Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death The memory be green, and that it us...View Full Monologue Text
Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
Th' imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,
With an auspicious, and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife; nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak supposal of our worth,
Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bands of law,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
Now for ourself and for this time of meeting.
Thus much the business is: we have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,
Who, impotent and bedrid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose, to suppress
His further gait herein, in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions are all made
Out of his subject; and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltemand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway,
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the King, more than the scope
Of These dilated articles allow.
[Gives a paper.]
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
Rating: Suitable for all ages
Copyright Status: Public domain
King Claudius begins this monologue by speaking of the sad nature of his brother's (King Hamlet's) death. He then tells of his recent marriage to King Hamlet's widow, Queen Gertrude. He goes on to explain that young Fortinbras is plotting to attack Denmark in order to avenge his father. Claudius decides to send a letter to young Fortinbras' uncle, who is the old and sickly King of Norway, asking him to restrain his hot-headed nephew.
AuthorName: William Shakespeare
Eras: 1601-1700, 1501-1600
Age Range: 40s - Late, 50s, 60s, 70+
Dialects: Standard American, Standard English