Scene 11

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Synopsis

In Queen Gertrude's closet - which is her parlor - Polonius hides behind an arras to eavesdrop on Hamlet talking to Gertrude. Hamlet accidentally stabs Polonius to death when he jabs through the arras.

Hamlets attempts to do an improvised play for Gertrude, to catch her conscience, and get a confession from her about what she has done. However, Gertrude knows of no rational explanation for Hamlet's speech and behavior. In the midst of Hamlet's attempt at a play for Gertrude - that she doesn't know he's trying to do - the Ghost enters.

After the Ghost exits, Hamlet tries to convince Gertrude he isn't mad. He also tries to warn Gertrude about Claudius, but speaks so obscurely she can't understand him, so his warning goes unheard. Hamlet mentions the trip to England - that he heard Claudius speak of, to R & G, in the Prayer Scene. Hamlet says he'll take Polonius's body to the "neighbor room." Hamlet intends to use Polonius's body in connection with killing Claudius.

Hamlet drags Polonius's body out of Gertrude's room. He does not inform Gertrude that he intends to kill Claudius. And still, through it all, Hamlet never corrects Gertrude's misunderstanding on the point that he knows it's Polonius he has killed. Up to the end of Scene, and beyond, she still thinks he's so crazy he believes Polonius is Claudius.

After Hamlet exits with Polonius, Gertrude frets and wrings her hands. Suddenly it strikes Gertrude, that when Hamlet said "neighbor room," he must have meant Claudius's room. Gertrude (not knowing Hamlet intends to kill Claudius) foresees that Claudius will call the guards and arrest Hamlet for murder.

Gertrude then runs out of her room, to Claudius's room, to try to defend her son against a charge of murder. Her exit is a minute or two after Hamlet's.

For greater detail: Explication#Scene 11.

Characters

The Scene 11 Characters are: Polonius, Gertrude, Hamlet, Ghost.

Passage Links

Death of Polonius #027 mention of the pictures #059 Ghost entry #112-SD
Hamlet mentions England #216 Ghost exit #151-SD

Jump down to the Notes.


Dialogue

Scene 11      [ ~ Closet Scene ~ ]      (Act 3 Scene 4)

#11-Setting: inside the Castle;
            the Queen's Parlor;
            only a minute after Scene 10.

#11-000-SD  (Gertrude and Polonius enter)

#11-001  Polonius:  He will come straight; look you lay home to him;
                        He'll be here very soon.  Be sure you lay it on the line to him.
#11-002        Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
                        Tell him that his wicked deeds have been too wild to tolerate,
#11-003        And that Your Grace hath screened and stood between
                        And that Your Majesty has hedged him, and protected him from
#11-004        Much heat and him; I'll silence me even here;         #11-004-SD (Polonius moves close to an arras)
                        Taking a lot of heat.  I'll hide myself right over here.
#11-005        Pray you, be round.
                        Please be blunt with him.

#11-005-SD  (Hamlet is heard, approaching)

#11-006  Gertrude:  I'll wait you, fear me not;
                        I'll attend to what you say, don't worry about me.
#11-007        Withdraw, I hear him coming.
                        Hide, I hear him coming.

#11-007-SD  (Polonius hides behind his chosen arras;
                 Hamlet enters the room)

#11-008  Hamlet:  Now, mother, what's the matter?
                        Now, mother, what's the trouble?
#11-009  Gertrude:  Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
                        Hamlet, you have greatly offended your father.
#11-010  Hamlet:  Mother, you have my father much offended.
                        Mother, you have greatly offended my father.
#11-011  Gertrude:  Come come, you answer with an idle tongue.
                        Come come, you answer with a meaningless tongue.
#11-012  Hamlet:  Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.          #11-012-SD (Hamlet draws his sword)
                         Go go, you question with a wicked tongue.
#11-013  Gertrude:  Why, how now, Hamlet?
                        Why, what's the meaning of this, Hamlet?
#11-014  Hamlet:  What's the matter now?
                        What's the matter now?
#11-015  Gertrude:  Have you forgot me?
                        Have you forgotten who I am?
#11-016  Hamlet:  No, by the rood, not so.           #11-016-SD (Hamlet raises his sword, to "swear on the cross")
                        No, I swear on the cross, I have not forgotten you.
#11-017        You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife,
                        You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife.
#11-018        And would it were not so, you are my mother.
                        And though I wish it weren't so, you are my mother.
#11-019  Gertrude:  Nay, then I'll set those to you that can speak.
                        No, this won't do, I'll put those against you who can "speak the language" of swords.
#11-020  Hamlet:  Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge.
                        Come, come here and sit down.  Do not budge from here.
#11-021        You go not, till I set you up a glass
                        You won't go, until after I set up a mirror for you,
#11-022        Where you may see the inmost part of you.
                        In which you can see the innermost part of yourself.
#11-023  Gertrude:  What wilt thou do?  Thou wilt not murder me!
                        You will do what?  You will not murder me!
#11-024        Help ho!
                        Help, ho!
#11-025  Polonius:  What ho! Help!
                        What ho! Help!
#11-026  Hamlet:  How now, a rat!  Dead for a ducat, dead!
                        How now, a rat!  Dead for a ducat, dead!

#11-026-SD  (Hamlet lunges and jabs his sword through the arras;
                   Polonius totters out from behind the arras, clutching his chest)

#11-027  Polonius:  Oh, I am slain!
                        Oh, I am slain!

#11-027-SD  (Polonius falls dead)

#11-028  Gertrude:  Oh, me, what hast thou done?
                        Oh dear me, what have you done?
#11-029  Hamlet:  Nay, I know not.  Is it the King?
                        No, I don't know.  Is it the King?
#11-030  Gertrude:  Oh, what a rash and bloody deed is this.
                        Oh, what a reckless and murderous deed this is.
#11-031  Hamlet:  A bloody deed, almost as bad, good mother,
                        A murderous deed almost as bad, good mother,
#11-032        As kill a king, and marry with his brother.
                        As kill a king, and marry with his brother.
#11-033  Gertrude:  As kill a king?
                        As kill a king?
#11-034  Hamlet:  Aye, Lady, it was my word.
                        Yes, Lady, that's what I said.
   (to Polonius's body):
#11-035        Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell;
                        You wretched, reckless, intruding fool, farewell.
#11-036        I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune;
                        I mistook you for a better creature, so, take your luck.
#11-037        Thou findest to be too busy is some danger;
                        You've found out that being too snoopy is dangerous.
   (to Gertude):
#11-038        Leave wringing of your hands, peace, sit you down,
                        Stop that wringing of your hands. Hush, sit yourself down,
#11-039        And let me wring your heart, for so I shall
                        And let me wring your heart - for I shall do that
#11-040        If it be made of penetrable stuff -
                        If it's made of anything I can get through to -
#11-041        If damned custom have not braced it so,
                        If evil habits haven't braced it so much
#11-042        That it be proof and bulwark against sense.
                        That it is proofed and buttressed to withstand good sense.
#11-043  Gertrude:  What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue
                        What have I done, that you dare to flap your tongue
#11-044        In noise so rude against me?
                        In words so rudely offensive to me?
#11-045  Hamlet:  Such an act
                        It's such an act
#11-046        That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,
                        That it stains the honor and rosy complexion of modesty,
#11-047        Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose
                        That slanders virtue as a hypocrite, removes the rosy glow
#11-048        From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
                        From the beautiful forehead of a blameless love,
#11-049        And sets a blister there, makes marriage vows
                        And sets the mark of the harlot there, and that makes the marriage vows
#11-050        As false as dicers' oaths; O, such a deed,
                        As insincere as gamblers' cursing.  Oh, such a deed
#11-051        As from the body of contraction plucks
                        As if, from the body of the marriage contract, it plucks out
#11-052        The very soul, and sweet religion makes
                        The very soul, and, of the sweet sermon, it makes only
#11-053        A rhapsody of words; heaven's face does glow
                        A meaningless jumble of words.  Heaven's face glows
#11-054        O'er this solidity and compound mass
                        Above this hard-heartedness and compounded heaviness of sin
#11-055        With tristful visage, as against the doom
                        With a sorrowful expression, as if, seen against the day of judgment,
#11-056        'Tis thought-sick at the act . . .
                        It is sickened by thoughts of your act . . .
#11-057  Gertrude:  Aye me, what act?
                        Oh, unhappy me, what act are you talking about?
#11-058  Hamlet:  . . . that roars so loud, and thunders in the Index!
                        . . . that roars so loud, and thunders in the Index L.P.!
#11-059        Look here upon this picture, and on this,
                        Look here, at this picture, and this one,
#11-060        The counterfeit presentment of two brothers;
                        The man-made representation of two brothers.
#11-061        See what a grace was seated on this brow;
                        See what grace was enthroned on this forehead:
#11-062        Hyperion's curls, the front of Jove, himself,
                        Golden curls like the sun, the visage of Jove, himself,
#11-063        An eye like Mars, to threaten and command,
                        An eye like the god of war, to threaten enemies and command forces,
#11-064        A station like the herald Mercury,
                        A posture like Mercury, the messenger of the gods,
#11-065        New lighted on a heave, a kissing hill;
                        Just alighted on a rise, a sun-kissing hill,
#11-066        A combination, and a form, indeed,
                        A combination of features, and a manly form, indeed,
#11-067        Where every god did seem to set his seal
                        Upon which it would seem that every god put his seal of authenticity,
#11-068        To give the world assurance of a man;
                        To give the world assurance that here was a real man.
#11-069        This was your husband; look you now what follows,
                        This was your husband.  Now, you look at what follows:
#11-070        Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear,
                        Here is your husband now, like a diseased, contagious ear of grain,
#11-071        Blasting his wholesome breath.  Have you eyes?
                        Destroying his brother's healthy life.  Do you have eyes?
#11-072        Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
                         Could you cease grazing on this beautiful mountain
#11-073        And batten on this moor?  Ha, have you eyes?
                        And survive by scavenging on this wasteland?  Ha!  Have you eyes?
#11-074        You cannot call it "love," for at your age
                        You can't rightly call it "love," because at your age,
#11-075        The heyday in the blood is tame, it's humble,
                        The high spirit of your passion is subdued, it's deferential
#11-076        And waits upon the judgement, and what judgement
                        And submissive to judgment - and what kind of judgment
#11-077        Would step from this to this?  Sense, sure you have
                        Would descend from this, to this?  Perception, of course you have,
#11-078        Else could you not have motion, but sure that sense
                        Otherwise you couldn't even move, but surely that perception
#11-079        Is apoplexed, for madness would not err,
                        Is disabled, for even madness would not err like that,
#11-080        Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thralled,
                        And perception was never so much enthralled by delight,
#11-081        But it reserved some quantity of choice
                        But that it still retained some amount of the ability to choose,
#11-082        To serve in such a difference.  What devil was it
                        Which should serve when there's such a big difference.  What devil was it
#11-083        That thus hath cozened you at hoodman blind?
                        That has cheated you like that at the game of love?
#11-084        Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
                        Vision without any sense of touch, or touch without vision,
#11-085        Ears without hands, or eyes, smelling sans all;
                        Hearing without touch or vision, smell without any other sense,
#11-086        Or, but a sickly part of one true sense,
                        Or, even only a sickly part of any one good sense,
#11-087        Could not so mope.  O shame, where is thy blush?
                        Could not stupify like that.  Oh shame, where is your blush?
#11-088        Rebellious Hell!
                        Rebellious Hell!
#11-089        If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
                        If you can rebel, against judgment, at your matronly age,
#11-090        To flaming youth let virtue be as wax
                        Then, for passionate youth, let's allow virtue to be only like wax
#11-091        And melt in her own fire; proclaim no shame
                        And melt away in her own fire.  So, let's declare there's no shame, for youth,
#11-092        When the compulsive ardor gives the charge,
                        Whenever compulsive passion is leading the way,
#11-093        Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
                        Since older age, itself, as actively melts away virtue,
#11-094        And reason pardons will.
                        And rationalization only excuses whatever the carnal appetites do.
#11-095  Gertrude:  Oh, Hamlet, speak no more;
                        Oh, Hamlet, don't say any more.
#11-096        Thou turn'st my very eyes into my soul,
                        You've made my eyes look truly into my soul,
#11-097        And there I see such black and grained spots
                        And there, I see such ingrained black spots
#11-098        As will not leave their tinct.
                        As will not ever lose their stain.
#11-099  Hamlet:  Nay, but to live
                        No, there's more to say - but to dwell
#11-100        In the rank sweat of an inseamed bed
                        In the foul sweat of a luxurious bed,
#11-101        Stewed in corruption, honeying, and making love
                        Steeped in corruption, kissing, and making love
#11-102        Over the nasty sty.
                        Right above Hell.
#11-103  Gertrude:  Oh, speak to me no more!
                        Oh, speak to me no more!
#11-104        These words like daggers enter in my ears;
                        These words enter my ears like daggers.
#11-105        No more, sweet Hamlet.
                        No more, sweet Hamlet.
#11-106  Hamlet:  A murderer and a villain,
                        A murderer and a villain!
#11-107        A slave that is not twentieth part the kith
                        A lowly creature who isn't even one twentieth the kind
#11-108        Of your precedent Lord, a vice of kings,
                         Of person your earlier Lord was.  A clownish villain among kings!
#11-109        A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
                        A pickpocket of the empire and the throne,
#11-110        That from a shelf the precious diadem stole
                        Who, from a shelf, stole the precious crown,
#11-111        And put it in his pocket.
                        And put it in his pocket!
#11-112  Gertrude:  No more.
                        No more.

#11-112-SD  (the Ghost enters, costumed in a nightshirt - but it's another
                       line before Hamlet, now facing his mother, turns and sees it)

#11-113  Hamlet:  A King of shreds and patches!
                        A King of shreds and patches!
   (exclaimed in dismay):
#11-114        Save me and hover o'er me with your wings,
                        Save me, and hover over me with your angel's wings,
#11-115        You heavenly guards!
                        You heavenly guardians!
   (to the Ghost):
#11-116        What would your gracious figure?
                        What would your noble figure have of me?
#11-117  Gertrude:  Alas, he's mad.
                        Alas!  He's mad!
#11-118  Hamlet:  Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
                        Aren't you here to scold your son who is slow to act,
#11-119        That lapsed in time and passion lets go by
                        Who, letting time and strong emotion slip away, has let go by
#11-120        The important acting of your dread command?  O say.
                        The momentous action dictated by your fearful command?  Oh, go ahead and say it.
#11-121  Ghost:  Do not forget!  This visitation
                        Do not forget! This visitation
#11-122        Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose,
                        Is only to sharpen your purpose, which has nearly dulled.
#11-123        But look, amazement on thy mother sits,
                        But look, your mother is wearing an expression of amazement,
#11-124        Oh, step between her, and her fighting soul;
                        Go to her and mediate peace for her conflicted soul.
#11-125        Conceit, in weakest bodies, strongest works;
                        Fantasy gets the strongest grip on the weakest bodies.
#11-126        Speak to her, Hamlet.
                        Speak to her, Hamlet.
#11-127  Hamlet:  How is it with you, Lady?
                        How are things with you, Lady?
#11-128  Gertrude:  Alas, how is it with you,
                        Alas, how are things with you,
#11-129        That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
                        That you stare at nothing,
#11-130        And with the incorporeal air do hold discourse?
                        And have conversation with the empty air?
#11-131        Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
                        Forth, from your eyes, your inner spirits peek out wildly,
#11-132        And as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
                        And, like sleeping soldiers suddenly awakened by a call to arms,
#11-133        Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,
                        Your recumbent hair, like something living is suddenly growing on your head,
#11-134        Starts up and stands on end.  Oh gentle son,
                        Rises up and stands on end.  Oh, my gentle son,
#11-135        Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
                        Upon the inflamed heat of your disturbance
#11-136        Sprinkle cool patience.  Whereon do you look?
                        Sprinkle the cooling water of temperance.  What are you looking at?
#11-137  Hamlet:  On him, on him!  Look you, how pale he glares;
                        At him, at him!  Look for yourself how, wide-eyed, he dazzles.
#11-138        His form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones
                        His form and his purpose combined, manifesting itself even in front of stones
#11-139        Would make them capable.
                        Would make them aware.
#11-140        Do not look upon me,
                        Don't look at me,
#11-141        Lest with this piteous action you convert
                        Lest with your piteous gaze you undo
#11-142        My stern effects, then what I have to do
                        My staunch resolve, and then what I have to do
#11-143        Will want true color, tears perchance for blood.        #11-143-SD (tears run down Hamlet's face)
                        Will lack its proper hue, and I'll shed tears, by chance, instead of blood.
#11-144  Gertrude:  To whom do you speak this?
                        To whom do you speak those words?
#11-145  Hamlet:  Do you see nothing there?
                        Don't you see anything there?
#11-146  Gertrude:  Nothing at all, yet all that is, I see.
                        Nothing at all, and yet, I see all that there is to see.
#11-147  Hamlet:  Nor, did you nothing hear?
                        Didn't you hear anything, either?
#11-148  Gertrude:  No, nothing but ourselves.
                        No, nothing but us.
#11-149  Hamlet:  Why, look you there, look how it steals away;
                        Why, just look there, at how it stealthily moves away.
#11-150        My father, in his habit as he lived;
                        My father, wearing his usual clothing, the same as when he was alive.
#11-151        Look where he goes, even now, out at the portal.
                        Look where he goes, just now, out at the doorway.

#11-151-SD  (the Ghost exits)

#11-152  Gertrude:  This is the very coinage of your brain,
                        This is, truly, something created by your mind,
#11-153        This bodiless creation, ecstasy is very cunning in.
                        The kind of hallucination that frenzy is quite crafty at producing.
#11-154  Hamlet:  Ecstasy?
                        Frenzy?
#11-155        My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,
                        My pulse beats as moderately as yours,
#11-156        And makes as healthful music; it is not madness
                        And keeps as healthful a tempo. It is not madness
#11-157        That I haue uttered; bring me to the test,
                        That I have uttered.  Put me to the test,
#11-158        And the matter will reword, which madness
                        And I'll say the same thing in different words, something which a mad person
#11-159        Would gambol from.  Mother, for love of grace,
                        Would shy away from.  Mother, for the love of God,
#11-160        Lay not that flattering unction to your soul
                        Don't apply a mere symptomatic treatment to your soul - the idea
#11-161        That not your trespass, but my madness speaks;
                        It isn't your offense, but instead my madness that is the issue - because doing
#11-162        It will but skin and film the ulcerous place
                        That will only hide and cover up the deeper malady,
#11-163        While rank corruption, mining all within,
                        While foul corruption, digging its way deeper within you,
#11-164        Infects unseen; confess yourself to heaven,
                        Poisons you, unseen.  Make confession of yourself to Heaven,
#11-165        Repent what's past, avoid what is to come,
                        Repent what's over and done with, avoid future damnation for your sins,
#11-166        And do not spread the compost o'er the weeds
                        And don't be like a misguided gardener who spreads compost on weeds
#11-167        To make them rank; forgive me this my virtue,
                        To make them luxuriant.  Forgive me this, my efficacy,
#11-168        For in the fatness of these pursy times
                        For, in the sinfulness of these wealthy times,
#11-169        Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
                        Virtue, itself, must beg pardon of Vice,
#11-170        Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.
                        Yes, bow and beg for permission, to do him good.
#11-171  Gertrude:  Oh, Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
                        Oh, Hamlet, you have broken my heart in two.
#11-172  Hamlet:  Oh, throw away the worser part of it,
                        Oh, then throw away the worse part of it,
#11-173        And leave the purer with the other half,
                        And leave yourself more pure with just the better half.
#11-174        Good night, but go not to my uncle's bed;
                        Good night . . . but do not go to my uncle's bed.
#11-175        Assume a virtue if you have it not;
                        Adopt any virtue you don't already have.
#11-176        That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
                        That fiendish thing, routine, that can, on one hand, consume our awareness
#11-177        Of habit's devil, is angel yet in this
                        Of devilish habits, can be an angel yet, in this way:
#11-178        That to the use of actions fair and good,
                        That, in the employment of actions which are fair and good,
#11-179        He likewise gives a frock or livery
                        Routine can also provide a kind of dress, or uniform,
#11-180        That aptly is put on to refrain night,
                        That appropriately is adopted, to hold off the time of evil-doing -
#11-181        And that shall lend a kind of easiness
                        And that will lend a kind of easiness
#11-182        To the next abstinence, the next more easy.
                        To your next abstinence, and the next, even more easy.
#11-183        For, use almost can change the stamp of nature,
                        For, an established routine can almost change a person's very nature,
#11-184        And either {fetch} the devil, or throw him out
                        And either summon the devil of bad habits in, or throw him out
#11-185        With wonderous potency: once more good night -
                        With amazing strength.  Once more, good night -
#11-186        And when you are desirous to be blessed,
                        Oh, and if you wish me to say a prayer for you,
#11-187        I'll blessing beg of you; for this same Lord
                        I'll beg you to say one for me.  For this same Lord,
#11-188        I do repent; but Heaven hath pleased it so
                        I do repent, but it has pleased Heaven to have it be so,
#11-189        To punish me with this, and this with me,
                        To punish me with this misfortune, and use me to punish him, so
#11-190        That I must be their scourge and minister,
                        That I have to be Heaven's scourge, and minister.
#11-191        I will bestow him and will answer well
                        I will dispose of him, and I will respond appropriately to
#11-192        The death I gave him; so again, good night -
                        The death I inflicted on him.  So again, good night -
#11-193        I must be cruel only to be kind,
                        I must be cruel, only to be kind.
#11-194        This bad begins, and worse remains behind.
                        This begins bad, and worse remains to be done.
#11-195        One word more good Lady.
                        One more word, good Lady.
#11-196  Gertrude (to herself):  What shall I do?
                        What shall I do?
#11-197  Hamlet:  Not this, by no means, that I bid you do,
                        You must not by any means do this, I order you:
#11-198        Let the blunt King tempt you again to bed,
                        Let the fat, dull-witted King tempt you to bed again, or
#11-199        Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse,
                        Pinch playfully on your cheek, call you his mouse,
#11-200        And let him for a pair of reechy kisses,
                        And then allow him, with a couple of reeking kisses,
#11-201        Or paddling in your neck with his damned fingers,
                        Or by massaging your neck with his damned fingers,
#11-202        Make you to ravel all this matter out,
                        Cause you to unravel all this subject out to him,
#11-203        That I essentially am not in madness,
                        That I am not mad by nature,
#11-204        But mad in craft.  'Twere good you let him know?
                        But "mad" with a plan . . . Would it be good for you to tell him?
#11-205        For, who that's but a queen - fair, sober, wise -
                        For who, although a queen - fair, sober and wise -
#11-206        Would from a paddack, from a bat, a gib,
                        Would, from a toad, a bat, a tomcat,
#11-207        Such dear concernings hide?  Who would do so?
                        Hide such important concerns?  Who would do so?
#11-208        No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
                        No, don't act, despite the need for sense and secrecy, to
#11-209        Unpeg the basket on the house's top,
                        Unfasten the basket on the roof, and
#11-210        Let the birds fly; and, like the famous ape,
                        Let the birds fly - and then, do like the famous imitator,
#11-211        To try conclusions, in the basket creep,
                        To test outcomes, climb into the basket, yourself,
#11-212        And break your own neck down.
                        And fracture your own neck, outright.
#11-213  Gertrude:  Be thou assured, if words be made of breath
                        I assure you, if words are made out of breath,
#11-214        And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
                        And breath is made out of life, I have no life to repeat
#11-215        What thou hast said to me.
                        What you have said to me.
#11-216  Hamlet:  I must to England, you know that?
                        I must go to England, did you know that?
#11-217  Gertrude:  Alack, I had forgot.
                        Alack, I had forgotten.
#11-218        'Tis so concluded on.
                        The decision has been made on that.
#11-219  Hamlet:  There's letters sealed, and my two schoolfellows,
                        There are sealed letters to go, too - and my two schoolfellows,
#11-220        Whom I will trust as I will adders fanged,
                        Whom I'll trust as much as I would poisonous snakes -
#11-221        They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way
                        They'll carry the King's orders, and they must lead my way
#11-222        And marshal me to knavery. Let it work,
                        And escort me to treachery.  Let them try,
#11-223        For 'tis the sport to have the enginer
                        For it is an amusement to see a schemer
#11-224        Hoist with his own petard, and it shall go hard
                        Destroyed by his own devices.  And, it may be difficult,
#11-225        But I will delve one yard below their mines,
                        But I'll dig down just below their explosives,
#11-226        And blow them at the moon.  O 'tis most sweet
                        And blow them to the moon.  Oh, it is most sweet
#11-227        When in one line, two crafts directly meet;
                        When, with the same intention, two schemes unite.
#11-228        This man shall set me packing;
                        This man shall be the start of my "packing."
#11-229        I'll lug the guts into the neighbor room;
                        I'll lug this fat body into the neighboring room.
#11-230        Mother, good night indeed.
                        Mother, good night, indeed.
#11-231  (aside):  This councilor
                        This councilor
#11-232        Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,
                        Is now very still, very secret and very grave,
#11-233        Who was in life a most foolish prating knave.
                        Who was, in life, a very foolish blabbering scoundrel.
#11-234        Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.
                        Come, sir, let's draw toward the end of all this, with you.
#11-235  (to Gertrude): Good night, mother.
                        Good night, mother.

#11-235-SD1  (Hamlet exits, dragging Polonius's body)

[In silent action, Gertrude stands and paces, frets, and wrings her hands, asking herself what she can possibly do about her mad son and his killing of Polonius. Suddenly it strikes her, Hamlet said "neighbor room," and that must mean the King's Room, Claudius's room. Gertrude then foresees that Hamlet will drag Polonius's body into Claudius's room, Claudius will immediately call the guards, and Hamlet will be arrested for murder, caught absolutely red handed with his victim in his grasp. Wanting to stop Hamlet before he gets to Claudius's room, and is arrested for murder, she runs out as fast as she can, hoping to catch him in the hallway.]

#11-235-SD2  (Gertrude exits)

 End of Scene 11

Scene Links

Go to: Scene 1 - Scene 2 - Scene 3 - Scene 4 - Scene 5 - Scene 6 - Scene 7 - Scene 8 - Scene 9 - Scene 10
Scene 11 - Scene 12 - Scene 13 - Scene 14 - Scene 15 - Scene 16 - Scene 17 - Scene 18 - Scene 19 - Scene 20


Notes

Jump up to the start of the Dialogue.

11-Setting
  • Place - The Queen's Room. This is Queen Gertrude's room for private conversation, her parlor.
  • Time of Day - only a minute or so after the previous Scene.
  • Calendar Time -

Return: #Setting - or - Set Decoration

11-000-SD

(Gertrude and Polonius enter)

Return: #000-SD

11-001

Polonius: He will come straight; look you lay home to him;

Return: #001

11-002

Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,

Return: #002

11-003

And that Your Grace hath screened and stood between

Return: #003

11-004

Much heat and him; I'll silence me even here;

Return: #004

11-004-SD

(Polonius moves close to an arras)

Return: #004-SD

11-005

Pray you, be round.

round - blunt. Polonius is urging Gertrude to speak bluntly to Hamlet. An instance of the Edge Motif.

Return: #005

11-005-SD

(Hamlet is heard, approaching)

Return: #005-SD

11-006

Gertrude: I'll wait you, fear me not;

wait - attend. Gertrude means she will attend to what Polonius said. This is "contrary" language in that Polonius is the attendant, with respect to the Queen.

Further, wait goes back to Old North French 'waitier' ("to watch,") and since watching is such a significant concept in the play, one has to suspect Shakespeare knew of the wait-"watch" relationship. Indeed, the idea of "watch" makes sense in the line, if taken as "watch for": "I'll watch (for) you." Polonius, behind the arras, will not be able to watch Hamlet, so he'll need someone to watch for him.

fear me not - don't worry about me. Worrying about Hamlet, however, would be a good idea for Polonius, but he doesn't know that.

Return: #006 - or - Folio Difference

11-007

Withdraw, I hear him coming.

There is the question of what Gertrude hears. It would be appropriate for Hamlet to whistle a dirge.

Return: #007

11-007-SD

(Polonius hides behind his chosen arras; Hamlet enters the room)

This must be timed so that Hamlet does not see Polonius, and does not see the arras move. As far as Gertrude can tell, there must be no way for Hamlet to know Polonius is there.

She does not know Hamlet overheard Polonius talking to Claudius in the previous Scene.

Return: #007-SD

11-008

Hamlet: Now, mother, what's the matter?

Return: #008

11-009

Gertrude: Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

Return: #009

11-010

Hamlet: Mother, you have my father much offended.

Return: #010

11-011

Gertrude: Come come, you answer with an idle tongue.

Return: #011

11-012

Hamlet: Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.

Return: #012

11-012-SD

(Hamlet draws his sword)

Hamlet knows Polonius is in the room, hiding behind one of the arrases. Hamlet heard Polonius say he was going to do that in the previous Scene.

Hamlet draws his sword to poke at the arrases, and find Polonius, and then use his sword to threaten Polonius, to discourage Polonius from ever trying to eavesdrop on Hamlet again.

Return: #012-SD

11-013

Gertrude: Why, how now, Hamlet?

Gertrude does not know that Hamlet knows Polonius is in the room. It appears to Gertrude that Hamlet has drawn his sword against her.

Return: #013

11-014

Hamlet: What's the matter now?

Hamlet, knowing what he intends, doesn't realize how it looks to Gertrude. He doesn't understand why she suddenly seems so concerned.

Return: #014

11-015

Gertrude: Have you forgot me?

Return: #015

11-016

Hamlet: No, by the rood, not so.

rood - the Christisn cross.

Return: #016

11-016-SD

(Hamlet raises his sword, to "swear on the cross")

Hamlet is repeating the same sword/cross representation he used in Scene 5, during the "Swear" passage.

However, Gertrude is not informed about Hamlet using his sword to represent the cross. Hamlet's elevation of his sword looks like a threat to her.

Return: #016-SD

11-017

You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife,

Return: #017

11-018

And would it were not so, you are my mother.

Return: #018

11-019

Gertrude: Nay, then I'll set those to you that can speak.

Return: #019

11-020

Hamlet: Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge.

Return: #020

11-021

You go not, till I set you up a glass

Return: #021

11-022

Where you may see the inmost part of you.

Return: #022

11-023

Gertrude: What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me!

Return: #023

11-024

Help ho!

Return: #024

11-025

Polonius: What ho! Help!

BOOKMARK, R.R.D.: "I will call for helpe, what hough, come forth Trupenie."

Return: #025

11-026

Hamlet: How now, a rat! Dead for a ducat, dead!

Return: #026

11-026-SD

(Hamlet lunges and jabs his sword through the arras; Polonius totters out from behind the arras, clutching his chest)

Return: #026-SD

11-027

Polonius: Oh, I am slain!

Return: #027

11-027-SD

(Polonius falls dead)

In full view of the audience, just far enough from downstage center so there's no danger of Hamlet or Gertrude tripping over him as the Scene continues. Polonius remains there until Hamlet begins dragging him out, much later.

The stage floor is uncomfortably hard, to lie upon for an extended time. That is why Shakespeare made Polonius a hunchback, so that, built into his costume, he would have a pillow for his head.

Return: #027-SD

11-028

Gertrude: Oh, me, what hast thou done?

Return: #028

11-029

Hamlet: Nay, I know not. Is it the King?

Return: #029

11-030

Gertrude: Oh, what a rash and bloody deed is this.

Return: #030

11-031

Hamlet: A bloody deed, almost as bad, good mother,

Return: #031

11-032

As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

Return: #032

11-033

Gertrude: As kill a king?

Return: #033

11-034

Hamlet: Aye, Lady, it was my word.

Return: #034

11-035

Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell;

Hamlet is saying to Polonius dead what he had planned to say, more or less, to Polonius alive, as he chased Polonius from the room. To try to dissipate some of his annoyance, Hamlet is going ahead and saying his "get the heck out of here" speech to Polonius's corpse.

rash - is actually how Hamlet is feeling about himself. He regrets his rashness with his sword. There is psychological projection behind Hamlet's use of this word.

Gertrude is watching Hamlet scold a dead body, as if Polonius's corpse could learn a lesson from what Hamlet says. This does not improve Gertrude's view of Hamlet's state of mind.

Return: #035

11-036

I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune;

took - mistook.

thy better - Hamlet means "rat," his insult to Polonius. He is still insulting Polonius, that a rat is a better creature than Polonius was. Contrary to what you might read in other places, Hamlet does not mean he thought Polonius was Claudius.

Hamlet is being sarcastic. He did not really mistake Polonius for a rat. However, Gertrude, hearing this, thinks Hamlet means it. She thinks Hamlet did, indeed, mistake Polonius for a rat. Her misunderstanding is confirmed in the next Scene when she speaks to Claudius.

fortune - an explicit instance of the Fortune Theme. Certainly, it was bad luck for Polonius.

Return: #036

11-037

Thou findest to be too busy is some danger;

busy - inquisitive, prying, meddlesome. This sense of busy appears in the word "busybody."

Return: #037

11-038

Leave wringing of your hands, peace, sit you down,

Return: #038

11-039

And let me wring your heart, for so I shall

Return: #039

11-040

If it be made of penetrable stuff -

Return: #040

11-041

If damned custom have not braced it so,

Return: #041

11-042

That it be proof and bulwark against sense.

Return: #042

11-043

Gertrude: What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue

Return: #043

11-044

In noise so rude against me?

Return: #044

11-045

Hamlet: Such an act

Return: #045

11-046

That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,

Return: #046

11-047

Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose

Return: #047

11-048

From the fair forehead of an innocent love,

Return: #048

11-049

And sets a blister there, makes marriage vows

Return: #049

11-050

As false as dicers' oaths; O, such a deed,

Return: #050

11-051

As from the body of contraction plucks

Return: #051

11-052

The very soul, and sweet religion makes

Return: #052

11-053

A rhapsody of words; heaven's face does glow

Return: #053

11-054

O'er this solidity and compound mass

Return: #054

11-055

With tristful visage, as against the doom

Return: #055

11-056

'Tis thought-sick at the act . . .

Return: #056

11-057

Gertrude: Aye me, what act?

Return: #057

11-058
"Index" in the Second Quarto

Hamlet: . . . that roars so loud, and thunders in the Index!

the Index - refers to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, which was the Catholic Church's list of books that good Catholics were forbidden to read. The Fifth Lateran Council, in 1515, adopted the idea of maintaining such a list, and their decision was confirmed by the Council of Trent in 1546. The first Index Librorum Prohibitorum was published in the time of Pope Paul IV, in 1557. The Index continued as an official publication of the Church until 1966.

The Index Librorum Prohibitorum is, indeed, called the Index for short. Quoting from the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07721a.htm):

"The Index of Prohibited Books, or simply "Index", is used in a restricted sense to signify the exact list or catalogue of books, the reading of which was once forbidden to Catholics by the highest ecclesiastical authority. ..."

That's why the word Index is capitalized in the Second Quarto, as the image shows. The word should always be capitalized, because it's a proper name.

Hamlet is using Index in a figurative way, to mean acts forbidden by religious authority (such as reading a forbidden book.) He takes it that whatever Gertrude has done, which he doesn't actually know, except that she married Claudius, must be an action contrary to religious principles. Hamlet is trying to "catch her conscience" about whatever it is she has done.

Does Gertrude understand Hamlet? Um, no.

Return: #058

11-059
King tapestries at Kronborg Castle

Look here upon this picture, and on this,

this picture, and on this - these are king tapestries, based on the real ones at Kronborg Castle. They are large pictures, life size, that the audience can see. There's one of King Hamlet, and one of King Claudius.

The image at right shows real king tapestries on display at Kronborg Castle.

I provide a page on the issue of the pictures: Closet Scene Pictures.

Return: #059 - or - Extended Note

11-060

The counterfeit presentment of two brothers;

Return: #060

11-061

See what a grace was seated on this brow;

Return: #061

11-062

Hyperion's curls, the front of Jove, himself,

Return: #062

11-063

An eye like Mars, to threaten and command,

Return: #063

11-064

A station like the herald Mercury,

Return: #064

11-065

New lighted on a heave, a kissing hill;

Return: #065 - or - Folio Difference

11-066

A combination, and a form, indeed,

Return: #066

11-067

Where every god did seem to set his seal

Return: #067

11-068

To give the world assurance of a man;

Return: #068

11-069

This was your husband; look you now what follows,

Return: #069

11-070

Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear,

Return: #070

11-071

Blasting his wholesome breath. Have you eyes?

Return: #071

11-072

Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,

Return: #072

11-073

And batten on this Moor? Ha, have you eyes?

Return: #073

11-074

You cannot call it "love," for at your age

Return: #074

11-075

The heyday in the blood is tame, it's humble,

heyday - high spirits, a definition now archaic.

The heyday - the height of one's spirits. We still speak of persons being high spirited, and of whether one's spirits are high, or low.

Shakespeare probably chose the word heyday here because of the importance of the "spirit" concept in the play. The phrase heyday in the blood refers to the passionate spirit being at its highest. The maximum height of the passionate spirit will decline as one ages.

Return: #075

11-076

And waits upon the judgement, and what judgement

waits upon - is subservient to; is submissive to.

Return: #076

11-077

Would step from this to this? Sense, sure you have

Return: #077

11-078

Else could you not have motion, but sure that sense

Return: #078

11-079

Is apoplexed, for madness would not err,

apoplexed - struck; disabled.

Return: #079

11-080

Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thralled,

Return: #080

11-081

But it reserved some quantity of choice

Return: #081

11-082

To serve in such a difference. What devil was it

Return: #082

11-083

That thus hath cozened you at hoodman blind?

cozened - cheated; tricked; deceived.

Return: #083

11-084

Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,

Return: #084

11-085

Ears without hands, or eyes, smelling sans all;

Return: #085

11-086

Or, but a sickly part of one true sense,

Return: #086

11-087

Could not so mope. O shame, where is thy blush?

Return: #087

11-088

Rebellious Hell!

Return: #088

11-089

If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,

mutine - to mutiny. Rebel against authority, in this case, Hamlet means the authority of (good) judgment, following his mention of judgment. Mutine is a standard word, but now obsolete.

bones - body. A synecdoche.

Return: #089

11-090

To flaming youth let virtue be as wax

flaming - impassioned.

Return: #090

11-091

And melt in her own fire; proclaim no shame

her - virtue's.

Return: #091

11-092

When the compulsive ardor gives the charge,

Return: #092

11-093

Since frost itself as actively doth burn,

frost - older age (from the hair looking frosted as it turns white.)

Return: #093

11-094

And reason pardons will.

will - desire; appetite. In action this can be represented by a hand placed on the abdomen. Hunger and thirst are the daily appetites, and they center on the stomach, or abdomen.

Return: #094

11-095

Gertrude: Oh, Hamlet, speak no more;

Return: #095

11-096

Thou turn'st my very eyes into my soul,

very eyes - true eyes; true-seeing eyes. Very takes its root meaning here, Latin 'verus' "true." Recall Hamlet asking Gertrude, "have you eyes?" just a bit earlier.

Return: #096

11-097

And there I see such black and grained spots

black and grained - ingrained black. An instance of hendiadys.

Return: #097

11-098

As will not leave their tinct.

tinct - tint; color; dye. The last is perhaps the most intended, because it puns with "die."

Return: #098

11-099

Hamlet: Nay, but to live

Nay - No, I must say more.

Return: #099

11-100

In the rank sweat of an inseamed bed

inseamed - sewn together; joined, like the inseam that joins two edges of cloth. (This is apparently a unique appearance of inseamed in Shakespeare, but Macbeth does contain "unseamed.") Since a seam is a kind of joint, inseamed is an instance of the Joint Motif ("The time is out of joint," etc.)

Hamlet is speaking of two beds "sewn together" to make one, the specific beds at issue being those of Gertrude and Claudius.

Return: #100

11-101

Stewed in corruption, honeying, and making love

Return: #101

11-102

Over the nasty sty.

the nasty sty - Hell. Sty is a euphemism for Hell, based on Hell being depicted in Medieval art, and elsewhere, as a beastly, filthy place.

Return: #102

11-103

Gertrude: Oh, speak to me no more!

Return: #103

11-104

These words like daggers enter in my ears;

Return: #104

11-105

No more, sweet Hamlet.

Return: #105

11-106

Hamlet: A murderer and a villain,

Return: #106

11-107

A slave that is not twentieth part the kith

Return: #107

11-108

Of your precedent Lord, a vice of kings,

precedent - earlier; previous. Hamlet does mean to imply that King Hamlet set a precedent.

Return: #108

11-109

A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,

cutpurse - pickpocket; thief.

Return: #109

11-110

That from a shelf the precious diadem stole

diadem - royal headwear; royal crown. From Greek 'diadein' ("to bind around,") from 'dia-' + 'dein' ("to bind.")

The "Online Etymology Dictionary" says about diadem: "... Used of the headband worn by Persian kings and adopted by Alexander the Great and his successors," which is worth noting here because of Hamlet's later mention, in Scene 19, the Graveyard Scene, of Alexander the Great.

(Link: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=diadem&allowed_in_frame=0 checked 07 Mar. 2015.)

Return: #110

11-111

And put it in his pocket.

Return: #111

11-112

Gertrude: No more.

Return: #112

11-112-SD

(the Ghost enters, costumed in a nightshirt - but it's another line before Hamlet, now facing his mother, turns and sees it)

Return: #112-SD

11-113

Hamlet: A King of shreds and patches!

Return: #113

11-114

Save me and hover o'er me with your wings,

Return: #114

11-115

You heavenly guards!

Return: #115

11-116

What would your gracious figure?

Return: #116

11-117

Gertrude: Alas, he's mad.

Return: #117

11-118

Hamlet: Do you not come your tardy son to chide,

Return: #118

11-119

That lapsed in time and passion lets go by

Return: #119

11-120

The important acting of your dread command? O say.

Return: #120

11-121

Ghost: Do not forget! This visitation

Return: #121

11-122

Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose,

Return: #122

11-123

But look, amazement on thy mother sits,

Return: #123

11-124

Oh, step between her, and her fighting soul;

Return: #124

11-125

Conceit, in weakest bodies, strongest works;

Return: #125

11-126

Speak to her, Hamlet.

Return: #126

11-127

Hamlet: How is it with you, Lady?

Return: #127

11-128

Gertrude: Alas, how is it with you,

Return: #128

11-129

That you do bend your eye on vacancy,

Return: #129

11-130

And with the incorporeal air do hold discourse?

Return: #130

11-131

Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,

Return: #131

11-132

And as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,

Return: #132

11-133

Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,

Return: #133

11-134

Starts up and stands on end. Oh gentle son,

Return: #134

11-135

Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper

Return: #135

11-136

Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?

Return: #136

11-137

Hamlet: On him, on him! Look you, how pale he glares;

Return: #137

11-138

His form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones

Return: #138

11-139

Would make them capable.

capable - capable of perception; aware. Capable of seeing the Ghost; literally, able to take in the Ghost.

Capable is a "take" word at root, from Late Latin 'capabilis' ("able to take in,") from Latin 'capere' ("to take.") Thus, capable joins other "take" words in the play.

Return: #139

11-140

Do not look upon me,

Return: #140

11-141

Lest with this piteous action you convert

Return: #141

11-142

My stern effects, then what I have to do

Return: #142

11-143

Will want true color, tears perchance for blood.

Return: #143

11-143-SD

(tears run down Hamlet's face)

We know this fact because Gertrude will state expressly in the next Scene that Hamlet wept.

Since Gertrude cannot see the Ghost, in the next Scene she will misinterpret, or misremember, why Hamlet wept. She will associate it with the killing of Polonius, based on Hamlet saying "tears for blood" just above. Recall Gertrude describing the death of Polonius as a "rash and bloody deed" earlier in this Scene (line 030 above.) She associates "blood," at this time, with Polonius's death.

Return: #143-SD

11-144

Gertrude: To whom do you speak this?

Return: #144

11-145

Hamlet: Do you see nothing there?

Return: #145

11-146

Gertrude: Nothing at all, yet all that is, I see.

Return: #146

11-147

Hamlet: Nor, did you nothing hear?

Return: #147

11-148

Gertrude: No, nothing but ourselves.

Return: #148

11-149

Hamlet: Why, look you there, look how it steals away;

Return: #149

11-150

My father, in his habit as he lived;

Return: #150

11-151

Look where he goes, even now, out at the portal.

Return: #151

11-151-SD

(the Ghost exits)

Return: #151-SD

11-152

Gertrude: This is the very coinage of your brain,

Return: #152

11-153

This bodiless creation, ecstasy is very cunning in.

Return: #153

11-154

Hamlet: Ecstasy?

Return: #154

11-155

My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,

Return: #155

11-156

And makes as healthful music; it is not madness

Return: #156

11-157

That I haue uttered; bring me to the test,

Return: #157

11-158

And the matter will reword, which madness

Return: #158

11-159

Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,

Return: #159

11-160

Lay not that flattering unction to your soul

unction - ointment; salve. Also, in Christianity, the oil used in the sacramental ceremony called unction, or the ceremony itself. A superficial treatment.

Return: #160

11-161

That not your trespass, but my madness speaks;

Return: #161

11-162

It will but skin and film the ulcerous place

Return: #162

11-163

While rank corruption, mining all within,

Return: #163

11-164

Infects unseen; confess yourself to heaven,

Return: #164

11-165

Repent what's past, avoid what is to come,

Return: #165

11-166

And do not spread the compost o'er the weeds

On the point of Shakespeare retaining the name "Gertrude," Saint Gertrude of Nivelles is a patron of gardeners.

Return: #166

11-167

To make them rank; forgive me this my virtue,

Return: #167

11-168

For in the fatness of these pursy times

fatness - sinfulness, since fatness shows self indulgence.

pursy - a synonym for "fat" (by the archaic definition of pursy.) However, in this case pursy is probably figurative for "wealthy." The idea is of a purse heavy with money, (which is figuratively a "fat" purse.)

Return: #168

11-169

Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,

Return: #169

11-170

Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.

Return: #170

11-171

Gertrude: Oh, Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.

Return: #171

11-172

Hamlet: Oh, throw away the worser part of it,

Return: #172

11-173

And leave the purer with the other half,

Sounds to Gertrude as if Hamlet thinks a heart has three halves: the worser one, the purer one, and the other one. Which sounds nuts.

Return: #173

11-174

Good night, but go not to my uncle's bed;

Return: #174

11-175

Assume a virtue if you have it not;

Return: #175

11-176

That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat

Return: #176

11-177

Of habit's devil, is angel yet in this

Return: #177

11-178

That to the use of actions fair and good,

Return: #178

11-179

He likewise gives a frock or livery

Return: #179

11-180

That aptly is put on to refrain night

Return: #180

11-181

And that shall lend a kind of easiness

Return: #181

11-182

To the next abstinence, the next more easy.

Return: #182

11-183

For, use almost can change the stamp of nature,

Return: #183

11-184
apparent word skip in the Second Quarto

And either {fetch} the devil, or throw him out

{fetch} - an editorial guess at a word that is probably missing in the Second Quarto of Hamlet.

Please see the Extended Note.

Return: #184 - or - Extended Note

11-185

With wonderous potency: once more good night -

Return: #185

11-186

And when you are desirous to be blessed,

Return: #186

11-187

I'll blessing beg of you; for this same Lord

Return: #187

11-188

I do repent; but Heaven hath pleased it so

Return: #188

11-189

To punish me with this, and this with me,

Return: #189

11-190

That I must be their scourge and minister,

Return: #190

11-191

I will bestow him and will answer well

Return: #191

11-192

The death I gave him; so again, good night -

Return: #192

11-193

I must be cruel only to be kind,

Return: #193

11-194

This bad begins, and worse remains behind.

Return: #194

11-195

One word more good Lady.

Return: #195

11-196

Gertrude (to herself): What shall I do?

Return: #196

11-197

Hamlet: Not this, by no means, that I bid you do,

Return: #197

11-198

Let the blunt King tempt you again to bed,

blunt - Hamlet is insulting Claudius. Also, an instance of the Edge Motif.

Return: #198

11-199

Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse,

Return: #199

11-200

And let him for a pair of reechy kisses,

Return: #200

11-201

Or paddling in your neck with his damned fingers,

Return: #201

11-202

Make you to ravel all this matter out,

Return: #202

11-203

That I essentially am not in madness,

Return: #203

11-204

But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him know?

Return: #204

11-205

For, who that's but a queen - fair, sober, wise -

Return: #205

11-206

Would from a paddack, from a bat, a gib,

Return: #206

11-207

Such dear concernings hide? Who would do so?

Return: #207

11-208

No, in despite of sense and secrecy,

Return: #208

11-209

Unpeg the basket on the house's top,

Return: #209

11-210

Let the birds fly; and, like the famous ape,

Return: #210

11-211

To try conclusions, in the basket creep,

Return: #211

11-212

And break your own neck down.

Return: #212

11-213

Gertrude: Be thou assured, if words be made of breath

Return: #213

11-214

And breath of life, I have no life to breathe

Return: #214

11-215

What thou hast said to me.

Return: #215

11-216

Hamlet: I must to England, you know that?

I must to England - this line confirms to a certainty that Hamlet was hiding in Claudius's room from the beginning of the previous Scene, the Prayer Scene. It's the only way he could know this.

Return: #216

11-217

Gertrude: Alack, I had forgot.

Return: #217

11-218

'Tis so concluded on.

Return: #218

11-219

Hamlet: There's letters sealed, and my two schoolfellows,

Return: #219

11-220

Whom I will trust as I will adders fanged,

Return: #220

11-221

They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way

Return: #221

11-222

marshal me to knavery - escort, or usher, me into something dishonest. I use the word "treachery" in the paraphrase to catch the sense of it.

Hamlet doesn't know what Claudius has written in the orders, but he's sure it's dishonest somehow, just because of the way Claudius is.

Return: #222 - or - Extended Note

11-223

For 'tis the sport to have the enginer

Return: #223

11-224

Hoist with his own petard, and it shall go hard

Return: #224

11-225

But I will delve one yard below their mines,

Return: #225

11-226

And blow them at the moon. O 'tis most sweet

Return: #226

11-227

When in one line, two crafts directly meet;

Return: #227

11-228

This man shall set me packing;

Return: #228

11-229

I'll lug the guts into the neighbor room;

neighbor room - neighboring room. Since this is the Queen's Room, the neighboring room is the King's Room, Claudius's room.

Return: #229

11-230

Mother, good night indeed.

Return: #230

11-231

(aside): This councilor

Return: #231

11-232

Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,

Return: #232

11-233

Who was in life a most foolish prating knave.

Return: #233

11-234

Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.

Return: #234

11-235

(to Gertrude): Good night, mother.

Return: #235

11-235-SD1

(Hamlet exits, dragging Polonius's body)

Return: #235-SD1

11-235-SD2

(Gertrude exits)

Return: #235-SD2


Scene Links

Go to: Scene 1 - Scene 2 - Scene 3 - Scene 4 - Scene 5 - Scene 6 - Scene 7 - Scene 8 - Scene 9 - Scene 10
Scene 11 - Scene 12 - Scene 13 - Scene 14 - Scene 15 - Scene 16 - Scene 17 - Scene 18 - Scene 19 - Scene 20


© 2014 Jeffrey Paul Jordan

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