Skip over navigation

Original Text

Modern Text




35



Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell.
I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune.
Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger.
(to GERTRUDE) Leave wringing of your hands. Peace. Sit you down
And let me wring your heart. For so I shall
If it be made of penetrable stuff,
If damnèd custom have not brassed it so
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.
You low-life, nosy, busybody fool, goodbye. I thought you were somebody more important. You’ve gotten what you deserve. I guess you found out it’s dangerous to be a busybody. (to GERTRUDE) Stop wringing your hands. Sit down and let me wring your heart instead, which I will do if it’s still soft enough, if your evil lifestyle has not toughened it against feeling anything at all.

40
GERTRUDE
What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?
GERTRUDE
What have I done that you dare to talk to me so rudely?





45




50

HAMLET
    Such an act
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,
Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love
And sets a blister there, makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths—oh, such a deed
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words. Heaven’s face doth glow
O'er this solidity and compound mass
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.
HAMLET
A deed that destroys modesty, turns virtue into hypocrisy, replaces the blossom on the face of true love with a nasty blemish, makes marriage vows as false as a gambler’s oath—oh, you’ve done a deed that plucks the soul out of marriage and turns religion into meaningless blather. Heaven looks down on this earth, as angry as if Judgment Day were here, and is sick at the thought of what you’ve done.


GERTRUDE
    Ay me, what act
That roars so loud and thunders in the index?
GERTRUDE
C’mon, what’s this deed that sounds so awful even before I know what it is?


55




60

HAMLET
Look here upon this picture and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See, what a grace was seated on this brow?
Hyperion’s curls, the front of Jove himself,
An eye like Mars to threaten and command,
A station like the herald Mercury
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill—
A combination and a form indeed
Where every god did seem to set his seal
HAMLET
Look at this picture here, and that one there,

the painted images of two brothers

Hamlet may be referring to miniatures they wear around their necks, or to pictures on the wall.

the painted images of two brothers
. Look how kind and gentlemanly this one is, with his curly hair and his forehead like a Greek god. His eye could command like the god of war. His body is as agile as Mercury just landing on a high hill.
A figure and a combination of good qualities that seemed like every god had set his stamp on this man.

More Help

Previous Next
s