Laertes's Rebuttle

The following is a suggested soliloquy for Laertes in response to Hamlet’s claim of loving Ophelia more than 40,000 brothers could have loved her in Hamlet Act 5 scene 1 lines 285-301:

 

“How now, What false claim is this?

That thou claims to have loved

her with a love far more potent than mine? ‘Tis false!

But soft! What is love, that thou can

proclaim it upon thine own convenience?

If such love as the devil himself can possess is true,

thy love might be true as well! Thou art full

of trespasses upon the heart of poor Ophelia.

Numbered heartaches have thus been inflicted!

Alas, thy love is not only far less than mine own in its breadth,

it is as pure as the serpent’s intentions

and as real as an island in the sky!

For what is the measure of love?

Is it the feeble words of a wooing young lord?

Is it the false claims of a man that hath not

his love anymore? No, by God, No!

The measure of love is sacrifice! Not frivolous words of

such sacrifice, but action! Thou hast claimed to love

the fair maid with a love greater than mine own.

Thou hast even testified of such great prices thou

would pay for her, as if she was a piece of land to be

purchased. Hamlet, you wretched creature. Thine actions carry

no resemblance to thy words. Thou hast broken

the maid’s heart by thine own cruelty. May God heap damnation

upon one who would do so to a pure jovial maiden!

Thy love is plausive to none, not even thyself. Her mind

displaced by thy murder and lack of remorse. Hath thee no love?

‘Tis so, verily! A fate befitting thee would only be

to repent, and fall on thine own sword! Mine soul be clear, and

thy fate be a matter of celestial judgement.

O Hamlet! Why hath thou grieved me?

For mine very mind may never be free.”

 

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