by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Why, even in that was heaven ordinant.
I had my father’s signet in my purse,
Which was the model of that Danish seal.
55Folded the writ up in form of th' other,
Subscribed it, gave ’t th' impression, placed it safely,
The changeling never known. Now, the next day
Was our sea fight, and what to this was sequent
Thou know’st already.
Heaven helped me out with that too. I had my father’s signet ring in my pocket, with the royal seal of Denmark on it. I folded up the new document, signed it, sealed it, and put it safely back so that no one noticed any difference. The next day we had our fight at sea, and you know what happened after that.
60So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to ’t.
So Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are in for it.
Why, man, they did make love to this employment.
They are not near my conscience. Their defeat
Does by their own insinuation grow.
'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
65Between the pass and fell incensèd points
Of mighty opposites.
Man, they were asking for it. I don’t feel guilty about them at all. They got what they deserved. It’s always dangerous when little people get caught in the crossfire of mighty opponents.
Why, what a king is this!
What a king Claudius is!
Does it not, think thee, stand me now upon—
He that hath killed my king and whored my mother,
70Popped in between th' election and my hopes,
Thrown out his angle for my proper life
(And with such cozenage!)—is ’t not perfect conscience
To quit him with this arm? And is ’t not to be damned
To let this canker of our nature come
75In further evil?
Don’t you think it’s my duty now to kill him with this weapon? This man who killed my king, made my mother a whore, took the throne that I hoped for, and set a trap to kill me. Isn’t it completely moral to kill him now with this sword—and an easy conscience? And wouldn’t I be damned if I let this monster live to do more harm?
It must be shortly known to him from England
What is the issue of the business there.
He’ll find out soon what happened in England.