Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 5

page Act 4 Scene 5 Page 8

Original Text

Modern Text

Noise within: “Let her come in!”
A voice offstage, “Let her in!”

LAERTES

How now? What noise is that?

LAERTES

What’s that noise?
Enter OPHELIA
OPHELIA enters.
130O heat, dry up my brains! Tears seven times salt,
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight,
Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May,
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!
135O heavens, is ’t possible a young maid’s wits
Should be as mortal as an old man’s life?
Nature is fine in love, and where ’tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.
Oh, heat, dry up my brains! Salty tears, burn my eyes! By heaven, I’ll get revenge for your madness! Oh, you springtime rose, dear maiden, kind sister, sweet Ophelia! Is it possible that a young woman’s mind could fade away as easily as an old man’s life? Human nature is refined and thoughtful—person graciously gives a valuable part of herself away to her beloved, as Ophelia has sent off her sanity to her dead father.

OPHELIA

140 (sings)
They bore him barefaced on the bier,
  Hey, non nonny, nonny, hey, nonny,
And in his grave rained many a tear.
Fare you well, my dove.

OPHELIA

(sings)
They carried him uncovered in the coffin,
  Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny.
And tears poured down into his grave.
Good-bye, honey.

LAERTES

Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
It could not move thus.

LAERTES

If you were sane and could urge me to take revenge, you couldn’t be more persuasive than you are now.

OPHELIA

You must sing A-down a-down—And you, Call him a- down-a—Oh, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward that stole his master’s daughter.

OPHELIA

You’re supposed to sing, “A down a-down,” and you, “Call him a-down-a.” Oh, how it turns around like a wheel! Like the worker who stole his boss’s daughter.

LAERTES

This nothing’s more than matter.

LAERTES

This nonsense means more than rational speech.

OPHELIA

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.

OPHELIA

Look at my flowers. There’s rosemary, that’s for remembering. Please remember, love. And there are pansies, they’re for thoughts.