• Enter GERTRUDE and POLONIUS

    POLONIUS

    He will come straight. Look you lay home to him.
    Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
    And that your grace hath screened and stood between
    Much heat and him. I’ll silence me even here.
    5Pray you, be round with him.

    HAMLET

    (within) Mother, mother, mother!

    GERTRUDE

    I’ll warrant you. Fear me not. Withdraw, I hear him coming.
    POLONIUS hides behind the arras
    Enter HAMLET

    HAMLET

    Now mother, what’s the matter?

    GERTRUDE

    Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

    HAMLET

    10Mother, you have my father much offended.

    GERTRUDE

    Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.

    HAMLET

    Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.

    GERTRUDE

    Why, how now, Hamlet?

    HAMLET

        What’s the matter now?

    GERTRUDE

    Have you forgot me?

    HAMLET

      No, by the rood, not so.
    15You are the queen, your husband’s brother’s wife,
    And—would it were not so!—you are my mother.
  • GERTRUDEand POLONIUS enter.

    POLONIUS

    He’ll come right away. Make sure you lay into him. Tell him his pranks have caused too much trouble, and that Your Highness has taken a lot of heat for them. I’ll be right here, silent. Please be blunt with him.

    HAMLET

    (offstage) Mother, mother, mother!

    GERTRUDE

    Don’t worry, I’ll do what you say. Now hide, I hear him coming.
    POLONIUS hides behind the tapestry.
    HAMLET enters.

    HAMLET

    Now mother, what’s this all about?

    GERTRUDE

    Hamlet, you’ve insulted your father.

    HAMLET

    Mother, you’ve insulted my father.

    GERTRUDE

    Come on, you’re answering me foolishly.

    HAMLET

    Go on, you’re questioning me evilly.

    GERTRUDE

    Hamlet, what, why?

    HAMLET

    What’s the problem now?

    GERTRUDE

    Have you forgotten who I am?

    HAMLET

    For God’s sake no, I haven’t. You are the queen, your husband’s brother’s wife, and you are my mother, though I wish you weren’t.