Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 2

page Act 5 Scene 2 Page 18

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FORTINBRAS

Where is this sight?

FORTINBRAS

What do I see here?

HORATIO

What is it ye would see?
If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.

HORATIO

What would you like to see? If it’s a tragedy, you’ve come to the right place.

FORTINBRAS

This quarry cries on havoc. O proud death,
365What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
That thou so many princes at a shot
So bloodily hast struck?

FORTINBRAS

These corpses suggest mayhem. Oh, proud Death, what banquet are you preparing that you’ve needed to knock off so many princes at one stroke?

AMBASSADOR

    The sight is dismal,
And our affairs from England come too late.
The ears are senseless that should give us hearing,
370To tell him his commandment is fulfilled,
That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.
Where should we have our thanks?

AMBASSADOR

This is a horrible sight. Our news arrives from England too late, since the people that should have heard it are dead. We meant to tell the king that his orders have been carried out, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Who will thank us now?

HORATIO

(indicates CLAUDIUS) Not from his mouth,
Had it th' ability of life to thank you.
375He never gave commandment for their death.
But since so jump upon this bloody question,
You from the Polack wars, and you from England,
Are here arrived, give order that these bodies
High on a stage be placèd to the view,
380And let me speak to th' yet-unknowing world
How these things came about. So shall you hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
385And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Fall'n on th' inventors' heads. All this can I
Truly deliver.

HORATIO

(indicates CLAUDIUS) Not the king, even if he were still alive to thank you. He never ordered their deaths. But since you’ve come so soon after this bloodbath, you from battles in Poland and you from England, then give your men orders to display these corpses on a high platform, and let me tell the world how all this happened.You’ll hear of violent and unnatural acts, terrible accidents, casual murders, deaths caused by trickery and by threat, and finally murderous plans that backfired on their perpetrators. All this I can explain.

FORTINBRAS

  Let us haste to hear it,
And call the noblest to the audience.
For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune.
390I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.

FORTINBRAS

Let’s hear about it right away and invite all the noblemen to listen. As for me, I welcome my good luck with sadness. I have some rights to claim this kingdom, and by arriving at this moment I have an opportunity to put them into effect.