Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 2

page Act 2 Scene 2 Page 7

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POLONIUS

(points to his head and shoulders)
Take this from this if this be otherwise.
If circumstances lead me, I will find
150Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the center.

POLONIUS

(pointing to his head and shoulders) Chop my head off if I’m wrong. I’ll follow the clues and uncover the truth, even if it’s at the very center of the earth.

CLAUDIUS

  How may we try it further?

CLAUDIUS

What can we do to find out if it’s true?

POLONIUS

You know sometimes he walks four hours together
Here in the lobby.

POLONIUS

Well, you know he sometimes walks here in the lobby for four hours at a time.

GERTRUDE

  So he does indeed.

GERTRUDE

Yes, he does.

POLONIUS

At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him.
155 (to CLAUDIUS) Be you and I behind an arras then,
Mark the encounter. If he love her not
And be not from his reason fall'n thereon,
Let me be no assistant for a state
But keep a farm and carters.

POLONIUS

When he’s there next time, I’ll send my daughter to see him. (to CLAUDIUS) You and I will hide behind the

arras

An arras is a hanging wall-tapestry.

arras
and watch what happens. If it turns out that Hamlet’s not in love after all, and hasn’t gone mad from love, then you can fire me from my court job and I’ll go work on a farm.

CLAUDIUS

    We will try it.

CLAUDIUS

We’ll try what you suggest.
Enter HAMLET, reading on a book
HAMLET enters, reading a book.

GERTRUDE

160But look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.

GERTRUDE

Look how sadly he’s coming in, reading his book.

POLONIUS

Away, I do beseech you, both away.
I’ll board him presently. O, give me leave.

POLONIUS

Please go away, both of you. I’ll speak to him now. Oh, please let me.
Exeunt CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDE
CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDE exit.
How does my good Lord Hamlet?
How are you, Hamlet?

HAMLET

Well, God-'a'-mercy.

HAMLET

Fine, thank you.

POLONIUS

165Do you know me, my lord?

POLONIUS

Do you know who I am?