Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter GERTRUDE and POLONIUS
GERTRUDEand POLONIUS enter.

POLONIUS

He will come straight. Look you lay home to him.
Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
And that your grace hath screened and stood between
Much heat and him. I’ll silence me even here.
5Pray you, be round with him.

POLONIUS

He’ll come right away. Make sure you lay into him. Tell him his pranks have caused too much trouble, and that Your Highness has taken a lot of heat for them. I’ll be right here, silent. Please be blunt with him.

HAMLET

(within) Mother, mother, mother!

HAMLET

(offstage) Mother, mother, mother!

GERTRUDE

I’ll warrant you. Fear me not. Withdraw, I hear him coming.

GERTRUDE

Don’t worry, I’ll do what you say. Now hide, I hear him coming.
POLONIUS hides behind the arras
POLONIUS hides behind the tapestry.
Enter HAMLET
HAMLET enters.

HAMLET

Now mother, what’s the matter?

HAMLET

Now mother, what’s this all about?

GERTRUDE

Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

GERTRUDE

Hamlet, you’ve insulted your father.

HAMLET

10Mother, you have my father much offended.

HAMLET

Mother, you’ve insulted my father.

GERTRUDE

Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.

GERTRUDE

Come on, you’re answering me foolishly.

HAMLET

Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.

HAMLET

Go on, you’re questioning me evilly.

GERTRUDE

Why, how now, Hamlet?

GERTRUDE

Hamlet, what, why?

HAMLET

    What’s the matter now?

HAMLET

What’s the problem now?

GERTRUDE

Have you forgot me?

GERTRUDE

Have you forgotten who I am?

HAMLET

  No, by the rood, not so.
15You are the queen, your husband’s brother’s wife,
And—would it were not so!—you are my mother.

HAMLET

For God’s sake no, I haven’t. You are the queen, your husband’s brother’s wife, and you are my mother, though I wish you weren’t.