Hamlet By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 1

ACT III.

Scene I. A room in the Castle.

[Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, and
Guildenstern.]

KING.
And can you, by no drift of circumstance,
Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?

ROSENCRANTZ.
He does confess he feels himself distracted,
But from what cause he will by no means speak.

GUILDENSTERN.
Nor do we find him forward to be sounded,
But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state.

QUEEN.
Did he receive you well?

ROSENCRANTZ.
Most like a gentleman.

GUILDENSTERN.
But with much forcing of his disposition.

ROSENCRANTZ.
Niggard of question; but, of our demands,
Most free in his reply.

QUEEN.
Did you assay him
To any pastime?

ROSENCRANTZ.
Madam, it so fell out that certain players
We o'er-raught on the way: of these we told him,
And there did seem in him a kind of joy
To hear of it: they are about the court,
And, as I think, they have already order
This night to play before him.

POLONIUS.
'Tis most true;
And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties
To hear and see the matter.

KING.
With all my heart; and it doth much content me
To hear him so inclin'd. —
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
And drive his purpose on to these delights.

ROSENCRANTZ.
We shall, my lord.

[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]

KING.
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too;
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Affront Ophelia:
Her father and myself, — lawful espials, —
Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing, unseen,
We may of their encounter frankly judge;
And gather by him, as he is behav'd,
If't be the affliction of his love or no
That thus he suffers for.

QUEEN.
I shall obey you: —
And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildness: so shall I hope your virtues
Will bring him to his wonted way again,
To both your honours.

OPHELIA.
Madam, I wish it may.

[Exit Queen.]

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?




Quiz