Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 2

page Act 3 Scene 2 Page 11

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HAMLET

The Mousetrap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna. Gonzago is the duke’s name, his wife Baptista. You shall see anon. 'Tis a knavish piece of work, but what o' that? Your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not. Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.

HAMLET

The Mousetrap. Why on earth is it called that, you ask? It’s a metaphor. This play is about a murder committed in Vienna. Gonzago is the duke’s name, and his wife is Baptista. You’ll see soon enough. It’s a piece of garbage, but who cares? You and I have free souls, so it doesn’t concern us. Let the guilty wince. We can watch without being bothered.
Enter LUCIANUS
LUCIANUS enters.
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.
This is Lucianus, the king’s nephew in the play.

OPHELIA

230You are as good as a chorus, my lord.

OPHELIA

You’re an expert commentator, aren’t you?

HAMLET

I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see the puppets dallying.

HAMLET

Yes. I could even supply the dialogue between you and your lover if you did your little puppet show of love for me.

OPHELIA

You are keen, my lord, you are keen.

OPHELIA

Ooh, you’re sharp.

HAMLET

It would cost you a groaning to take off mine edge.

HAMLET

Yes, pointy, but you could take the edge off me— though it might make you moan a little.

OPHELIA

235Still better and worse.

OPHELIA

You get better in your jokes and worse in your manners.

HAMLET

So you must take your husbands.—Begin, murderer. Pox, leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come, “The croaking raven doth bellow for revenge—”

HAMLET

That’s what you women get when you trick us into marriage.—Let’s get started, murderer on stage, please! Damn it, stop fussing with the makeup, and get going. We’re all waiting for the revenge!

LUCIANUS

Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing,
240 Confederate season, else no creature seeing,
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
With Hecate’s ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magic and dire property
On wholesome life usurp immediately.
245 (pours poison into PLAYER KING ’s ears)

LUCIANUS

Evil thoughts, ready hands, the right poison, and the time is right too. The dark night is on my side, for no one can see me. You deadly mixture of weeds and plants, which Hecate, goddess of witchcraft, has put a spell on, use your magic to steal this healthy person’s life away. (pours the poison into the PLAYER KING ’s ears)