1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

'Hamlet' Act 5, Scene 2

The Complete Text to 'Hamlet' Act 5, Scene 2

By

HAMLET

Good madam!


KING CLAUDIUS

Gertrude, do not drink.


QUEEN GERTRUDE

I will, my lord; I pray you, pardon me.


KING CLAUDIUS

[Aside]

It is the poison'd cup: it is too late.


HAMLET

I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by.


QUEEN GERTRUDE

Come, let me wipe thy face.


LAERTES

My lord, I'll hit him now.


KING CLAUDIUS

I do not think't.


LAERTES

[Aside]

And yet 'tis almost 'gainst my conscience.


HAMLET

Come, for the third, Laertes: you but dally;
I pray you, pass with your best violence;
I am afeard you make a wanton of me.


LAERTES

Say you so? come on.

[They play]


OSRIC

Nothing, neither way.


LAERTES

Have at you now!

[LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then in scuffling, they change rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES]


KING CLAUDIUS

Part them; they are incensed.


HAMLET

Nay, come, again.

[QUEEN GERTRUDE falls]


OSRIC

Look to the queen there, ho!


HORATIO

They bleed on both sides. How is it, my lord?


OSRIC

How is't, Laertes?


LAERTES

Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric;
I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery.


HAMLET

How does the queen?


KING CLAUDIUS

She swounds to see them bleed.


QUEEN GERTRUDE

No, no, the drink, the drink, -- O my dear Hamlet, --
The drink, the drink! I am poison'd.

[Dies]


HAMLET

O villany! Ho! let the door be lock'd:
Treachery! Seek it out.


LAERTES

It is here, Hamlet: Hamlet, thou art slain;
No medicine in the world can do thee good;
In thee there is not half an hour of life;
The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,
Unbated and envenom'd: the foul practise
Hath turn'd itself on me lo, here I lie,
Never to rise again: thy mother's poison'd:
I can no more: the king, the king's to blame.


HAMLET

The point! -- envenom'd too!
Then, venom, to thy work.

[Stabs KING CLAUDIUS]


All

Treason! treason!


KING CLAUDIUS

O, yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt.


HAMLET

Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,
Drink off this potion. Is thy union here?
Follow my mother.

[KING CLAUDIUS dies]


LAERTES

He is justly served;
It is a poison temper'd by himself.
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet:
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee,
Nor thine on me.

[Dies]


HAMLET

Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.
I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu!
You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
That are but mutes or audience to this act,
Had I but time -- as this fell sergeant, death,
Is strict in his arrest -- O, I could tell you --
But let it be. Horatio, I am dead;
Thou livest; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.


HORATIO

Never believe it:
I am more an antique Roman than a Dane:
Here's yet some liquor left.


HAMLET

As thou'rt a man,
Give me the cup: let go; by heaven, I'll have't.
O good Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me!
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.

[March afar off, and shot within]

What warlike noise is this?


OSRIC

Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland,
To the ambassadors of England gives
This warlike volley.


HAMLET

O, I die, Horatio;
The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit:
I cannot live to hear the news from England;
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited. The rest is silence.

[Dies]


HORATIO

Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
Why does the drum come hither?

[March within]

[Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors, and others]


PRINCE FORTINBRAS

Where is this sight?


HORATIO

What is it ye would see?
If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.


PRINCE FORTINBRAS

This quarry cries on havoc. O proud death,
What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
That thou so many princes at a shot
So bloodily hast struck?


First Ambassador

The sight is dismal;
And our affairs from England come too late:
The ears are senseless that should give us hearing,
To tell him his commandment is fulfill'd,
That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:
Where should we have our thanks?


HORATIO

Not from his mouth,
Had it the ability of life to thank you:
He never gave commandment for their death.
But since, so jump upon this bloody question,
You from the Polack wars, and you from England,
Are here arrived give order that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view;
And let me speak to the yet unknowing world
How these things came about: so shall you hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Fall'n on the inventors' reads: all this can I
Truly deliver.


PRINCE FORTINBRAS

Let us haste to hear it,
And call the noblest to the audience.
For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune:
I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.


HORATIO

Of that I shall have also cause to speak,
And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more;
But let this same be presently perform'd,
Even while men's minds are wild; lest more mischance
On plots and errors, happen.


PRINCE FORTINBRAS

Let four captains
Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
For he was likely, had he been put on,
To have proved most royally: and, for his passage,
The soldiers' music and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him.
Take up the bodies: such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Go, bid the soldiers shoot.

[A dead march. Exeunt, bearing off the dead bodies; after which a peal of ordnance is shot off]

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Shakespeare
  4. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  5. 'Hamlet' - The Complete Text Online
  6. 'Hamlet' Act 5, Scene 2 (Part 3)

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.