The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - A Study with the Text of the Folio of 1623

Act 3

Scene 2

Hamlet: Speak the speech as I pronounced it to you. Donít overact and donít under act. I cannot stand it when people forget a line or say the wrong thing, which arenít any good except for dumb shows and noise. I will have a person whipped for overdoing Termagant. It overdoes the hero. Please avoid it.
First Player: Yes, sir.
Hamlet: It would be nice for you to be honest. Try to be natural, and make it flow. Be modest. If you overact or under act, even if it makes simple people laugh, you will grieve. I have seen players do this, and heard spectators praise of it. Some have done it well.
First Player: I hope we part on good terms.
Hamlet: Oh, change it. Let your back-ups only speak their lines. Let them make people laugh. If they talk too much than needed, it will show no ambition.
How are you, my lord? Will the king come to see the play?
Polonius: Yes, and the queen too.
Hamlet: Hurry. Will you two help hurry them?
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: We will.
Hamlet: Hello, Horatio!
Horatio: Here I am, at your service.
Hamlet: You are not just a man that listens to me.
Horatio: Dear lord-
Hamlet: Iím not flattering you. What do I gain from you? Why should I be nice to the poor? Why should the poor be flattered? Let the hypocrite talk about what he wants. Do you hear me? She picked you above all others. You donít suffer, but have been rewarded. Fortune blesses people with common sense. They are not played by Fortuneís finger. Give me a man who is not passionate and I will tell him how I feel just as I am telling you. There is a play tonight before the king; one scene of it comes near the circumference which I have told to re-enact my fatherís death. I hope that when the scene is performed my uncle will show some sign. If he is guilty, then we know the ghost is right. Otherwise it is damned. Take note of his facial expressions, because my eyes imagine things. We will see how he acts.
Horatio: Well, if he doesnít show one flinch, I will pay the theft. I will do my best.
Hamlet: They are coming to the play. I must be idle. Go find you a place.
King: How are you, Hamlet?
Hamlet: I am as good as a chameleon; eating air as well as promises. You cannot feed other animals so.
King: I donít know what you mean. These words are not mine.
Hamlet: No, not mine now. Polonius, you played once at the university, right?
Polonius: I did, and was told I was an excellent actor.
Hamlet: What did you act out?
Polonius: I acted in Julius Caesar. I was killed in the Capitol by Brutus.
Hamlet: It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there. Are the players ready?
Rosencrantz: Yes, they wait on you.
Queen: Come here, Hamlet, and sit by me.
Hamlet: No, mother, I would rather sit here.
Polonius: Oh! Did you hear that?
Hamlet: Lady, can I lie in your lap?
Ophelia: No.
Hamlet: I mean, upon your lap?
Ophelia: Yes, Hamlet.
Hamlet: Do you think I meant country matters?
Ophelia: I think nothing.
Hamlet: Thatís a fair thought to lie between a maidís legs.
Ophelia: What?
Hamlet: Nothing.
Ophelia: You are merry.
Hamlet: Who, me?
Ophelia: Yes.
Hamlet: God, your only comedian. What does a man do if he isnít marry? Look how cheerful my mother looks and itís only been two hours since my father died.
Ophelia: No, about two months, my lord.
Hamlet: So long? No, let the devil wear black, and Iíll wear a suit of sables. Oh, heavens! Die two months ago and still not forgotten? Then thereís hope a great manís memory may outlive his life half a year. But, by our lady, he must build churches, or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is ĎFor O, for O, the hobby-horse is forgot.í
Ophelia: What does that mean?
Hamlet: Well, this is cowardly mischief; itís really just mischief.
Ophelia: It is like the show that wants arguments over the play.
Hamlet: We shall know by this fellow. The players cannot keep quiet; theyíll tell all.
Ophelia: Will he tell us what that pantomime meant?
Hamlet: Yes, along with any other show you show him. Donít be afraid to show; he wonít be ashamed to tell you what it means.
Ophelia: You are naughty, you are naughty. Iíll watch the play.

For us for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.

Hamlet: Is this a prologue?
Ophelia: It is brief.
Hamlet: As womanís love.
Player King: Do you still love me?
Player Queen: Yes, I still love you.
Player King: I must leave, but I would sacrifice myself for you.
Player Queen: I would never marry another even if you were dead.
Hamlet: Itís just crap.
Player Queen: The only reason I would ever remarry is for money, never for love. I would kill that husband if he ever tried to kiss me.
Player King: I believe you, and people forget their promises. I donít think you will remarry, but we will see when we both die.
Player Queen: I would never remarry. If I become a widow, Iíll stay a widow!
Hamlet: She should break that right about now.
Player King: You have sworn. Now I will rest.
Player Queen: Sleep, and we will never break our promises.
Hamlet: Hey Mom, how do you like this play?
Queen: The lady protests too much, but I like it.
Hamlet: I am sure she will keep her word.
King: Havenít you heard the argument?
Hamlet: No, they just joke, thatís all. Thereís no offense.
King: What is this play called?
Hamlet: ĎThe Mousetrap.í Ironically. Itís about a murder in Vienna. The Dukeís name is Gonzago, and his wife is Baptista; you will see. This is Lucianus, nephew to the king.
Ophelia: You tell too much of the story.
Hamlet: I could tell you and you lover apart.
Ophelia: You are cruel.
Hamlet: I can make you groan.
Ophelia: Will you shut up?
Hamlet: You deceive all of your husbands.
Lucianus: It is the perfect time. This amount of poison should do it.
Hamlet: He poisons him for his money. You should see how he gets the love of Gonzagoís wife.
Ophelia: The king rises.
Hamlet: What, frightened, are we?
Queen: Are you okay?
Polonius: Stop the play.
King: Give me light!
Polonius: Lights!
Hamlet: Well, let the frighten deer weep after watching a scary play. Some must watch, and some must sleep. I did such a great job. I should be an actor.
Horatio: You didnít do that great.
Hamlet: I am too! You must know that this world was dismantled by Jove himself and now is here like a - peacock.
Horatio: You are supposed to rhyme.
Hamlet: Iíll take the ghostís word for it. Did you see the king flinch?
Horatio: Yes.
Hamlet: When he was talking of poison?
Horatio: Yes.
Hamlet: Score! Letís hear some music! The recorders! If the king doesnít like comedy, then I donít think he liked that at all. Bring some music!
Guildenstern: Hamlet, I need a word with you.
Hamlet: Tell me everything.
Guildenstern: The king-
Hamlet: Yes, how is he?
Guildenstern: Heís mad and in his room.
Hamlet: With drinks?
Guildenstern: No, just with sickness.
Hamlet: Your wisdom is greater than a doctorís, and for me to put him in into cleanliness would make him sicker.
Guildenstern: Just talk about what I am talking about.
Hamlet: I am, trust me.
Guildenstern: Your mother wants to see you.
Hamlet: Okay, I will later.
Guildenstern: No, this is not ordinary. You need to go now and let me go on with my business.
Hamlet: I canít.
Guildenstern: Why not?
Hamlet: I will give you a whole answer, as you command. And about my mother?
Rosencrantz: She says that your behavior strikes her with amazement and admiration.
Hamlet: A son sure can astonish a mother!
Rosencrantz: She wants to talk to you in her bedroom.
Hamlet: Okay. Do you have anything else to say?
Rosencrantz: You did once love me.
Hamlet: I still do by my own hands.
Rosencrantz: Why are you acting like the way you are?
Hamlet: I donít want to say.
Rosencrantz: How can that be?
Hamlet: Yes, but Ďwhile the grass grows.í Thereís something wrong with that. The recorders! Let me see one. Why do you want to know why I act the way I do?
Guildenstern: We need to know.
Hamlet: I donít get it. Will you play this?
Guildenstern: I canít.
Hamlet: Come on.
Guildenstern: Believe me, I canít.
Hamlet: I wish you would.
Guildenstern: I donít even know how to play.
Hamlet: It is as easy as lying. Place your fingers over these holes and breathe out here.
Guildenstern: I am not any good at it.
Hamlet: You would play me, but you canít play this pipe? Hello!
Polonius: The queen wants to speak with you now.
Hamlet: Do you see that cloud? It looks like a camel.
Polonius: Yes, it looks like a camel.
Hamlet: I think it looks like a weasel.
Polonius: It does look like the back of a weasel.
Hamlet: Does it look like a whale?
Polonius: Yes, it does.
Hamlet: I will come see my mother. - They play me for a fool. - Iím going, Iím going.
Hamlet: See ya. It is now the time of night when demons come out. I must go to my mother and be cruel. I will not hurt her, but scare her with words. Well, I donít know. Itís not right but I must do it.


When writing a paper, don't forget to cite your sources! HAMLET: a translation into modern English. 7 May 2007. 19 Dec 2014. <>.