Hamlet | Act 4, Scene 4

O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt…

MIT | Internet

Source
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Thought Counts
MIT | Internet

Thoughts | TBD

Short: 8-13
Medium: 6
Long: 2
Total: 16-21

End-stopped: 9
Mid-line: 7-11

Periods: 4
Exclamations: 8-12
Questions: 0-1
Unfinished: 4-5

Objective

 

Hamlet needs the audience to demonstrate their belief in his resolve.

Hamlet needs the audience to help him come up with his next plan of action.

Notes
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Given Circumstances
MIT | Internet

Thoughts | TBD

Short: 3
Medium: 3
Long: 3
Total: 9

End-stopped: 2
Mid-line: 7

Periods: 6
Exclamations: 1
Questions: 2
Unfinished: 0

Objective

 

Hamlet needs the audience to demonstrate their belief in his resolve.

Hamlet needs the audience to help him come up with his next plan of action.

Thoughts
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
1. O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
2. Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! 3. O God! 4. God!
5. How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
6, Fie on’t! (6b) ah fie! (6c) ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. 7. That it should come to this!
8. But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. 9. Heaven and earth!
10. Must I remember? (10b) why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
11. Let me not think on’t– 12. Frailty, thy name is woman!–
13. A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears: 14. –why she, even she–
(14b) O, God! (14c) a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. 15. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
16. It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Line Analysis
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt                       10  (O)
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!                                  10
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d                                 10R | 10 (or)
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!                 10R  
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,                            10 | 11 (flatunprof’table)
Seem to me all the uses of this world!                              10  (seem)
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,                          11w
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature         11w
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!                  11
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:            10R
So excellent a king; that was, to this,                                 10R
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother                       14w-15w
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven                  10 | 11w
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!                      10 | 11
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,                 11
As if increase of appetite had grown                                   10R
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–                         11
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–            12w-13w  (let)
A little month, or ere those shoes were old                          10R
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,                   11w
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–                          10R | 11
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,                 11w
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,            11w  (mourned)
My father’s brother, but no more like my father                     12w  (no, more, father)
Than I to Hercules: within a month:                                        10R
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears                             10R
Had left the flushing in her gallèd eyes,                                 10R
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post                        10R
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!                             10R | 12  (incestuousincest’ous)
It is not nor it cannot come to good:                                       10R
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.                     10R

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Tempo & Phrasing
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
O, ^ that this too ^ too solid flesh would melt
Thaw ^ and resolve itself into a dew!                    pause
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ^’gainst self-slaughter! ^^ O God! ^ God!    pause
How weary,^  stale, ^ flat ^ and unprofitable,         slowly
Seem to me all the uses of this world!                  pause
Fie on’t! ^^ ah fie! ^^ ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; ^ things rank ^ and gross in nature
Possess it merely. ^^ That it should come to this!     pause slowly
But two months dead: ^ nay, ^ not so much, ^ not two:    slowly
So excellent a king; ^ that was, ^ to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; ^ so loving to my mother        slowly (htsf)
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven        slowly (htsf)
Visit her face too roughly. ^^ Heaven and earth!       pause
Must I remember? ^^ why, ^ she would hang on him,      | slowly
As if increase of appetite ^ had grown
By what it fed on: ^ and yet, ^ within a month–    pause
Let me not think on’t– ^^ Frailty, thy name is woman!–  pause
A little month, ^ or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,         slowly (htsf)
Like Niobe, all tears: ^^ –why she, even she–       pause
O, God! ^ a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–^ married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, ^ but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: ^ within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. ^^ O, ^ most wicked speed, ^ to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!    pause, slowly (htsf)
It is not ^ nor it cannot ^ come to good:
But break, ^ my heart; ^ for I must hold my tongue.   slowly (mono)

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Alliteration
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Assonance & Rhyme
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Consonance & Onomatopoeia
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Rhetoric
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Before & After
MIT | Internet

SCENE II. A room of state in the castle.
Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, HAMLET, POLONIUS, LAERTES, VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, and Attendants
KING CLAUDIUS
Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
The imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Have we, as ’twere with a defeated joy,–
With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,–
Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr’d
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak supposal of our worth,
Or thinking by our late dear brother’s death
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
Colleagued with the dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail’d to pester us with message,
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
Now for ourself and for this time of meeting:
Thus much the business is: we have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,–
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew’s purpose,–to suppress
His further gait herein; in that the levies,
The lists and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subject: and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the king, more than the scope
Of these delated articles allow.
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
CORNELIUS VOLTIMAND
In that and all things will we show our duty.
KING CLAUDIUS
We doubt it nothing: heartily farewell.
Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS

And now, Laertes, what’s the news with you?
You told us of some suit; what is’t, Laertes?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
And loose your voice: what wouldst thou beg, Laertes,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes?
LAERTES
My dread lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France;
From whence though willingly I came to Denmark,
To show my duty in your coronation,
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
KING CLAUDIUS
Have you your father’s leave? What says Polonius?
LORD POLONIUS
He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave
By laboursome petition, and at last
Upon his will I seal’d my hard consent:
I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
KING CLAUDIUS
Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will!
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,–
HAMLET
[Aside] A little more than kin, and less than kind.
KING CLAUDIUS
How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
HAMLET
Not so, my lord; I am too much i’ the sun.
QUEEN GERTRUDE
Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
HAMLET
Ay, madam, it is common.
QUEEN GERTRUDE
If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?
HAMLET
Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not ‘seems.’
‘Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected ‘havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within which passeth show;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
KING CLAUDIUS
‘Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
To give these mourning duties to your father:
But, you must know, your father lost a father;
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
In filial obligation for some term
To do obsequious sorrow: but to persever
In obstinate condolement is a course
Of impious stubbornness; ’tis unmanly grief;
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschool’d:
For what we know must be and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we in our peevish opposition
Take it to heart? Fie! ’tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd: whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse till he that died to-day,
‘This must be so.’ We pray you, throw to earth
This unprevailing woe, and think of us
As of a father: for let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our throne;
And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire:
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
QUEEN GERTRUDE
Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet:
I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg.
HAMLET
I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
KING CLAUDIUS
Why, ’tis a loving and a fair reply:
Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come;
This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart: in grace whereof,
No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-day,
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,
And the king’s rouse the heavens all bruit again,
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.
Exeunt all but HAMLET

HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.
Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

HORATIO
Hail to your lordship!
HAMLET
I am glad to see you well:
Horatio,–or I do forget myself.
HORATIO
The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
HAMLET
Sir, my good friend; I’ll change that name with you:
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio? Marcellus?
MARCELLUS
My good lord–
HAMLET
I am very glad to see you. Good even, sir.
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?
HORATIO
A truant disposition, good my lord.
HAMLET
I would not hear your enemy say so,
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
To make it truster of your own report
Against yourself: I know you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elsinore?
We’ll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
HORATIO
My lord, I came to see your father’s funeral.
HAMLET
I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student;
I think it was to see my mother’s wedding.
HORATIO
Indeed, my lord, it follow’d hard upon.
HAMLET
Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio!
My father!–methinks I see my father.
HORATIO
Where, my lord?
HAMLET
In my mind’s eye, Horatio.
HORATIO
I saw him once; he was a goodly king.
HAMLET
He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
HORATIO
My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
HAMLET
Saw? who?
HORATIO
My lord, the king your father.
HAMLET
The king my father!
HORATIO
Season your admiration for awhile
With an attent ear, till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.
HAMLET
For God’s love, let me hear.
HORATIO
Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead vast and middle of the night,
Been thus encounter’d. A figure like your father,
Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pe,
Appears before them, and with solemn march
Goes slow and stately by them: thrice he walk’d
By their oppress’d and fear-surprised eyes,
Within his truncheon’s length; whilst they, distilled
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did;
And I with them the third night kept the watch;
Where, as they had deliver’d, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes: I knew your father;
These hands are not more like.
HAMLET
But where was this?
MARCELLUS
My lord, upon the platform where we watch’d.
HAMLET
Did you not speak to it?
HORATIO
My lord, I did;
But answer made it none: yet once methought
It lifted up its head and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak;
But even then the morning cock crew loud,
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
And vanish’d from our sight.
HAMLET
‘Tis very strange.
HORATIO
As I do live, my honour’d lord, ’tis true;
And we did think it writ down in our duty
To let you know of it.
HAMLET
Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to-night?
MARCELLUS BERNARDO
We do, my lord.
HAMLET
Arm’d, say you?
MARCELLUS BERNARDO
Arm’d, my lord.
HAMLET
From top to toe?
MARCELLUS BERNARDO
My lord, from head to foot.
HAMLET
Then saw you not his face?
HORATIO
O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up.
HAMLET
What, look’d he frowningly?
HORATIO
A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
HAMLET
Pale or red?
HORATIO
Nay, very pale.
HAMLET
And fix’d his eyes upon you?
HORATIO
Most constantly.
HAMLET
I would I had been there.
HORATIO
It would have much amazed you.
HAMLET
Very like, very like. Stay’d it long?
HORATIO
While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
MARCELLUS BERNARDO
Longer, longer.
HORATIO
Not when I saw’t.
HAMLET
His beard was grizzled–no?
HORATIO
It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silver’d.
HAMLET
I will watch to-night;
Perchance ’twill walk again.
HORATIO
I warrant it will.
HAMLET
If it assume my noble father’s person,
I’ll speak to it, though hell itself should gape
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you have hitherto conceal’d this sight,
Let it be tenable in your silence still;
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue:
I will requite your loves. So, fare you well:
Upon the platform, ‘twixt eleven and twelve,
I’ll visit you.
All
Our duty to your honour.
HAMLET
Your loves, as mine to you: farewell.
Exeunt all but HAMLET

My father’s spirit in arms! all is not well;
I doubt some foul play: would the night were come!
Till then sit still, my soul: foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.
Exit

Definitions
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Translation
MIT | Internet

HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

Hamlet | Act 4, Scene 4

How all occasions do inform against me…

Macmillan | 2008

Source
MacMillan | Jonathan Bate & Eric Rasmussen. London: MacMillan, 2008

HAMLET
How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge. What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unus’d. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’event,
A thought which quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward, I do not know
Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do,’
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me,
Witness this Army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender Prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff’d,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour’s at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d,
Excitements of my reason, and my blood,
And let all sleep, while to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!

Thought Counts
MacMillan | 2008

Thoughts | TBD

Short: 3
Medium: 3
Long: 3
Total: 9

End-stopped: 2
Mid-line: 7

Periods: 6
Exclamations: 1
Questions: 2
Unfinished: 0

Objective

 

Hamlet needs the audience to demonstrate their belief in his resolve.

Hamlet needs the audience to help him come up with his next plan of action.

Thoughts
MacMillan | 2008

HAMLET
1. How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge. 2. What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? 3. A beast, no more.
4. Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unus’d. 5. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’event,
A thought which quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward, I do not know
Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do,’
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do’t. 6. Examples gross as earth exhort me,
Witness this Army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender Prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff’d,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. 7. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour’s at the stake. 8. How stand I then,
That have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d,
Excitements of my reason, and my blood,
And let all sleep, while to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? 9. O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!

Line Analysis
MacMillan | 2008

HAMLET
How all occasions do inform against me                     11w
And spur my dull revenge. What is a man,                 10 10R
If his chief good and market of his time                          10
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.              1010R mono
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,     10R
Looking before and after, gave us not                             10
That capability and god-like reason                                 11w
To fust in us unus’d. Now, whether it be                     10R11s
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple                         11w14w
Of thinking too precisely on th’event,                              10R
A thought which quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom    11w
And ever three parts coward, I do not know                  1011 half mono
Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do,’                         10R mono
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means     10R mono
To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me,                11w
Witness this Army of such mass and charge,                 10
Led by a delicate and tender Prince,                              10
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff’d,                       10R
Makes mouths at the invisible event,                              10R
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure,                             10R
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,                    10R
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great                    10 | 11
Is not to stir without great argument,                              10R
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw                               10R 10
When honour’s at the stake. How stand I then,              10R10
That have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d,                      10R
Excitements of my reason, and my blood,                      10R
And let all sleep, while to my shame, I see                      10R mono
The imminent death of twenty thousand men                 10R | 11
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame                                10R
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot                    10   mono
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,                   10R
Which is not tomb enough and continent                        10R
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,                          9   mono
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!                  10R

Tempo & Phrasing
MacMillan | 2008

HAMLET
How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge. <c, quicklyWhat is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed?<c, quicklyA beast, no more.    pause
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,    slow?
Looking before and after,<cgave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unus’d.<c, quicklyNow,<c> whether it be    carefully
Bestial oblivion,<cor some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’event,
A thought which quarter’d,<chath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward,<cI do not know    careful
Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do,’      slow
Sith I have cause,<cand will,<cand strength,<cand means
To do’t. <c, quicklyExamples gross as earth exhort me,
Witness this Army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender Prince,
Whose spirit,<cwith divine ambition puff’d,    carefully
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal,<cand unsure,
To all that fortune,<cdeath,<cand danger dare,  carefully
Even for an egg-shell. <c> Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour’s at the stake.<c, quicklyHow stand I then,
That have a father kill’d,<ca mother stain’d,
Excitements of my reason,<cand my blood,
And let all sleep,<cwhile to my shame, <c> I see    slow
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That, <cfor a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds,<cfight for a plot     slow
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,   carefully
Which is not tomb enough and continent   carefully
To hide the slain? <c><pauseO, from this time forth,  slow
My thoughts be bloody, <cor be nothing worth!

Repeated Sounds
MacMillan | 2008

HAMLET
How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge. What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unus’d. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’event,
A thought which quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward, I do not know
Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do,’
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me,
Witness this Army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender Prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff’d,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour’s at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d,
Excitements of my reason, and my blood,
And let all sleep, while to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!

Rhetoric
MacMillan | 2008

HAMLET
How all occasions do inform against me            (personification, imagery)
And spur my dull revenge. What is a man,         (imagery)
If his chief good and market of his time              (imagery, this & that)
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.     (this & that)
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not     (this & that)
That capability and god-like reason       (simile)
To fust in us unus’d. Now, whether it be     (imagery, antithesis)
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’event,
A thought which quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom   (personification)
And ever three parts coward, I do not know
Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do,’
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means    (list of 4)
To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me,
Witness this Army of such mass and charge,           (this & that)
Led by a delicate and tender Prince,         (imagery)
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff’d,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure,         (this & that)
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,   (personification, list of 3)
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great    (imagery, metaphor)
Is not to stir without great argument,      (missing word: not)
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw        (imagery, hyperbole)
When honour’s at the stake. How stand I then,  (imagery)
That have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d,     (this & that, list, antithesis)
Excitements of my reason, and my blood,     (this & that, anthesis)
And let all sleep, while to my shame, I see     (imagery, personification)
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame           (this & that, personification)
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot     (simile)
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,     (imagery)
Which is not tomb enough and continent         (metaphor, imagery, this & that)
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!     (imagery, personification)

Before & After
MacMillan | 2008

Captain
God be wi’ you, sir.

Exit

ROSENCRANTZ
Wilt please you go, my lord?

HAMLET
I’ll be with you straight go a little before.

Exeunt all except HAMLET

How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge. What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unus’d. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’event,
A thought which quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward, I do not know
Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do,’
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me,
Witness this Army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender Prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff’d,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour’s at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d,
Excitements of my reason, and my blood,
And let all sleep, while to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!

Exit

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