Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

HAMLET

He poisons him i' th' garden for ’s estate. His name’s Gonzago. The story is extant, and writ in choice Italian. You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago’s wife.

HAMLET

You see, he poisons the king in his own garden to get the kingdom for himself. The king’s name is Gonzago. The original story was written in the finest Italian. You’ll see shortly how the murderer wins the love of Gonzago’s wife.
CLAUDIUS stands up
CLAUDIUS stands up.

OPHELIA

250The king rises.

OPHELIA

The king is getting up.

HAMLET

What, frighted with false fire?

HAMLET

What—is he scared of a gun that only fired a blank?

GERTRUDE

How fares my lord?

GERTRUDE

My lord, how are you feeling?

POLONIUS

Give o'er the play.

POLONIUS

Stop the play.

CLAUDIUS

Give me some light, away!

CLAUDIUS

Turn on the lights. Get me out of here!

POLONIUS

255Lights, lights, lights!

POLONIUS

Lights, lights, get us some lights!
  Commotion. Exeunt all but HAMLET and HORATIO
Everyone except HAMLET and HORATIO exits.

HAMLET

  Why, let the stricken deer go weep,
  The hart ungallèd play.
  For some must watch while some must sleep.
  So runs the world away.
Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers—if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me—with two Provincial roses on my razed shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of players?

HAMLET

Let the deer that’s been shot go off and weep,
While the unharmed deer happily plays.
For some must watch while other must sleep,
That’s how the world goes.
Couldn’t I get work as an actor (if I hit a run of bad luck) in some acting company, and wear flowers on my shoes?

HORATIO

Half a share.

HORATIO

They might even give you half a share of the company.

HAMLET

A whole one, I.
  For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
  This realm dismantled was
  Of Jove himself. And now reigns here
  A very, very—pajock.

HAMLET

No, a whole share for me.
For you know, my dearest Damon,
That Jove, king of the gods, was
Thrown out of power here, and
Who’s in charge? A big—peacock.