Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

GERTRUDE

  Hamlet, Hamlet!

GERTRUDE

Hamlet! Hamlet!

ALL

Gentlemen—

ALL

Gentlemen!

HORATIO

(to HAMLET) Good my lord, be quiet.

HORATIO

(to HAMLET ) Please, my lord, calm down.
Attendants separate HAMLET and LAERTES
Attendants separate HAMLET and LAERTES

HAMLET

Why, I will fight with him upon this theme
245Until my eyelids will no longer wag.

HAMLET

I’ll fight him over this issue till I don’t have the strength to blink.

GERTRUDE

O my son, what theme?

GERTRUDE

Oh, my son, what issue is that?

HAMLET

I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers
Could not with all their quantity of love
Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?

HAMLET

I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers, if you added all their love together, couldn’t match mine. What are you going to do for her?

CLAUDIUS

250O, he is mad, Laertes.

CLAUDIUS

Oh, he’s crazy, Laertes!

GERTRUDE

For love of God, forbear him.

GERTRUDE

For the love of God, be patient with him.

HAMLET

'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do.
Woo’t weep? Woo’t fight? Woo’t fast? Woo’t tear thyself?
Woo’t drink up eisel, eat a crocodile?
255I’ll do ’t. Dost thou come here to whine,
To outface me with leaping in her grave?
Be buried quick with her?—and so will I.
And if thou prate of mountains let them throw
Millions of acres on us, till our ground,
260Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth,
I’ll rant as well as thou.

HAMLET

Damn it, show me what you’re going to do for her. Will you cry? Fight? Stop eating? Cut yourself? Drink vinegar? Eat a crocodile? I’ll do all that. Did you come here to whine? To outdo me by jumping into her grave so theatrically? To be buried alive with her? So will I. And if you rattle on about mountains, then let them throw millions of acres over us. It will be so high a peak that it scrapes against heaven and makes Mount Ossa look like a wart. See? I can talk crazy as well as you.

GERTRUDE

  This is mere madness.
And thus a while the fit will work on him.
Anon, as patient as the female dove
265When that her golden couplets are disclosed,
His silence will sit drooping.

GERTRUDE

This is pure insanity. He’ll be like this for a little while. Then he’ll be as calm and quiet as a dove waiting for her eggs to hatch.