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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

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    The High Divide

    Lin Enger 9781616203757

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Hamlet

by

Hamlet Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Act 1 Scene 1 running scene 1

Enter Barnardo and Francisco, two sentinels Meeting

BARNARDO Who's there?

FRANCISCO Nay, answer me: stand and unfold yourself.

BARNARDO Long live the king!

FRANCISCO Barnardo?

BARNARDO He.

FRANCISCO You come most carefully upon your hour.

BARNARDO 'Tis now struck twelve: get thee to bed, Francisco.

FRANCISCO For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,

And I am sick at heart.

BARNARDO Have you had quiet guard?

FRANCISCO Not a mouse stirring.

BARNARDO Well, goodnight.

If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,

The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.

Enter Horatio and Marcellus

FRANCISCO I think I hear them.- Stand! Who's there?

HORATIO Friends to this ground.

MARCELLUS And liegemen to the Dane.

FRANCISCO Give you goodnight.

MARCELLUS O, farewell, honest soldier. Who hath relieved you?

FRANCISCO Barnardo has my place. Give you goodnight.

Exit Francisco

MARCELLUS Holla! Barnardo!

BARNARDO Say, what, is Horatio there?

HORATIO A piece of him.

BARNARDO Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.

MARCELLUS What, has this thing appeared again tonight?

BARNARDO 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.

BARNARDO Sit down awhile,

And let us once again assail your ears,

That are so fortified against our story,

What we two nights have seen.

HORATIO Well, sit we down,

And let us hear Barnardo speak of this.

BARNARDO Last night of all,

When yond same star that's westward from the pole

Had made his course t'illume that part of heaven

Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,

The bell then beating one-

MARCELLUS Peace, break thee off.

Enter the Ghost

Look where it comes again.

BARNARDO In the same figure like the king that's dead.

MARCELLUS Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.

BARNARDO Looks it not like the king? Mark it, Horatio.

HORATIO Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.

BARNARDO 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.

BARNARDO See, it stalks away.

HORATIO Stay! Speak, speak! I charge thee, speak! Exit the Ghost

MARCELLUS 'Tis gone and will not answer.

BARNARDO 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 th'ambitious Norway combated:

So frowned he once when, in an angry parle,

He smote the steelèd pole-axe on the ice.

'Tis strange.

MARCELLUS Thus twice before, and just 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?

HORATIO That can I,

At least, the whisper goes so: our last king,

Whose image even but now appeared to us,

Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,

Thereto pricked on by a most emulate pride,

Dared to the combat, in which our valiant Hamlet -

For so this side of our known world esteemed him -

Did slay this Fortinbras, who by a sealed compact,

Well ratified by law and heraldry,

Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands

Which he stood seized on to the conqueror:

Against the which, a moiety competent

Was gagèd by our king, which had returned

To the inheritance of Fortinbras,

Had he been vanquisher, as, by the same cov'nant,

And carriage of the article designed,

His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,

Of unimprovèd mettle hot and full,

Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there

Sharked up a list of landless resolutes

For food and diet to some enterprise

That hath a stomach in't, which is no other -

And it doth well appear unto our state -

But to recover of us, by strong hand

And terms compulsative, those foresaid lands

So by his father lost: and this, I take it,

Is the main motive of our preparations,

The source of this our watch and the chief head

Of this post-haste and rummage in the land.

Enter Ghost again

But soft, behold! Lo, where it comes again!

I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!

If thou hast any sound or use of voice,

Speak to me:

If there be any good thing to be done

That may to thee do ease and grace to me,

Speak to me:

If thou art privy to thy country's fate -

Which, haply, foreknowing may avoid - O, speak!

Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life

Extorted treasure in the womb of earth - [A cock crows]

For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death -

Speak of it: stay and speak!- Stop it, Marcellus.

MARCELLUS Shall I strike at it with my partisan?

HORATIO Do, if it will not stand. They attempt to strike it

BARNARDO 'Tis here!

HORATIO 'Tis here!

MARCELLUS 'Tis gone! Exit Ghost

We do it wrong, being so majestical,

To offer it the show of violence,

For it is as the air invulnerable,

And our vain blows malicious mockery.

BARNARDO It was about to speak when the cock crew.

HORATIO And then it started like a guilty thing

Upon a fearful summons. I have heard

The cock, that is the trumpet to the day,

Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat

Awake the god of day, and at his warning,

Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,

Th'extravagant and erring spirit hies

To his confine: and of the truth herein

This present object made probation.

MARCELLUS It faded on the crowing of the cock.

Some say that ever gainst that season comes

Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,

The bird of dawning singeth all night long,

And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad:

The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,

No fairy talks, nor witch hath power to charm,

So hallowed and so gracious is the time.

HORATIO So have I heard and do in part believe it.

But, look, the morn in russet mantle clad,

Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill.

Break we our watch up, and by my advice,

Let us impart what we have seen tonight

Unto young Hamlet, for upon my life,

This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.

Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,

As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?

MARCELLUS Let's do't, I pray, and I this morning know

Where we shall find him most conveniently. Exeunt

Act 1 Scene 2 running scene 2

Enter Claudius King of Denmark, Gertrude the Queen, Hamlet,

Polonius, Laertes and his sister Ophelia, Lords Attendant

KING Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death

The memory be green, and that it us befitted

To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom

To be contracted in one brow of woe,

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,

Th'imperial jointress of this warlike state,

Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,

With one auspicious and one dropping eye,

With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,

In equal scale weighing delight and dole,

Taken to wife; nor have we herein barred

Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone

With this affair along. For all, our thanks.

Now follows that you know young Fortinbras,

Holding a weak supposal of our worth,

Or thinking by our late dear brother's death

Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,

Colleaguèd with the dream of his advantage,

He hath not failed to pester us with message

Importing the surrender of those lands

Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,

To our most valiant brother. So much for him.

Enter Voltemand and Cornelius

Now for ourself and for this time of meeting,

Thus much the business is: we have here writ

To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras -

Who, impotent and bedrid, scarcely hears

Of this his nephew's purpose - to suppress

His further gait herein, in that the levies,

The lists and full proportions, are all made

Out of his subject. And we here dispatch

You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltemand,

For bearing of this greeting to old Norway,

Giving to you no further personal power

To business with the king, more than the scope

Of these dilated articles allow. [Gives a paper]

Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.

VOLTEMAND In that, and all things, will we show our duty.

KING We doubt it nothing: heartily farewell.-

Exeunt Voltemand and Cornelius

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

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

You cannot speak of reason to the Dane

And lose your voice: what wouldst thou beg, Laertes,

That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?

The head is not more native to the heart,

The hand more instrumental to the mouth,

Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.

What wouldst thou have, Laertes?

LAERTES Dread my 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 towards France

And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.

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

POLONIUS He hath, my lord:

I do beseech you, give him leave to go.

KING Take thy fair hour, Laertes: time be thine,

And thy best graces spend it at thy will.-

But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son-

HAMLET A little more than kin and less than kind.

KING How is it that the clouds still hang on you?

HAMLET Not so, my lord:- I am too much i'th'sun. [Aside?]

GERTRUDE Good Hamlet, cast thy nightly colour off,

And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.

Do not forever with thy veilèd lids

Seek for thy noble father in the dust:

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

Passing through nature to eternity.

HAMLET Ay, madam, it is common.

GERTRUDE If it be,

Why seems it so particular with thee?

HAMLET 'Seems', madam? Nay it is: I know not 'seems'.

'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,

Nor customary suits of solemn black,

Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,

No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,

Nor the dejected 'haviour of the visage,

Together with all forms, moods, shows 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.

KING '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, and the survivor bound

In filial obligation for some term

To do obsequious sorrow. But to persever

In obstinate condolement is a course

Of impious stubbornness: 'tis unmanly grief:

It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,

A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,

An understanding simple and unschooled.

For what we know must be and is as common

As any the most vulgar thing to sense,

Why should we in our peevish opposition

Take it to heart? Fie, 'tis a fault to heaven,

A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,

To reason most absurd, whose common theme

Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,

From the first corpse till he that died today,

'This must be so.' 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,

And with no less nobility of love

Than that which dearest father bears his son,

Do I impart towards you. 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.

GERTRUDE Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet:

I prithee stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.

HAMLET I shall in all my best obey you, madam.

KING Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply.

Be as ourself in Denmark.- Madam, come:

This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet

Sits smiling to my heart, in grace whereof,

No jocund health that Denmark drinks today

But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,

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

Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.

Exeunt. Hamlet remains

HAMLET O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,

Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!

Or that the Everlasting had not fixed

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

How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable

Seem to me all the uses of this world!

Fie on't! O, fie, 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 followed my poor father's body,

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

O, heaven! A beast that wants discourse of reason

Would have mourned longer - married with mine 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 of her gallèd 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.

Enter Horatio, Barnardo and Marcellus

From the Trade Paperback edition.Copyright © 2008 by William Shakespeare

Product Details

ISBN:
9781588368263
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Shakespeare, William

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