Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

110And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest father bears his son
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire.
115And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
Because everyone knows that you are the man closest to this throne, and I love you just as much as any father loves his son. And your plans for going back to Wittenberg are not what I want. I’m asking you now to stay here in my company as the number-one member of my court, my nephew and now my son too.

GERTRUDE

Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet.
I pray thee, stay with us. Go not to Wittenberg.

GERTRUDE

Please answer my prayers, Hamlet, and stay with us. Don’t go back to Wittenberg.

HAMLET

120I shall in all my best obey you, madam.

HAMLET

I’ll obey you as well as I can, ma'am.

CLAUDIUS

Why, ’tis a loving and a fair reply.
Be as ourself in Denmark.—Madam, come.
This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart, in grace whereof
125No jocund health that Denmark drinks today
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,
And the king’s rouse the heavens shall bruit again,
Respeaking earthly thunder. Come away.

CLAUDIUS

That’s the right answer—it shows your love. Stay in Denmark like us.—My dear wife, come. Hamlet’s agreeing to stay makes me happy, and every merry toast I’ll drink today will be heard as far as the clouds overhead. My drinking will be echoed in the heavens. Let’s go.
Flourish. Exeunt all but HAMLET
Trumpets play. Everyone except HAMLET exits.

HAMLET

Oh, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt,
130Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God, God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
135Fie on ’t, ah fie! 'Tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this.
But two months dead—nay, not so much, not two.
So excellent a king, that was to this
140Hyperion to a satyr. So loving to my mother

HAMLET

Ah, I wish my dirty flesh could melt away into a vapor, or that God had not made a law against suicide. Oh God, God! How tired, stale, and pointless life is to me. Damn it! It’s like a garden that no one’s taking care of, and that’s growing wild. Only nasty weeds grow in it now. I can’t believe it’s come to this. My father’s only been dead for two months—no, not even two. Such an excellent king, as superior to my uncle as a god is to a beast, and so loving toward my mother that he kept the wind from blowing too hard on her face.