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The Hamlet Files
Hamlet Soliloquies and Commentary
Act 4, Scene 4, Lines 32-66
Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 129-159 | Act 2, Scene 3, Lines 505-562
Act 3, Scene 1, Lines 56-88
| Act 4, Scene 4, Lines 32-66

Act 4, Scene 4, Lines 32-66

Ham. How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple                           40
Of thinking too precisely on th' event--
A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward--I do not know
Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do,'
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means,
To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me:
Witness this army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puffed,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,                                 50
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an eggshell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honor's at the stake. How stand I then
That have a father killed, a mother stained,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep, while to my shame I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men                     60
That for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth. 

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I knew him, Horatio.

This page was last updated June 06, 2013. Copyright Randy Rambo, 2000.