Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

LAERTES

  To cut his throat i' th' church.

LAERTES

I’ll cut Hamlet’s throat in church.

CLAUDIUS

No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize.
125Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes,
Will you do this, keep close within your chamber.
Hamlet returned shall know you are come home.
We’ll put on those shall praise your excellence
And set a double varnish on the fame
130The Frenchman gave you, bring you in fine together
And wager on your heads. He, being remiss,
Most generous and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils; so that, with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
135A sword unbated, and in a pass of practice
Requite him for your father.

CLAUDIUS

It’s true, no place—not even a church—should offer refuge to that murderer. Revenge should have no limits. But Laertes, will you do this: stay in your room? When Hamlet comes home he’ll learn you’re here. I’ll have people praise your excellence and put a double coat on the fame the Frenchman gave you. In short, we’ll get you together and place bets on you. Hamlet’s so careless, high-minded, and unsuspecting that he won’t examine the swords beforehand, so you can easily choose one with a sharpened point and in one thrust avenge the death of your father.

LAERTES

    I will do ’t.
And for that purpose I’ll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,
140Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death
That is but scratched withal. I’ll touch my point
With this contagion, that if I gall him slightly
145It may be death.

LAERTES

I’ll do it, and I’ll put a little dab of something on my sword as well. From a quack doctor I bought some oil so poisonous that if you dip a knife in it, no medicine in the world can save the person who’s scratched by it. If I even graze his skin slightly, he’s likely to die.

CLAUDIUS

  Let’s further think of this,
Weigh what convenience both of time and means
May fit us to our shape. If this should fail,
And that our drift look through our bad performance,
'Twere better not assayed. Therefore this project

CLAUDIUS

Let’s think about this, and consider what time and what method will be most appropriate. If our plan were to fail, and people found out about it, it would be better never to have tried it.
We should have a backup ready in case the first plan doesn’t work. Let me think. We’ll place bets on you and Hamlet—that’s it! When the two of you have gotten all sweaty and hot—keep him jumping around a lot for that purpose—Hamlet will ask for something to drink. I’ll have a cup ready for him. If by chance he