Working Papers




SCENE II. A room of state in the castle.



Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death

The memory be green,

Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature

That we with wisest sorrow think on him,

Together with remembrance of ourselves.

Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,

The imperial jointress to this warlike state,

Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy --

In equal scale weighing delight and dole,--

With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,

Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd

Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone

With this affair along. For all, our thanks.


Unit 1.3

Flourish – royal sound


Claudius should have some mark of being King

And now, Laertes, what's the news with you

You told us of some suit; what is't, Laertes?



My dread lord,

Your leave and favour to return to France;

From whence though willingly I came to Denmark,

To show my duty in your coronation,

Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,

My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France.


Unit 1.4

Polonius at Claudius’ right hand

Laertes bows


Have you your father's leave? What says Polonius?


He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave

By laboursome petition, and at last

By laboursome petition, and at last

I do beseech you, give him leave to go.


Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,

And thy best graces spend it at thy will!

Unit 1.5

A knowing glance to his son and to the King.

But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,--



[Aside] A little more than kin, and less than kind.

Unit 1.6

. . . if only you could be more like Laertes…I’ve always wanted a son


How is it that the clouds still hang on you?



Not so, my lord; I am too much i' the sun.

Unit 1.7

. . . you are bringing us down


Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,

And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.

Do not for ever with thy vailèd lids

Seek for thy noble father in the dust.

Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die,

Passing through nature to eternity.


Ay, madam, it is common.


If it be,

Why seems it so particular with thee?


Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not seems.

'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,

Nor customary suits of solemn black,

Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,

Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,

That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,

For they are actions that a man might play:

But I have that within which passeth show;

These but the trappings and the suits of woe.

Unit 1.8

. . . accept the change

We are giving you a chance to fit in


'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,

To give these mourning duties to your father:


But, you must know, your father lost a father;

That father lost, lost his.

But to persever

In obstinate condolement is a course

Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief.

Unit 1.9

Look I get it, but you need to make a decision to move on here – at least in public

We pray you, throw to earth

This unprevailing woe, and think of us

As of a father. For let the world take note,

You are the most immediate to our throne.

For your intent In going back to school in Wittenberg,


It is most retrograde to our desire,

And we beseech you, bend you to remain

Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,

Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.

Madam, come;

This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet

Sits smiling to my heart: in grace whereof,

No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-day,

But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell.

Unit 1.10

There are rewards in it for you if you go along

Could he pass him a livery sash or seal or some sign of this acknowledgement?


Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet:

I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg.


I shall in all my best obey you, madam.


Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply:

Be as ourself in Denmark.

Unit 1.11

If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your mother

Madam, come;

This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet

Sits smiling to my heart: in grace whereof,

No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-day,

But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,

And the king's rouse the heavens all bruit again,

Respeaking earthly thunder. Come away.

Exeunt all but HAMLET

Unit 1.12


Signs of drinking


O, that this too too solid flesh would melt

Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!

Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd

His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!

How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,

Seem to me all the uses of this world!

Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,

That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature

Possess it merely. That it should come to this!

But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:

So excellent a king; that was, to this,

Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother

That he might not beteem the winds of heaven

Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!

Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,

As if increase of appetite had grown

By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--

Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!--

A little month, or ere those shoes were old

With which she follow'd my poor father's body,

Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--

O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,

Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,

My father's brother, but no more like my father

Than I to Hercules. Within a month:

Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears

Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,

She married. O, most wicked speed, to post

With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!

It is not nor it cannot come to good:

But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Unit 1.13



Hail to your lordship!


I am glad to see you well:

Horatio,--or I do forget myself!


The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.


Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you:

And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?

Unit 1.14


Marcellus needs to look like a watchman, Horatio like a scholar



My good lord--


I am very glad to see you.

Unit 1.15

But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?


A truant disposition, good my lord.


I would not hear your enemy say so


But what is your affair in Elsinore?

We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.

Unit 1.16


My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.


I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student;

I think it was to see my mother's wedding.


Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon.


Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats

Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven

Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio!

Unit 1.17

My father!--methinks I see my father.


Where, my lord?


In my mind's eye, Horatio.


I saw him once; he was a goodly king.


He was a man, take him for all in all,

I shall not look upon his like again.

Unit 1.18


My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.


Saw? who?


My lord, the king your father.


The king my father!

Unit 1.19


Season your admiration for awhile

With an attent ear, till I may deliver,

Upon the witness of this gentleman,

This marvel to you.


For God's love, let me hear.

Unit 1.20


Two nights together has this gentleman,

In the dead vast and middle of the night,

Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father,

Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pe,

Appears before him, and with solemn march

Goes slow and stately by him: thrice he walk'd

By his oppress'd and fear-surprised eyes,

Within his truncheon's length; whilst he, distilled

Almost to jelly with the act of fear,

Stands dumb and speaks not to him. This to me

In dreadful secrecy impart he did;

And I with him the third night kept the watch;

Where, as he had deliver'd, both in time,

Form of the thing, each word made true and good,

The apparition comes: I knew your father;

These hands are not more like.

Unit 1.21

Armed head to foot

Does he carry a truncheon when on guard?


But where was this?


My lord, upon the platform where we watch'd.


Did you not speak to it?

Unit 1.22


My lord, I did;

But answer made it none: yet once methought

It lifted up its head and did address

Itself to motion, like as it would speak;

But even then the morning cock crew loud,

And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,

And vanish'd from our sight.


'Tis very strange.


As I do live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true;

And we did think it writ down in our duty

To let you know of it.


Indeed, indeed, sir, but this troubles me.

Unit 1.23

Hold you the watch to-night?


I do, my lord.

Unit 1.24


Arm'd, say you?


Arm'd, my lord.


From top to toe?


My lord, from head to foot.


Then saw you not his face?


O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up.


I would I had been there.


It would have much amazed you.


Very like, very like. Stay'd it long?


While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.


Longer, longer.


Not when I saw't.


His beard was grizzled--no?


It was, as I have seen it in his life,

A sable silver'd.

Unit 1.25

Confirms he is armed with some kind of helmet


I will watch to-night;

Perchance 'twill walk again.


I warrant it will.


If it assume my noble father's person,
I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight,
Let it be tenable in your silence still;
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding but no tongue.
I will requite your loves. So, fare you well.
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
I'll visit you.


My duty to your honour.


Your love, as mine to you: farewell.

Unit 1.26

Exeunt all but HAMLET

My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;

I doubt some foul play: would the night were come!

Till then sit still, my soul: foul deeds will rise,

Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.


Unit 1.27



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