First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter King, Rosincrance, and Guildensterne.Enter the King, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern Ham III.iii.1
King. KING 
I like him not, nor stands it safe with vs,I like him not; nor stands it safe with us Ham III.iii.1
To let his madnesse range. Therefore prepare you,To let his madness range. Therefore prepare you.range (v.)
wander freely, roam, rove
Ham III.iii.2
I your Commission will forthwith dispatch,I your commission will forthwith dispatch,dispatch, despatch (v.)
deal with promptly, settle, get [something] done quickly
Ham III.iii.3
commission (n.)
warrant, authority [to act]
And he to England shall along with you:And he to England shall along with you. Ham III.iii.4
The termes of our estate, may not endureThe terms of our estate may not endureestate (n.)
high rank, standing, status
Ham III.iii.5
term (n.)

old form: termes
state, condition, circumstance
Hazard so dangerous as doth hourely growHazard so near us as doth hourly grow Ham III.iii.6
Out of his Lunacies.Out of his brows.brow (n.)
Ham III.iii.7.1
We will our selues prouide:We will ourselves provide.provide (v.)

old form: prouide
get ready, equip [oneself]
Ham III.iii.7.2
Most holie and Religious feare it isMost holy and religious fear it isreligious (adj.)
sacred, solemn, inviolate
Ham III.iii.8
fear (n.)

old form: feare
duty, solicitude, obligation
To keepe those many many bodies safeTo keep those many many bodies safe Ham III.iii.9
That liue and feede vpon your Maiestie.That live and feed upon your majesty. Ham III.iii.10
The single / And peculiar life is boundThe single and peculiar life is boundpeculiar (adj.)
particular, private, personal
Ham III.iii.11
single (adj.)
individual, particular
With all the strength and Armour of the minde,With all the strength and armour of the mind Ham III.iii.12
To keepe it selfe from noyance: but much more,To keep itself from noyance; but much morenoyance (n.)
harm, damage, injury
Ham III.iii.13
That Spirit, vpon whose spirit depends and restsThat spirit upon whose weal depends and restsweal (n.)
welfare, well-being, prosperity
Ham III.iii.14
The liues of many, the cease of MaiestieThe lives of many. The cess of majestycess (n.)

old form: cease
cessation, ending, decease
Ham III.iii.15
Dies not alone; but like a Gulfe doth drawDies not alone, but like a gulf doth drawgulf (n.)

old form: Gulfe
Ham III.iii.16
What's neere it, with it. It is a massie wheeleWhat's near it with it; or 'tis a massy wheelmassy (adj.)

old form: massie
massive, heavy, colossal
Ham III.iii.17
Fixt on the Somnet of the highest Mount,Fixed on the summit of the highest mount, Ham III.iii.18
To whose huge Spoakes, ten thousand lesser thingsTo whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things Ham III.iii.19
Are mortiz'd and adioyn'd: which when it falles,Are mortised and adjoined; which when it falls,mortise (v.)

old form: mortiz'd
fit together, join tightly [like pieces of wood]
Ham III.iii.20
Each small annexment, pettie consequenceEach small annexment, petty consequence,annexment (n.)
appendage, adjunct, attachment
Ham III.iii.21
Attends the boystrous Ruine. Neuer aloneAttends the boisterous ruin. Never aloneattend (v.)
accompany, follow closely, go with
Ham III.iii.22
boisterous (adj.)

old form: boystrous
tumultuous, violent, tempestuous
Did the King sighe, but with a generall grone.Did the king sigh, but with a general groan. Ham III.iii.23
King. KING 
Arme you, I pray you to this speedie Voyage;Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage.arm (v.)

old form: Arme
prepare, get ready
Ham III.iii.24
For we will Fetters put vpon this feare,For we will fetters put about this fear, Ham III.iii.25
Which now goes too free-footed.Which now goes too free-footed. Ham III.iii.26.1
We will haste vs. We will haste us. Ham III.iii.26.2
Exeunt Gent.Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Ham III.iii.26
Enter Polonius.Enter Polonius Ham III.iii.27.1
My Lord, he's going to his Mothers Closset:My lord, he's going to his mother's closet.closet (n.)
private chamber, study, own room
Ham III.iii.27
Behinde the Arras Ile conuey my selfeBehind the arras I'll convey myselfconvey (v.)

old form: conuey
conceal, hide, secrete
Ham III.iii.28
arras (n.)
tapestry hanging
To heare the Processe. Ile warrant shee'l tax him home,To hear the process. I'll warrant she'll tax him home.process (n.)

old form: Processe
proceedings, dealings
Ham III.iii.29
home (adv.)
fully, thoroughly, unsparingly
tax (v.)
censure, blame, take to task, disparage
warrant (v.)
assure, promise, guarantee, confirm
And as you said, and wisely was it said,And, as you said, and wisely was it said, Ham III.iii.30
'Tis meete that some more audience then a Mother,'Tis meet that some more audience than a mother,meet (adj.)

old form: meete
fit, suitable, right, proper
Ham III.iii.31
Since Nature makes them partiall, should o're-heareSince nature makes them partial, should o'erhearnature (n.)
natural feelings, natural affection
Ham III.iii.32
The speech of vantage. Fare you well my Liege,The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege.fare ... well (int.)
goodbye [to an individual]
Ham III.iii.33
vantage, of / to the
in addition, as well, besides
liege (n.)
lord, sovereign
Ile call vpon you ere you go to bed,I'll call upon you ere you go to bed Ham III.iii.34
And tell you what I know.And tell you what I know. Ham III.iii.35.1
King. KING 
Thankes deere my Lord.Thanks, dear my lord. Ham III.iii.35.2
Exit Polonius Ham III.iii.35
Oh my offence is ranke, it smels to heauen,O, my offence is rank. It smells to heaven.rank (adj.)

old form: ranke
foul-smelling, stinking
Ham III.iii.36
It hath the primall eldest curse vpon't,It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,eldest (adj.)
oldest, longest
Ham III.iii.37
primal (adj.)

old form: primall
primaeval, original, earliest
A Brothers murther. Pray can I not,A brother's murder. Pray can I not, Ham III.iii.38
Though inclination be as sharpe as will:Though inclination be as sharp as will. Ham III.iii.39
My stronger guilt, defeats my strong intent,My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,intent (n.)
intention, purpose, aim
Ham III.iii.40
And like a man to double businesse bound,And like a man to double business bound Ham III.iii.41
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,I stand in pause where I shall first begin,pause, in
hesitating, not proceeding, pausing
Ham III.iii.42
And both neglect; what if this cursed handAnd both neglect. What if this cursed hand Ham III.iii.43
Were thicker then it selfe with Brothers blood,Were thicker than itself with brother's blood, Ham III.iii.44
Is there not Raine enough in the sweet HeauensIs there not rain enough in the sweet heavens Ham III.iii.45
To wash it white as Snow? Whereto serues mercy,To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercyserve (v.)

old form: serues
be of use, render service, be an advantage [to]
Ham III.iii.46
But to confront the visage of Offence?But to confront the visage of offence?visage (n.)
outward appearance, aspect, air
Ham III.iii.47
And what's in Prayer, but this two-fold force,And what's in prayer but this twofold force, Ham III.iii.48
To be fore-stalled ere we come to fall,To be forestalled ere we come to fallforestall (v.)

old form: fore-stalled
prevent, stop, intercept, waylay
Ham III.iii.49
Or pardon'd being downe? Then Ile looke vp,Or pardoned being down? Then I'll look up.look up (v.)

old form: looke vp
be cheerful, take courage
Ham III.iii.50
My fault is past. But oh, what forme of PrayerMy fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer Ham III.iii.51
Can serue my turne? Forgiue me my foule Murther:Can serve my turn? ‘ Forgive me my foul murder?’ Ham III.iii.52
That cannot be, since I am still possestThat cannot be, since I am still possessed Ham III.iii.53
Of those effects for which I did the Murther.Of those effects for which I did the murder,effect (n.)
benefit, advantage [resulting from an action]
Ham III.iii.54
My Crowne, mine owne Ambition, and my Queene:My crown, mine own ambition, and my Queen. Ham III.iii.55
May one be pardon'd, and retaine th'offence?May one be pardoned and retain th' offence? Ham III.iii.56
In the corrupted currants of this world,In the corrupted currents of this worldcurrent (n.)

old form: currants
practice, course, way of behaviour
Ham III.iii.57
Offences gilded hand may shoue by Iustice,Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice;shove by (v.)

old form: shoue
thrust aside, push aside
Ham III.iii.58
gilded (adj.)
gold-bearing, supplied with money
And oft 'tis seene, the wicked prize it selfeAnd oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itselfoft (adv.)
Ham III.iii.59
Buyes out the Law; but 'tis not so aboue,Buys out the law. But 'tis not so above.buy out (v.)

old form: Buyes
get rid of, cancel by making a payment
Ham III.iii.60
There is no shuffling, there the Action lyesThere is no shuffling. There the action liesshuffling (n.)
trickery, deceit, evasiveness
Ham III.iii.61
In his true Nature, and we our selues compell'dIn his true nature, and we ourselves compelled, Ham III.iii.62
Euen to the teeth and forehead of our faults,Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,teeth and forehead of, to the
in the very face of, confronting face-to-face
Ham III.iii.63
To giue in euidence. What then? What rests?To give in evidence. What then? What rests?rest (v.)
remain, stay, stand
Ham III.iii.64
give in (v.)

old form: giue
provide, supply, furnish
Try what Repentance can. What can it not?Try what repentance can. What can it not? Ham III.iii.65
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?Yet what can it when one cannot repent? Ham III.iii.66
Oh wretched state! Oh bosome, blacke as death!O, wretched state! O, bosom black as death! Ham III.iii.67
Oh limed soule, that strugling to be free,O limed soul, that struggling to be freelimed (adj.)
trapped, ensnared [as with birdlime]
Ham III.iii.68
Art more ingag'd: Helpe Angels, make assay:Art more engaged! Help, angels! Make assay.engaged (adj.)

old form: ingag'd
entangled, involved, trapped
Ham III.iii.69
assay (n.)
effort, attempt
Bow stubborne knees, and heart with strings of Steele,Bow, stubborn knees, and, heart with strings of steel, Ham III.iii.70
Be soft as sinewes of the new-borne Babe,Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe! Ham III.iii.71
All may be well.All may be well. Ham III.iii.72
Enter Hamlet.The King kneels. Enter Hamlet Ham III.iii.73.1
Now might I do it pat, now he is praying,Now might I do it pat, now 'a is a-praying.pat (adv.)
neatly, opportunely, aptly
Ham III.iii.73
And now Ile doo't, and so he goes to Heauen,And now I'll do't. And so 'a goes to heaven. Ham III.iii.74
And so am I reueng'd: that would be scann'd,And so am I revenged. That would be scanned.scan (v.)

old form: scann'd
examine, carefully consider
Ham III.iii.75
A Villaine killes my Father, and for thatA villain kills my father, and for that Ham III.iii.76
I his foule Sonne, do this same Villaine sendI, his sole son, do this same villain send Ham III.iii.77
To heauen.To heaven. Ham III.iii.78
Oh this is hyre and Sallery, not Reuenge.Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge.salary (n.)

old form: Sallery
reward, fee, payment
Ham III.iii.79
He tooke my Father grossely, full of bread,'A took my father grossly, full of bread,grossly (adv.)

old form: grossely
in a state of excess, with great sins unabsolved
Ham III.iii.80
With all his Crimes broad blowne, as fresh as May,With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;flush (adj.)
lusty, vigorous, full of life
Ham III.iii.81
crime (n.)
sin, offence, wrong-doing
blown (adj.)

old form: blowne
in full flower, in its bloom
broad (adv.)
completely, fully
And how his Audit stands, who knowes, saue Heauen:And how his audit stands, who knows save heaven?save (prep.)

old form: saue
Ham III.iii.82
audit (n.)
account, reckoning [especially: in the face of God]
But in our circumstance and course of thoughtBut in our circumstance and course of thought,circumstance (n.)
condition, state, situation
Ham III.iii.83
course (n.)
habit, custom, practise, normal procedure
'Tis heauie with him: and am I then reueng'd,'Tis heavy with him. And am I then revenged,heavy (adj.)

old form: heauie
grave, serious, weighty
Ham III.iii.84
To take him in the purging of his Soule,To take him in the purging of his soul, Ham III.iii.85
When he is fit and season'd for his passage?When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?passage (n.)
passing away, departure from life, death
Ham III.iii.86
season (v.)

old form: season'd
prepare, make fit
No.No. Ham III.iii.87
Vp Sword, and know thou a more horrid hentUp, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent.hent (n.)
clutch, grasp
Ham III.iii.88
When he is drunke asleepe: or in his Rage,When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,drunk asleep

old form: drunke asleepe
in a drunken stupour, dead drunk
Ham III.iii.89
Or in th'incestuous pleasure of his bed,Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed, Ham III.iii.90
At gaming, swearing, or about some acteAt game, a-swearing, or about some actgame (n.)
Ham III.iii.91
That ha's no rellish of Saluation in't,That has no relish of salvation in't – relish (n.)

old form: rellish
trace, suggestion, hint
Ham III.iii.92
Then trip him, that his heeles may kicke at Heauen,Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven, Ham III.iii.93
And that his Soule may be as damn'd aud blackeAnd that his soul may be as damned and black Ham III.iii.94
As Hell, whereto it goes. My Mother stayes,As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays.stay (v.)

old form: stayes
wait (for), await
Ham III.iii.95
This Physicke but prolongs thy sickly dayes. This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.physic (n.)

old form: Physicke
medicine, healing, treatment
Ham III.iii.96
sickly (adj.)
of sickness, invalid
Exit.Exit Ham III.iii.96
King. KING  
(rising) Ham III.iii.97
My words flye vp, my thoughts remain below,My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Ham III.iii.97
Words without thoughts, neuer to Heauen go. Words without thoughts never to heaven go. Ham III.iii.98
Exit.Exit Ham III.iii.98
 Previous Act III, Scene III Next  

Jump directly to