Elsenore (in progress)

A piece of him

Bernardo: What, is Horatio there?

Horatio: A piece of him.

Thrusts a huge fake phallus into a spotlight. 

Truant

Horatio: Such was the very armor he had on
When he the ambitious Norway combated.
So frowned he once, when in an angry parle
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
Marcellus: Were you not in Wittenberg all this while?
Horatio: I have a truant’s disposition.

Moth

Horatio: A moth it is to trouble the mind’s eye.

Bernardo: A Moth?!

Marcellus: Compositor B’s blunder for ‘mote’.

Bernardo: I thought this was a Compositor A section.

Horatio: What’s the fucking difference!!!

(Enter Ghost again)

 

Corambis

Claudius: Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
Th’imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Have we as ‘twere with a defeated joy,
With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife. Nor have we herein barred
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone

With this affair along. For all, our thanks.

Corambis: This is too long.

Claudius: I beseech thy pardon, Corambis…

Corambis: Brevity is the soul of wit.

Claudius: Indeed, Corambis?

Corambis: Take this from this, if this be otherwise.

Claudius: Switzers! Off with his head!

Corambis is seized and taken away.

Gertrude: But dear, who’s to be killed in the closet scene… (sighs) Have Polonius brought forth!

 

Cousins

Hamlet: Not so my lord, I am too much in the ‘son’.

Claudius: Thou’rt too much in the pun, cousin Hamlet.

Hamlet: I never thought your majesty got it.

Claudius: A cousin of mine pointed it out to me.

Hamlet: Ah… who?

Claudius: Dick.

Hamlet: Who’s Dick your majesty doth TOUCH upon?

Claudius: He’s a son of York.

Hamlet: Yorick?!

Claudius: York.

Hamlet: Ah… which one?

Claudius: Gloucsester.

Hamlet: The one who lost his eyes?

Claudius: No, cousin Hamlet. That’s another story.

 

Too too what

Hamlet: Oh, that this too too sallièd…

Offstage voice: SOLID!

Hamlet: Oh, that this too too sullièd…

Offstage voice: SOLID!

Hamlet: Oh, that this too too solid… (looks back awhile) flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew.

Once

Horatio: I knew your father. These hands are not more like.

Hamlet: But thou’st said just now thou saw’st him only once.

Marcellus: And yesterday he said he twice saw him combatting.

Horatio: Shut up.

Hamlet: Wert thou following my father, Horatio?

Horatio: I have a truant disposition, good my lord.

Hamlet: I would not hear your enemy say so, nor shall you do my ear that violence to make it truster of your own report against yourself. I know you are no truant.  I’ll change that name with you.

Horatio: REALLY, Hamlet? Art thou in serious?

Hamlet. Of course not. It’s a figure of speech. And dare not “thou” me again!

 

What hour?

Hamlet: What hour now?

Horatio: I think it lacks of twelve.

Marcellus: No, it is struck. Summer savings time.

Hamlet: Fie, I forgot! (adjusts his wristwatch)

 

Offstage

Hamlet: There is a play to-night before the King. One scene of it comes near the circumstance, which I have told thee, of my father’s death.

Horatio: You told me nothing, my lord. You uttered wild and whirling words only.

Hamlet: I must have told you offstage, then.

 

Some mistake

Ophelia: Prince Hamlet, someone by the name of Sims craves your audience.

Gertrude: Well, it seems to be some sort of mistake.

Hamlet (playing with tablet): Seems! Nay, madam, it is. I know not Sims.

 

Quintessence

Gertrude: Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not forever with thy vailèd lids

Seek for thy noble father in the dust.

Hamlet snorts coke

[…]
I must do the ‘quintessence of dust’ bit.
Hamlet snorts coke
[…]
And yet to me what is this quintessence of dust?
Hamlet snorts coke
[…]
Compound it with dust, (snorts cokewhereto ‘tis kin.
[…]
Why may not imagination trace the noble dust (snorts coke) of Alexander till ‘a find it stopping bunghole? […] returneth to dust (snorts coke), the dust (snorts coke) is earth…

No Procrastinator

Claudius: And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest father bears his son
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire,
And we beseech you bend you to remain
Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye,

Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.

Hamlet: Drop the ‘son’ altogether, will you?

Claudius: Remember I fuck thy mother, Hamlet.

Hamlet kills Claudius.

Gertrude: What hast thou done, son?!

Hamlet: People always say I procrastinate. I murdered him, there you have it!

Gertrude: But you haven’t even met the Ghost in the fifth scene!

Hamlet: Fourth. We speak in the fifth.

Gertrude: Let that go. What, art thou to be crowned? That’s usurpation! There is no play without Claudius! What about the audience? Should we send them back home, refund them for the tickets? Have the understudy brought forth! (Claudius’ body is taken out, and understudy in) And no one is killed until the last act…

Polonius: Third, my madam. I am killed in the third act.

Gertrude: Exactly. No one killed before the third act. (sighs)

 

Absentminded Prince

Hamlet: Horatio! Or I do forget myself!

Horatio: Go fuck your lordship! I have been in this fucking Elsenore for months, and my lord did  not notice!

Hamlet: Months!

Horatio: I came to see your father’s funeral.

Hamlet: Pray mock me not, my fellow student, I believe it was to see my mother’s marriage.

Horatio: Indeed, sir, it followed hard upon.

Hamlet: Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral’s baked meats did coldly furnish the marriage tables.

Horatio: No way, Hamlet! The marriage food was delicious! There was pheasant, and boar, and…

Hamlet: And how cometh YOU never sought my entertainment?

Horatio: I dunno. ‘Tis wondrous strange.

Hamlet: And therefore as stranger welcome it. There’s more between Damon and Pythias than dreamt in your phylosophy. (starts to fondle himGive me that man that is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart. As I do thee…

Horatio: Something too much of this….

Hamlet: How many months?

Horatio: Well, first you say she married not two after bereaved, then Ophelia says twice two months, then you say two months again…

Hamlet: Trust not my timekeeping, Horatio, my wits is diseased.

Horatio: Maybe around three.

 

Rhyme and Reason

Hamlet: For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
This realm dismantled was
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
A very, very – ASS

Horatio: Good rhyme, my lord.

 

Vive la France

Laertes: For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour… Keep thy legs shut.

Ophelia: What?!

Laertes: He only wants to fuck you.

Ophelia: What’s that language, brother mine?!

Laertes: All right, then. Weigh what loss your honour may sustain, if with too credent ear you list his songs, or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open to his unmast’red importunity. Is that better?

Ophelia: I shall th’ effect of this good lesson keep as watchman to my heart. But, good my brother, do not as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven, whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads and recks not his own rede.

Laertes (laughs aside): O, fear me not!

 

[Later, in lieu of Polonius’ conference with Reynaldo, Laertes and Reynaldo are in a brothel in Paris]

Laertes (drunk): I should be not drinking with thee, Reynaldo. My father told me not to dull my palm with entertainment of each new-hatch’d, unfledg’d comrade.

Reynaldo: (laughing) You really should not, my lord. He sent me to spy on you.

Laertes: No way! I knew it.

Reynaldo: He told me first to enquire what Danskers are in Paris; then, by encompassment and drift of question, to find out that they do know his son, meaning you.

Laertes: By’r Lady, such a busy old fool.

Reynaldo: And then I should tell them you’re very wild, addicted so and so; and there put on you what forgeries I should please.

Laertes: That’s preposterous! What forgeries?

Reynaldo: Such as gaming, for instance, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling…
drabbing. He said I may go so far! (they both hold sex-dolls representing drabs)

Laertes: Why SHOULD he do that!

Reynaldo: There’s the catch. He said that my party in converse, him I would sound, having ever seen in the prenominate crimes the youth I should breathe of guilty, meaning you, I should be assur’d he closed with me in the consequence.

Laertes: What consequence?

Reynaldo: Meaning that this bait of falsehood should take a carp of truth; and thus should we, meaning himself and me, of wisdom and of reach, with windlasses and with assays of bias, by indirections find directions out.

Laertes: The hypocrite told me – and above all! – (caricaturing his father) “to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” He’s the falsest character in the play! He spies on me, his own son, and thou’rt not the first! He uses my sister as a human bait! And still fails to convince the king that Hamlet’s mad for love.

Reynaldo: How came he mad, then?

Laertes: Faith, even with losing his wits.

Reynaldo: Upon what ground?

Laertes: Upon the ground that he’s a crazy fuck, what else?

Reynaldo: The whisper goes that it’s all feigning.

Laertes: What profit could one take from feigning madness?

Reynaldo: Maybe he’s crazy enough to act crazy.

Laertes: Didst thou take opium again, Reynaldo? Thou’rt waxing philosophical.

Reynaldo: Maybe he’s an archetype, you know.

Laertes: Nonsense. Archetype of the crazy fuck. Thou’rt a weird man, Reynaldo. But I like thee. I’ll grapple thee unto my soul with hoops of steel. (hugs Reynaldo) Can I borrow a French crown from thee?

Reynaldo: Have you, my lord, spent it all?

Laertes: I am in debt already, sir.

Reynaldo: Does it not dull the edge of husbandry?

Laertes: What are we aristocrats for?

Reynaldo: I don’t know, my lord. Loan oft loses both itself and friend. I almost forgot. He sent you these notes too.

Lartes (reads):  ‘These few precepts in thy memory look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportion’d thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.’ He sent the farewell speech in writing, canst thou believe it? The same thing: ‘take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.’

Reynaldo: Those are wise words, my lord.

Laertes: Take my censure then, for not having reserved thy judgment. He’s a fool.

 

Tablet

Hamlet: My tablet! (produces a tablet) Meet it is I set it down that (punches on tablet, slowly) one can smile and smile and be a villain!

 

Cursed spite

Hamlet: The time is out of joint.
Horatio: Did I hear joint  (produces a huge joint)
Hamlet: O cursèd moist tinderbox with which I fight,
That ever I was born to set it alight!
Horatio (counting)That’s hypermetrical my lord.

Hamlet: So is thy joint, O thou knavish pothead.

 

Stickers

Claudius: Thanks, Rosincrance and gentle Guildensterne.

Gertrude: Thanks, Guildernstone and gentle Rossencraft

(They change places somehow. They dress similarly)

Claudius: Will you both pardon pardon me. Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz.

Gertrude: Yet again! Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.

(Gertrude stamps R and G stickers on their clothes, kept for the duration of the play.)

The laughing stock of Wittenberg

Horatio (joining them): Here are the laughing stock of Wittenberg!

Hamlet: Do YOU attend Wittenberg?!

Guildenstern: We were expelled from there…

Hamlet: What did you do?!

Rosencrantz: Q1…

Hamlet: YOU killed someone?!

Guildenstern: No, we only go to Wittenberg in the First Quarto.

Horatio: Isn’t that the bad Quarto?

Rosencranz: They say it’s a… how do you say it?

Guildenstern: Memorial. Memorial something.

Rosencrantz: That’s it. Reconstruction!

Guildenstern & Rosencrantz: Memorial reconstruction!

Hamlet: Enough of this!

Rosencrantz: Who’s the laughing stock of Wittenberg now?

Horatio; Faustus, of course!

 

Poetomachia

Guildenstern: …and then Ben wrote a play in which he has John vomit up his polysyllabicism.

Hamlet (laughing): No way! Pollysylabicsm is such polysyllabicsm!

Rosencrantz: And one day they met in an ordinary. You know, the one where Chris was stabbed?

Hamlet: Sure. What, they went to cuffs?

Guildenstern: Cuffs? They were so incensed that eventually Ben chopped John’s pate open, with an axe.

Hamlet: An axe!

Rosencrantz: Yes, there was much throwing about of brains.

Hamlet: Was he hanged, then?

Guildenstern: Hanged? He said the neck-verse.

Hamlet: You see how important Latin is.

Rosencrantz: We learned little Latin…

Gulidenstern: And less greek…

Rosencrantz: …before being expelled from Wittenberg.

Hamlet: Mind your necks then.

(Rosencrantz finds a coin and flips it.)

Footnote

Guildenstern: Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
Hamlet: A dream itself is but a shadow.
Rosencrantz: Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.

Hamlet: What dost thou mean?

Rosencrantz: I dunno, my lord, these are my lines.

Hamlet: A shadow’s shadow!

Guildenstern: Maybe there’s a footnote.

Rosencrantz poduces a book, fumbles with the pages while Ham. & Guild. check their digital devices.

Hamlet: So, what does it say?

Rosencrantz: I can’t find the passage.

Hamlet: Let me see. YOU FOOL!!! This is the Second Quarto text, this passage is only in the Folio!

Guildenstern: It must be in an appendix, then.

Hamlet: Forget it, I must do my “quintessence of dust” (snorts coke) bit.

 

More Matter

Polonius: My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night is night, and time is time.
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.

Gertrude: Say what you mean, wilt thou?

Claudius: I ‘gin to wish old Corambis back.

Pololonius: Your noble son is mad.
Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.

Gertrude: More matter, with less art. Or else, switzers for you too. Do we have an understudy?

Vile Phrase

Polonius: Beautified is a vile phrase.

Claudius: It’s Greene’s phrase, I guess.

Gertrude: Exactly!

 

To be or naughty be

Hamlet: To be or naughty be, that is the question.

Whether ‘tis nobler make th’allowance suffer

With fees and gifts for the outrageous strumpets,

Or to take five against one to ease trouble,

And by striking it, spare it? To die! To spill!

No more. And by a spill to say we give

The heart ease through the thousand natural shocks

Our flesh is prone to… (is surprised)

The fair Ophelia! The fuck thou’rt doing here!

‘Tis supposed to be a soliloquy, thou see’st!

And not just ANY soliloquy, heaven forfend!

Ophelia: Your worship may proceed, I humbly crave forgivenes.

Hamlet: Bug off, get thee to a nunnnery!

Ophelia: Do you mean, my lord…

Hamlet: Who cares what I mean, just go. (she moves away)

‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished!

To die, to sleep, no more.

Ophelia (reapproaching): You said I had an excellent white bosom, my lord. (exposes breasts)

Hamlet: I’m a prince, I can’t, as unvalued persons do, carve for myself. Furthermore, contraceptives haven’t been invented yet. Why shouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? (aside) My mother would kill me!

Ophelia: But my lord has just sent me to a nunnery!

Hamlet: An actual one!

Ophelia: Very well, my lord. Resort to self-slaughter.

Hamlet (puzzled): An actual one? (Exit Ophelia.) Great, now my enterprise of great pith and moment has lost the name of action. And my current, turned to nought.

 

Sweet Prince

Hamlet: Who would these fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death…

Horatio (aside): You never made your bed, sweet prince.

Hamlet: Shut up. The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns – makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of…

Horatio (aside): Yea, fly to your mama, you pampered royal brat.

Hamlet: I beg your pardon, Horatio?

Horatio: Just talking to myself, my lord.

Hamlet: In the midst of my grandiose speech? I’ll have thee whipped, my friend.

 

Never Heard

Hamlet: Excellent, i’faith, of the chameleon’s dish, I eat the air, promise-crammed. You cannot feed capons so.

Claudius: I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet. These words are not mine.

Hamlet: No, nor mine. They are Shakespeare’s.

Claudius: Who?

Hamlet: William Shakespeare.

Claudius: Never heard.

Title-whithin-title

Claudius: What do you call it?

Hamlet: “The Play Whithin the Play”, or “The Mousetrap” (topically), or “The Murder of Gonzago newly augmented for the nonce by Prince Hamlet (aside) to catch the conscience of the king”.

Claudius: Art thou a stage poet, cousin Hamlet?

Hamlet: My sovereign and uncle, any fool can meddle with old material and write a play.

 

Lights

Ophelia: The King rises.

Hamlet: What, frighted with false fire?

Gertrude: How fares my lord?

Polonius: Give o’er the play.

Claudius: Give me some light! Away!

All: Lights, lights, lights!

They produce lighters. Claudius lights a cigar.

 

Damnèd spot

Claudius: What if this cursed hand were thicker than itself with brother’s blood, is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens to wash it white as snow? Out, damnèd spot! Out I say!

 

Incestuous

To post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!

Incestuous, Hamlet?! Remember you tried to rape me?

That’s different, mother. That’s a mythical thing.

 

Stop mylording me

[Transposed so that Horatio and are Hamlet parting]

Hamlet (overacting): How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unus’d. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’ event,-
A thought which, quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward,- I do not know
Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do,’
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me.

Horatio (tries to interrupt him several times): My lord…

Hamlet: STOP MYLORDING ME, THAT’S ANNOYING!!!

Horatio: Dear Prince, isn’t clear that this “neglected tribute” story is a snare and that you should just go there and kill your uncle? I could do it for you, but that I’m forbidden: ‘tis your play.

Hamlet: Now that’s meet. First I kill him in the first act and I’m told I should wait. Now I’m rambling like any other Hamlet should do and you urge me to act?

 

Hold their course

Horatio (reads letter in silence): Wait a minute, if Hamlet was kidnapped by pirates, why should Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England? It can’t be for the food!

 

Suspension

Horatio (joining them): Here are the laughing stock of Wittenberg!

Hamlet: Do YOU attend Wittenberg?!

Guildenstern: We were expelled from there…

Hamlet: What did you do?!

Rosencrantz: Q1…

Hamlet: YOU killed someone?!

Guildenstern: No, we only go to Wittenberg in the First Quarto.

Horatio: Isn’t that the bad Quarto?

Rosencranz: They say it’s a… how do you say it?

Guildenstern: Memorial. Memorial something.

Rosencrantz: That’s it. Reconstruction!

Guildenstern & Rosencrantz: Memorial reconstruction!

Hamlet: Enough of this!

Rosencrantz: Who’s the laughing stock of Wittenberg now?

Horatio; Faustus, of course!

 

Time

Claudius: Not that I think you did not love your father; but that I know love is begun by time, and that I see, in passages of proof, time qualifies the spark and fire of it. There lives within the very flame of love a kind of wick or snuff that will abate it…

Laertes: He was my FATHER, not my high school crush!

 

Sparrow

Hamlet: …there’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow.

A sparrow falls.

Horatio (grabs it): What are the odds?

Hamlet: If it be now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readyness is all.

Horatio: My lord, you find yourself accepting a dubious proposal from your foe, you have already missed a great opportunity for revenge… and you are digressing about a fucking sparrow. (shakes it). I don’t believe you.

Practice

Hamlet: I’ve been in constant practice.

Horatio: No, you haven’t. You’re fat and scant of breath.

 

Ur-Hamlet

Enters an Action-Figure Warrior

Hamlet: Who the fuck ART thou!

Ur-Hamlet; I am UR-HAMLET!!!

Hamlet: Are you Kydding?

Gertrude: There is no such thing as Ur-Hamlet! Get thee gone!!!

 

 

Constitution

Fortimbras: For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune. I have some rights of…

Attendant: “Memory.”

Fortimbras: I have some rights of  memory in this kingdom which now, to claim my vantage doth invite me.

Horatio: No way, I want to be king too!

Fortimbras: Who the fuck ART thou?

Horatio: I’m his closest friend!

Fortimbras: He was never king!

Horatio: He was the most immediate to the throne since the first act, and Claudius died before him. He was rightful king for a few minutes.

Fortimbras: But who ever heard of succession by friendship?

Horatio: Claudius became king by marriage, Hamlet should have become king by birth, and Laertes tried to become king by popular revolt. Why not?

Fortimbras tries to stab Horatio with his rapier; ‘tis a blunted one. They grapple. Fortimbras reaches for one of the scattered rapiers; ‘tis the blunted one. They grapple again. Horatio reaches for the deadly rapier, and kills Fortimbras.

Horatio (struggling to be solemn and contain his joy): Let four captains bear Hamlet like a cadaver to the ground; for he is likely, being put in, to prove most rotten. And for his passage, Bach’s music and the rites of Bachus speak loudly for him. Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.

(Courtiers seem undecided.)

Go! bid the soldiers party!

Finis