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The play's the thing, Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.
To be, or not to be, that is the question
and sweat under a weary life ;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have, Than fly to others that we know not of? VThus conscience does make cowards of us all
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
The glass of fashion, and the mould of form,
Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.
Hamlet. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue ; but if
you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my
lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings ; who, for the most part, are capable of
nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise : I would have such a fellow whipped for o'er-doing Termagant ; it out-herods Herod : Pray you avoid it.
PLAYER. I warrant your honour.
HAMLET. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor : suit the action to the word, the word to the action ; with this special observance,
you o’erstep not the modesty of nature : for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 't were, the mirror up to nature ; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now this, overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one, must, in your allowance, o'eiweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players, that I have seen play,—and heard others praise, and that highly,—not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, Pagan, nor man, have so strutted, and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably
Give me that man That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him In my heart's core, ay,
heart of heart, As I do thee.
Here's metal more attractive. Act III.
OPHELIA. 'Tis brief, my lord,
Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.
O, wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother !
Very like a whale.
They fool me to the top of my bent.
'Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world.
I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
My offence is rank, it smells to heaven.
Look here, upon this picture, and on this ;
eye like Mars, to threaten and command ;
O, shame! where is thy blush ?
A king of shreds and patches.
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,