Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Hamlet

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

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subjects: Plays: Classic & Pre-20th Century

Description

Hamlet is the story of the Prince of Denmark who learns of the death of his father at the hands of his uncle, Claudius. Claudius murders Hamlet’s father, his own brother, to take the throne of Denmark and to marry Hamlet’s widowed mother. Hamlet is sunk into a state of great despair as a result of discovering the murder of his father and the infidelity of his mother. Hamlet is torn between his great sadness and his desire for the revenge of his father’s murder.


127 pages, with a reading time of ~4.0 hours (31,999 words), and first published in 1602. This DRM-Free edition published by epubBooks, .

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Excerpt

BERNARDO

Who’s there?

FRANCISCO

Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.

BERNARDO

Long live the king!

FRANCISCO

Bernardo?

BERNARDO

He.

FRANCISCO

You come most carefully upon your hour.

BERNARDO

‘Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.

FRANCISCO

For this relief much thanks: ‘tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart.

BERNARDO

Have you had quiet guard?

FRANCISCO

Not a mouse stirring.

BERNARDO

Well, good night. If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.

FRANCISCO

I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who’s there?

[Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS]

HORATIO

Friends to this ground.

MARCELLUS

And liegemen to the Dane.

FRANCISCO

Give you good night.

MARCELLUS

O, farewell, honest soldier: Who hath relieved you?

FRANCISCO

Bernardo has my place. Give you good night.

[Exit]

MARCELLUS

Holla! Bernardo!

BERNARDO

Say, What, is Horatio there?

HORATIO

A piece of him.

BERNARDO

Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.

MARCELLUS

What, has this thing appear’d again to-night?

BERNARDO

I have seen nothing.

MARCELLUS

Horatio says ‘tis but our fantasy, And will not let belief take hold of him Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us: Therefore I have entreated him along With us to watch the minutes of this night; That if again this apparition come, He may approve our eyes and speak to it.

HORATIO

Tush, tush, ‘twill not appear.

BERNARDO

Sit down awhile; And let us once again assail your ears, That are so fortified against our story What we have two nights seen.

HORATIO

Well, sit we down, And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.

BERNARDO

Last night of all, When yond same star that’s westward from the pole Had made his course to illume that part of heaven Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself, The bell then beating one,–

[Enter Ghost]

MARCELLUS

Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!

BERNARDO

In the same figure, like the king that’s dead.

MARCELLUS

Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.

BERNARDO

Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.

HORATIO

Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.

BERNARDO

It would be spoke to.

MARCELLUS

Question it, Horatio.

HORATIO

What art thou that usurp’st this time of night, Together with that fair and warlike form In which the majesty of buried Denmark Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!

MARCELLUS

It is offended.

BERNARDO

See, it stalks away!

HORATIO

Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!

[Exit Ghost]

MARCELLUS

‘Tis gone, and will not answer.

BERNARDO

How now, Horatio! you tremble and look pale: Is not this something more than fantasy? What think you on’t?

HORATIO

Before my God, I might not this believe Without the sensible and true avouch Of mine own eyes.

MARCELLUS

Is it not like the king?

HORATIO

As thou art to thyself: Such was the very armour he had on When he the ambitious Norway combated; So frown’d he once, when, in an angry parle, He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice. ‘Tis strange.

MARCELLUS

Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour, With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.

HORATIO

In what particular thought to work I know not; But in the gross and scope of my opinion, This bodes some strange eruption to our state.

MARCELLUS

Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows, Why this same strict and most observant watch So nightly toils the subject of the land, And why such daily cast of brazen cannon, And foreign mart for implements of war; Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task Does not divide the Sunday from the week; What might be toward, that this sweaty haste Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day: Who is’t that can inform me?