Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 4

page Act 3 Scene 4 Page 5

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GERTRUDE

  O, speak to me no more!
These words like daggers enter in my ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet.

GERTRUDE

Oh, you must stop! Your words are like daggers. Please, no more, sweet Hamlet.

HAMLET

    A murderer and a villain,
A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord, a vice of kings,
100A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket—

HAMLET

A murderer and a villain, a low-life who’s not worth a twentieth of a tenth of your first husband—the worst of kings, a thief of the throne, who took the precious crown from a shelf and put it in his pocket—

GERTRUDE

No more!

GERTRUDE

Stop!

HAMLET

A king of shreds and patches—

HAMLET

A ragtag king—
Enter GHOST
The GHOST enters.
105Save me and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards!—What would your gracious figure?
Oh, angels in heaven, protect me with your wings!—What can I do for you, my gracious lord?

GERTRUDE

Alas, he’s mad!

GERTRUDE

Oh no! Hamlet’s gone completely crazy.

HAMLET

Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by
110The important acting of your dread command?
O, say!

HAMLET

Have you come to scold your tardy son for straying from his mission, letting your important command slip by? Tell me!

GHOST

 Do not forget. This visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But look, amazement on thy mother sits.
O, step between her and her fighting soul.
115Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
Speak to her, Hamlet.

GHOST

Don’t forget. I’ve come to sharpen your somewhat dull appetite for revenge. But look, your mother is in shock. Oh, keep her struggling soul from being overwhelmed by horrid visions. The imagination works strongest in those with the weakest bodies. Talk to her, Hamlet.