by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 2

page Act 5 Scene 2 Page 19

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Of that I shall have also cause to speak,
And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more.
But let this same be presently performed,
395Even while men’s minds are wild, lest more mischance
On plots and errors happen.


I also have a few things to say about that, which Hamlet just told me. But let’s get down to business—even though people are in a frenzy of grief—to avoid any further plots and mishaps.


Let four captains
Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage,
For he was likely, had he been put on,
400To have proved most royally. And, for his passage,
The soldiers' music and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him.
Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
405Go, bid the soldiers shoot.


Let four captains carry Hamlet like a soldier onto the stage. He would have been a great king if he had had the chance to prove himself. Military music and military rites will speak for his heroic qualities. Pick up the corpses. A sight like this suits a battlefield, but here at court it shows that much went wrong. Go outside and tell the soldiers to fire their guns in honor of Hamlet.
Exeunt marching, carrying the bodies, after the which a peal of ordnance are shot off
They exit marching, carrying the bodies. Cannons are fired.