Hamlet for the Shakespeare-Impaired is a translation of the tragic play in modern language. For example, hereâ€™s Polonius saying goodbye to his son in the original:
And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!
The same passage in the modern version:
First, though, some advice. Think before you speak. Look before you leap. Be friendly but not vulgar. Be nice to your friends but don't brag. Don't fight. Listen to your elders. Don't be judgemental. Don't dress in tacky clothes because people often judge you by your wardrobe, especially in France. And above all, be true to yourself. Now, farewell. Go with my blessing.
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