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Hamlet

by William Shakespeare

Act 4, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 



Hamlet Act 4, Scene 1



A Room in the Castle

Hamlet Act 4 Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

Enter King CLAUDIUS and Queen GERTRUDE, with ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN

Enter King CLAUDIUS and Queen GERTRUDE, with ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN

CLAUDIUS

(to GERTRUDE) There’s matter in these sighs (of yours), these profound heaves.

You must translate. 'Tis fit we understand them.

Where is your son?

 

CLAUDIUS

(to GERTRUDE) There’s matter in these sighs, these profound heaves.

You must translate. 'Tis fit we understand them.

Where is your son?

 

GERTRUDE

(to ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN)

Bestow this place on us a little while.

 

GERTRUDE

(to ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN)

Bestow this place on us a little while.

 

Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN

Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN

Ah, my good lord, what have I seen tonight!

Ah, my good lord, what have I seen tonight!

CLAUDIUS

What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?

 

CLAUDIUS

What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?

 

GERTRUDE

Mad as the sea and wind when both contend

Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit,

Behind the arras hearing something stir,

Whips out his rapier, cries, “A rat, a rat!”

And in this brainish apprehension kills

brainish=deranged

The unseen good old man.

 

GERTRUDE

Mad as the sea and wind when both contend

Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit,

Behind the arras hearing something stir,

Whips out his rapier, cries, “A rat, a rat!”

And in this brainish apprehension kills

The unseen good old man.

 

CLAUDIUS

    O heavy deed!

It had been so with us, had we been there.

it had been so with us= I, also, would have been killed

His liberty is full of threats to all—

To you yourself, to us (me), to everyone.

Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered?

answered=dealt with

It will be laid to us, whose providence

Should have kept short, restrained and out of haunt

haunt=others’ company

This mad young man. But so much was our love,

We would not understand what was most fit,

But, like the owner of a foul disease,

To keep it from divulging, let it feed

Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?

 

 

CLAUDIUS

    O heavy deed!

It had been so with us, had we been there.

His liberty is full of threats to all—

To you yourself, to us, to everyone.

Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered?

It will be laid to us, whose providence

Should have kept short, restrained and out of haunt,

This mad young man. But so much was our love,

We would not understand what was most fit,

But, like the owner of a foul disease,

To keep it from divulging, let it feed

Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?

 

GERTRUDE

To draw apart the body he hath killed,

O'er whom his very madness, like some ore

(ore -  like a vein of gold)

Among a mineral of metals base,

Shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done.

 

GERTRUDE

To draw apart the body he hath killed,

O'er whom his very madness, like some ore

Among a mineral of metals base,

Shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done.

 

CLAUDIUS

O Gertrude, come away!

The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch

But we will ship him hence, and this vile deed

We must, with all our majesty and skill,

Both countenance and excuse.—Ho, Guildenstern!

countenance=confront

 

CLAUDIUS

O Gertrude, come away!

The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch

But we will ship him hence, and this vile deed

We must, with all our majesty and skill,

Both countenance and excuse.—Ho, Guildenstern!

 

Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN

Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN

Friends both, go join you with some further aid.

further aid=helpers

Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,

And from his mother’s closet hath he dragged him.

Go seek him out, speak fair, and bring the body

fair=nicely

Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this.

 

Friends both, go join you with some further aid.

Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,

And from his mother’s closet hath he dragged him.

Go seek him out, speak fair, and bring the body

Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this.

 

Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN

Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN

Come, Gertrude, we’ll call up our wisest friends,

And let them know both what we mean to do

And what’s untimely done. So dreaded slander—

Whose whisper o'er the world’s diameter,

world’s diameter=the entire world

As level as the cannon to his blank,

blank=target

Transports the poisoned shot—may miss our name

And hit the woundless air. Oh, come away!

My soul is full of discord and dismay.

 

Come, Gertrude, we’ll call up our wisest friends,

And let them know both what we mean to do

And what’s untimely done. So dreaded slander—

Whose whisper o'er the world’s diameter,

As level as the cannon to his blank,

Transports the poisoned shot—may miss our name

And hit the woundless air. Oh, come away!

My soul is full of discord and dismay.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

 

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