For ages 12 and up
Do you want to put on a Shakespeare production, but absolutely cannot perform the entire play? This abridged version of ‘Hamlet’ was professionally edited the author of Drama Notebook.
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Excerpt from the play:
Claudius, King of Denmark.
Hamlet, Son to the former, and Nephew to the present King.
Polonius, Lord Chamberlain.
Horatio, Friend to Hamlet.
Laertes, Son to Polonius.
A Gentleman, Courtier.
Francisco, a Soldier
Ghost of Hamlet’s Father.
Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and Mother of Hamlet.
Ophelia, Daughter to Polonius.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Danes, Messengers, and other
Elsinore. A platform before the Castle.
(Francisco at his post. Enter Bernardo.)
Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.
Long live the king!
Have you had quiet guard?
Not a mouse stirring.
If you meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
I think I hear them.—Stand, ho! Who’s there?
(Enter Horatio and Marcellus.)
Friends to this ground.
And liegemen to the Dane.
Welcome, Horatio:—Welcome, good Marcellus.
Has this thing appear’d again to-night?
I have seen nothing.
Horatio says ’tis but our fantasy,
And will not let belief take hold of him.
Therefore I have entreated him along
With us to watch the minutes of this night;
That, if again this apparition come
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
Tush, tush, ’twill not appear.
Sit down awhile.
Peace, break thee off; look where it comes again!
(Enter Ghost, armed.)
In the same figure, like the king that’s dead.
Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
What art thou, that usurp’st this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? By heaven I charge thee, speak!
It is offended.
See, it stalks away!
Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee speak!
‘Tis gone, and will not answer.
How now, Horatio! You tremble and look pale:
Is not this something more than fantasy?
Is it not like the King?
As thou art to thyself:
Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
In what particular thought to work I know not;
But, in the gross and scope of my opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Elsinore. A room of state in the Castle.
(Enter the KING, QUEEN, HAMLET, POLONIUS, LAERTES, LORDS, and ATTENDANT.)
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 one 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:—or all, our thanks.
And now, Laertes, what’s the news with you?
You told us of some suit; what is’t, Laertes?
What wouldst thou have?
Dread my lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France.