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Life Arts

Hamlet Adaptation (Act 1, Scene 4)

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ACT 1, SCENE 4

                                   (The castle walls, enter Hamlet,
                                   Horatio and Marcellus.)

                                   HAMLET
            Damn it's cold!

                                   HORATIO
            The air cuts right through to the bone.

                                   HAMLET
            What hour is it now?

                                   HORATIO
            Almost midnight.

                                   MARCELLUS
            It's right around now that it has appeared.

                                   (TRUMPETS and two CANNON SHOTS are
                                   heard.)

                                   HORATIO (CONT'D)
            What's that mean?

                                   HAMLET
            The king is celebrating.  He likes a flourish and a cannon
            blast to punctuate his toasts.

                                   HORATIO
            Is it a custom?

                                   HAMLET
            It's one better broken than observed.  We enjoy our drink,
            but too much spoils a reputation every time.  Even if a
            person is pure of heart and worthy of praise, too much drink
            drowns it all.  Drunkenness will never know mercy in the
            courts of public opinion.

                                   (Enter Ghost.)

                                   HORATIO
            My lord!

                                   HAMLET
            Angels and ministers of grace defend us!  Are you heavenly or
            from hell?!  Righteous or wicked you look like my father,
            King Hamlet!  Royal Dane!  Speak to me!  Tell why you're
            here!  Don't leave me in agony, wondering!  What does it
            mean, you, head to toe in steel?!  Don't rattle our minds by
            the light of the moon, and not tell why?  Help us!  What
            should we do?!

                                   (Ghost beckons.)

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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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