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Hamlet 3:3

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ACT 3, SCENE 3

                                   (Claudius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
                                   enter.)

                                   CLAUDIUS
            I will be dispatching all three of you to England at once.  I
            don't like the look of things, and I don't like him on the
            loose like this.  Prepare to accompany him. 

                                   GUILDENSTERN
            Very well, my lord.  It is our duty to protect your majesty.
            There are so many lives which depend on your wellbeing.

                                   ROSENCRANTZ
            The life of a king is the vital force which extends out into
            all the lives of the kingdom.  Never alone did the king sigh,
            without a general groan.

                                   CLAUDIUS
            Prepare then for this speedy voyage.  We will put fetters
            upon this problem which currently ranges free-footed.


                                   ROSENCRANTZ
            We'll prepare at once, my lord.

                                   (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern bow and
                                   exit.)

                                   (Polonius enters.)

                                   POLONIUS
            My lord, the Queen has summoned him to her chambers.  I will
            go there now, and place myself out of sight in order to
            listen to what unfolds.  It's better to have an audience
            besides a mother listening in.

                                   CLAUDIUS
            Very well dear lord.

                                   POLONIUS
            I will call on you before you retire and relate the events.

                                   (Polonius exits.)

                                   CLAUDIUS
            Oh, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven!  It has the
            curse of Cain upon it--a brother's murder!  As much as I
            desire to pray, my guilt defeats the intent.  Bound between
            the two, I stand in pause of where to begin.  If my hands are
            encrusted with my brother's blood, is there not rain enough
            to wash them clean again?  The reason for mercy is so we can
            come face to face with an offence.  Prayer is a two-fold
            force.  It helps prevent us from doing wrong, and pardons us
            if we've fallen.  But what prayer will serve my case?
            "Forgive me my foul murder?"  But what if I still possess the
            effects for which I committed the act?  A crown?  A Queen?
            Can one keep the gains and still be excused?  In the
            corrupted currents of this world, the guilty often shove
            justice aside by bribing the law with spoils from the crime.
            But not in heaven; there's no evasion there; and we ourselves
            are compelled to cross every T and dot every I of all our
            sins.  What then?  Try to repent win or lose?  What can
            repenting not do?  Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
            What a wretched position!  This heart is as black as death,
            and the more my soul struggles, the more caught up it
            becomes!  Help, angels!  All you can!  Bow, stubborn knees!

                                   (He kneels.)

                                   (Enter Hamlet.)

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I'm a writer/artist/activist from California, with a degree in Creative Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. I've been an advocating for the convention clause of Article V since 2001.


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