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HAMLET: a monologue on his way from the churchyard to the castle

(With Prologue and Epilogue by W.Shakespeare).

In Memory of the First Hearer

 Sergey Oksanine

Email: oksanine@gmail.com

ACT V. Scene I (the end).


Hear you, sir;

What is the reason that you use me thus?

I loved you ever: but it is no matter;

Let Hercules himself do what he may,

The cat will mew and dog will have his day.



I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.



Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech;

We'll put the matter to the present push.

Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.

This grave shall have a living monument:

An hour of quiet shortly shall we see;

Till then, in patience our proceeding be.



HAMLET (walks alone to the castle)

Why, do not let thy soul

To contrive against thy mother aught;

Here the understanding is come at once.

King Hamlet, abroad You watched the providence, methinks.               

When, in Queen’s closet, that damned tongue

Was striking her, the soul of Nero

Knock’d that firm, ha, bosom.

But, blind with rage, it kill’d Polonius.

Old clown, poor Jephthah,

Alas, thee've lost thy treasure,              

Since heavens play’d a simple tennis game

And clos’d with me by death of nymph of Dane.     

Father, the second time before me You appear’d

To prevent mischief?      

‘twas too late.

Dost You see, the fortune hath punish’d my assay

To play the murther,

When thy dishonest, plume-armour’d son

Search’d grounds for an honorable action              

In the show.

Thou wert, methought, offended.                                                       

Alack, that cannon is a-shooting false fires off.

My Lord, your purblind son hath cut the question

To be or not to be

To villainous combat;

We’ll ha-t one day with Laertes.

What’s told about forty thousand brothers,

If a hand of one

Can send the proud fellow to hell?

Words, words, words.

Why not silence?

This is the answer.   

Before Laertes’ hit will take away

The life of Elsinore’s native master,

I should quit slaughter and revenge the murther.  

No, that would be scanned.

What is the theatre of vengeance, if its slave

Be but to play another murder?

Fortune's quietus admits no discourse                                        

And my companions to England

Should know that soon.           

A fair business must o’erweigh the whole bark of bodies.  

But, if the providence esteem'em o’erpaid

And take my virtuous ambition

In equal scale with other malefaction?                                

I cannot reason.

Another fortune’s buffet? Another grief? Another shape in-night?       

That consummation, is’t possible?                     

No. No. No.

Up, sword. Peace thy sting and let Laertes

Accept my deep remorse.

I must my arm lay freely at his feet.            

Perchance she will forgive me.


Horatio approaches.



Horatio, for the death of that young lady

E’en thee make me guilty?         

Or again «'twere to consider too curiously, to consider so»?

Why, ‘twere to trace the dust of Alexander, right!

But here I’ve caught heavens up

At their game.

Mark me. I killed Polonius. Thence died his daughter.


My Lord, ‘twas not a game, methinks.

Dost You remember St.John’s scholars?

Men loved by God are first to be rebuked.


Thou art indeed a scholar.

Am I heaven-kissed? Ha - ha.

«Son of man, behold,

I take away from thee the desire

Of thine eyes with a stroke:

Yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep,

Neither shall thy tears run down.»

Enters the castle.

HORATIO (aside)

But, if that love of heavens do outlive the time?


Scene II. A hall in the castle.



So much for this, sir: now shall you see the other;

You do remember all the circumstance?

 Comments to “Hamlet: a monologue on his way from the churchyard to the castle”

 The gap between the texts of Scene 1 and Scene 2 in Act V gives an idea that there has been a talk between Hamlet and Horatio on their way from the churchyard to the castle. While Hamlet, shocked by the death of Ophelia, is walking away alone from the cemetery, he is seen talking to himself about the Fortune. He realizes, that the wish of the “plume-armoured son” to verify the words of his father on the stage has finally led to Ophelia’s death. As Horatio approaches, they continue discussing this theme in the manner of scholasticism and cite both, New and Old Testaments. Finally, Horatio assumes that Hamlet, chosen by God, will outlive their times but for that, Elsinore’s master by birth will have to pay the price.

 The Monologue uses 

- specific features of Shakespearian Grammar, for example:

        negative form not to let to (“Why do not let thy soul to contrive”, based on “When Collatine unwisely did not let to praise” (The Rape of Lucrece))

        present perfect of verbs to go/to come with the verb to be (“Here the understanding is come at once”,  based on “My hour is almost come” (Hamlet, I,5))

        inversion (“Thence died his daughter”,  based on “Here lies the water” (Hamlet, V,1))

        modal verbs’ inversion (“I must my arm lay freely at his feet”, based on “And therefore must his choice be circumscrib’d” (Hamlet,I,3))

        infinitive form in conditional if clauses (“But, if that love of heavens do outlive the time?”, based  on “If it live in your memory, begin at this line” (Hamlet, II, 2)

- Shakespearian text that stresses the characters’ vocabulary, for example:

        “I cannot reason” (Hamlet, II,2)

        “Thou art a scholar (Hamlet I,1)


 doi: 10.33329/elt.8.3.1
 Submission Open
International Citation Impact factor 3.9809


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