PROGRAM
NOTE
FOR
HAMLET’S
APOCALYPSE
 


THE
BOOK
OF
REVELATION
(OR
APOCALYPSE)
is
not
a
forecast
of
future
events
in
our
 modern
times,
but
rather
a
poetical
and
symbolic
account
of
the
past
history
of
the
 Roman
Jewish
war,
and
the
victories
of
the
Flavian
Emperors,
especially
the
emperor
 Domitian
Caesar
during
whose
reign
it
was
composed.

The
literary
structure
of
the
book
 is
a
catalogue
of
sevens,
which
include
7
vials,
7
letters,
7
trumpets
and
7
angels.

 
 The
book
features
various
eclipses
and
 astronomical
signs,
fire
from
the
heavens,
and
a
 great
star
Wormwood
that
falls
to
earth.

The
 city
of
Jerusalem
is
described
as
a
corrupt
 Whore,
decorated
in
purple
cloth
and
in
pearls.
 She
has
been
supported
by—and
literally
has
 been
riding
on‐‐‐the
Roman
Caesars.
The
 Caesars
are
symbolized
as
a
seven‐headed
 beast,
each
head
representing
one
of
the
 Caesars.
In
punishment,
the
Whore
is
given
a
 double
draught
of
a
poisoned
cup
of
wine
and
dies.
The
beast
is
confined
to
hell.
 
 The
war
takes
place
at
the
hill
of
Megiddo,
known
as
Armageddon,
which
was
actually
 the
place
where
Titus
and
Vespasian
rallied
their
troops
before
marching
on
Jerusalem,
 and
literally
bringing
down
fire
from
heaven
to
destroy
the
city
in
the
form
of
flaming
 catapults.
 
 Other
characters
include
the
Devil,
the
king
of
the
Pit,
who
is
released
into
the
world,
 and
another
beast
whose
number
is
666
and
represents
one
of
the
Flavian
Caesars.
Both
 of
these
are
conquered
by
the
Christ
figure,
with
the
help
of
angels
and
the
resurrected
 souls
of
the
dead.
There
is
also
a
mysterious
woman
crowned
with
the
sun,
traditionally
 identified
with
the
Virgin
Mary.
At
the
end
of
Doomsday
the
forces
of
Christ
have
won,
 and
a
new
heavenly
Jerusalem
descends
from
the
sky.
 
 Both
in
the
year
1600
when
the
first
version
of
Hamlet
was
probably
written,
and
also
 today,
the
Book
of
Revelation
was
used
by
the
Church
to
create
expectations
of
 Doomsday
and
the
End
of
the
World.

As
a
result,
a
Time/CNN
survey

(in
2002)
showed
 that
59%
of
Americans
think
that
the
Book
of
Revelation
is
a
prophecy
of
an
Apocalypse
 that
will
take
place—in
modern
times.

This
was
why
the
Religious
Right
lobbied
for
a
 nuclear
attack
on
Iran,
and
for
the
Iraq
war
as
the
“gateway
of
the
Apocalypse”
in
the
 hope
of
catalyzing
Doomsday
and
bringing
about
the
return
of
Jesus.

As
President
Bush
 told
President
Chirac
of
France
in
2003,
"This
confrontation
is
willed
by
God,
who
wants
 to
use
this
conflict
to
erase
his
people's
enemies
before
a
New
Age
begins".
For
many
 years
this
Apocalyptic
world
view
has
also
been

"fueling
congressional
anti‐ environmentalism"
as
Glenn
Scherer
noted
in
his
article
'The
Road
to
Environmental


www.darkladyplayers.com


Apocalypse'
in
Grist
Magazine
(2004).
"After
the
last
tree
is
felled,
Christ
will
come
back"
 as
Reagan's
Secretary
of
the
Interior
told
Congress.

 
 HAMLET
MATTERS
because
it
parodies
such
fantastic
and
ludicrous
beliefs,
mocking
 their
absurdity.

Hamlet
is
self‐evidently
a
literary
text,
and
by
offering
an
anti‐ Revelation,
it
invites
us
to
treat
Revelation
also
merely
as
a
literary
narrative.

The
play
 Hamlet
is
therefore
an
applied
exercise
in
post‐modern
Biblical
criticism,
using
irony
and
 comic
humor
to
de‐construct
the
Church’s
absurd
interpretations
of
Revelation. 
 Also
featuring
7
angels,
7
letters,
and
7
trumpets,
the
play
is
set
explicitly
on
Doomsday,
 the
dead
are
being
taken
out
of
their
tombs‐‐‐but
by
gravediggers
who
are
digging
up
 their
corpses.
Those
who
have
had
their
heads
cut
off
are
not
resurrected,
but
instead
 like
Yorick
have
their
heads
held
up
as
objects
of
ridicule.
Set
in
Denmark
or
Dan‐mark,
 which
was
believed
to
have
been
settled
by
members
of
the
tribe
of
Dan
from
whom
 the
Anti‐Christ
was
prophesied
to
come,
both
Old
Hamlet,
Claudius,
Gertrude
and
Prince
 Hamlet
are
part
of
the
forces
of
the
Anti‐Christ.

Claudius
is
the
Beast,
Gertrude
the
 Whore
of
Babylon,
old
Hamlet
is
the
King
of
the
Pit
from
which
he
escapes,
and
Prince
 Hamlet
is
Lucifer
the
Archangel
of
Light,
who
takes
on
the
guise
of
three
successive
anti‐ Christs,
the
beast
from
the
sea,
Nero
and
Martin
Luther.

This
in
itself
is
a
mockery
of
 the
very
concept
of
the
AntiChrist,
if
over
1500
years
three
different
figures
had
been
 identified
as
Anti‐Christ
yet
the
End
of
the
World
had
still
not
taken
place.
 
 The
play
recounts
the
victory
of
the
Anti‐Christ.
In
the
play,
unlike
in
Revelation,
both
 God
the
Father
(Polonius),
Christ
(Laertes),
and
the
Woman
Crowned
with
the
 Sun/Virgin
Mary
(Ophelia)
all
die.
At
the
end
of
the
play
there
is
no
heavenly
Jerusalem
 but
only
a
parody
of
it—a
fort
in
brass,
which
alludes
to
the
Islamic
City
of
Brass
in
the
 Arabian
Nights.
Yet
this
play
is
as
plausible
scenario
of
the
End
Times
as
any
other.
It
 raises
the
question
of
why
the
narrative
in
the
Book
of
Revelation
is
privileged
and
how
 the
Church
shapes
their
textual
interpretations
to
reflect
their
own
self
interest.
 
 HAMLET’s
ASTRONOMY
relates

directly
to
the
coming
of
the
New
Age
that
so

 concerned
President
Bush.

The
character
Amleth,
on
which
Hamlet
is
based,
is
one
of
a
 number
of
mythological
characters
who
were
believed
to
move
the
polar
axis
of
the
 Earth
from
one
sign
of
the
zodiac
to
another
every
2,200
years,
to
create
each
new
 zodiacal

‘Age’.

That
is
why
the
definitive
book
on
this
subject
by
two
MIT
scientists
was
 titled
Hamlet’s
Mill.
The
astronomy
in
Hamlet
depicts
a
geocentric
Ptolemaic
universe
 centered
on
Claudius
the
Earth
which
is
being
replaced
by
a
solar
centric
model
focused
 on
Hamlet
as
Helios
(the
son
of
Hyperion).

The
play
also
alludes
to
two
zodiacal
cycles.
 In
the
first,
Old
Hamlet
slew
a
‘s’leaded
pollax
on
the
ice’
referring
to
his
overturning
the
 icy
polar
axis,
weighed
down
with
the
planet.
In
the
second,
Prince
Hamlet
kills
the
Pole
 Polonius,
who
is
a
contemporary
allegory
for
Lord
Burghley
who
was
known
as
the
 metaphorical
‘polar
axis’
of
the
Elizabethan
court.
 
 Hamlet’s
Apocalypse
runs
at
ManhattanTheaterSource
from
7
to
9
November
2010
 www.darkladyplayers.com


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful