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20 October 2014
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Off By Heart - Shakespeare

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Hamlet: "Now might I do it pat, now he is praying"
(Act 3 Scene 3)

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 (180KB)

Hamlet is the story of a young Danish prince caught up in a tangle of murder and revenge. Claudius has murdered Hamlet's father and Hamlet has promised his dead father's ghost to avenge his death by killing Claudius. Hamlet continuously hesitates to do as he promised, he finds Claudius praying alone and has the opportunity.

Watch a performance of the speech below or choose another from the set speech list.

Now might I do it pat, now he is praying - video

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Hamlet: Act 3 Scene 3

Now might I do it pat, now he is a-praying,
And now I'll do't - and so he goes to heaven,
And so am I revenged. That would be scanned.
A villain kills my father, and for that,
I his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.
Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
A took my father grossly, full of bread,
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May,
And how his audit stands who knows save heaven?
But in our circumstance and course of thought
'Tis heavy with him. And am I then revenged
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?
Up sword, and know thou a more horrid hent,
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in th'incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At game a-swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't -
Then trip him that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damned and black
As hell whereto it goes. My mother stays.
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.

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