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Hamlet 3:2

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            ACT 3, SCENE 2

                                   (Hamlet enters with Players.)

                                   HAMLET
            I ask only that you speak the speech as I pronounced it,
            trippingly on the tongue.  Too thick, and it will smother its
            taste.  And don't attach too much movement to it.  Just play
            it smooth and still from the onset, and allow the words to
            build the passion naturally.  It's so offensive to watch an
            actor bend to an audience when it's not discerning of subtle
            craft.  I'd just as soon have them whipped for making farce
            out of drama.  It out-Herods Herod.  It's against the reason
            for theatre to begin with.  The purpose of the art is to hold
            a mirror up to nature--to reveal what's virtuous, expose
            what's contemptuous, and display how a life might be lived
            more romantically.  Please don't spoil it.

                                   1ST PLAYER
            Of course not, my lord.

                                   HAMLET
            There are players I have seen--and who are praised by others-
            who speak nothing like Christians or Pagans, but who strut in
            such a way as to cause an audience to wonder whether man is a
            defective creation.

                                   1ST PLAYER
            I hope we've reformed those imitations, sir.

                                   HAMLET
            Oh, please do.  And let those that play clowns speak no more
            than is set down for them; there are some who laugh
            themselves in order to get any fool watching to join them.
            It's most pitiful in the comic who resorts to that.

                                   1ST PLAYER
            My lord, my I say something?

                                   HAMLET
            Of course, you are a friend, an assembler of ideas.

                                   1ST PLAYER
            My lord, I am only a humble player.

                                   HAMLET
            Very well.

                                   1ST PLAYER
            My lord, you are splendid, so splendid.  I remember when you
            were very young, and I behold you now.  Whatever the word
            prince can mean in all the world, you are supreme in frame
            and mind.  And if you were to spend time with a company of
            your own my lord, there is no doubt you would cleave an
            audience, shock the ignorant, astound the innocent, drive the
            guilty insane, and drown a theatre with tears.  If my good
            lord should ever desire a company to employ, I pray our
            performance sits well with the prince.

                                   HAMLET
            Ah, to write and direct characters--perhaps such a life
            exists.  Perhaps one day.  Very good dear player, I thank you
            for your kind words, now all of you, please do hurry to
            prepare.

                                   (Players bow and exit.  Polonius,
                                   Rosencrantz and Guildenstern enter.)

                                   HAMLET (CONT'D)
                          (to Polonius)
            How now, my lord?  Are the King and Queen almost ready to
            attend?

                                   POLONIUS
            They are ready now, my lord.

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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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