Words, words, words

Watch the video and then do the quiz.

 

Welcome to your Words Words Words

1. Why do you think Hamlet says Polonius is a "fishmonger"?
2. What does Hamlet mean by these statements?

For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion— Have you a daughter?
Let her not walk i' th' sun. Conception is a blessing, but, as your daughter may conceive—Friend, look to ’t.

3. Polonius asks if he can leave Hamlet alone. What do you think is the meaning of this statement?

You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal—except my life, except my life, except my life.

4. What is the meaning of Hamlet saying "words words words"?
5. What does Hamlet mean here?

Ay, sir. To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.


Tell me what you think about the movie clip. What do you think about the characters? Is it funny or sad, or tragic? What is the overall meaning? Did you enjoy it and what can we learn?
 

   

Script

ORIGINAL TEXT

MODERN TEXT

How does my good Lord Hamlet?
How are you, Hamlet?

HAMLET

Well, God-‘a’-mercy.

HAMLET

Fine, thank you.

POLONIUS

Do you know me, my lord?

POLONIUS

Do you know who I am?

HAMLET

Excellent well. You are a fishmonger.

HAMLET

Of course. You sell fish.

POLONIUS

Not I, my lord.

POLONIUS

No, not me, sir.

HAMLET

Then I would you were so honest a man.

HAMLET

In that case I wish you were as good a man as a fish seller.

POLONIUS

Honest, my lord?

POLONIUS

Good, sir?

HAMLET

Ay, sir. To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

HAMLET

Yes, sir. Only one man in ten thousand is good in this world.

POLONIUS

That’s very true, my lord.

POLONIUS

That’s definitely true, my lord.

HAMLET

For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion— Have you a daughter?

HAMLET

Since if the sun breeds maggots on a dead dog, kissing the corpse—by the way, do you have a daughter?

POLONIUS

I have, my lord.

POLONIUS

I do indeed, my lord.

HAMLET

Let her not walk i’ th’ sun. Conception is a blessing, but, as your daughter may conceive—Friend, look to ’t.

HAMLET

Then by all means never let her walk in public. Procreation is a good thing, but if your daughter gets pregnant … look out, friend.

POLONIUS

(aside) How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter. Yet he knew me not at first. He said I was a fishmonger. He is far gone, far gone. And truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love, very near this. I’ll speak to him again.—(to HAMLET) What do you read, my lord?

POLONIUS

(to himself) Now, what does he mean by that? Still harping on my daughter. But he didn’t recognize me at first. He mistook me for a fish seller. He’s far gone. But when I was young I went crazy for love too, almost as bad as this. I’ll talk to him again.—(to HAMLET) What are you reading, your highness?

HAMLET

Words, words, words.

HAMLET

A lot of words.

POLONIUS

What is the matter, my lord?

POLONIUS

And what is the subject?

HAMLET

Between who?

HAMLET

Between whom?
 

 

POLONIUS

I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

POLONIUS

I mean, what do the words say?

HAMLET

Slanders, sir. For the satirical rogue says here that old men have gray beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams—all which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for yourself, sir, should be old as I am, if like a crab you could go backward.

HAMLET

Oh, just lies, sir. The sly writer says here that old men have gray beards, their faces are wrinkled, their eyes full of gunk, and that they have no wisdom and weak thighs. Of course I believe it all, but I don’t think it’s good manners to write it down, since you yourself, sir, would grow as old as I am, if you could only travel backward like a crab.

POLONIUS

(aside) Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.—(to HAMLET) Will you walk out of the air, my lord?

POLONIUS

(to himself) There’s a method to his madness. (to HAMLET) Will you step outside, my lord?

HAMLET

Into my grave.

HAMLET

Into my grave.

POLONIUS

Indeed, that is out of the air. (aside) How pregnant sometimes his replies are. A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter.—(to HAMLET) My honorable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.

POLONIUS

Well, that’s certainly out of this world, all right. (to himself) His answers are so full of meaning sometimes! He has a way with words, as crazy people often do, and that sane people don’t have a talent for. I’ll leave him now and arrange a meeting between him and my daughter. (to HAMLET) My lord, I’ll take my leaveof you now.

HAMLET

You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal—except my life, except my life, except my life.

HAMLET

You can’t take anything from me that I care less about—except my life, except my life, except my life.

POLONIUS

Fare you well, my lord.

POLONIUS

Good-bye, my lord.

HAMLET

(aside) These tedious old fools!

HAMLET

(to himself) These boring old fools!