Home / Uncategorized / The Legally Annotated HAMLET – Act One Scene 5

The Legally Annotated HAMLET – Act One Scene 5

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by Mark Andre Alexander

Act One | Act Two | Act Three | Act Four | Act Five


Scene 1Scene 2 | Scenes 3 & 4 | Scene 5

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[1. 5]

Enter Ghost, and Hamlet.

Ham. Whether wilt thou leade me, speake, Ile goe no further.

Ghost. Marke me.

Ham.  I will.

Ghost.  My houre is almost come

When I to sulphrus and tormenting flames

Must render vp my selfe.

Ham.   Alas poore Ghost.

Ghost. Pitty me not, but lend thy serious hearing

To what I shall vnfold.

Ham.   Speake, I am bound to heare.

Ghost. So art thou to reuenge, when thou shalt heare.

Ham. What?

Ghost. I am thy fathers spirit,

Doomd for a certaine tearme to walke the night, [10]

And for the day confind to fast in fires,

Till the foule crimes done in my dayes of nature

Are burnt and purg’d away : but that I am forbid

To tell the secrets of my prison house,

I could a tale vnfolde whose lightest word

Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy young blood,

Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,

Thy knotted and combined locks to part,

And each particuler haire to stand an end,

Like quils vpon the fearefull Porpentine, [20]

But this eternall blazon must not be

To eares of flesh and blood, list, list, o list:

If thou did’st euer thy deare father loue.

Ham. O God.

Ghost. Reuenge his foule, and most vnnaturall murther.

Ham. Murther.

Ghost. Murther most foule, as in the best it is,

But this most foule, strange and vnnaturall.

Ham. Hast me to know’t, that I with wings as swift

As meditation, or the thoughts of loue [30]

May sweepe to my reuenge.

Ghost.   I find thee apt,

And duller shouldst thou be then the fat weede

That rootes it selfe in ease on Lethe wharffe,

Would’st thou not sturre in this; now Hamlet heare,

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Tis giuen out, that sleeping in my Orchard,

A Serpent stung me, so the whole eare of Denmarke

Is by a forged processe of my death

Ranckely abusde: but knowe thou noble Youth,

The Serpent that did sting thy fathers life

Now weares his Crowne. [40]        

Ham. O my propheticke soule! my Vncle?

Ghost. I that incestuous, that adulterate beast,

With witchcraft of his wits, with trayterous gifts,

O wicked wit, and giftes that haue the power

So to seduce; wonne to his shamefull lust

The will of my most seeming vertuous Queene;

O Hamlet, what falling off was there

From me whose loue was of that dignitie

That it went hand in hand, euen with the vowe

I made to her in marriage, and to decline [50]

Vppon a wretch whose naturall gifts were poore,

To those of mine;

But vertue as it neuer will be mooued,

Though lewdnesse court it in a shape of heauen

So but though to a radiant Angle linckt,

Will sort it selfe in a celestiall bed

And pray on garbage.

But soft, me thinkes I sent the morning ayre,

Briefe let me be; sleeping within my Orchard,

My custome alwayes of the afternoone, [60]

Vpon my secure houre, thy Vncle stole

With iuyce of cursed Hebona in a viall,

And in the porches of my eares did poure

The leaprous distilment, whose effect

Holds such an enmitie with blood of man,

That swift as quicksiluer it courses through

The naturall gates and allies of the body,

And with a sodaine vigour it doth possesse

And curde like eager droppings into milke,

The thin and wholsome blood; so did it mine, [70]

And a most instant tetter barckt about

Most Lazerlike with vile and lothsome crust

All my smooth body.

Thus was I sleeping by a brothers hand,

Of life, of Crowne, of Queene at once dispatcht,

Cut off euen in the blossomes of my sinne,

Vnhuzled, disappointed, vnanueld,

No reckning made, but sent to my account

Withall my imperfections on my head,

O horrible, o horrible, most horrible. [80]

If thou hast nature in thee beare it not,

Let not the royall bed of Denmarke be

A couch for luxury and damned incest.

But howsomeuer thou pursues this act,

Tain’t not thy minde, nor let thy soule contriue

Against thy mother ought, leaue her to heauen,

And to those thornes that in her bosome lodge

To prick and sting her, fare thee well at once,

The Gloworme shewes the matine to be neere

And gins to pale his vneffectuall fire, [90]

Adiew, adiew, adiew, remember me.

Ham. O all you host of heauen, o earth, what els,

And shall I coupple hell, o fie, hold, hold my hart,

And you my sinnowes, growe not instant old,

But beare me swiftly vp; remember thee,

I thou poore Ghost whiles memory holds a seate

In this distracted globe, remember thee,

Yea, from the table of my memory

Ile wipe away all triuiall fond records,

All sawes of bookes, all formes, all pressures past [100]

That youth and obseruation coppied there,

And thy commandement all alone shall liue,

Within the booke and volume of my braine

Vnmixt with baser matter, yes by heauen,

O most pernicious woman.

O villaine, villaine, smiling damned villaine,

My tables, meet it is I set it downe

That one may smile, and smile, and be a villaine,

At least I am sure it may be so in Denmarke.

So Vncle, there you are, now to my word, [110]

It is adew, adew, remember me.

I haue sworn’t.

Enter Horatio, and Marcellus.

Hora. My Lord, my Lord.

Mar. Lord Hamlet.

Hora. Heauens secure him.

Ham. So be it.

Mar. Illo, ho, ho, my Lord.

Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy come, and come.

Mar. How i’st my noble Lord?

Hora. What newes my Lord? [120]

Ham. O, wonderfull.

Hora. Good my Lord tell it.

Ham. No, you will reueale it.

Hora. Not I my Lord by heauen.

Mar. Nor I my Lord.

Ham. How say you then, would hart of man once thinke it,

But you’le be secret.

Booth. I by heauen.

Ham. There’s neuer a villaine, Dwelling in all Denmarke

But hee’s an arrant knaue. [130]

Hora. There needes no Ghost my Lord, come from the graue

To tell vs this.

Ham.            Why right, you are in the right,

And so without more circumstance at all

I hold it fit that we shake hands and part,

You, as your busines and desire shall poynt you,

For euery man hath busines and desire

Such as it is, and for my owne poore part

I will goe pray.

Hora. These are but wilde and whurling words my Lord.

Ham. I am sorry they offend you hartily, [140]

Yes faith hartily.

Hora.               There’s no offence my Lord.

Ham. Yes by Saint Patrick but there is Horatio,

And much offence to, touching this vision heere,

It is an honest Ghost that let me tell you,

For your desire to knowe what is betweene vs

Oremastret as you may, and now good friends,

As you are friends, schollers, and souldiers,

Giue me one poore request.

Hora.                                 What i’st my Lord, we will.

Ham. Neuer make knowne what you haue seene to night.

Booth. My Lord we will not. [150]

Ham. Nay but swear’t.

Hora. In faith my Lord not I.

Mar. Nor I my Lord in faith.

Ham. Vppon my sword.

Mar. We haue sworne my Lord already.

Ham. Indeede vppon my sword, indeed.

Ghost cries vnder the Stage.

Ghost. Sweare.

Ham. Ha, ha, boy, say’st thou so, art thou there trupenny ?

Come on, you heare this fellowe in the Sellerige,

Consent to sweare.

Hora.                    Propose the oath my Lord. [160]

Ham. Neuer to speake of this that you haue seene

Sweare by my sword.

Ghost. Sweare.

Ham. Hic, & vbique, then weele shift our ground:

Come hether Gentlemen

And lay your hands againe vpon my sword,

Sweare by my sword

Neuer to speake of this that you haue heard.

Ghost. Sweare by his sword.

Ham. Well sayd olde Mole, can’st worke it’h earth so fast, [170]

A worthy Pioner, once more remooue good friends.

Hora. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange.

Ham. And therefore as a stranger giue it welcome,

There are more things in heauen and earth Horatio

Then are dream’t of in your philosophie,

But come

Heere as before, neuer so helpe you mercy,

(How strange or odde so mere I beare my selfe,

As I perchance heereafter shall thinke meet,

To put an Anticke disposition on [180]

That you at such times seeing me, neuer shall

With armes incombred thus, or this head shake,

Or by pronouncing of some doubtfull phrase,

As well, well, we knowe, or we could and if we would,

Or if we list to speake, or there be and if they might,

Or such ambiguous giuing out, to note)

That you knowe ought of me, this doe sweare,

So grace and mercy at your most neede helpe you.

Ghost. Sweare.

Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit: so Gentlemen, [190]

Withall my loue I doe commend me to you,

And what so poore a man as Hamlet is,

May doe t’expresse his loue and frending to you

God willing shall not lack, let vs goe in together,

And still your fingers on your lips I pray,

The time is out of ioynt, o cursed spight

That euer I was borne to set it right.

Nay come, lets goe together.


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Process generally means the writ of the court, but in this instance it is a technical metaphor that references the special legal meaning of an official statement designed to memorialize and authenticate an event, as in the proces-verbal in French law.

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