Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

GERTRUDE

Sweets to the sweet. Farewell! (scatters flowers)
220I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet’s wife.
I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,
And not have strewed thy grave.

QUEEN

Sweet flowers for a sweet girl. Goodbye! (she scatters flowers) I once hoped you’d be my Hamlet’s wife. I thought I’d be tossing flowers on your wedding bed, my sweet girl, not on your grave.

LAERTES

    Oh, treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that cursèd head,
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
225Deprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile
Till I have caught her once more in mine arms.

LAERTES

Oh, damn three times, damn ten times the evil man whose wicked deed deprived you of your ingenious mind. Hold off burying her until I’ve caught her in my arms once more.
(leaps into the grave)
(he jumps into the grave)
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead,
Till of this flat a mountain you have made,
T' o'ertop old Pelion or the skyish head
230Of blue Olympus.

HAMLET

(comes forward) What is he whose grief
Bears such an emphasis, whose phrase of sorrow
Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand
Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
Hamlet the Dane. (leaps into the grave)

HAMLET

(coming forward) Who is the one whose grief is so loud and clear, whose words of sadness make the planets stand still in the heavens as if they’ve been hurt by what they’ve heard? It’s me, Hamlet the Dane. (he jumps into the grave)

LAERTES

235The devil take thy soul!

LAERTES

To hell with your soul!
HAMLET and LAERTES grapple
HAMLET and LAERTES wrestle with each other.

HAMLET

Thou pray’st not well.
I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat,
For though I am not splenitive and rash,
Yet have I something in me dangerous,
240Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand.

HAMLET

That’s no way to pray. (they fight) Please take your hands off my throat. I may not be rash and quick to anger, but I have something dangerous in me which you should beware of. Take your hands off.

CLAUDIUS

Pluck them asunder.

CLAUDIUS

Pull them apart.