Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Take these again, for to the noble mind
Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
There, my lord.
their value when the givers turn out not to be so nice. There, my lord.

HAMLET

105Ha, ha, are you honest?

HAMLET

Ha ha, are you good?

OPHELIA

My lord?

OPHELIA

Excuse me?

HAMLET

Are you fair?

HAMLET

Are you beautiful?

OPHELIA

What means your lordship?

OPHELIA

My lord, what are you talking about?

HAMLET

That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.

HAMLET

I’m just saying that if you’re good and beautiful, your goodness should have nothing to do with your beauty.

OPHELIA

Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty?

OPHELIA

But could beauty be related to anything better than goodness?

HAMLET

Ay, truly, for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness. This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.

HAMLET

Sure, since beauty’s power can more easily change a good girl into a whore than the power of goodness can change a beautiful girl into a virgin. This used to be a great puzzle, but now I’ve solved it. I used to love you.

OPHELIA

Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.

OPHELIA

You certainly made me believe you did, my lord.

HAMLET

You should not have believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not.

HAMLET

You shouldn’t have believed me, since we’re all rotten at the core, no matter how hard we try to be virtuous. I didn’t love you.

OPHELIA

I was the more deceived.

OPHELIA

Then I guess I was misled.

HAMLET

Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me.

HAMLET

Get yourself to a

convent

“Nunnery” could mean either convent or brothel.

convent
at once. Why would you want to give birth to more sinners? I’m fairly good myself, but even so I could accuse myself of such horrible crimes that it would’ve been better if my mother had never given birth to me. and