Act 1, Scene 5
Elsinore. The Castle. Another part of the fortifications.
Enter Ghost and Hamlet.
Hamlet: Where are we going? I'm not going any farther until you
Ghost: Fine. Listen.
Hamlet: I will.
Ghost: It's almost time for me to go to my eternal firery torture.
Hamlet: Bummer! Poor ghost!
Ghost: Don't pity me. Just pay attention to what I have to say.
Hamlet: I'm all ears.
Ghost: Once you hear this, you'll be forced to seek revenge.
Ghost: I'm your father's ghost, doomed to wander the night for awhile and burn in eternal flame during the day until all the sins of my life are burned away. But I can't tell you about the things beyond the grave, 'cause if I did, your blood would run cold, your eyes would pop out of your head, and your hair would stand on end like the quills on a porcupine. Anyway, listen. If you ever loved me, your father, listen.
Ghost: You must avenge my murder.
Ghost: That's was I said, kid. Murder. Most foul strange and unnatural murder.
Hamlet: Hurry, tell me about it, so I can rush out and avenge you!
Ghost: You seem enthusiastic about this. Good. Now, then. About the murder. I was taking my usual map in the palace gardens, when a nasty, mean, evil person snuck up and killed me. And that rotten guy now wears my crown!
Hamlet: I knew it! Uncle Claudius did it! That snake!
Ghost: That stinking brother of my is sleeping with my wife now. The whole thought makes me sick! I was so good to her, and now Claudius is soiling her honor. But even his scumminess can't ruin her angel-like beauty. Whoa, it's almost morning. I'd better get to the point. That rotten guy Claudius poured poison in my ear while I was sleeping in the orchard. I was dead before I knew what was happening. In one fell swoop, he robbed me of my life, crown and queen. And he didn't give me a chance to confess and atone for my sins before I died, which is why I'm suffering so badly now, in the afterlife.
Hamlet: Oh, Dad, that's horrible!
Ghost: That jerk is insulting the whole of Denmark by what he's done. And he's sleeping with my wife! That's what really irritates me! But don't harm her. Leave your mom alone. Let heaven deal with her. Well, it's almost sunrise. I've got to go. Good-bye! Remember me!
Hamlet: Oh, man, this really sucks! And "Remember me?" Of course I'll remember you, Dad! I'll forget everything else, and think of only my quest for vengeance! Nothing else! You may be happy now, Claudius, but you won't be smiling when I'm done with you!
[Hamlet begins to write.]
So, Uncle, I swear it. I'll get you for this!
[Enter Horatio and Marcellus]
Horatio: Are you okay?
Hamlet: Yeah, yeah. Whatever.
Marcellus: How are you?
Horatio: What happened?
Hamlet: Oh, it was wonderful.
Horatio: Great. Tell us about it.
Hamlet: You tell me.
Horatio: Huh? I don't know anything.
Marcellus: Me neither.
Hamlet: Whatever. Can you keep a secret?
Horatio and Marcellus: You bet, sir!
Hamlet: There's a really bad guy around here.
Horatio: We don't need a ghost to rise from the grave to tell us that!
Hamlet: Well...yeah. But I don't want to go into it further right now. I think we should go our separate ways now. I'm going to go pray.
Horatio: You've totally confused us.
Hamlet: Sorry. I'm pretty confused at the moment, myself.
Horatio: Don't worry about it. No harm done.
Hamlet: But I am worried. And there has been harm done. Great harm. Now, please, do me a favor.
Horatio: Sure. What?
Hamlet: Don't tell anyone what you have seen tonight.
Horatio and Marcellus: We won't.
Hamlet: Swear it.
Horatio: I promise I'll keep it a secret.
Marcellus: Me too.
Hamlet: Swear upon my sword.
Marcellus: But we just swore it. Twice!
Hamlet: Yeah, but humor me. Swear on my sword!
Ghost: [under stage] Swear!
Hamlet: See? Even the ghost wants you to do it. Come on, guys. Just do it.
Horatio: Okay, fine. What do you want us to say?
Hamlet: Never speak of what you have seen. Swear on my sword.
Ghost: [beneath] Swear!
Hamlet: Now swear over here, just to be sure.
Ghost: [beneath] Swear by his sword.
Hamlet: You said it, Dad! Now let's swear over here!
Horatio: You're really screwy, sir.
Hamlet: Deal with it. You don't know everything. Oh, and if I act a little crazy in the future, don't say anything. Don't try to call my bluff. Swear!
Ghost: [Beneath.] Swear.
Marcellus: Damn it!
Horatio: Not that kind of swearing, idiot!
Marcellus: Oh. Er, uh...I swear!
Horatio: Me too.
Hamlet: Okay, then! Rest in peace, Dad! Good job, guys. Just keep your mouths shut. Sigh. I wish I had never been born so that I didn't have to do this revenge thing.
[Others wait for Hamlet to leave first.]
Hamlet: No, let's go together.
They all exit.