Age Range: 40s - Late, 50s, 60s, 70+
Dialects: Standard American, Standard English
Polonius, the chief counselor of King Claudius, is afraid that Hamlet's relationship with his daughter, Ophelia, will hurt his reputation with the king. In this monologue, Polonius tells Ophelia that she should not believe Hamlet when he says he loves her. Polonius ends the monologue by instructing Ophelia that she may not even speak with Hamlet.
AuthorName: William Shakespeare
Eras: 1601-1700, 1501-1600
Rating: Suitable for all ages
Copyright Status: Public domain
Ay, springes to catch woodcocks! I do know, When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul Lends...View Full Monologue Text
Ay, springes to catch woodcocks! I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Lends the tongue vows. These blazes, daughter,
Giving more light than heat, extinct in both
Even in their promise, as it is a-making,
You must not take for fire. From this time
Be something scanter of your maiden presence.
Set your entreatments at a higher rate
Than a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet,
Believe so much in him, that he is young,
And with a larger tether may he walk
Than may be given you. In few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers,
Not of that dye which their investments show,
But mere implorators of unholy suits,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds,
The better to beguile. This is for all:
I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth
Have you so slander any moment leisure
As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.
Look to't, I charge you. Come your ways.