Read Hamlet by William Shakespeare book online free

Read Hamlet by William Shakespeare book online free


It likes us well;

And at our more consider’d time well read,

Answer, and think upon this business.

Meantime we thank you for your well-took labour:

Go to your rest; at night we’ll feast together:

Most welcome home!



This business is well ended.

My liege, and madam, to expostulate

What majesty should be, what duty is,

Why day is day, night night, and time is time,

Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,

And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,

I will be brief: your noble son is mad:

Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,

What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?

But let that go.


More matter, with less art.


Madam, I swear I use no art at all.

That he is mad, ’tis true: ’tis true ’tis pity;

And pity ’tis ’tis true: a foolish figure;

But farewell it, for I will use no art.

Mad let us grant him, then: and now remains

That we find out the cause of this effect,

Or rather say, the cause of this defect,

For this effect defective comes by cause:

Thus it remains, and the remainder thus. Perpend.

I have a daughter—have while she is mine—

Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,

Hath given me this: now gather, and surmise.


‘To the celestial and my soul’s idol, the most

beautified Ophelia,’—

That’s an ill phrase, a vile phrase; ‘beautified’ is

a vile phrase: but you shall hear. Thus:


‘In her excellent white bosom, these, & c.’


Came this from Hamlet to her?


Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faithful.


‘Doubt thou the stars are fire;

Doubt that the sun doth move;

Doubt truth to be a liar;

But never doubt I love.

‘O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers;

I have not art to reckon my groans: but that

I love thee best, O most best, believe it. Adieu.

‘Thine evermore most dear lady, whilst

this machine is to him, HAMLET.’

This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown me,

And more above, hath his solicitings,

As they fell out by time, by means and place,

All given to mine ear.

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