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The Klingon Hamlet

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About The Book

For too long, readers throughout the Federation have been exposed to The Tragedy of Khamlet, Son of the Emperor of Qo'nos, that classic work of Klingon™ literature, only through inadequate and misleading English translations. Now at last, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Klingon Language Institute, this powerful drama by the legendary Klingon playwright, Wil'yam Shex'pir, can be appreciated in the elegance and glory of its original tongue.
This invaluable volume contains the complete text of the play, along with an English translation for easy consultation and comparison. In addition, an incisive introduction explains the play's crucial importance in Klingon culture, while copious notes illustrate how the debased English version diverges from the original, often distorting and even reversing the actual meaning of the verses.
Khamlet, the Restored Klingon Version, is a work that belongs in the library of every human who hopes truly to understand what it means to be Klingon.



Prince of Denmark


CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark

HAMLET, son to the late, and nephew to the present King

POLONIUS, Lord Chamberlain

HORATIO, friend to Hamlet

LAERTES, son to Polonius






A Gentleman

A Priest



FRANCISCO, a soldier

REYNALDO, servant to Polonius

Five Players

Two Clowns, grave-diggers

FORTINBRAS, prince of Norway

A Captain

English Ambassadors

A Lord

A Soldier

Two Messengers

A Servant to Horatio


Ghost of Hamlet's Father

GERTRUDE, queen of Denmark, and mother to Hamlet
OPHELIA, daughter to Polonius
Non-Speaking: Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, and other Attendants
SCENE: Denmark.


SCENE I Elsinore. A platform before the castle.

[FRANCISCO at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO]

Bernardo: Who's there?

Francisco: Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.

Bernardo: Long live the king!

Francisco: Bernardo?

Bernardo: He.

Francisco: You come most carefully upon your hour.

Bernardo: 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.

Francisco: For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,

And I am sick at heart.

Bernardo: Have you had quiet guard?

Francisco: Not a mouse stirring.

Bernardo: Well, good night.

If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,

The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.

Francisco: I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who is there?


Horatio: Friends to this ground.

Marcellus: And liegemen to the Dane.

Francisco: Give you good night.

Marcellus: O, farewell, honest soldier:

Who hath reliev'd you?

Francisco: Bernardo has my place.

Give you good night.


Marcellus: Holla! Bernardo!

Bernardo: Say,

What, is Horatio there?

Horatio: A piece of him.

Bernardo: Welcome, Horatio -- welcome, good Marcellus.

Marcellus: What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?

Bernardo: I have seen nothing.

Marcellus: Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,

And will not let belief take hold of him

Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us:

Therefore I have entreated him along

With us to watch the minutes of this night;

That if again this apparition come,

He may approve our eyes and speak to it.

Horatio: Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.

Bernardo: Sit down awhile;

And let us once again assail your ears,

That are so fortified against our story

What we have two nights seen.

Horatio: Well, sit we down,

And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.

Bernardo: Last night of all,

When yon same star that's westward from the pole

Had made his course to illume that part of heaven

Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,

The bell then beating one, --

[Enter Ghost]

Marcellus: Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!

Bernardo: In the same figure, like the king that's dead.

Marcellus: Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.

Bernardo: Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.

Horatio: Most like -- it harrows me with fear and wonder.

Bernardo: It would be spoke to.

Marcellus: Question it, Horatio.

Horatio: What art thou, that usurp'st this time of night,

Together with that fair and warlike form

In which the majesty of buried Denmark

Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!

Marcellus: It is offended.

Bernardo: See, it stalks away!

Horatio: Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!

[Exit Ghost]

Marcellus: 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

Bernardo: How now, Horatio! you tremble and look pale:

Is not this something more than fantasy?

What think you on't?

Horatio: Before my God, I might not this believe

Without the sensible and true avouch

Of mine own eyes.

Marcellus: Is it not like the king?

Horatio: As thou art to thyself:

Such was the very armour he had on

When he the ambitious Norway combated;

So frown'd he once when, in an angry parle,

He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.

'Tis strange.

Marcellus: Thus twice before, and just at this dead hour,

With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.

Horatio: In what particular thought to work I know not;

But in the gross and scope of my opinion,

This bodes some strange eruption to our state.

Marcellus: Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,

Why this same strict and most observant watch

So nightly toils the subject of the land;

And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,

And foreign mart for implements of war;

Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task

Does not divide the Sunday from the week;

What might be toward, that this sweaty haste

Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day:

Who is't that can inform me?

Horatio: That can I;

At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,

Whose image even but now appear'd to us,

Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,

Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,

Dar'd to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet --

For so this side of our known world esteem'd him --

Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a seal'd compact,

Well ratified by law and heraldry,

Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands,

Which he stood seiz'd of, to the conqueror:

Against the which, a moiety competent

Was gaged by our king; which had return'd

To the inheritance of Fortinbras,

Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same cov'nant,

And carriage of the article design'd,

His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,

Of unimproved mettle hot and full,

Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,

Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,

For food and diet, to some enterprise

That hath a stomach in't: which is no other --

As it doth well appear unto our state --

But to recover of us, by strong hand,

And terms compulsative, those foresaid lands

So by his father lost: and this, I take it,

Is the main motive of our preparations,

The source of this our watch, and the chief head

Of this post-haste and romage in the land.

Bernardo: I think it be no other, but e'en so:

Well may it sort, that this portentous figure

Comes armed through our watch; so like the king

That was and is the question of these wars.

Horatio: A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.

In the most high and palmy state of Rome,

A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead

Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets:

As, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,

Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,

Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,

Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse:

And even the like precurse of fierce events, --

As harbingers preceding still the fates

And prologue to the omen coming on, --

Have heaven and earth together demonstrated

Unto our climatures and countrymen. --

But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again!

[Re-enter Ghost]

I'll cross it, though it blast me -- Stay, illusion!

If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,

Speak to me:

If there be any good thing to be done,

That may to thee do ease and grace to me,

Speak to me:

If thou art privy to thy country's fate,

Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,

O, speak!

Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life

Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,

For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,

Speak of it: [Cock crows] -- stay, and speak! -- Stop it, Marcellus.

Marcellus: Shall I strike at it with my partisan?

Horatio: Do, if it will not stand.

Bernardo: 'Tis here!

Horatio: 'Tis here!

Marcellus: 'Tis gone! [Exit Ghost]

We do it wrong, being so majestical,

To offer it the show of violence;

For it is, as the air, invulnerable,

And our vain blows malicious mockery.

Bernardo: It was about to speak, when the cock crew.

Horatio: And then it started like a guilty thing

Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,

The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,

Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat

Awake the god of day; and at his warning,

Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,

The extravagant and erring spirit hies

To his confine: and of the truth herein

This present object made probation.

Marcellus: It faded on the crowing of the cock.

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes

Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,

The bird of dawning singeth all night long:

And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;

The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,

No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm;

So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.

Horatio: So have I heard,and do in part believe it.

But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,

Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill:

Break we our watch up: and, by my advice,

Let us impart what we have seen to-night

Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,

This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him:

Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,

As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?

Marcellus: Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know

Where we shall find him most conveniently.



Qo'noS ta'puq,

Hamlet lotlut.

lutvaD ghotvam luDalu'

tlhaw'DIyuS, Qo'noS ta' ghaH

Hamlet, ben ta' puqloD; DaHjaj ta' loDnI'puqloD je ghaH

polonyuS, Qang ghaH

Horey'So, Hamlet jup ghaH

layerteS, polonyuS puqloD ghaH






wa' 'utlh

wa' lalDanyaS



veranchISqo, mang ghaH

reynalDo, polonyuS toy'wI' ghaH

vagh DawI'pu'

cha' tlhaQwI'; molwI' Da

vortIbraS, DuraS tuq pIn be'nI'puqloD ghaH

wa' HoD

tera' Duypu'

wa' yaS

wa' mang

cha' QumwI'

Horey'So wa' toy'wI'


Hamlet vav lomqa'

ghertlhuD, Qo'noS ta'be', Hamlet SoS je ghaH

'ovelya, polonyuS puqbe' ghaH

jawloDpu', jawbe'pu', yaSpu', mangpu', yo'mangpu', latlh toy'wI'pu' je; jatlhbe' chaH

lut Daq: Qo'noS

lut 'ay' wa'

lut 'ay'Hom wa' tlhIn. ta'qach'a' tlhop 'avwI'Daq jen.

['avtaH veranchISqo. ghaHDaq 'el bernarDo]

bernarDo: chol 'Iv?

veranchISqo: Qo', jIH HIjang. yItaDchoH 'ej yIngu'egh.

bernarDo: taHjaj wo'!

veranchISqo: bernarDo?

bernarDo: jIHbej.

veranchISqo: bImatlhba', qarqu'mo' bIcholmeH poHlIj.

bernarDo: qaSpu' ramjep. QongDaq yIghoS, veranchISqo.

veranchISqo: qatlho'bej, Qu'wIjvo' choSonmo'. bIrqu'.

'ej roplaw' tIqwIj.

bernarDo: bI'avtaHvIS jot'a'?

veranchISqo: vIHbe' je ghew.

bernarDo: vaj maj. Qapla'.

Horey'So quv, marSe'luS je Daghomchugh --

jI'avtaHvIS qochma' chaH -- vaj tImoDmoH.

veranchISqo: SuH, chaH vIQoylaw'. 'eH, yItaD! chol 'Iv?

['el Horey'So, marSe'luS je]

Horey'So: qo'vam juppu'.

marSe'luS: Qo'noS pIn'a' lobwI' je.

veranchISqo: tlhIHvaD Qapla'.

marSe'luS: Qapla', SuvwI' yuDHa'.
DuSonta' 'Iv?

veranchISqo: Qu'vaD mucho' bernarDo.



marSe'luS: SuH! SuH! bernarDo!

bernarDo: toH, yIja':

SaH'a' Horey'So?

Horey'So: SaHlaw' 'ay'Daj neH.

bernarDo: nuqneH, Horey'So QaQ. nuqneH, marSe'luS.

Horey'So: qaStaHvIS ramvam, narghqa''a' HoSDo'Hey?

bernarDo: paghna' vIleghpu'.

marSe'luS: Sunaj neH ja' Horey'So. ghaH jon qechvetlh

'e' botqu' je ghaH, qa'Hey Dojqu''e'

cha'logh wIleghpu'bogh Harbe'taHvIS.

vaj naDev ramvam tupmey 'avlI'meH,

vItlhejmoHpu'. vaj cholqa'chugh HoSDo'Hey,

mInDu'maj 'ollaH ghaH, 'ej qa'vaD jatlhlaH.

Horey'So: wejpuH. narghbe'ba' bIH.

bernarDo: toH, loQ yIba'.

'elbe'meH lutmaj, teS Surchem DarIHlaw'.

vaj bIH DIHIvqa'meH, wanI' wIleghbogh,

qaStaHvIS cha' ramjep, wIja'.

Horey'So: maba'.

'ej maHvaD ghu'vam ja'choHchu' bernarDo.

bernarDo: qaStaHvIS wa'Hu' ram,

lengDI' QuvHov poS yuQvetlh, 'ej, DaH SepDaq

wovmoHbogh, bochmeH ghoSpu'DI' lengwI';

naDev ma'avtaHvIS marSe'luS jIH je,

'ej wa'logh Qoy'lu'DI' --

['el lomqa']

marSe'luS: bIjatlh 'e' mev! peqIm! DaH cholqa' bIH!

bernarDo: Heghpu'bogh ta'ma' rurmeH chenta' bIH.

marSe'luS: HaDwI' SoH. bIHvaD vay' yIjatlh, Horey'So.

bernarDo: ta' rurqu' bIH, qar'a'? yIqIm, Horey'So.

Horey'So: rurqu'bej bIH. mumerqu' 'ej mubItmoH.

bernarDo: bIHvaD jatlh vay' DaH neHlaw'.

marSe'luS: 'eH, Horey'So.

bIHvaD yIjatlh.

Horey'So: ram repvam, vIDbogh porghvetlh 'IH'e' je,

ben yItmeH lo'bogh Qo'noS ta' webHa'

wImolpu'bogh, boDoQta', HattaHvIS.

vaj nuq tlhIH jay'? ghuy'cha' Sara': pejatlh!

marSe'luS: bIH mawlu'law'.

bernarDo: SuH! Haw'meH moDchoH bIH.

Horey'So: peloS! pejatlh! pejatlh! Sara': pejatlh!

[mej lomqa']

marSe'luS: DaH Haw'ta', 'ej jangQo'.

bernarDo: nuqneH, Horey'So? DaH bIchIS. bIQomlaw'.

wa'Hu' manaj neH DaH 'e' DaHar'a'?

toH, vuDlIj nuq?

Horey'So: jI'Iprup jay': wanI'vam vIHarQo',

'olbe'chugh tu'chu'bogh 'ej vItbogh mInwIj.

marSe'luS: ta'ma' lurur, qar'a'?

Horey'So: bIrur'egh je!

DuraS pIn tlhIvqu' Hay'taHvIS je ghaH,

yoDSutvetlh'e' tuQ. qejmeH qabvetlh 'ang ghaH,

chuchDaq yoDDuj qInSaya qIpDI' je,

QeHtaHvIS ja'chuq. Hujqu'.

marSe'luS: qaStaHvIS ramjepna' tup qar, DaH wejlogh

vID 'ej nujuSpu' ghaH, ma'avtaHvIS.

Horey'So: qechwIj vIchavnISbogh vIwIvlaHbe'.

'ach nom jIwuqnISchugh jIqelchu'pa',

vaj wo'vaD qaS Qugh taQ 'e' pIHmoHlaw'.

marSe'luS: toH, DaH peba', 'ej ja'choH Sovbogh vay':

qatlh wo' rewbe'pu', negh je vumnISmoH

yepbogh 'ej SaHnISqu'moHbogh ram Qu'vam,

qaSDI' Hoch ram? 'ej qaStaHvIS Hoch pem,

qatlh, chenmeH may'morgh, baS lutetmoHlu'?

qatlh, veS mIqta'mey je'meH, novvaD mechlu'?

'ej qatlh Duj chenmoHwI' lumuvmoHqu'lu'?

pavqu'mo' Qu'chaj, chaHvaD Hatlaw' len.

DaH vummeH pemvaD jIjnIS je ramjep,

moDmo' Doy'wI'pu'. Hochvam chavnISlu',

qaSbeHmo' nuq? 'oH QIjlaH 'Iv?

Horey'So: SuH, jIH.

toH, joS lutlhuplu'bogh vIja'qa'laH.

wanI' DaSov: DaH maHvaD narghlaw'pu'bogh

ben ta'ma' Hay'meH qaDta' DuraS pIn,

vortIbraS, ghaH tungHa'mo' Hembogh DujDaj.

'ej Hay'DI', vortIbraSvetlh tlhIvqu' HoH

ta' Hamlet yoHqu' -- yoHqu' ghaH, 'e' noH

mIchvam Hoch ngan. vaj ra'mo' may' mab'e'

lu'olchu'pu'bogh chutmey, batlh lurDech je,

yInDaj ghajHa'pu'DI', Hoch SepDaj'e'

nIteb ben charghbogh ghaH, ghajHa'nIS je,

'ej SuqnIS may' QapwI''e'. mabchajvaD

rapbogh Sep yoSmey SuDruplI' je ta'ma'.

'ej SuqmeH vortIbraSvaD yaHnIS bIH,

chaq lujchugh ta'. vaj ra'mo' may'chaj mab,

'ej poQmo' ghItlhvetlh chut lulajpu'bogh,

HamletvaD yaHnIS SepDaj'e'. toH, qaH:

vortIbraS Qup'e' tujmoHmo' 'ej tebmo'

lagh toDuj'e' wej qeqmoHchu'bogh poH,

yoSvamDaq yoSvetlhDaq je, Sepchaj veHDaq,

chutmey pabbe'taHbogh vIDwI' tlhoQ'e'

nom boSta'. Soj, jajHuch je SuqmeH chaH,

HuH Qu'vaD HuHchaj qu'moHta' QupwI'.

'ej Qu'chaj ra'bogh ghovchu' wo'maj qum:

raDmo' rojmabDaj, HoSmo' je mangghomDaj,

Sep'e' ghajHa'bogh vavDaj Suqqa' neHba'.

'ej qeqmeymaj meq potlh, ram Qu'maj mung je,

wo'majDaq moDbogh mISHey Hal je 'oHlaw'


bernarDo: toH 'oHba'. 'a ghaytan taQbe' wanI',

ma'avtaHvIS nucholDI' San HoSDo'Hey,

nuH qengtaHvIS. ta' rur, 'ej ben, DaHjaj je,

veS qeqvam meq ghaH ta'vetlh'e', qar'a'?

Horey'So: lam 'ay'Hom neH bIH. 'a yab mIn lunuQlaH.

tIQtaHvIS, chepbogh romuluS wo' quvDaq

poSchoH Hoch mol, loQ pumpa' yulyuS Dunqu'.

'ej chImchu'. romuluS vengHeDaq jawchoH

'ej jach lom'e' wej luqatHa'lu'bogh.

lIy tlha' chal qulmey tIqqu', SISbogh 'Iw je.

pemHovDaq qIj maQmIgh. 'ej Hov QIbmo'

ropmo' bIQ'a'mey wuvmoHbogh maS'e',

Hargh maQmIgh maqlaw' 'oH. ben mIchmajvaD,

wo'maj nganpu'vaD je, wanI'mey qu'

nungwI'mey rap, San QeH pIHmoHtaHwI' je,

wa'leS lotna' lIHwI' je 'angpu' je

jIjrupbogh chal, ngeHbej je --

'a SuH! peqIm! DaH cholqa'!

['elqa' lomqa']

yIt 'e' vInISrup, tugh muSangchugh je.

loS, Dolqoq! QIch, ghoghlaH joq DaHutlhbe'chugh,


bIjotmeH SoH, 'ej naD vISuqmeH jIH,

vay' QaQ vIchav DaH 'e' DapoQqangchugh,


wo'maj nem Qugh DaSovchugh, vaj, SoHvo'

leSSov wISuqDI', Do' wIbotlaHchugh,


pagh, yavmaj chorDaq mIp DanIHta'bogh

DaSo'moHchugh DaboSDI', HattaHvIS --

'ej pIj wanI'vetlhmo' SuyItnIS, qa'pu',

SuHeghpu'DI' -- vaj HeS yIja'. [jach jajlo'ghogh Qa'] yIratlh!

yIja'! marSe'luS, yIt ghaH 'e' yImev!

marSe'luS: SuH, vIqIp'a'? betleHwIj vIlo''a'?

Horey'So: yevQo'chugh, vaj yIqIp.

bernarDo: naDev!

Horey'So: naDev!

marSe'luS: loj rIntaH! [mej lomqa']

nurna' SuvwI' ghaH. vaj wImawpu'bej,

yolqoq wInIDmo': muD rur, rIQlaHbe'mo'.

wIqIpDI' 'ej malujDI', ghaH wIvaq. natlh.

bernarDo: jatlhrup ghaH, jachDI' Qa'.

Horey'So: 'ej jachDI' 'oH,

DIvwI' Da, yay'mo'. ghIjlaw' pIch jabbI'ID.

HoSbogh ghogh jenqu' chu'DI' jajlo' Qa''e',

pomey chuS'ughHey'e', reH vem pem qa'.

'ej ghumDI' 'oH, bIQ'a'Daq, qulDaq joq,

chalDaq joq, ghorDaq joq lutu'lu'chugh je,

vaj tugh bIghHa'meychajDaq moDqu'nIS

lengbogh 'ej Hopbogh qa'pu'. 'e' vIQoy.

'ej DaH 'e' toblaw' Dolvetlh.

marSe'luS: ngab, jachDI' jajlo' Qa'. 'ej ngoDvam ja'lu':

qaSbeHDI' QI'lop poH, yo' qIj mangpu'

DIquvmoHrupDI', jach po Ha'DIbaHvetlh

qaStaHvIS rammey naQ. 'ej jachtaHvIS,

ghorDaq lengQo' Hoch qa' net Har: ngIlbe' chaH.

pIvmoH ram muD. 'ej SIghlaHbe'taH yuQmey.

jonbe'nIS Sor HoSDo'. luj qa' SeHwI'pu';

quvqu'mo' poHvetlh potlh, 'ej Dunqu'mo'.

Horey'So: vIQoypu' je 'ej loQ vIHar. 'a SuH:

nIH HuDvetlh jen rambIQDaq yItlaw'taHvIS,

ngup Doq tuQ po. ma'avtaH 'e' wImev.

SaqeS je: Hamlet QupvaD Hoch wIleghbogh,

qaStaHvIS ram, wItey'. jI'Iprupbej:

HamletvaD jatlhrup maHvaD tambogh qa'.

ghaHvaD wISovmoH, vangmoHmo' wo' Qu'maj,

'ej 'utmoHmo' parHa'ghachmaj. Qoch'a'?

marSe'luS: wIruch, Satlhob. 'ej ghaH wItu'meH DaqDaj,

qaStaHvIS po, vISov. SIbI' maghoS.

[mej chaH]

Copyright © 2000 by Paramount Pictures

About The Author

The Klingon Language Institute is a nonprofit organization with the mission of providing a forum for individuals interested in Klingon linguistics to learn and exchange ideas. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (February 1, 2000)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780671035785

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