Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

OPHELIA
Belike this show imports the argument of the play.
OPHELIA
This pantomime was probably a summary of the play.
Enter PROLOGUE
The PROLOGUE—the actor who will introduce the play—enters.
HAMLET
We shall know by this fellow. The players cannot keep counsel. They’ll tell all.
HAMLET
This guy will tell us everything. Actors can’t keep a secret. They’ll tell all.
OPHELIA
Will he tell us what this show meant?
OPHELIA
Will he tell us what that pantomime meant?
HAMLET
Ay, or any show that you will show him. Be not you ashamed to show, he’ll not shame to tell you what it means.
HAMLET
Sure, or anything else you show him. As long as you aren’t ashamed to show it, he won’t be ashamed to tell you what it means.
OPHELIA
135You are naught, you are naught. I’ll mark the play.
OPHELIA
You’re naughty. I’m watching the play.
PROLOGUE
For us and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.
PROLOGUE
We beg you most courteously
To be patient with us
And watch our humble tragedy.
Exit PROLOGUE
The PROLOGUE exits.
HAMLET
Is this a prologue or the posy of a ring?
HAMLET
Was that the prologue or the inscription on some wedding ring?
OPHELIA
140'Tis brief, my lord.
OPHELIA
It was a bit short, my lord.
HAMLET
As woman’s love.
HAMLET
Yes, as short as a woman’s love.
Enter PLAYER KING and PLAYER QUEEN
Actors playing the roles of KING and QUEEN enter.