Women's Monologues in Shakespeare's

Hamlet

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Ophelia
Verse - intercut
Hamlet
O my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!

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Ophelia. O my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!

Polonius. With what, i' th' name of God?

Ophelia. My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbrac'd,
No hat upon his head, his stockings foul'd,
Ungart'red, and down-gyved to his ankle;
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a look so piteous in purport
As if he had been loosed out of hell
To speak of horrors- he comes before me.

Polonius.Mad for thy love?

Ophelia. My lord, I do not know,
But truly I do fear it.

Polonius. What said he?

Ophelia. He took me by the wrist and held me hard;
Then goes he to the length of all his arm,
And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
He falls to such perusal of my face
As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so.
At last, a little shaking of mine arm,
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk
And end his being. That done, he lets me go,
And with his head over his shoulder turn'd
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes,
For out o' doors he went without their help
And to the last bended their light on me.
II i 87
Ophelia
Verse
Hamlet
O what a noble mind is here o'erthrown

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O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier's, scholar's, soldier's, eye, tongue, sword,
Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th' observ'd of all observers- quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck'd the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy. O, woe is me
T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see!
III i 132
Player Queen
Verse
Hamlet
So many journeys may the sun and moon

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So many journeys may the sun and moon
Make us again count o'er ere love be done!
But woe is me! you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer and from your former state.
That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must;
For women's fear and love holds quantity,
In neither aught, or in extremity.
Now what my love is, proof hath made you know;
And as my love is siz'd, my fear is so.
Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.
III ii 110
Ophelia
Verse & Prose - intercut
Hamlet
How should I your true love know

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Ophelia. [sings]
How should I your true-love know
From another one?
By his cockle bat and' staff
And his sandal shoon.

Gertrude.Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?

Ophelia. Say you? Nay, pray You mark.
[Sings] He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,
At his heels a stone.
O, ho!

Gertrude. Nay, but Ophelia-

Ophelia. Pray you mark.
[Sings] White his shroud as the mountain snow-

Enter King.

Gertrude. Alas, look here, my lord!

Ophelia. [Sings]
Larded all with sweet flowers;
Which bewept to the grave did not go
With true-love showers.

Claudius. How do you, pretty lady?

Ophelia. Well, God dild you! They say the owl was a baker's daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at your table!

Claudius. Conceit upon her father.

Ophelia. Pray let's have no words of this; but when they ask, you what it means, say you this:
[Sings] To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning bedtime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose and donn'd his clo'es
And dupp'd the chamber door,
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.

Claudius. Pretty Ophelia!

Ophelia. Indeed, la, without an oath, I'll make an end on't!
[Sings] By Gis and by Saint Charity,
Alack, and fie for shame!
Young men will do't if they come to't
By Cock, they are to blame.
Quoth she, 'Before you tumbled me,
You promis'd me to wed.'
He answers:
'So would I 'a' done, by yonder sun,
An thou hadst not come to my bed.'

Claudius. How long hath she been thus?

Ophelia. I hope all will be well. We must be patient; but I cannot choose but weep to think they would lay him i' th' cold ground. My brother shall know of it; and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies. Good night, sweet ladies. Good night, good night. [Exit]
IV v 27
Ophelia
Verse & Prose - intercut
Hamlet
They bore him barefaced on the bier

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Ophelia. [sings]
They bore him barefac'd on the bier
(Hey non nony, nony, hey nony)
And in his grave rain'd many a tear.
Fare you well, my dove!

Laertes. Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge, It could not move thus.

Ophelia. You must sing 'A-down a-down, and you call him a-down-a.' O, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole his master's daughter.

Laertes. This nothing's more than matter.

Ophelia. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts.

Laertes. A document in madness! Thoughts and remembrance fitted.

Ophelia. There's fennel for you, and columbines. There's rue for you, and here's some for me. We may call it herb of grace o' Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference! There's a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they wither'd all when my father died. They say he made a good end. [sings] For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.

Laertes. Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself, She turns to favour and to prettiness.

Ophelia. [sings]
And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead;
Go to thy deathbed;
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll.
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan.
God 'a'mercy on his soul!
And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God b' wi' you.
[exit]
IV V 148
Gertrude
Verse
Hamlet
One woe doth tread upon another's heel

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Gertrude. One woe doth tread upon another's heel,
So fast they follow. Your sister's drown'd, Laertes.

Laertes.Drown'd! O, where?

Gertrude. There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them.
There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clamb'ring to hang, an envious sliver broke,
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
IV vii 180

 


 

 

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