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Enter HORATIO, GERTRUDE, and a GENTLEMAN
HORATIO, GERTRUDE, and a GENTLEMAN enter.

GERTRUDE
I will not speak with her.
GERTRUDE
I won’t speak to her.


GENTLEMAN
    She is importunate,
Indeed distract. Her mood will needs be pitied.
GENTLEMAN
She’s insistent. In fact, she’s crazed. You can’t help feeling sorry for her.

GERTRUDE
What would she have?
GERTRUDE
What does she want?


5




10


GENTLEMAN
She speaks much of her father, says she hears
There’s tricks i' th' world, and hems, and beats her heart,
Spurns enviously at straws, speaks things in doubt
That carry but half sense. Her speech is nothing,
Yet the unshaped use of it doth move
The hearers to collection. They aim at it,
And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts,
Which, as her winks and nods and gestures yield them,
Indeed would make one think there might be thought,
Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.
GENTLEMAN
She talks about her father a lot, and says she hears there are conspiracies around the world, and coughs, and beats her breast, and gets angry over tiny matters, and talks nonsense. Her words don’t mean anything, but her babbling causes her listeners to draw conclusions. They hear what they want to hear. Her winks and nods and gestures do suggest that she means to convey a message, and not a happy one.


15
HORATIO
'Twere good she were spoken with, for she may strew
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
HORATIO
It’s a good idea to speak to her, since she might lead those with evil intentions to dangerous conclusions.

GERTRUDE
Let her come in.
GERTRUDE
Show her in.
Exit GENTLEMAN
The GENTLEMAN exits.



(aside) To my sick soul (as sin’s true nature is)
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss.
So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.
(to herself) To my sick soul (since sin is always a sickness), every detail looks like an omen of disaster to come. Guilt makes you so full of stupid suspicions that you give yourself away because you’re trying so hard not to.
Enter OPHELIA, distracted
OPHELIA enters, insane.

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