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Life Arts

Hamlet 4:1

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            ACT 4, SCENE 1

                                   (To the Queen, enter King with
                                   Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.)

                                   CLAUDIUS
            Good lady, your sighs, these profound heaves--you must tell
            us exactly what has happened.  This is a matter of security.
            Where is the prince?

                                   GERTRUDE
                          (to Rosencrantz and
                           Guildenstern)
            Bestow this place to us a little while.

                                   (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern bow and
                                   exit.)

                                   GERTRUDE (CONT'D)
            Oh--my good lord!  What I have seen tonight!

                                   CLAUDIUS
            Gertrude, where is Hamlet?  How is he?

                                   GERTRUDE
            How is he?  As mad as the sea and wind dueling for supremacy.
            In the passion of the moment, he heard Polonius behind the
            tapestry, whirled about and slayed him.

                                   CLAUDIUS
            That might have been me!  His freedom threatens us all-
            everything!  How am I going to explain this?!
            I can be blamed!  I should have done something sooner!  My
            love for him--I failed to do what was fit, and now, like
            disease left untreated, it's begun to eat away at life
            itself!  Where is he?!

                                   GERTRUDE
            He took the body somewhere to dispose of it.  He did weep, he
            regrets what has happened.

                                   CLAUDIUS
            He'll be sent away before the sun reaches the mountaintops.
            It's going to be quite a feat to condemn and excuse this in
            order to settle it.  Guildenstern!

                                   (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern enter.)

                                   CLAUDIUS (CONT'D)
                          (to Rosencrantz and
                           Guildenstern)
            Hamlet has gone insane and killed Polonius.  Get some others
            to assist you, find him and the body.  Humor him, keep him
            calm, and get the body to the chapel.  Hurry!

                                   (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern bow and
                                   exit.)

                                   CLAUDIUS (CONT'D)
            Come your majesty, we'll call on our wisest friends and let
            them know what's happened, and what we mean to do.  Hopefully
            rumor and slander, which travels over anything else in the
            world, misses me and hits dirt.  I've never been so upset and
            dismayed--come! 

                                   (They exit.)

 

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Writer/artist/activist from California, with a degree in Creative Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Advocating for the convention clause of Article V since 2001.


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