Hamlet By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 5

Scene V. Elsinore. A room in the Castle.

[Enter Queen and Horatio.]

I will not speak with her.

She is importunate; indeed distract:
Her mood will needs be pitied.

What would she have?

She speaks much of her father; says she hears
There's tricks i' the 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.
'Twere good she were spoken with; for she may strew
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.

Let her come in.

[Exit Horatio.]

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.

[Re-enter Horatio with Ophelia.]

Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark?

How now, Ophelia?

OPHELIA. [Sings.]
How should I your true love know
From another one?
By his cockle bat and' staff
And his sandal shoon.

Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?

Say you? nay, pray you, mark.
He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass green turf,
At his heels a stone.

Nay, but Ophelia —

Pray you, mark.
White his shroud as the mountain snow,

[Enter King.]

Alas, look here, my lord!

Larded all with sweet flowers;
Which bewept to the grave did go
With true-love showers.

How do you, pretty lady?

Well, God dild you! They say the owl was a baker's daughter.
Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at
your table!

Continued on next page...

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

Approximately how much time has passed between the death of King Hamlet and the remarriage of Gertrude to Claudius?