Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

CLAUDIUS

40Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety—
Which we do tender as we dearly grieve
For that which thou hast done—must send thee hence
With fiery quickness. Therefore prepare thyself.
The bark is ready and the wind at help,
45Th' associates tend, and everything is bent
For England.

CLAUDIUS

Hamlet, I care for you just as much as I grieve for Polonius. For your own protection, I must send you to England at once. So get ready to leave. The ship is set to sail, the wind is favorable, your servants are waiting for you—everything is ready for you to go to England.

HAMLET

For England?

HAMLET

To England?

CLAUDIUS

Ay, Hamlet.

CLAUDIUS

Yes, Hamlet.

HAMLET

Good.

HAMLET

Good.

CLAUDIUS

50So is it, if thou knew’st our purposes.

CLAUDIUS

Yes, you’d think so, if you knew why I was sending you.

HAMLET

I see a cherub that sees them. But come, for England.
Farewell, dear mother.

HAMLET

I know an angel who can read your mind. But okay, off to England! Good-bye, dear mother.

CLAUDIUS

Thy loving father, Hamlet.

CLAUDIUS

I’m your father, Hamlet—your father who loves you.

HAMLET

My mother. Father and mother is man and wife, man and wife is one flesh, and so, my mother.—Come, for England!

HAMLET

You’re my mother. When you married my mother, the two of you became one flesh, so if you’re my father you’re also my mother. Come on, off to England!
Exit HAMLET
HAMLET exits.

CLAUDIUS

Follow him at foot. Tempt him with speed aboard.
Delay it not. I’ll have him hence tonight.
Away! For everything is sealed and done
That else leans on the affair. Pray you, make haste.

CLAUDIUS

Follow him on foot, and get him on board as quickly as possible. Don’t waste any time. I want him out of here tonight. Go now; everything else is ready. Please hurry.
Exeunt all but CLAUDIUS
Everyone except CLAUDIUS exits.
60And, England, if my love thou hold’st at aught—
As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
After the Danish sword and thy free awe
And you, dear king of England, if you care about me at all—and you should, since you can still feel the damage that Denmark has done to you in the past and, so, fear and respect us—then you won’t ignore my letters instructing you to kill Hamlet immediately. Do it,