : stand and unfold your-
Ber. Long live the king !
Fra. You come most carefully upon yoiir hour.
Ber. 'Tis now struck twelve ; get thee to bed,
Fra. For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter
And I am sick at heart.
Ber. Have you had quiet guard ?
Fra. Not a mouse stirring.
Ber. Well, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
Fra. I think I hear them. Stand, ho ! Who
is there ?
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Hor. Friends to this ground.
Mar. And liegemen to the Dane.
-Fra. Give you good night.
Mar. O, farewell, honest soldier :
Who hath relieved you ?
Fra. Bernardo hath my place.
Give you good night. Exit.
Mar. Holla! Bernardo!
What, is Horatio there ?
Hor. A piece of him.*
Ber. Welcome, Horatio : welcome, good Mar-
Mar. What, has this thing appeared again to-
Ber. I have seen nothing.
Mar. Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,
And will not let belief take hold of him
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us :
Therefore I have entreated him along
With us to watch the minutes of this night,
That if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
Hor. Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.
Ber. Sit down awhile,
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we two nights have seen.
Hor. Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Ber. Last night of all,
When yond same star that's westward from the
Had made his course to illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
The bell then beating one,
Mar. Peace, break thee off ; look, where it comes
Ber. In the same figure, like the king that 's
Mar. Thou art a scholar ; speak to it, Horatio.
Ber. Looks it not like theking? mark it, Horatio.
Hor. Most like : it harrows me with fear and
Ber. It would be spoke to.
Mar. Question it, Horatio.
Hor. What art thou, that usurp' st this time of
Together with that fair and warlike form
Im which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes inarch? by heaven I charge thee,.
speak ! -
Mar. It is offended.
Ber. See, it stalks away !
Hor. Stay ! speak, speak ! I charge thee, speak t
Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
Ber. How now, Horatio ! you tremble and look
Is not this something more than fantasy ?
What think you on 't ?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe-
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.
Mar. Is it not like the king ?
Hor. As thou art to thyself :
Such was the very armour he had on
When he the ambitious Norway combated ;
So frowned he once, when, in an angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
Mar. Thus twice before, and jump at this dead
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
Hor. In what particular thought to work I know
But, in the gross and scope of my opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Mar. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject of the land,
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war ;
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week ;
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste .
Doth make the night joint -labourer with the day :
Who is 't that can inform me ?
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
ACT L, Sc. 2.
Hor. That can I ;
At least the whisper goes so. Our last king,
Whose image even but now appeared to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto pricked on by a most emulate pride,
Dared to the combat; in which our valiant
For so this side of our known world esteem' d
Did slay this Fortinbras ; who by a sealed compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror :
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king, which had returned
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher, as, by the same covenant
And carriage of the article designed,
His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,
For food and diet, to some enterprise
That hath a stomach in 't : which is no other
As it doth well appear unto our state
But to recover of us, by strong hand
And terms compulsative, those f oresaid lands
So by his father lost : and this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The source of this our watch and the chief head
Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
Ber. I think it be no other but e'en so.
Well may it sort, that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch ; so like the king
That was and is the question of these wars.
Hor. A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets ;
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun, and the moist star
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse :
And even the like precurse of fierce events,
As harbingers preceding still the fates
And prologue to the omen coming on,
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.
But soft, behold ! lo, where it comes again !
I '11 cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion !
If thou hast any sound, or use of voice.
Speak to me :
If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease and grace to me.
Speak to me ;
If thou art privy to thy country's fate.
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
O, speak !
Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
Speak of it : stay, and speak ! [Cock crows.'] Stop
it, Marcel! us.
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partisan ?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
Ber. 'Tis here !
Hor. 'Tis here!
Mar. 'Tis gone! Exit Ghost.
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the show of violence ;
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows malicious mockery.
Ber. It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day, and at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine, and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long :
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
Hor. So have I heard and do in part believe it.
But, look, the Morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill :
Break we our watch up ; and by my advice,
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet, for, upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him ;
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty ?
Mar. Let 's do 't, I pray ; and I this morning
Where we shall find him most conveniently.
Scene II. A Eoom of State in the Castle.
Flourish. Enter the King, Queen, Hamlet, Polo-
nius, Laertes, Voltimand, Cornelius, Lords and
King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
The imperial jointress of this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,
With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife : nor have we herein barred
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak supposal of our worth,
Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
Colleagued with the dream of his advantage,
He hath not failed to pester us with message,
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
ACT I., Sc. 2.
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
Now for ourself and for this time of meeting :
Thus much the business is : we have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose, to suppress
His further gait herein ; in that the levies,
The lists and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subject : and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway,
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the king more than the scope
Of these dilated articles allow.
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
Cor. Vol. In that and all things will we show
King. We doubt it nothing : heartily farewell.
Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius.
And now, Laertes, what 's the news with you ?
You told us of some suit ; what is 't, Laertes ?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
And lose your voice : what wouldst thou beg,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking ?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes ?
Lae. Dread my lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France ;
From whence though willingly I came to Denmark,
To show my duty in your coronation,
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
King. Have you your father's leave ? What
says Polonius ?
. Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow
By laboursome petition, and at last
Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent ;
I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be
And thy best graces spend it at thy will !
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,
Ham. \_AsideJ] A little more than kin, and
less than kind.
King. How is it that the clouds still hang on
Ham. Not so, my lord : I am too much i' the sun.
Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust :
Thou know'st 'tis common ; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.
Queen. If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee ?
Ham. Seems, madam ! nay, it is ; I know not
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly : these indeed seem,
For they are actions that a man might play :
But I have that within which passeth show ;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your
To give these mourning duties to your father :
But, you must know, your father lost a father,
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
In filial obligation for some term
To do obsequious sorrow : but to persever
In obstinate condolement is a course
Of impious stubbornness ; 'tis unmanly grief :
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschool'd :
For what we know must be and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense.
Why should we in our peevish opposition
Take it to heart ? Fie ! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd, whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse till he that died to-day,
This must be so. We pray you, throw to earth
This unpre vailing woe, and think of us
As of a father : for let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our throne ;
And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire :
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chief est courtier, cousin, and our son.
Queen. Let not thy mother lose her prayers,
I pray thee, stay with us ; go not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
King. Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply :
Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come ;
This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart : in grace whereof,
No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-day,
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,
And the king's rouse the heavens shall bruit again,
lie-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.
Flourish. Exeunt all but Hamlet.
Ham. 0, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew !
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter ! O God ! God !
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world !
Fie on 't ! O fie ! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed ; things rank and gross in
Possess it merely. That it should come to this !
But two months dead ! nay, not so much, not two :
So excellent a king ; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr ; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth !
Must I remember ? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had errown
By what it fed on : and ye: . within a month-
Let me not think on 't Frailty, thy name is
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
ACT I., Sc. 2.
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow' d my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears, why she, even she
God ! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer married with my
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules : within a month ?
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had'left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. Oh most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets !
It is not nor it cannot come to good :
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
Enter Horatio, Marcellus and Bernardo.
Hor. Hail to your lordship !
Ham. I am glad to see you well :
Horatio, or I do forget myself.
Her. The same, my lord, and your poor servant
Ham. Sir, my good friend ; I '11 change that
name with you :
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio ?
Mar. My good lord
Ham. I am very glad to see you. Good even, sir.
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?
Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord.
Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so,
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
To make it truster of your own report
Against yourself : I know you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elsinore ?
We '11 teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's
Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-
1 think it was to see my mother's wedding.
Hor. Indeed, my lord, it follow 'd hard upon.
Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio !
My father ! methinks 1 see my father.
Hor. O where, my lord ?
Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio.
Hor. I saw him once ; he was a goodly king.
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw ? who ?
Hor. My lord, the king your father.
Ham. The king my father !
Hor. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent ear, till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.
Ham. For God's love, let me hear.
Hor. Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead vast and middle of the night,
Been thus encounter' d. A figure like your father,
Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pe,
Appears before them, and with solemn march
Goes slow and stately by them : thrice he walked
By their oppressed and fear-surprised eyes,
Within his truncheon's length ; whilst they, dis-
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did ;
And I with them the third night kept the watch :
Where, as they had deliver'd, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and
The apparition comes. I knew your father ;
These hands are not more like.
Ham. But where was this ?
Mar. My lord, upon the platform where wo
Ham. Did you not speak to it ?
Hor. My lord, I did ;
But answer made it none : yet once methought
It lifted up its head and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak ;
But even then the morning cock crew loud,
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
And vanish' d from our sight.
Ham. 'Tis very strange.
Hor. As I dp live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true,
And we did think it writ down in our duty
To let you know of it.
Ham. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to-night ?
Mar. Ber. We do, my lord.
Ham. Arm'd say you?
Mar. Ber. Arm'd, my lord.
Ham. From top to toe ?
Mar. Ber. My lord, from head to foot.
Ham. Then saw you not his face ?
Hor. O, yes, my lord ; he wore his beaver up.
Ham. What, look'd he frowningly?
Hor. A countenance more in sorrow than in
Ham. Pale or red ?
Hor. Nay, very pale.
Ham. And fix'd his eyes upon you ?
Hor. Most constantly.
Ham. I would I had been there.
Hor. It would have much amazed you.
Ham. Very like, very like. Stay'd it long ?
Hor. While one with moderate haste might
tell a hundred.
Mar. Ber. Longer, longer.
Hor. Not when I saw 't.
Ham. His beard was grizzled ? no ?
Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silver'd.
Ham. I will watch to-night ;
Perchance 'twill walk again.
Hor. I warrant it will.
Ham. If it assume my noble father's person,
I '11 speak to it, though "hell itself should gape
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,