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Thanks to William Shakespeares OG status as a master wordsmith, his plays are de rigueur in high school and college classrooms alike. And so, of course, are his penis jokes. Its common knowledge the Bard of Avon was fond of filthy puns, which played fabulously well for the notoriously gutter-minded audiences of Elizabethan England. But while some of Shakespeares dirty jokes still work as well today as they did in the 16th century, many more have been lost in translation, thanks to the way English has evolved as a language in the past 400 years. Fortunately, devotees to Shakespeares original pronunciation—known as OP scholars—are doing their best to remind modern audiences all about the Bards legacy for being down with OPP, so to speak. A recent report from the Atlantic highlights examples of the puns theyre reacquainting readers with: Wordplay-happy Elizabethans often used “nothing”/“no-ting” as a euphemism for…“vagina. ” (Theres no thing there, get it. Which means that the title Much Ado About Nothing, on top of everything else, also suggests Much Ado About…yeah. Meanwhile, the best way to get the full Shakespeare-ience is to catch an OP performance of one of his plays. But if you cant do that, then a language companion like Shakespeares Bawdy or Shakespeares Words will illuminate dirty jokes galore. For example: Dirty Scrabble in Twelfth Night “By my life, this is my ladys hand, these be her very Cs, her Us and her Ts and thus makes she her great Ps. ”  – Malvolio Read this out loud with its swaggering original pronunciation, and youll find yourself spelling out an, ahem, certain word. (The “and” becomes a slangy “N” sound, if you know what were saying. In addition to pioneering the earliest written variation of a “See you next Tuesday” joke, Shakespeare also made these lines pull double duty, so to speak, by throwing in a bit of toilet humor into the mix. Great Ps? Yep. He went there. Hamlet keeps redirecting the conversation… into Ophelias crotch HAMLET: Lady, shall I lie in your lap? OPHELIA: No, my lord. HAMLET: I mean, my head upon your lap? OPHELIA: Ay, my lord. HAMLET: Do you think I meant country matters? OPHELIA: I think nothing, my lord. HAMLET: Thats a fair thought to lie between maids legs. OPHELIA: What is, my lord? HAMLET: Nothing. Ah, filth. First, dont overlook that passing mention of “country matters”; no doubt you can guess which syllable in that phrase wouldve been over-emphasized to a roar of bawdy approval. And of course, theres the “nothing between your legs” joke—which, again, would be a vaginal double entendre to Elizabethan ears. Although in Hamlets defense, Ophelia walked right into that one. Sonnet 151 My soul doth tell my body that he may Triumph in love: flesh stays no further reason But rising at thy name doth point out thee As his triumphant prize. Although many of Shakespeares best and filthies puns were saved for his stage works—much to the delight of the rowdy theater audiences of the time—he couldnt resist packing phallic humor into his sonnets. That rising, pointing, triumphant thing hes talking about? Yeah, thats not his soul. Sampson and Gregorys wiener banter from Romeo and Juliet SAMPSON: Me they shall feel while I am able to stand, and tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh. GREGORY: ‘Tis well thou art not fish. If thou hadst, thou hadst been poor-john. [Enter ABRAM and another SERVINGMAN. ] Draw thy tool! Here comes of the house of Montagues. SAMPSON: My naked weapon is out. Quarrel! I will back thee. Even before all that talk of tools and naked weapons, this whole exchange was already one big dong-measuring contest. For one, Sampsons reference to his “pretty piece of flesh” is exactly what you think it is (and my, arent we confident about the notorious beauty of our wang. But unless theyre experts in Elizabethan cuisine, contemporary audiences might miss the full implication of that “poor-John” comment, which refers to the cheapest, nastiest dried fish available at the time. In other words, its pretty big of Sampson to back his friend in a fight, when Gregory just compared his penis to a desiccated trout.

Do you think i meant country matters 3f furniture

Enter HAMLET and three of the PLAYERS. HAMLET 1     Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to 2.  mouth it: i. e., deliver it melodramatically. 2     you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, 3.  our players: i. e., the actors of this time.  lief: willingly.    3     as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier 4     spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with 5     your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very 6     torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of 7     passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance 8     that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the 9.  robustious: boisterous.  periwig-pated fellow: i. e., some guy with a fashionable wig on his head.    9     soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear 10     a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the 11.  groundlings: those who paid just a penny and stood on the ground in the pit of the theater. 11-12.  capable... noise: i. e. respond to the play only by making faces and a lot of noise. 13-14.  Termagant... Herod: Both of these were well-known as noisy, melodramatic characters in medieval drama.   11     groundlings, who for the most part are capable of 12     nothing but inexplicable dumbshows and noise: I would 13     have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; 14     it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it. First Player 15.  warrant: promise, assure.  The player is promising Hamlet that all of his instructions will be faithfully followed.   15     I warrant your honor. 16     Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion 17     be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word 18-19.  with... nature: i. e., always remembering to not go beyond the simple truth of nature.   18     to the action; with this special observance, that you 19     o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for any thing so 20.  is from the purpose of playing: is contrary to the purpose of staging plays.  end: goal. 21.  both at the first and now: both when plays were first performed and now.   20     overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, 21     both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, 22     the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, 23.  scorn: i. e., that which is worthy of scorn.   23     scorn her own image, and the very age and body of 24.  his: its  pressure: impression, exact image.   24     the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone, 25.  come tardy off: done lamely. This fault in acting is the opposite of the fault of being "overdone.   25     or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful 26     laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the 27.  censure: judgment.  which one: even] one of whom [ i. e. the judicious.   allowance: estimation.   27     censure of the which one must in your allowance 28     o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be 29     players that I have seen play, and heard others 30.  not to speak it profanely: to speak without joking. 31.  Christians: i. e., recognizable, believable human beings.   30     praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, 31     that, neither having the accent of Christians nor 32     the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so 33     strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of 34.  journeymen: day laborers, not masters of their craft.   34     nature's journeymen had made men and not made 35     them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. First Player 36.  we have reformed that indifferently with us: our company of actors have corrected that fault pretty well.   36     I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us, 37     sir. 38     O, reform it altogether. And let those that play 39     your clowns speak no more than is set down for 40.  of them: some of them.   40     them; for there be of them that will themselves 41.  barren: i. e., witless.   41     laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators 42     to laugh too; though, in the mean time, some 43     necessary question of the play be then to be 44     considered: that's villanous, and shows a most pitiful 45     ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.            [Exeunt Players. ]            Enter POLONIUS, GUILDENSTERN            and ROSENCRANTZ. 46-47.  piece of work: masterpiece. But Hamlet is being sarcastic. 46     How now, my lord! Will the king hear this piece 47     of work? POLONIUS 48.  presently: at once.   48     And the queen too, and that presently. 49     Bid the players make haste.            [Exit Polonius. ] 50     Will you two help to hasten them? ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN 51     Ay, my lord.            Exeunt they two. 52     What ho! Horatio!            Enter HORATIO. HORATIO 53     Here, sweet lord, at your service. HAMLET 54-55.  thou art e'en as just a man / As e'er my conversation coped withal: i. e., of all men that I have known, you are most like what a man should be.   54     Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man 55     As e'er my conversation coped withal. 56     O, my dear lord— 56                               Nay, do not think I flatter; 57.  advancement: advantage.   57     For what advancement may I hope from thee 58     That no revenue hast but thy good spirits, 59     To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd? 60.  candied: sugared; i. e., flattering.    60     No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp, 61.  crook the pregnant hinges of the knee: i. e., bend a knee in hopes of receiving a reward. 62.  Where thrift may follow fawning: when profit may follow from fawning.   61     And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee 62     Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear? 63     Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice 64.  could.  distinguish: i. e., could evaluate the differing worths of men.  election: considered choice. 65.  seal'd: chosen once and for all. 66.  As one... nothing: As one who, in enduring everything, doesn't allow anything to cause him suffering. 67.  buffets: beatings.   64     And could of men distinguish, her election 65     Hath seal'd thee for herself; for thou hast been 66     As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing, 67     A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards 68     Hast ta'en with equal thanks: and blest are those 69.  blood: i. e., passions. commeddled: blended; i. e., balanced. 70.  pipe: musical instrument, such as a recorder or flute. 71.  stop: i. e., note. A "stop" is a hole in a wind instrument for controlling the note played.   69     Whose blood and judgment are so well commeddled, 70     That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger 71     To sound what stop she please. Give me that man 72     That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him 73     In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart, 74.  Something too much of this: Apparently Hamlet has either noticed that Horatio is embarrassed by this effusive praise, or Hamlet himself has become embarrassed.   74     As I do thee. —Something too much of this. — 75     There is a play tonight before the king; 76     One scene of it comes near the circumstance 77     Which I have told thee of my father's death: 78     I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot, 79.  Even with the very comment of thy soul: with the most wise and intuitive judgment of your soul. 80.  occulted: hidden. 81.  unkennel: bring into the open.   79     Even with the very comment of thy soul 80     Observe mine uncle. If his occulted guilt 81     Do not itself unkennel in one speech, 82.  damned ghost: evil spirit, devil.   82     It is a damned ghost that we have seen, 83.  imaginations: suspicions, mental images.  foul: i. e., black, dirty, and dangerous.  84.  Vulcan's stithy: Vulcan's smithy.    Give him heedful note: i. e., pay very close attention to him.   83     And my imaginations are as foul 84     As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note; 85     For I mine eyes will rivet to his face, 86     And after we will both our judgments join 87.  censure of his seeming: rendering a verdict on his behavior.   87     In censure of his seeming. 87                                            Well, my lord: 88.  If a' steal aught: i. e., if he hide anything.   88     If a' steal aught the whilst this play is playing, 89.  scape: escape.  pay: pay for.  Horatio is promising that he will not miss any sign of King Claudius' guilt.   89     And scape detecting, I will pay the theft. HAMLET 90.  be idle: i. e., pretend to be unconcerned.   90     They are coming to the play; I must be idle. 91     Get you a place.            Enter trumpets and kettledrums,            KING, QUEEN, POLONIUS,            OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ,            GUILDENSTERN, and attendants. KING 92     How fares our cousin Hamlet? HAMLET 93.  the chameleon's dish: i. e., air.   93     Excellent, i' faith; of the chameleon's dish: 94     I eat the air, promise-crammed. You cannot 95     feed capons so. KING 96-97.  I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words are not mine: i. e., I can't make sense of your answer, Hamlet; it's not responsive to the question I asked.   96     I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these 97     words are not mine. 98     No, nor mine now. [To Polonius. My lord, 99     you played once i' the university, you say? POLONIUS 100     That did I, my lord; and was accounted a 101     good actor. 102     What did you enact? 103     I did enact Julius Caesar: I was killed i' the 104     Capitol; Brutus killed me. HAMLET 105.  part: action, role. 105     It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a 106     calf there. Be the players ready? ROSENCRANTZ 107     Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience. QUEEN 108     Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me. 109     No, good mother, here's metal more 110     attractive. POLONIUS [To the King. ] 111     O, ho! do you mark that? HAMLET 112.  lie: In Shakespeare's time, the phrase "lie with" had the same sexual meaning as "sleep with" does now (C. E. 2015. 112     Lady, shall I lie in your lap? OPHELIA 113     No, my lord. 114     I mean, my head upon your lap? 115     Ay, my lord. HAMLET 116.  Do you think I meant country matters. Do you think I meant to be rude and indecent? Hamlet's use of the word "country" is probably a rude and indecent pun. 116     Do you think I meant country matters? 117     I think nothing, my lord. 118     That's a fair thought to lie between 119     maids' legs. 120     What is, my lord? 121     Nothing. OPHELIA 122.  You are merry: i. e., you're just joking.  Poor Ophelia! If she took Hamlet's sarcastic remarks at all seriously, she would have to think that he was grossly insulting her, so she decides to believe that he is just making witticisms. 122     You are merry, my lord. 123     Who, I? 124     Ay, my lord. HAMLET 125.  your only jig-maker: the very best composer of jigs, farcical song-and-dance entertainments that followed plays. 127.  within's: within this. 125     O God, your only jig-maker. What should a man do 126     but be merry? for, look you, how cheerfully my mother 127     looks, and my father died within's two hours. 128     Nay, tis twice two months, my lord. HAMLET 129-130.  let.  sables: Devils were usually depicted as black and naked. Sable is a luxurious fur and also, in heraldry, the color black. 129     So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for I'll 130     have a suit of sables. O heavens! die two months ago, 131     and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope a great man's 132     memory may outlive his life half a year: but, by'r lady, 133-134.  suffer not thinking on: i. e., endure the insult of being forgotten. 133     he must build churches, then; or else shall he suffer 134     not thinking on, with the hobby-horse, whose epitaph 135     is "For, O, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot. "            The trumpets sounds. Dumb show follows.            Enter a King and a Queen; the Queen embracing            him, and he her. [She kneels. He takes her up,            and declines his head upon her neck. He lies him            down upon a bank of flowers. She, seeing him            asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in another man,            takes off his crown, kisses it, pours poison in            the sleeper's ears, and leaves him. The Queen makes passionate action: i. e., weeps and otherwise reveals her grief.              returns; finds the King dead, makes passionate            action. The Poisoner, with some three or four,            comes in again, seems to condole with her.            The dead body is carried away. The Poisoner            woos the Queen with gifts; she seems harsh            awhile, but in the end accepts his love.            Exeunt. 136     What means this, my lord? HAMLET 137.  this' miching mallecho: this is sneaking mischief. 137     Marry, this' miching mallecho; it means 138     mischief. OPHELIA 139-140.  Belike this show imports the argument of the play: it seems likely that this dumb show tells the plot of the play. 139     Belike this show imports the argument of 140     the play.            Enter PROLOGUE. 141     We shall know by this fellow: the players 142.  keep counsel: keep secrets. 142     cannot keep counsel; they'll tell all. 143     Will he tell us what this show meant? HAMLET 144-145.  be not you: if you are not. 144     Ay, or any show that you'll show him: be 145     not you ashamed to show, he'll not shame 146     to tell you what it means. OPHELIA 147.  naught: nothing, naughty. mark: pay attention to.  Ophelia means that she will learn more from watching the play than she will from listening to Hamlet. 147     You are naught, you are naught: I'll mark 148     the play. Prologue 149     For us, and for our tragedy, 150-151.  Here stooping to your clemency. We beg your hearing patiently: Here bowing to your forgiving nature, we beg that you will hear us patiently. 150     Here stooping to your clemency, 151     We beg your hearing patiently.            [Exit. ] HAMLET 152.  Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring. A "posy of a ring" is a scrap of verse inscribed on a ring, such as "my love for you will always be new. Hamlet is complaining that the prologue didn't really say anything. 152     Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring? 153     'Tis brief, my lord. 154     As woman's love.            Enter [two Players. KING and QUEEN. Player King 155.  Phoebus' cart: the sun-god's chariot. 155     Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round 156.  Neptune's.  ground: i. e., the whole round [ orbed" world. 157.  borrow'd sheen: reflected brightness.  The people of Shakespeare's time knew that the light of the moon is reflected from the sun. 159.  Hymen: god of marriage. 160.  commutual: mutually.  bands: bonds, pledges of faith. 156     Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground, 157     And thirty dozen moons with borrow'd sheen 158     About the world have times twelve thirties been, 159     Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands 160     Unite commutual in most sacred bands. Player Queen 161     So many journeys may the sun and moon 162     Make us again count o'er ere love be done! 163     But, woe is me, you are so sick of late, 164     So far from cheer and from your former state, 165-168.  distrust: fear for.  Yet, though... in extremity: Yet, though I am seriously worried about you, that should give you no discomfort, because women's love and worry go together; either women don't worry because they don't love, or they worry too much because they sincerely love. 169.  proof: experience. 170.  as my love is sized, my fear is so: i. e., because my love is of great size, so is my fear for your health.  The Player Queen repeats this idea in the next two lines. 165     That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust, 166     Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must, 167     For women's fear and love holds quantity; 168     In neither aught, or in extremity. 169     Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know; 170     And as my love is sized, my fear is so: 171     Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear; 172     Where little fears grow great, great love grows there. Player King 173.  'Faith, I must leave thee: i. e., certainly, I must die. 174.  operant: active, vital.  leave to do: cease to perform. 175.  behind: i. e., after I die. 173     'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too; 174     My operant powers their functions leave to do: 175     And thou shalt live in this fair world behind, 176.  haply: by good fortune. 176     Honor'd, beloved; and haply one as kind 177     For husband shalt thou— Player Queen 177.  the rest: i. e., what you are about to say next: that I will take a second husband. 177                                          O, confound the rest! 178     Such love must needs be treason in my breast: 179     In second husband let me be accurst! 180     None wed the second but who kill'd the first. HAMLET [Aside. 181.  Wormwood, wormwood: i. e., that's bitter! The extract of the plant wormwood is very bitter. and so the word "wormwood" also means anything that is harsh or embittering. 182.  instances: motives. move: motivate. 181     Wormwood, wormwood. 182     The instances that second marriage move 183.  base respects of thrift: dishonorable considerations of monetary or other material advantages. 183     Are base respects of thrift, but none of love: 184     A second time I kill my husband dead, 185     When second husband kisses me in bed. Player King 186     I do believe you think what now you speak; 187.  what we do determine oft we break: i. e., often, we don't follow through on a course of action that we have decided upon. 188.  Purpose: determination, resolution. 189.  validity: strength, power to last. 187     But what we do determine oft we break. 188     Purpose is but the slave to memory, 189     Of violent birth, but poor validity; 190     Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree; 191     But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be. 192-193.  Most necessary... debt: Of necessity, we forget to pay the obligations that we have imposed on ourselves. 194.  passion: violent emotion. 192     Most necessary 'tis that we forget 193     To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt: 194     What to ourselves in passion we propose, 195     The passion ending, doth the purpose lose. 196-197.  The violence.  destroy: i. e., violent grief and joy don't lead to action because both emotions burn themselves out by their very violence. 198-199.  Where joy.  accident: i. e., the smallest accident can turn grief to joy, and vice versa. 200.  for aye: for ever; everlasting. 196     The violence of either grief or joy 197     Their own enactures with themselves destroy: 198     Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament; 199     Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident. 200     This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange 201     That even our loves should with our fortunes change; 202.  'tis a question left us yet to prove: it's a question that we haven't yet answered. However, in what follows, the Player King shows that fortune controls love. 205.  The poor advanced: the poor man raised to a higher position. 206.  And.  tend: i. e., And these examples show that love depends on fortune. 207.  who.  friend: the person who doesn't need a friend will always have one. 208-209.  who.  enemy: i. e., a person in want who appeals for help from a hollow friend immediately makes that friend his enemy. 202     For 'tis a question left us yet to prove, 203     Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love. 204     The great man down, you mark his favorite flies; 205     The poor advanced makes friends of enemies. 206     And hitherto doth love on fortune tend; 207     For who not needs shall never lack a friend, 208     And who in want a hollow friend doth try, 209     Directly seasons him his enemy. 210     But, orderly to end where I begun, 211     Our wills and fates do so contrary run 212     That our devices still are overthrown; 213     Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own: 214     So think thou wilt no second husband wed; 215     But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead. Player Queen 216-223.  Nor earth... I be wife. This long speech is a list of all the horrible punishments that the Player Queen says should be inflicted upon her if she re-marries after her husband's death. 217.  Sport and repose lock from me: deny me both recreation and rest. 219.  An anchor's.  scope: let a hermit's food in prison be all the comfort I ever have or can hope for. 220-221.  Each. e., let every opposing force that makes the face of joy go white with grief attack and destroy my every desire. 222.  Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife: both in life and in the hereafter let everlasting agony follow me. 216     Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light! 217     Sport and repose lock from me day and night! 218     To desperation turn my trust and hope! 219     An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope! 220     Each opposite that blanks the face of joy 221     Meet what I would have well and it destroy! 222     Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife, 223     If, once a widow, ever I be wife! 224     If she should break it now! 225     'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile; 226.  fain: gladly.  beguile: pass the time of. 226     My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile 227     The tedious day with sleep.            [Sleeps. ] 227                                             Sleep rock thy brain, 228     And never come mischance between us twain!            Exit. 229     Madam, how like you this play? QUEEN 230.  protests: vows, promises. 230     The lady protests too much, methinks. 231     O, but she'll keep her word. KING 232-233.  Have you heard the argument. Do you know the plot?  Is there no offense in't. Is it free of offensive matter? 232     Have you heard the argument? Is there no 233     offense in't? HAMLET 234.  jest: i. e., pretend (because they are just actors in a play. 234     No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest— 235     no offense i' the world. 236     What do you call the play? HAMLET 237.  Tropically: Figuratively. 237     The Mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play 238.  image: representation. 238     is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is 239     the duke's name; his wife, Baptista. You shall see 240.  anon: very soon. 240     anon. 'Tis a knavish piece of work, but what of 241.  free souls: i. e., clear consciences. 241     that? Your Majesty and we that have free souls, it 242-243.  Let the galled jade winch, our withers are unwrung: i. e., let the one who has a guilty conscience wince; not us, who don't have guilty consciences. A "jade" is a bad horse, one that is hard to control. A horse that is galled has a sore, caused by the chafing of its saddle or other tack. If the sore is on the withers (the ridge between a horse's shoulders) the withers are wrung—rubbed sore. 242     touches us not. Let the galled jade winch, our 243     withers are unwrung.            Enter LUCIANUS. 244     This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king. OPHELIA 245.  chorus: Many plays of Shakespeare's time had a chorus—an actor who would appear at the beginning of an act to explain the forthcoming action. For an example, see the opening of Romeo and Juliet.   246-247.  I could interpret... dallying: i. e., If I saw you with your lover, I know exactly what you would be saying to each other. 245     You are as good as a chorus, my lord. 246     I could interpret between you and your 247     love, if I could see the puppets dallying. OPHELIA 248.  keen: witty, sharp. 248     You are keen, my lord, you are keen. HAMLET 249-250.  It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge: Hamlet takes the word "keen" to mean "eager for sex. The groaning could allude either to noisy love-making or to the groaning of a woman in labor. 249     It would cost you a groaning to take off my 250     edge. OPHELIA 251.  Still better, and worse: i. e., you're always more witty, and always more indecent. 251     Still better, and worse. HAMLET 252.  So you mistake your husbands: with those words you women wrongly take husbands. 253.  leave... faces: i. e., quit making those melodramatic facial expressions. 254.  the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge: Hamlet is mocking the melodramatic language of old revenge tragedies. 252     So you mistake your husbands. Begin, murderer; 253     leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come, 254     the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge. LUCIANUS 255     Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing, 256     Confederate season, else no creature seeing; 257     Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected, 258     With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected, 259     Thy natural magic and dire property, 260.  usurp: take the place of. 260     On wholesome life usurp immediately.            [Pours the poison into the sleeper's ears. ] 261     He poisons him i' the garden for's estate. His 262     name's Gonzago: the story is extant, and writ in 263     choice Italian: you shall see anon how the murderer 264     gets the love of Gonzago's wife.            [King rises. ] 265     The king rises. HAMLET 266.  false fire: the discharge of a gun loaded with gunpowder, but no shot. 266     What, frighted with false fire! 267     How fares my lord? 268     Give o'er the play. 269     Give me some light: away! All 270     Lights, lights, lights!            Exeunt all but Hamlet and Horatio. HAMLET 271.  strucken: struck, i. e., wounded. 271        "Why, let the strucken deer go weep, 272.  hart: deer.  ungalled: unwounded. 272          The hart ungalled play; 273.  watch: stay awake. Metaphorically, the line means "Some must live, while some must die. 274.  So... away: i. e., it's the way of the world to run away from those who are suffering. 275.  feathers: the plumes worn by tragic actors. 273        For some must watch, while some must sleep: 274          So runs the world away. " 275     Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers— if 276     the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me—with two 277.  Provincial roses: decorative rosettes. raz'd: with decorative slashing.  fellowship: partnership. 278.  cry: company. 277     Provincial roses on my razed shoes, get me a 278     fellowship in a cry of players, sir? HORATIO 279     Half a share. HAMLET 280.  A whole one, I: i. e., I'm sure I deserve a whole share. 280     A whole one, I. 281-284.  "For thou... pajock" This may be a quotation from another ballad... 281        "For thou dost know, O Damon dear, 282          This realm dismantled was 283        Of Jove himself; and now reigns here 284. pajock: peacock, a bird with a bad reputation for vanity and foolishness. 284          A very, very—pajock. HORATIO 285.  You might have rhymed: i. e., you could have made a rhyme. If Hamlet had completed his song with a rhyme, he could have said "ass. rather than "pajock. 285     You might have rhymed. 286     O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for 287     a thousand pound. Didst perceive? 288     Very well, my lord. 289     Upon the talk of the poisoning? 290     I did very well note him. HAMLET 291-292.  Come... the recorders. Hamlet is calling out to the actors of "The Murder of Gonzago. 291     Ah, ha! Come, some music! come, the 292     recorders! 293-294.  For.  perdy: Editors often put these two lines in quotation marks. 294.  belike: it's likely  perdy: assuredly (from the French pardieu, by God. 293        For if the king like not the comedy, 294        Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy. 295     Come, some music!            Enter ROSENCRANTZ       and GUILDENSTERN. GUILDENSTERN 296.  vouchsafe me: kindly grant me. 296     Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with 297     you. 298     Sir, a whole history. GUILDENSTERN 299     The king, sir— 300     Ay, sir, what of him? GUILDENSTERN 301.  Is in his retirement marvellous distempered: i. e., is keeping to himself because he is greatly sickened. A "distemper" could be of the mind or body; in his next line, Hamlet mocks both Guildenstern and King Claudius by saying that the cause of the king's distemper is that he has been drinking too much. 301     Is in his retirement marvellous distempered. 302     With drink, sir? GUILDENSTERN 303.  choler: anger. "Choler" could also mean "biliousness. and in his next line, Hamlet makes a bitter joke by playing with the two senses of the word. 303     No, my lord, rather with choler. 304     Your wisdom should show itself more richer to 305-306.  put him to his purgation: i. e., give him the treatment for what's wrong with him. Much of the medical treatment of Shakespeare's time consisted of purgation of one kind or another, for example, purging bad blood by bleeding, or purging bile by inducing vomiting or bowel movements. 308.  frame: logical order. 305     signify this to his doctor; for, for me to put him 306     to his purgation would perhaps plunge him into 307     far more choler. 308     Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame 309.  start: skip away.  my affair: my business, the subject I am trying to discuss. 309     and start not so wildly from my affair. 310     I am tame, sir: pronounce. 311     The queen, your mother, in most great affliction 312     of spirit, hath sent me to you. 313     You are welcome. GUILDENSTERN 314-315.  this courtesy is not of the right breed: i. e., your polite reply ( You are welcome" is inappropriate. 314     Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the 315     right breed. If it shall please you to make me 316.  wholesome: sensible, rational. But Hamlet takes the word to mean "healthy. 317.  pardon: permission for departure. 318.  return: i. e., return to where he came from. Guildenstern seems to be hinting that if Hamlet doesn't give them a straight answer, he'll go back and "tell" on Hamlet to Hamlet's mother. 316     a wholesome answer, I will do your mother's 317     commandment: if not, your pardon and my 318     return shall be the end of my business. 319     Sir, I cannot. 320     What, my lord? 321     Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseased: 322     but, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall 323     command; or, rather, as you say, my mother: 324     therefore no more, but to the matter: my mother, 325     you say— 326     Then thus she says; your behavior hath struck her 327.  amazement and admiration: bewilderment and wonder. 327     into amazement and admiration. HAMLET 328.  stonish: astound. 328     O wonderful son, that can so stonish a mother! But 329     is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's 330     admiration? Impart. ROSENCRANTZ 331.  closet: private room. 331     She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you 332     go to bed. 333     We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have 334     you any further trade with us? 335     My lord, you once did love me. HAMLET 336.  pickers and stealers: hands; which, as the Catechism says, we must keep "from picking and stealing. 336     So I do still, by these pickers and stealers. ROSENCRANTZ 337-339.  you do, surely, bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your griefs to your friend. i. e., surely, you will never be free of your problems if you refuse to discuss your troubles with a friend. 337     Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? you 338     do, surely, bar the door upon your own liberty, if 339     you deny your griefs to your friend. 340     Sir, I lack advancement. 341     How can that be, when you have the voice of the king 342     himself for your succession in Denmark? HAMLET 343.  proverb: i. e. While the grass grows, the steed starves. 344.  something musty: somewhat stale. 343     Ay, but sir, While the grass grows, —the proverb 344     is something musty.            Enter PLAYERS with recorders. 345-346.  To withdraw with you: This is said to the player who hands him a recorder. 346-347.  why.  toil. I believe that this indicates that Guildenstern has scurried about to get in Hamlet's way... 345     O, the recorders! let me see one. To withdraw with 346     you:—why do you go about to recover the wind of me, 347     as if you would drive me into a toil? GUILDENSTERN 348-349.  if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly: i. e., if my duty to convey your mother's message is carried out in a way that is too bold, it's only because my love for you has caused me to forget my manners. 348     O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too 349     unmannerly. 350     I do not well understand that. Will you play upon 351.  this pipe: i. e., the recorder that Hamlet has in his hand. 351     this pipe? 352     My lord, I cannot. 353     I pray you. 354     Believe me, I cannot. 355     I do beseech you. 356     I know no touch of it, my lord. HAMLET 357.  govern: control  ventages: stops. 357     'Tis as easy as lying: govern these ventages with 358     your fingers and thumb, give it breath with your 359.  discourse: speak, play. 359     mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. 360     Look you, these are the stops. 361     But these cannot I command to any utterance of 362     harmony; I have not the skill. 363     Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of 364     me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know 365     my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my 366     mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to 367.  compass: range (in singing. 367     the top of my compass: and there is much music, 368.  organ: instrument. 368     excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot 369     you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am 370     easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what 371.  fret: 1) finger (an instrument. 2) annoy. 371     instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you 372     cannot play upon me.            Enter POLONIUS. 373     God bless you, sir! 374     My lord, the queen would speak with you, and 375.  presently: at once. 375     presently. HAMLET 376     Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape 377     of a camel? 378     By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed. 379     Methinks it is like a weasel. 380     It is backed like a weasel. 381     Or like a whale? 382     Very like a whale. HAMLET 383.  by and by: This phrase was supposed to mean "immediately. but, like almost any word that means "right now. it was undergoing a change in meaning—to "pretty soon. or "when I get around to it. 384.  fool me: play me for a fool. 383     Then I will come to my mother by and by. 384     [Aside. They fool me to the top of my bent. 385     I will come by and by. 386     I will say so.            [Exit POLONIUS. ] 387     "By and by" is easily said. Leave me, friends.            [Exeunt all but Hamlet. 388.  witching time: i. e., when the powers of evil are at large, and spells are cast. 389.  When churchyards yawn: i. e., when the coffins in churchyards open of their own accord. 388     'Tis now the very witching time of night, 389     When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out 390     Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood, 391     And do such bitter business as the day 392     Would quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother. 393.  nature: natural condition. To harm one's mother would be unnatural. 394.  Nero: Roman emperor who had his mother executed. 393     O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever 394     The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom: 395     Let me be cruel, not unnatural: 396     I will speak daggers to her, but use none; 397.  My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites: i. e., may I never say what I'm feeling. 398-399.  How.  consent. however much my words condemn her, may my soul never consent to confirm those words [by putting them into action and killing her. 397     My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites; 398     How in my words soever she be shent, 399     To give them seals never, my soul, consent!            Exit.

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