Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

LAERTES

Where is this king?—Sirs, stand you all without.

LAERTES

Where’s this so-called king? Men, wait outside.

ALL

No, let’s come in!

ALL

No, let us in!

LAERTES

I pray you, give me leave.

LAERTES

Please wait.

ALL

We will, we will.

ALL

All right, we will, we will.
Exeunt LAERTES' FOLLOWERS
LAERTES' FOLLOWERS exit.

LAERTES

90I thank you. Keep the door.—O thou vile king,
Give me my father!

LAERTES

Thank you. Guard the door. (to CLAUDIUS) Oh, you vile king, give me my father!

GERTRUDE

  Calmly, good Laertes.

GERTRUDE

Calm down, good Laertes.

LAERTES

That drop of blood that’s calm proclaims me bastard,
Cries “Cuckold!” to my father, brands the “harlot”
Even here between the chaste unsmirchèd brow
95Of my true mother.

LAERTES

I’ve got exactly one calm drop of blood in my body, and it proclaims that

I’m a bastard

Laertes suggests that since he hasn’t yet punished his father’s murderer, he must not be his real son.

I’m a bastard
, says my father was betrayed, and stamps the label “whore” on the pure forehead of my devoted mother.

CLAUDIUS

  What is the cause, Laertes,
That thy rebellion looks so giant-like?—
Let him go, Gertrude. Do not fear our person.
There’s such divinity doth hedge a king
That treason can but peep to what it would,
100Acts little of his will.—Tell me, Laertes,
Why thou art thus incensed.—Let him go, Gertrude.—
Speak, man.

CLAUDIUS

Laertes, what makes you so rebellious? Let him go, Gertrude. Don’t worry about my getting hurt. God protects the king, so traitors can’t hurt him.—Tell me, Laertes, why you’re so angry.—Gertrude, let him go.—Tell me, man.

LAERTES

 Where is my father?

LAERTES

Where’s my father?

CLAUDIUS

    Dead.

CLAUDIUS

He’s dead.

GERTRUDE

But not by him.

GERTRUDE

But the king didn’t kill him.

CLAUDIUS

  Let him demand his fill.

CLAUDIUS

Let him ask what he wants to ask.