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20 October 2014
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Off By Heart - Shakespeare

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Hamlet: "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt"
(Act 1 Scene 2)

There are many ways that you could perform this speech; the Speech Text and Performance Notes explore some different approaches.

Speech Text and Performance Notes (187KB)

Hamlet is the story of a young Danish prince caught up in a tangle of murder and revenge. Hamlet's father, the king, has died and his mother very quickly marries Hamlet's uncle, Claudius. Hamlet is upset over the death and the marriage.

Watch some contrasting performances of the speech below or choose another from the set speech list

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt - videos

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Hamlet: Act 1 Scene 2

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew,
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter. O God, God,
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't, ah fie, 'tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed, things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead - nay, not so much, not two -
So excellent a king, that was to this
Hyperion to a satyr, so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly - heaven and earth,
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on, and yet, within a month -
Let me not think on't; frailty, thy name is woman -

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