Hamlet By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 4

QUEEN.
O, speak to me no more;
These words like daggers enter in mine ears;
No more, sweet Hamlet.

HAMLET.
A murderer and a villain;
A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord; a vice of kings;
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole
And put it in his pocket!

QUEEN.
No more.

HAMLET.
A king of shreds and patches! —

[Enter Ghost.]

Save me and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards! — What would your gracious figure?

QUEEN.
Alas, he's mad!

HAMLET.
Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, laps'd in time and passion, lets go by
The important acting of your dread command?
O, say!

GHOST.
Do not forget. This visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But, look, amazement on thy mother sits:
O, step between her and her fighting soul, —
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works, —
Speak to her, Hamlet.

HAMLET.
How is it with you, lady?

QUEEN.
Alas, how is't with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
Your bedded hairs, like life in excrements,
Start up and stand an end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience! Whereon do you look?

HAMLET.
On him, on him! Look you how pale he glares!
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable. — Do not look upon me;
Lest with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects: then what I have to do
Will want true colour; tears perchance for blood.

QUEEN.
To whom do you speak this?

HAMLET.
Do you see nothing there?

QUEEN.
Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.

HAMLET.
Nor did you nothing hear?

QUEEN.
No, nothing but ourselves.

HAMLET.
Why, look you there! look how it steals away!
My father, in his habit as he liv'd!
Look, where he goes, even now out at the portal!

[Exit Ghost.]

QUEEN.
This is the very coinage of your brain:
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.

Continued on next page...

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