Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

CAPTAIN
Truly to speak, and with no addition,
We go to gain a little patch of ground
That hath in it no profit but the name.
To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it.
20Nor will it yield to Norway or the Pole
A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.
CAPTAIN
To tell the truth, we’re fighting to win a little patch of ground that’s not worth anything. I myself wouldn’t pay five ducats for it, if someone offered it to me to farm. And it won’t provide any more profits than that to either the Norwegian or the Pole.
HAMLET
Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
HAMLET
So then the Poles won’t be willing to defend it.
CAPTAIN
Yes, it is already garrisoned.
CAPTAIN
Oh, yes they will. They’ve already stationed troops there.
HAMLET
Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats
25Will not debate the question of this straw.
This is th' impostume of much wealth and peace,
That inward breaks and shows no cause without
Why the man dies.—I humbly thank you, sir.
HAMLET
(to himself) Even two thousand men and twenty-thousand ducats are just the beginning of what it will cost to settle this pointless matter. This is what happens when countries have too much money and peace. This quarrel is like an abcess that grows inside someone until it bursts and kills them, and no one knows why. (to the CAPTAIN) Thank you very much for the information, sir.
CAPTAIN
God be wi' you, sir.
CAPTAIN
Good-bye, sir.
Exit CAPTAIN
The CAPTAIN exits.
ROSENCRANTZ
  Will ’t please you go, my lord?
ROSENCRANTZ
Will you please come now, my lord?
HAMLET
30I’ll be with you straight. Go a little before.
HAMLET
I’ll be there in a minute. Start without me.
Exeunt all except HAMLET
Everyone except HAMLET exits.
How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
35Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
My God! Everything I see shows me how wrong I am and tells me to hurry up and get on with my revenge. What is a human being if he just eats and sleeps? Nothing more than a beast. God didn’t create us with such a huge power of thought and a divine capacity for reason in order for us not to use them. Now, whether it’s animal-like mindlessness, or the cowardly hesitation