HAMLET Act 1, Sc. V “Oh, my prophetic soul…”


GHOST (Voice Over) But soft, methinks I scent
the morning air. Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon, Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursèd hebona in a vial And in the porches of my ears did pour
The leprous distilment. Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother’s hand
Of life, of crown, of queen at once dispatched, Cut off, even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled, No reck’ning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head. O horrible, O horrible, most horrible! GHOST (Voice Over) If thou hast nature in
thee, bear it not. Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damnèd incest. But, howsoever thou pursues this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at
once. The glowworm shows the matin to be near
And ’gins to pale his uneffectual fire. Adieu, adieu, adieu. Remember me. O all you host of heaven! O Earth! What else?
And shall I couple hell? O fie! Hold, hold, my heart,
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old, But bear me up. Remember thee?
Ay, thou poor ghost, whiles memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee? Yea, from the table of my memory
I’ll wipe away all trivial, fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures
past, That youth and observation copied there,
And thy commandment all alone shall live Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmixed with baser matter. Yes, by heaven! O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain! My tables—meet it is I set it down
That one may smile and smile and be a villain. At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark.
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word. It is “adieu, adieu, remember me.”
I have sworn ’t.

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