Player Queen's Monologue

Hamlet Act III, Scene ii


Prince Hamlet is depressed. Having been summoned home to Denmark from school in Germany to attend his father's funeral, he is shocked to find his mother Gertrude already remarried. The Queen has wed Hamlet's Uncle Claudius, the dead king's brother. To Hamlet, the marriage is "foul incest." Worse still, Claudius has had himself crowned King despite the fact that Hamlet was his father's heir to the throne. Hamlet suspects foul play.

When his father's ghost visits the castle, Hamlet's suspicions are confirmed. The Ghost complains that he is unable to rest in peace because he was murdered. Claudius, says the Ghost, poured poison in King Hamlet's ear while the old king napped. Unable to confess and find salvation, King Hamlet is now consigned, for a time, to spend his days in Purgatory and walk the earth by night. He entreats Hamlet to avenge his death, but to spare Gertrude, to let Heaven decide her fate.

Read Shakespeare's Tragedy

Player Queen to Player King:

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 fear too much, even as they love,

And women’s fear and love hold quantity,

In neither aught, or in extremity.

Now what my love is, proof hath made you know,

And as my love is sized, my fear is so:

Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear.

Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.