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Must, like a bawd, unpack my heart with words,
Hamlet meditating suicide.
To be, or not to be, that is the question :Whether 't is nobler in the mind, to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them ?—To die,—to sleep,— No more; - and, by a sleep, to say we end The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, — 't is a consummation Devoutly to be wished. To die; — to sleep ;To sleep! perchance to dream; - ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: There's the respect, That makes calamity of so long life: For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life; But that the dread of something after death, — The undiscovered country, from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will ; And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Hamlet's interview with Ophelia.
I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with more offences at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in: What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us : Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father !
Oph. At home, my lord.
Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him; that he may play the fool nowhere but in 's own house. Farewell.
Oph. O, help him, you sweet heavens !
Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry: Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery; farewell: Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough, what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; anà quickly too. Farewell.
Oph. Heavenly powers, restore him!
Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nickname God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance: Go to; I'll no more of 't; it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no mcre marriages: those that are married already, all but one, shall live: the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go. (Exit.
Ophelia's soliloquy on Hamlet's madness.
O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
Hamlet's directions to the Players.
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, crippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of oui players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows, and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-berods Herod : Pray you, avoid it.
Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'er-step not the modesty of nature: for anything so overdone is from the purpose of play.
ing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 't were, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, nis form and pressure. Now this, overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one, must, in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players, that I have seen play, - and heard others praise, and that highly,not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted, and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made them, and not made them well, they imitated humanity 80 abominably.
O, reform it altogether. And let those, that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them: for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered: that's villanous; and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.
Guildenstern, under pretence of friendship, attempts to penetrate the mystery of Hamlet's behaviour, and urges him very strongly to disclose the meaning of his conduct. Hamlet gives various evasive replies. During the conversation a company of players enter with recorders (a large kind of fute). Hamlet takes one of the instruments. Then ensues this dialogue between him and Guildenstern:
Ham. Will you play upon this pipe ?
Guil. Believe me, I cannot.
lord. Ham. 'Tis as easy as lying: govern these ventages with your fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.
Guil. But these cannot I command to any utterance of har. mony; I have not the skill.
Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass : and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think, I am easier to be played on than a pipe ? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.
Soliloquy of the King upon his murder and usurpation.
O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;