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Hamlet : Popular Penguins : Popular Penguins - William Shakespeare

Hamlet : Popular Penguins

Popular Penguins


Published: 28th June 2010
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Arguably William Shakespeare's most influential play, Hamlet portrays a young Prince's dilemma in choosing between moral integrity and the need for revenge following the murder of his father. Dealing with themes of love, death and revenge, Hamlet is a rich and complex tragedy that continues to entertain audiences around the world today.

About the Author

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in Stratford-upon-Avon where his father was a prosperous glover. His early life is obscure, but he married Anne Hathaway in 1682 with whom he had two children. By 1592 he was establishing himself in London, and over the next twenty years he wrote thirty-seven plays-and contributed to many more-was a prolific poet, and was taken up by several influential patrons. His Sonnets were first printed in 1609 by George Eld for Thomas Thorpe. The identity of Mr. W.H. to whom the Sonnets are dedicated remains a mystery, as does the identity of the aristocratic youth in the Sonnets and the enigmatic Dark Lady.


Enter Bernardo and, two sentinels.

BARNARDO: Who's there?

FRANCISCO: Nay answer me. Stand and unfold yourself.

BARNARDO: Long live the King.

FRANCISCO: Barnardo?


FRANCISCO: You come most carefully upon your hour.

BARNARDO: 'Tis now struck twelve, get thee to bed.

FRANCISCO: For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,

And I am sick at heart.

BARNARDO: Have you had quiet guard?

FRANCISCO: Not a mouse stirring.

BARNARDO: Well, good night.

If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, The rivals of my watch, bid them

make haste.

Enter Horatio and Marcellus.

FRANCISCO: I think I hear them. Stand: ho, who is there?

HORATIO: Friends to this ground.

MARCELLUS: And liegemen to the Dane.

FRANCISCO: Give you good night.

MARCELLUS: 0, farewell honest soldiers, who hath reliev'd you? FRANCISCO: Barnardo has my place: give you good night.

Exit Francisco.

MARCELLUS: Holla Barnardo.

BARNARDO: Say, what is Horatio there?

HORATIO: A piece of him.

BARNARDO : Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus.

MARCELLUS: What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?

BARNARDO: I have seen nothing.

MARCELLUS: Horatio says, 'tis but our fantasy,

And will not let belief take hold of him

Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us;

Therefore I have entreated him along

With us, to watch the minutes of this night,

That if again this apparition come,

He may approve our eyes, and speak: to it.

HORATIO: Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.

BARNARDO: Sit down awhile,

And let us once again assail your ears,

That are so fortified against our story,

What we two nights have seen.

HORATIO: Well, sit we down,

And let us hear Barnardo speak: of this.

BARNARDO: Last night of all,

When yond same star that's westward from the pole

Had made his course t' illume that part of heaven

Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,

The bell then beating one ­-

MARCELLUS: Peace, break thee off:

Enter Ghost.

Look where it comes again.

BARNARDO: In the same figure, like the King that's dead.

MARCELLUS: Thou art a scholar, speak to it Horatio.

BARNARDO: Looks it not like the King? Mark it Horatio.

HORATIO : Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.

BARNARDO: It would be spoke to.

MARCELLUS: Question it Horatio.

HORATIO: What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,

Together with that fair and warlike form

In which the Majesty of buried Denmark

Did sometimes march: by heaven I charge thee speak.

MARCELLUS: It is offended.

BARNARDO: See, it stalks away.

HORATIO: Stay, speak; speak: I charge thee, speak.

Exit the Ghost.

MARCELLUS: 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

BARNARDO: How now Horatio? you tremble and look


Is not this something more than fantasy?

What think you on't?

HORATIO: Before my God, I might not this believe

Without the sensible and true avouch

Of mine own eyes.

MARCELLUS: Is it not like the King?

HORATIO: As thou art to thyself,

Such was the very armour he had on,

When he th' ambitious Norway combated:

So frown'd he once, when in an angry parle

He smote the sledded poleaxe on the ice.

'Tis strange.

MARCELLUS: Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,

With martial stalk, hath he gone by our watch.

HORATIO: In what particular thought to work, I know not:

But in the gross and scope of my opinion,

This bodes some strange eruption to our State.

MARCELLUS: Good now sit down, and tell me he that knows

Why this same strict and most observant watch,

So nightly toils the subject of the land,

And why such daily cast of brazen cannon

And foreign mart for implements of war:

Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task

Does not divide the Sunday from the week,

What might be toward, that this sweaty haste

Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day:

Who is't that can inform me?

HORATIO: That can I,

At least the whisper goes so: our last King,

Whose image even but now appear'd to us,

Was (as you know) by Fortinbras of Norway,

(Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride)

Dar'd to the combat. In which, our valiant Hamlet,

(For so this side of our known world esteem'd him)

Did slay this Fortinbras: who by a seal'd compact,

Well ratified by law, and heraldry,

Did forfeit (with his life) all those his lands

Which he stood siez'd of, to the conqueror:

Against the which, a moiety competent

Was gaged by our King: which had return'd

To the inheritance of Fortinbras,

Had he been vanquisher, as by the same cov'nant

And carriage of the article design'd,

His fell to Hamlet. Now sir, young Fortinbras,

Of unimproved mettle, hot and full

Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,

Shark'd up a list of landless resolutes,

For food and diet, to some enterprise

That hath a stomach in't: which is no other

(As it doth well appear unto our state)

But to recover of us by strong hand

And terms compulsative, those foresaid lands

So by his father lost: and this (I take it)

Is the main motive of our preparations,

The source of this our watch, and the chief head

Of this post haste, and romage in the land.

[BARNARDO; I think it be no other, but e'en so;

Well may it sort that this portentous figure

Comes armed through our watch so like the King

That was and is the question of these wars.

HORATIO: A moth it is to trouble the mind's eye:

In the most high and palmy state of Rome,

A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead

Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets;

As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,

Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,

Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,

Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse.

And even the like precurse of fierce events,

As harbingers preceding still the fates

And prologue to the omen coming on,

Have heaven and earth together demonstrated

Unto our climatures and countrymen.]

ISBN: 9780141195186
ISBN-10: 0141195185
Series: Popular Penguins
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 190
Published: 28th June 2010
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 18.1 x 11.2  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.12
Edition Number: 1