Hamlet is a Shakespearian tragedy about Hamlet, the son of the recently deceased King of Denmark. The ghost of Hamlet's father informs him that he was actually killed by Hamlet's uncle, Claudius, who has married his mother, Gertrude, to become king. The play centers around Hamlet's ambiguous mental and emotional state of scheming, wavering, insanity and despair. In the end, Hamlet kills Claudius to avenge his father's death and most of the major characters are also killed.
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a revenge tragedy by William Shakespeare, and is one of his most well-known and oft-quoted plays. It is uncertain exactly when it was written, but scholars tend to place its composition between 1600 and the summer of 1602.
Claudius: How is it that the clouds still hang on you? Hamlet: Not so my lord; I am too much i' the sun.
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute—
Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads.
And recks not his own rede.
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
More honour'd in the breach than the observance.
And for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself?
Must render up myself.
My tables,— meet it is I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.
To put an antic disposition on.
I will be brief.
But farewell it, for I will use no art.
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.
Polonius: Not I, my lord. Hamlet Then I would you were so honest a man. Polonius: Honest, my lord! Hamlet: Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. Polonius: That's very true, my lord. Hamlet: [Reads] For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god kissing carrion, — Have you a daughter? Polonius: I have, my lord. Hamlet: Let her not walk i' the sun: conception is a blessing: but not as your daughter may conceive;— friend, look to 't. Polonius: [Aside] How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter:— yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a fishmonger: he is far gone, far gone: and truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love; very near this.
Guildenstern: Happy in that we are not overhappy; on Fortune's cap we are not the very button. Hamlet: Nor the soles of her shoe? Rosencrantz: Neither, my lord. Hamlet: Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favours? Guildenstern: Faith, her privates we. Hamlet: In the secret parts of Fortune? O, most true! She is a strumpet. What's the news? Rosencrantz: None, my lord, but that the world's grown honest. Hamlet: Then is doomsday near.
Must like a whore unpack my heart with words,
and fall a-cursing like a very drab
To assume a pleasing shape ; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds
More relative than this: the play 's the thingWherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
And pious action, we do sugar o'er
The devil himself.
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?— To die, to sleep, —
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,— 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;—
To sleep, perchance to dream:— ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,—
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns,— puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know naught of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
Be all my sins remember'd.
Hamlet: I mean, my head upon your lap? Ophelia: Ay, my lord. Hamlet: Do you think I meant country matters?
Hamlet: Methinks it is like a weasel. Polonius: It is backed like a weasel. Hamlet: Or like a whale. Polonius: Very like a whale.
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business, as the day
Would quake to look on.
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow?
And so am I reveng'd.
Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty.
What thou hast said to me.
As level as the cannon to his blank,
Transports his poisoned shot— may miss our name
And hit the woundless air.— O, come away!
My soul is full of discord and dismay.
Rosencrantz: My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go with us to the king. Hamlet: The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing— Guildenstern: A thing, my lord? Hamlet: Of nothing.
Hamlet: Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar.
That I shall live and tell him to his teeth,
'Thus diest thou.'
May violets spring!
Make up my sum.
I lov'd you ever: but it is no matter.
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.
I cannot live to hear the news from England;
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited. The rest is silence.
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.