Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

GUILDENSTERN

350In what, my dear lord?

GUILDENSTERN

In what sense, my lord?

HAMLET

I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.

HAMLET

I’m only crazy sometimes. At other times, I know what’s what.
Enter POLONIUS
POLONIUS enters.

POLONIUS

Well be with you, gentlemen.

POLONIUS

Gentlemen, I hope you are well.

HAMLET

Hark you, Guildenstern, and you too—at each ear a hearer. (indicates POLONIUS )That great baby you see there is not yet out of his swaddling-clouts

HAMLET

Listen, Guildenstern, and you too, Rosencrantz—listen as close as you can! (he gestures toward POLONIUS )This big baby is still in diapers.

ROSENCRANTZ

Happily he’s the second time come to them, for they say an old man is twice a child.

ROSENCRANTZ

Yes, the second time around, since, as they say, old people become children again.

HAMLET

(aside to ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN ) I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players. Mark it. (to POLONIUS)— You say right, sir. O' Monday morning, ’twas so indeed.

HAMLET

(whispering to ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN) I bet he’s coming to tell me about the actors; just watch. (to POLONIUS) You’re right, sir, that happened on Monday morning.

POLONIUS

My lord, I have news to tell you.

POLONIUS

My lord, I have news for you.

HAMLET

My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor in Rome—

HAMLET

My lord, I have news for you. When Roscius was an actor in ancient Rome —

POLONIUS

365The actors are come hither, my lord.

POLONIUS

The actors have arrived, my lord.

HAMLET

Buzz, buzz.

HAMLET

Yawn, snore.

POLONIUS

Upon my honor—

POLONIUS

I swear—

HAMLET

Then came each actor on his ass—

HAMLET

—each actor arrived on his ass.