Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Act 3 Scene 1

page Act 3 Scene 1 Page 1

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Enter CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN
CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN enter.

CLAUDIUS

And can you by no drift of conference
Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?

CLAUDIUS

And you can’t put your heads together and figure out why he’s acting so dazed and confused, ruining his peace and quiet with such dangerous displays of lunacy?

ROSENCRANTZ

5He does confess he feels himself distracted.
But from what cause he will by no means speak.

ROSENCRANTZ

He admits he feels confused, but refuses to say why.

GUILDENSTERN

Nor do we find him forward to be sounded.
But with a crafty madness keeps aloof
When we would bring him on to some confession
10Of his true state.

GUILDENSTERN

And he’s not exactly eager to be interrogated. He’s very sly and dances around our questions when we try to get him to talk about how he feels.

GERTRUDE

  Did he receive you well?

GERTRUDE

Did he treat you well when you saw him?

ROSENCRANTZ

Most like a gentleman.

ROSENCRANTZ

Yes, in a very gentlemanly way.

GUILDENSTERN

But with much forcing of his disposition.

GUILDENSTERN

But it seemed like he had to force himself to be nice to us.

ROSENCRANTZ

Niggard of question, but of our demands
Most free in his reply.

ROSENCRANTZ

He didn’t ask questions, but answered ours at length.

GERTRUDE

    Did you assay him?
15To any pastime?

GERTRUDE

Did you try tempting him with some entertainment?

ROSENCRANTZ

Madam, it so fell out, that certain players
We o'erraught on the way. Of these we told him,
And there did seem in him a kind of joy

ROSENCRANTZ

Madam, some actors happened to cross our paths on the way here. We told Hamlet about them, and that seemed to do him good.