(Enter CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE and council,
including VOLTEMAND, CORNELIUS,
POLONIUS, LAERTES, and HAMLET.)
Even though the death of King Hamlet is still present in our
minds, we must carry on. We must remember our
responsibilities as royals, and our duty to the kingdom. The
Queen and I have taken the lot life has presented and played
it in an attempt to benefit us all. To benefit and fortify
us in this time of war. It's bittersweet to be sure, but we
are to live it and move forward. Young Fortinbras presumes
we're preoccupied and disjointed, and he's gathering
mercenaries, planning to attempt to retake what his father
lost--what King Hamlet rightfully won. (Taking out a
document) We've written to the bedridden King of Norway
asking him to block his nephew from proceeding any further.
Cornelius, Voltemand, take this notice, and take it quickly.
CORNELIUS & VOLTEMAND
Yes my lord.
A hearty farewell to you.
(Cornelius and Voltemand bow and exit.)
And now Laertes, what is your request? The head couldn't be
more closely related to the heart, nor the hand more
instrumental to the mouth, as your father is to the throne.
There's nothing reasonable you could request that will not be
granted. What is your wish?
My lord, I would like permission to return to where I came
from. I willingly came to Denmark to show my duty to your
coronation, and with that done, my thoughts and desires bend
back to France.
And you have your father's blessings? Polonius, what do you
He's pleaded with me, and of course I'd rather have him near,
but please, grant him leave to go.
Very well. Enjoy yourself Laertes, off to France with you.
(Laertes bows and exits.)
And now, Hamlet, my cousin, my son--
(as an aside)
A little more than kin, and less than kind.
How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
Not so my lord, I'm too much in the sun.
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