HAMLET’S APOCALYPSE © DARK LADY PLAYERS (2010) FINAL

PROLOGUE
Stage is dark. Hamlet enters in darkness and takes his chair, up center. Slouching. Horatio enters and turns on a Ghost Light, placed down center. He gives a look to Hamlet who is sulking. Horatio exits and returns rolling a bookcase with an old fashioned lamp and large books whose labels are visible. As lights rise, the set is revealed: The stage is set with platforms around the edge. There are two large “family portraits” hanging on the upstage wall. One shows Polonius, Laertes, and Ophelia as the Holy Family. The other shows Claudius, Gertrude, and Old Hamlet as “unholy” There is a costume rack up stage center with large labels showing each character and his/her allegorical identities: HAMLET AntiChrist/Nero AntiChrist/Martin Luther AntiChrist/The Beast from the Sea OPHELIA Mary/ Woman Crowned with the Sun LAERTES Jesus Christ POLONIUS

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God the Father & The Polar Axis CLAUDIUS The Beast from the Land GERTRUDE The Whore of Babylon GHOST OF OLD HAMLET The Devil Apollyon/The Destroyer HORATIO The actors are come hither, my lord. HAMLET Actors? HORATIO They are the best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoralcomical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the liberty, these are the only men; well, actually some are women (Enter Four Players) HAMLET Then you are welcome, all. I am glad to see thee well. Were you not in Wittenberg some few years ago? It seems to me I have seen you act before. Could you give us a play tonight? FIRST PLAYER Yes, my lord, we performed before Dr. Faustus at the University of Wittenberg. We are the same company, numerous enough, and well rehearsed. HAMLET Have you still the same three actresses with you? They used to play well. FIRST PLAYER No, my lord only two. One stayed behind with her husband at the Court of Saxony. HAMLET Masters, Mistresses, you are all welcome: HORATIO Are you ready for a play my Lord?. HAMLET What is the name of the play called? HORATIO (he pulls out an enormous Play book) The name of the play is HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK, and each actor has their own version so you can choose who shall perform it. It is very full of questions.

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HAMLET I know it well. It is the Book of Revelation in a most antic disposition, a Play about the AntiChrist and Doomsday. ACTOR 1 My Lord, my Hamlet is an answer to a long religious poem called ‘A Fig for Fortune’. It begins with the OPENING OF THE PIT and the RULE OF GOD ends in death and Doom! (Horatio hands Actor 1 a copy of Anthony Copley A FIG FOR FORTUNE (1596). He tries to give it to Hamlet who will not take it and places it back on the shelf. Each actor will put her book on Horatio’s shelf.) ALL ACTORS (shaking their heads) Doom HORATIO Next. ACTOR 2 My Hamlet is an allegory for the new astronomy in which the stars fall from the heavens Opheliais the Moon, Claudius is the Earth and Hamlet, son of Hyperion, is Helios the Sun, who ECLIPSES the Earth and throws it into darkness. HORATIO Go on. (Horatio takes out Rheticus, NARRATIO PRIMA, Wittenberg (1539) ) ACTOR 2 Indeed, my Lord. The astronomers in Wittenberg now claim the Earth moves around the Sun! HORATIO Alas, poor Claudius Ptolemy. Is your geocentric universe overthrown? ACTOR 3 (interrupting) It’s not that at all. Any Evangelical can see Hamlet is the ANTI-CHRIST, in three different guises: As Martin Luther who challenged Catholicism, as the EMPEROR NERO – the letters of his name in Hebrew mean 666 - and the BEAST FROM THE SEA. That’s why as the son of Satan he impregnates the Virgin Mary. It is very cool. Just like Rosemary’s Baby. (Hamlet takes out a large copy of the BOOK OF REVELATION) HAMLET Where are you from exactly? ACTOR 4 (interrupting) Hamlet is the Son of Satan, I agree, but you don’t go far enough. In Wittenberg Luther overturned the Catholic Church. So does this play. It is a parody of Revelation: SEVEN TRUMPETS, VIALS OF PLAGUE, the HORSEMAN DEATH, the WOMAN CROWNED WITH THE SUN, the WHORE OF BABYLON, Claudius the BEAST, the SILENCE IN HEAVEN and SIX SIX SIX. They all come from Revelation.

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HORATIO. Very good. You read Linda Hoff’s book I see. She thinks it is an allegory of Revelation, but there is no heavenly JERUSALEM. And last… ACTOR 5 My play is also about astrology. When Hamlet smites the sledded Poll-Ax on the ice like Polonius the Pole, he is the Polar Axis. (Actor 5 here begins to rotate in a circle like the polar axis, accompanied by a grinding noise--to foreshadow the death of Polonius) The very axle of the wheel of Heaven which Amleth carries ‘round Fortune’s zodiac until all ends in Doom. ALL ACTORS Doom HORATIO Did you also go school in Wittenberg? To treat this play as some case study in Astroarchaeology? ACTOR 5 (Actor hold out a copy of Santillana, HAMLET’S MILL, (1969) T’is all set out, here, true Natures’ livery. This chart sets out the stars on Fortune’s wheel from the very button of her cap to the soles of her shoe, and those, like us, who live about her waist. HORATIO About her waist? She is indeed a strumpet if such as you dwell in the private parts of Fortune! Which will you have my lord? HAMLET Decisions, decisions. (At this point Hamlet is holding Revelation, Horatio is holding Rheticus, Actor 5 is holding Hamlet’s Mill, and Actor 1 A Fig For Fortune. All are now put away) HORATIO Hang up your scripts on the wall so that all can see them SIGNS ON THE BOARD SEVEN TRUMPETS SATAN ESCAPES FROM THE PIT THE ANTI-CHRIST THE WHORE OF BABYLON SERPENTINE BEAST WOMAN WITH THE SUN/VIRGIN MARY SUN ECLIPSED A GREAT STAR WORMWOOD VIALS OF PLAGUE DEATH APPEARS ON HIS HORSE SPIRITS RISE FROM THEIR GRAVES THE SILENCE IN HEAVEN BEAST FROM THE SEA

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RULER OF GOD 666/ EMPEROR NERO DOOMSDAY HEAVENLY JERUSALEM (The Board is left up throughout the play, like the ‘Plot’ for actors in the Elizabethan theater, which reminded them of the next scene and entrances) HAMLET So many! I cannot choose between them. So we will do them all. Together. ACTORS (in uproar) What!! My lord! That is impossible (etc) HORATIO If the playwright was smart enough to mash them all up, that’s how you will perform them. For Caesar nothing is impossible. And to make sure you leave nothing out, we shall check off each part as you perform it. HAMLET (opens newspaper THE SOUTH ATLANTIC) It got a good review: “The central meaning of Hamlet, contained in its conspicuous allegory, has been hidden to intelligent audiences for centuries.” ACTOR 4 And there is an excellent part in it for you my lord. Nero the Antichrist who comes from Hell to make a Virgin with child. HAMLET Then I shall play it. ACTOR 1 My lord, here is the Prologue. (he hands Hamlet a cue card) Read this while we try out the costumes HAMLET (reading and addressing audience) This play was written for a university audience and acted at the two universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It is Shakespeare’s only play to feature students. (actors try out costumes) ACTOR 3 For the son of Satan, horns are indispensable. And a purple robe for Nero. HAMLET It was written around the year 1600 when Luther predicted the coming of Doomsday. So this was very topical. ACTOR 4 This cowl works for Luther, it covers his horns very nicely

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HAMLET Originally it had 100 question marks, not 400. (Who would write a play with so many questions?) ACTOR 2 How about this for Helios the sun god? He is really just like Lucifer. They both come from helel in the Hebrew HAMLET The original play has no religious allusions and is not set on Doomsday ACTOR 5 How is this for the sea-robe? The seaweed indicates the Beast from the Sea HAMLET But this re-write is a parody of Doomsday, and the return of Christ. As Hyperion’s son I inherited the title Smintheus, the Mouse Killer and this town is full of vermin. HORATIO In Elizabethan slang a mouse is someone drunk and lecherous. HAMLET That makes my uncle the biggest mouse of all. A King Mouse. A Caesar Mouse. An Imperial mouse. HORATIO. He is like the Hyrcanian beast, the Bengal Tiger. A satyr. A serpent. A Hydra. He is far too big to poison. Or for a Mousetrap. You must find some new device. HAMLET. And so I will. ACTOR 5 (to Hamlet) Are you still breathing under all this allegorical baggage? HORATIO In that case we will begin. Places please.

PART ONE: THE MOUSETRAP
Hamlet as Nero, the Anti-Christ HORATIO Ladies and Gentlemen, a lesson in Typology. Part one, Hamlet as Nero. Lights up on Hamlet, standing USC dressed in purple toga with 666 badge. HAMLET O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever The black soul of Nero enter this bosom: Let me be cruel, but not unnatural:

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I will speak daggers to her, but use none. HORATIO We’ll see. (referring to Life of Nero ) Nero was considered mad. (looks to Hamlet). Check. Nero killed his uncle Claudius. (looks to Hamlet). Check. Nero was considered the anti-Christ (looks to Hamlet). In good time. Nero was a singer, musician, poet, playgoer, and actor who played in tragedies like Orestes the Matricide. (he shuts the book). That’s a good place to start. (lights up on either side of Hamlet revealing ACTOR 3/PLAYER/CLAUDIUS and ACTOR4/PLAYER/GERTRUDE) HAMLET We'll have a speech straight: come, give us a taste of your quality; come, a passionate speech. FIRST PLAYER What speech, my lord? HAMLET I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was never acted; or, if it was, not above once; for the play, I remember, pleased not the million; 'twas caviare to the general: but it was--as I received it, and others, whose judgments in such matters cried in the top of mine--an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as cunning. It was about Pyrrhus, the New Ptolemy, and his murderer Orestes. One speech in it I chiefly loved: 'twas Aeneas' tale to Dido; and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of Priam's slaughter: if it live in your memory, begin at this line: let me see, let me see— During above speech, Horatio checks his library and finds the correct book: THE TRAGEDY OF ORESTES. Hamlet/Players may consult with book. THE TRAGEDY OF ORESTES (The following is acted in dumb show Pyrrhus,Priam and Hecuba each have distinctive colors which they wear in their subsequent plays-within-the-play, and mirror Claudius, Old Hamlet and Gertrude. Hamlet declaims the following lines, which are performed by the Players. The Hyrcanian beast is the tiger, like the leopard of the Beast in Revelation. Gules is scarlet with blood, like the scarlet Beast of Revelation) 'The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast,'-it is not so:--it begins with Pyrrhus:-'The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms, Black as his purpose, did the night resemble When he lay hidden in the Trojan Horse, Hath now this dread and black complexion smear'd With heraldry more dismal; Head to foot is he now total gules And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore, With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus Old grandsire Priam seeks.' (Horatio applauds)

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HORATIO 'Fore God, my lord, well spoken, with good accent and good discretion. HAMLET If the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me, with two provincial roses on my razed shoes, would not this get me a fellowship in a cry of players, sir? HORATIO Maybe half a share, my lord. (aside) Those ribbons could hide a cloven hoof. Now my lord the Players must complete the Trilogy. HAMLET The Trilogy? HORATIO Yes. After the Tragedy of Orestes, and the Dumbshow t’is the Tragedy of Gonzago. They are written typologically, so the same characters appear in each. (beat) So you may use the same cast. HAMLET So, proceed you. (The characters take up exactly the same blocking that they will repeat in the other playlets, to indicate the equivalence of their typological identities. First Player takes over role of narrator from Hamlet and takes out book THE TRAGEDY OF ORESTES from which he reads the first few lines) (First Player takes over role of narrator from Hamlet) First Player 'Anon he finds him Striking too short at Greeks; his antique sword, Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls, Repugnant to command: unequal match'd, Pyrrhus at Priam drives; in rage strikes wide; But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium, Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top Stoops to his base, and with a hideous crash Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear: for, lo! his sword, Which was declining on the milky head Of reverend Priam, seem'd i' the air to stick: So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood, And like a neutral to his will and matter, Did nothing.!' HORATIO This is too long. HAMLET It shall to the barber's, with your beard. Prithee, say on: come to Hecuba.

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FIRST PLAYER 'But who, O, who had seen the mobled queen-When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs, The instant burst of clamour that she made, Unless things mortal move them not at all, Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven, And passion in the gods. Would you like to see the rest my Lord? In which Pyrrhus, the scarlet beast in bloody gules leaves Priam’s body headless on the shore and is then killed by Orestes…? HORATIO Pray you, no more, HAMLET (to the first player) Dost thou hear me, old friend; you will play the Murder of Gonzago? FIRST PLAYER Ay, my lord. HAMLET Then we shall have it. You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which I would set down and insert in't, could you not? (Hamlet hands him the scroll) FIRST PLAYER Ay, my lord. HAMLET Very well. (Exit First Player)I have heard That guilty creatures sitting at a play Have by the very cunning of the scene Been struck so to the soul that presently They have proclaim'd their malefactions; I'll have these players Play something like the murder of my father Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks; I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench, I know my course: the play 's the thing Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king. (Enter Players) (During above speech, stage is set with chairs for the on-stage audience. Each seat is labeled with a character’s name: Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, Ophelia, Horatio. Only Hamlet and Horatio are available to take their seats, but they may “interact” with the empty chairs as if the other characters are seated. They are, in fact, the same people playing. Horatio may have a

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large program.) HORATIO (reading from Book of the Revelation) Chapter 17: I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots. As she glorified herself and played the wanton, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning. Render to her as she herself has rendered, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed. And God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath. THE M OUSETRAP PLAY (Enter Player King and Queen and Poisoner. Hamlet can hand them their props. For the first verse of the speech the Player King/Old Hamlet and Queen speak the verse but do not move and watch the dumb show. In the dumb show to one side the Poisoner/Earth/Tellus/Claudius stands still. Holding on to Polonius and his pole. Nearest to him Ophelia as the Moon circles him rapidly. Further out Hamlet as the Sun does so more slowly, both holding their Planets and moving in opposite directions. Yet further out, another actor circulates even more slowly holding a golden star as Guildernstern. After the first four lines Hamlet as the sun reverses the direction of his movement) Player King Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground, And thirty dozen moons with borrow'd sheen About the World have times twelve thirties been, Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands Unite commutual in most sacred bands. Player Queen So many journeys may the Sun and moon Make us again count o'er ere love be done! (Astronomical dumb show finishes, Ophelia, Hamlet and Guilderstern leave their Celestial bodies at their seats. Ophelia and Polonius will sit and become “themselves.”) Player Queen Such love must needs be treason in my breast: In second husband let me be accurst! None wed the second but who kill'd the first.. A second time I kill my husband dead, When second husband kisses me in bed. Player King I do believe you think what now you speak; But what we do determine oft we break.

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Purpose is but the slave to memory, So think thou wilt no second husband wed; But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead. Player Queen Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light! Sport and repose lock from me day and night! Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife, If, once a widow, ever I be wife! Player King 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile; My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile The tedious day with sleep. (Sleeps) Player Queen Sleep rock thy brain, And never come mischance between us twain! (The Player Queen goes and sits at Gertrude’s throne, the Player King who represents Old Hamlet lies down to sleep) HORATIO What means this show, my lord? (Hamlet opens up book St Malachy’s DOOMSDAY PROPHECIES, 1595) HAMLET Marry, this is milching Mallachy; it means mischief! HORATIO Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in 't? HAMLET No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i' the world. HORATIO What do you call the play? HAMLET The Mouse-trap. Marry, how? Trap-ically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is the duke's name; his wife, Baptista: you shall see anon; 'tis a knavish piece of work: but what o' that?. (Enter LUCIANUS making faces) This is the poisoner Lucianus. (off a look from Horatio. Hamlet points to a spot in Horatio’s book/program.) Like Locusta who poisoned Claudius so Nero could have his throne. HORATIO You are as good as a chorus, my lord. HAMLET Begin, murderer; pox, leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come: 'the croaking raven doth

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bellow for revenge.' Pour out your Vile plague Pyrrhus / Poisoner/Lucianus/Claudius (Holding a Vial marked Vial) Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing; Confederate season, else no creature seeing, Thy natural magic and dire property, On wholesome life usurp immediately. (Pours the poison into the sleeping Player King’s ear.) HAMLET He poisons him i' the garden for's estate. His name's Gonzago: the story is extant, and writ in choice Italian: you shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife. (All frewze. Light effect. Everyone is seated “normally” dressed in their one base costume as Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Polonius; The Ghost of Old Hamlet has exited or is looming upstage in the shadows. Polonius as God posts the following sign: THE TABLETS OF COMMANDMENTS Thou shalt not worship any other gods Thou shalt not kill Thou shalt not commit adultery Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife Honor thy father and mother (This could be a joke if it is hung near Claudius who then wants it moved.)

PART TWO; THE SIGNS OF DOOMSDAY
Hamlet initially in stage black as Amleth/Brutus and then Son of Satan (There is a moment of quiet as the actors look at each other. Hamlet goes up to the Board and CHECKS off “Vials of Plague” and “The Anti-Christ”- Royal Family can sit in “tableaux” as following happens down stage or on another part of the stage). HORATIO BOOK OF REVELATION Chapter 9: And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key of the shaft of the bottomless pit;They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abad'don, and in Greek he is called Apol'lyon, meaning The Exterminator. (Nothing happens, no one moves.) Why are we waiting still? Is it for Advent? That season wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, the bird of dawning singeth all night long: and then, they say, no spirits stir abroad; the nights are wholesome then, no planets strike. ACTOR FOR OLD HAMLET Or is this Advent of a different hue, the second coming of the Christ, Parousia, when the dead walk from their graves as part of the Last Days and the fall of empires? HORATIO A little ere the mightiest Julius fell, As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood, Disasters in the sun; and the moist star
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Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands Was sick almost to Doomsday with eclipse. When Julius fell, the graves stood tenantless ACTOR FOR OLD HAMLET And the sheeted dead Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets. (exits squeaking) TRUMPET (ONE) BLAST (Hamlet in stage black enters with a cardboard tube telescope held to his eye and Rheticus, NARRATIO PRIMA, Wittenberg (1539) under his arm. He CHECKS off “Eclipse”) HAMLET. Where have you been Horatio? I have been waiting on this roof, watching the heavens. Are the stars bounded in this nutshell or should I count myself a king of infinite space? They surround the earth, like ten thousand lesser things attached to spokes of some great wheel of Fortune, which when it falls from heaven…Oh, look at Cassiopea! She has gone into supernova. Don’t you think she looks rather like a weasel? Or maybe a whale. Don’t you think it looks rather like a whale? HORATIO I thought that happened in 1572. You are breaking the unities of space and time. HAMLET Details, details. This is a play Horatio, It does not have to be astronomically accurate. HORATIO But how can there be a new star? To what would it be fixed? Ptolemy tells us that God made the seven crystal spheres, the celestial orbs to rotate around the earth, each bearing one of the seven planets and around them all the sphere of heavenly stars, the Firmament on which they are fixed like studded nails. Where is the room for a new star? Would it not break the sphere and shatter its crystal? HAMLET Crack its nutshell. Overthrow Governments. Shatter the Primum Mo-bi-le’. (Hamlet exits) HORATIO (calls after him) Revolution, dear Amleth, a whole new world! Claudius Ptolemy’s geocentric universe is cracking. MARCELLUS Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes! HORATIO In the same figure, like the king that's dead. MARCELLUS Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio. HORATIO

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Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder. It would be spoke to. MARCELLUS Question it, Horatio. HORATIO What art thou that usurp'st this time of night, Together with that fair and warlike form In which the majesty of buried Denmark Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak! MARCELLUS It is offended. See, it stalks away! HORATIO Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak! (Exit Ghost followed by Marcellus and Horatio who CHECKS off Satan Escapes from the Pit) HAMLET The stars are falling. Soon there will be eclipses of the sun, and such things as the good day would quake to look upon. God wears the mask of the devil and the Anti-Christ is needed now in Wittenberg. (Enter Gertrude drunkenly as the Whore of Babylon in a purple robe, holding her cup and sitting on the back of Claudius. Around his neck is hung a serpent, and he wears purple and scarlet as the Beast of the Apocalypse. He is dressed in scarlet and his hands are smeared in blood. This should be a horrific spectacle) TRUMPET (TWO) BLASTS HAMLET (to the audience) Frailty, thy name is woman!-A little month, or ere those shoes were old With which she follow'd my poor father's body, Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she-O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason, Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle, My father's brother, but no more like my father Than I to Hercules: within a month she married. The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! Such an act blurs the grace and blush of modesty, Calls virtue hypocrite, makes marriage-vows as false as dicers' oaths: But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue For here comes he that hath kill'd my king and whored my mother.

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QUEEN GERTRUDE Good Amleth, cast thy nighted colour off, And let thine eye look like a friend on noble Claudius. Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity. HAMLET Ay, madam, it is common. QUEEN GERTRUDE If it be, why seems it so particular with thee? HAMLET Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not 'seems.' 'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother, Nor customary suits of solemn black, Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage, Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief, That can denote me truly: these indeed seem, For they are actions that a man might play: Let the devil wear black for I'll wear a suit of sables. For I have that within which passeth show; These but the trappings and the suits of woe. QUEEN GERTRUDE I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg. (She gets off Claudius’s back) KING CLAUDIUS 'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet, To give these mourning duties to your father: But, you must know, your father lost a father; That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound In filial obligation for some term To do obsequious sorrow: but to persever In obstinate condolement is a course Of impious stubbornness; To reason most absurd: whose common theme Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried, From the first corse till he that died to-day, 'This must be so.' We pray you, throw to Earth This unprevailing woe, and think of us As of a father: for let the world take note, You are the most immediate to our throne; And with no less nobility of love Than that which dearest father bears his son, Do I impart toward you. For your intent In going back to school in Wittenberg, It is most retrograde to our desire:

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(Hamlet walks backwards around Claudius in a circle, mirroring the astronomical movement known as retrograde movement.) QUEEN GERTRUDE You must not be so contrary, dear Hamlet. Your star must not move backwards, in peevish opposition to your sovereign. POLONIUS Your lord is your World, you are governed by his will as surely as the heavens move ‘round the Earth. In the great chain of being in which our sovereign is the center around whom all things revolve, so the order in the heavens is repeated here below in Dan-mark. (Horatio CHECKS off Whore of Babylon and Serpentine Beast) KING CLAUDIUS So we beseech you, bend you to remain Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye, Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our Sonne. TRUMPET THREE BLASTS (Gertrude,Claudius and Polonius exit. Enter Horatio holding a large Golden Star) HAMLET So runs the World away. I do think this Earth a mere sterile promontory And this goodly canopy the sky to me is but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What news good Guildern-Stern? What in faith brings you in haste from Wittenberg? HORATIO AS MESSENGER. News. News and Revelations from God! The trumpet sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning like a lamp it fell upon the rivers, that star is Wormwood: and many men have died. (CHECKS off ‘Wormwood” puts down star) HAMLET Wormwood. Wormwood. Hyperion was my father, like Apollo, the god of light now he is confined to the great Abyss, the pit of Tartarus. Like poor Abel who died in sin by his brother’s hand unannointed, unshriven, uncommunicate. HORATIO. This news cannot be good. The time is out of joint. Surely Doomsday is at hand, the stars flung out their orbits as the great star Wormwood sets the earth aflame, the Pit is opened. Apollyon the destroyer is upon us. (opens up BOOK OF GENESIS chapter 49) And Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path. (Enter Ghost)

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Look, my lord, what comes! HAMLET Angels and ministers of grace defend us! I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape And bid me hold my peace. Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd, Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell, Be thy intents wicked or charitable, Thou comest in such a questionable shape That I will speak to thee: I'll call thee Hamlet, King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me! Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death, Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre, Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd, Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws, To cast thee up again. What may this mean, That thou, dead corpse, again in complete steel Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon, Making night hideous. GHOST Mark me. HAMLET I will. GHOST I am thy father's spirit, (Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night, And for the day confined to fast in fires, Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature Are burnt and purged away). If thou didst ever thy dear father love— Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. HAMLET Murder! GHOST Murder most foul, strange and unnatural. Now, Hamlet, hear: 'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard, A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Dan-mark Is by a forg’ed process of my death Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth, The serpent that did sting thy father's life Now wears his crown. HAMLET

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A serpent? From the tribe of Dan? GHOST Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate Beast, Sleeping within my orchard, My custom always of the afternoon, Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, With juice of cursed hebenon in a Vial, And in the porches of my ears did pour The leperous distilment; All my smooth body. Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch'd. O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible! If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not; Let not the royal bed of Denmark be A couch for luxury and damned incest. Remember me. HAMLET Remember thee! Yea, from the table of my memory I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, That youth and observation copied there; (Hamlet crosses out the Commandments and writes REVENGE in a distant echo of Moses, writing Satan’s Commandments rather than God’s) And thy Commandment all alone shall live Within the Book and Volume of my brain, Unmix'd with baser matter: HORATIO The Sixth Commandment forbids all private revenging between private persons. But thou hast a new Scripture Hamlet, new commandments. Alas, thy father murdered, like old Abel murdered by Cain his brother who now sits guiltless as the King. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange! HAMLET And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world: (makes Eucharistic gestures of consecration in a parody of the black mass) Now could I drink hot blood,
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And do such bitter business as the day would quake to look upon. The spirit that I have seen May be the devil loosed out of hell For the devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape. But come; never, so help you mercy, How oe'er strange or odd I bear myself, As I perchance hereafter shall think meet To put an antic disposition on. (Hamlet puts on his devil horns) Like Brutus, Amleth shall play the fool in strange disguises so neither the exterior nor the inward man resembles that it was. They will think me mad and give occasion for my just revenge. As we often see, against some storm, a silence in the Heavens, the bold winds speechless, the orb below as hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder doth rend the region. (CHECKS off “silence in heaven”)

PART THREE: VICES AND VIRTUES
HORATIO According to Adso’s Letter on the Anti- Christ, the sign the Anti-Christ is near is that men will teach Vices as if they were Virtues, and Virtues become Vices.* (Horatio puts on a cape and is seated, and slyly becomes Reynaldo for the following) POLONIUS You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo, Before you visit my son Laertes, to make inquiry To spy out his behavior. REYNALDO My lord, I did intend it. POLONIUS Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir, Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris; And how, and who, what means, and where they keep, What company, at what expense; and finding By this encompassment and drift of question That they do know my son, come you more nearer Than your particular demands will touch it: Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him; As thus, 'I know his father and his friends, And in part him: ' do you mark this, Reynaldo? REYNALDO Ay, very well, my lord.

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POLONIUS 'And in part him; but' you may say 'not well: But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild; Addicted so and so:' and there put on him What forgeries you please; marry, none so rank As may dishonour him; take heed of that; But, sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips As are companions noted and most known To youth and liberty. REYNALDO As gaming, my lord. POLONIUS Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling, Whoring: you may go so far to say you saw him enter a house of sale, videlict, a brothel REYNALDO My lord, that would dishonour him, T’is mortal sin and damnation. POLONIUS 'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge You must not put another scandal on him, That he is open to incontinency; That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so quaintly That they may seem the taints of liberty, The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind, A savageness in unreclaimed blood, Of general assault. REYNALDO But, my good lord, should I report When he is drunk asleep, or in a rage Or in the lustful pleasures of his bed At game, a-swearing or at some other act that has no relish of salvation to it? Should I accuse Laertes of all Seven Sins? POLONIUS Wherefore should you do this? REYNALDO Ay, my lord, I would know that. POLONIUS Marry, sir, here's my drift; And I believe, it is a fetch of wit: You laying these slight sullies on my son, As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working,

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For as on Doomsday, Vices turn to Virtues, so must the man of Virtue turn to Vice. (They exit) (Enter Ophelia with Laertes) LAERTES (who chants the first line) My necessaries are embark'd, farewell dear sister! And as the winds give benefit and convoy is assistant, Do not sleep, but let me hear from you. OPHELIA Do you doubt that? LAERTES For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour, Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood, A violet in the youth of primy nature, Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, The perfume and suppliance of a minute; No more. OPHELIA No more but so? LAERTES Think it no more; For nature, crescent, does not grow alone In thews and bulk, but, as this temple waxes, The inward service of the mind and soul Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now, And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch The virtue of his will: but you must fear, His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own; For he himself is subject to his birth: He may not, as unvalued persons do, Carve for himself; for on his choice depends The safety and health of this whole state; And therefore must his choice be circumscribed. Then if he says he loves you, it fits your wisdom So far to believe it as he in his particular Sect May give his saying deed; which is no further. If with too credent ear you list his songs, Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open To his unmaster'd importunity. Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister, And keep you in the rear of your affection, (last line chanted) Out of the shot and danger of desire. OPHELIA I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,

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As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother, Do not, as some ungracious Pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to Heaven; Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, And recks not his own rede. LAERTES O, fear me not. I stay too long, but here someone comes (He exits)

PART FOUR: THE WOMAN CROWNED WITH THE SUN
HORATIO REVELATION Chapter 12: And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. MESSENGER (walks across stage) At the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel found the Virgin sewing in her chamber and announced she should bear a child and become pregnant by the Spirit, like a sunbeam, as the Woman Crowned with the Sun. (Ophelia becomes spot-lit, as the Virgin Mary/Woman Crowned with the Sun and Polonius as God the Father dressed in white, with a beard and carrying a staff). POLONIUS How now, Ophelia? What's the matter? OPHELIA O my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted! POLONIUS With what, i' th' name of God? (Hamlet mimes the following actions) OPHELIA My lord, as I was sewing in my closet, Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbrac'd, No hat upon his head, his stockings foul'd, Ungart'red, and down-gyved to his ankle; Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other, And with a look so piteous in purport As if he had been loosed out of Hell To speak of horrors- he comes before me. POLONIUS

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Mad for thy love? OPHELIA My lord, I do not know, But truly I do fear it. POLONIUS What said he? OPHELIA He took me by the wrist and held me hard; Then goes he to the length of all his arm, And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow, He falls to such perusal of my face As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so. At last, a little shaking of mine arm, And thrice his head thus waving up and down, He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound As it did seem to shatter all his bulk And end his being. That done, he lets me go, And with his head over his shoulder turn'd He seem'd to find his way without his eyes, For out o' doors he went without their help And to the last bended their light on me. POLONIUS Come, go with me. This is the very ecstasy of love, Whose violent property fordoes itself And leads the will to desperate undertakings As oft as any passion under heaven That does afflict our natures. I am sorry. What, have you given him any hard words of late? OPHELIA No, my good lord; but, as you did command, I did repel his letters and denied his access to me. (Ophelia gives prominent Fedex Envelope to Polonius and exits) POLONIUS That hath made him mad. (Enter Claudius and Gertrude) POLONIUS Perpend. I have a daughter (have while she is mine), Who in her duty and obedience, mark, Hath shown me this.

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[Reads the Envelope] 'What a strange address; From Hamlet; To the celestial CLAUDIUS That is in Heaven POLONIUS And my soul’s idol GERTRUDE That is idolatry POLONIUS The most beatified That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; 'beatified' is a VILE phrase. CLAUDIUS That means supremely blessed. POLONIUS I told her that Hamlet was a star outside the orb of her crescent moon GERTRUDE Her name is the Greek for succour, as in Mary our lady of Succour. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed is… (She stops by a look from Claudius) CLAUDIUS To the supremely blessed, heavenly idol, the Lady of Succour. This strange address surely proves his madness. GERTRUDE He thinks Ophelia is the Virgin Mary! The Woman crowned with the Sun. (Messenger CHECKS off woman crowned with the sun and exits) CLAUDIUS What madness. How may we try it further? POLONIUS You know sometimes he walks for hours together Here in the lobby. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him. CLAUDIUS We will try it. (Claudius and Gertrude exit) (Enter Hamlet) POLONIUS How does my good Lord Hamlet?

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HAMLET Well, God-a-mercy. POLONIUS Do you know me, my lord? HAMLET Excellent well. You are a fishmonger. POLONIUS Not I, my lord. HAMLET Then I would you were so honest a man POLONIUS Honest, my lord. (Ophelia takes out a maggot from her pregnant belly, which Hamlet takes and throws at Polonius) HAMLET Ay, sir. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god kissing carrion- Have you a daughter? POLONIUS I have, my lord. HAMLET Let her not walk i' th' sun. Conception is a blessing, but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look to't. POLONIUS. How pregnant sometimes his replies are! A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter. (Enter Ophelia pregnant) POLONIUS Ophelia, walk you here - Read on this book, (Gives her book that reads on the cover side Alanus De Insulis, ANTI-CLAUDIANUS (1202) and on the inside MARY CONCEIVED CHRIST LIKE THE WAY THAT THE SUN BREEDS MAGGOTS IN CARRION ) That show of such an exercise may colour your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this—‘Tis too much proved—that with devotion’s visage And pious actions we do sugar over The devil himself. I will find where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed within the center. I hear him coming. (Exits)

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(Hamlet in melancholic suicidal mood talking to himself) HAMLET In that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil? Who would these fardels bear To grunt and sweat under a weary life The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay, When he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin? to be or not to be, that is the question Soft you now! The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins rememb'red. OPHELIA Good my lord, How does your honour for this many a day? HAMLET I humbly thank you; well,…… well, well! (he notices her pregnant belly) OPHELIA My lord, I have remembrances of yours That I have longed long to re-deliver. I pray you, now receive them. HAMLET No, not I! I never gave you aught. OPHELIA My honour'd lord, you know right well you did, And with them words of so sweet breath compos'd As made the things more rich. Their perfume lost, Take these again; for to the noble mind Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind. There, my lord. (Ophelia pulls out a maggot and gives to Hamlet who puts it aside) HAMLET Ha, ha! Are you honest? OPHELIA My lord? HAMLET Are you fair? OPHELIA What means your lordship?

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HAMLET That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty. OPHELIA Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty? HAMLET Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness. This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once. OPHELIA Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so. HAMLET You should not have believ'd me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not. OPHELIA I was the more deceived. HAMLET Get thee to a nunnery! Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me. I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do, crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. OPHELIA O, help him, you sweet heavens! TRUMPET FOUR BLASTS HAMLET If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this Plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery. Go, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell. OPHELIA O heavenly powers restore him! Does he think himself some revenging angel from the Book of Revelation or from Hell sending down plagues of ice and hail? HAMLET I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another. You jig, you amble, and you lisp; you nickname God's creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I'll no more on't! it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages.

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HORATIO (sadly) Oh… HAMLET Those that are married already- all but one- shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go. OPHELIA O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! O, woe is me T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see! (exits) (enter messenger/pilgrim through the house begging from the audience) PILGRIM Charity? Any charity for a poor pilgrim to Walsingham? In the Year of our Lord 1061 Holy Mary, Mother of God came to the Lady of Walsingham in a vision and told her she was to build the house of the Baby Jesus at Walsingham. (sings) As you came from Walsingham from that holy land Met you not with my true love by the way you came? How should I your true love know that hath met many a one As I came from the holy land that have come, that have gone (Ophelia enters no longer pregnant) OPHELIA [sings] How should I your true-love know From another one? By his cockle bat and' staff And his sandal shoon. PILGRIM Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song? Why sing of pilgrims cockles and Our Lady ‘Walsingham?, our England’s Nazareth, our Lady’s sacred Shrine that copied Mary’s House where Angel Gabriel announced the incarnation of our true Lord? OPHELIA He is dead and gone, He is dead and gone; At his head a grass-green turf, At his heels a stone. O, ho! White his shroud as the mountain snow-

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Larded all with sweet flowers; Which bewept to the grave did not go With true-love showers. PILGRIM The poor lady is mad OPHELIA. Pray let's have no words of this; but when they ask you what it means, say you this: (Sings) To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day, All in the morning bedtime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine. Then up he rose and donn'd his clo'es And dupp'd the chamber door, Let in the maid, that out a maid Never departed more. PILGRIM Pretty Ophelia! OPHELIA. Indeed, la, without an oath, I'll make an end on't! [Sings] By Jesus and by Saint Charity, Alack, and fie for shame! Young men will do't if they come to't By God, they are to blame. Quoth she, 'Before you tumbled me, You promis'd me to wed.' He answers: 'So would I 'a' done, by yonder sun, An thou hadst not come to my bed.' They bore him barefac'd on the bier (Hey non nony, nony, hey nony) And in his grave rain'd many a tear. Fare you well, my dove. You must sing 'A-down a-down, and you call him a-down-a.' O, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole his master's daughter. PILGRIM Is there meaning in this madness? Why use these rude words? The vagina is a nony-nony and a down is a whore. But who is it you mourn, and by our Lady, why have you collected these sad flowers? OPHELIA (distributes flowers to audience) There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. PILGRIM It brings down women’s menses

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OPHELIA And there is pansies, that's for thoughts. PILGRIM (consulting GERARD’S HERBAL (1597) And its good against the pox OPHELIA There's fennel for you, PILGRIM To bring about menstruation OPHELIA And columbines PILGRIM For cuckoldry OPHELIA There's rue for you, and here's some for me. We may call it herb of grace o' Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference! PILGRIM (Consulting BATMAN’S HERBAL (1582) That chaste herb putteth a dead child out of the womb. OPHELIA There's a daisy PILGRIM For deception in love OPHELIA I would give you some violets, but they wither'd all when my father died. They say he made a good end. PILGRIM The poor Lady has been deflowered, but violets cast out the conception of women. and with rosemary, fennel and rue will give a strong abortion. (He picks up any dropped flowers.) OPHELIA [Sings] And will he not come again? And will he not come again?

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No, no, he is dead; Go to thy deathbed; He never will come again. His beard was as white as snow, All flaxen was his poll. He is gone, he is gone, And we cast away moan. God 'a'mercy on his soul! And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God b' wi' you. (Ophelia Exits) (Enter Horatio as Rosenkrantz praying on very large rosary beads, counting off each item) ROSENKRANTZ We remember the holy annunciation PILGRIM That’s Ophelia sewing in her closet and interrupted reading. ROSENKRATZ The Virginal Conception. PILGRIM That’s the maggots in the dead dog. ROSENKRANTZ Our Heavenly Queen. PILGRIM Ophelia as the celestial idol. ROSENKRANTZ Mary as Mother. PILGRIM That’s the pregnant bride with the abortionists' herbs. Now for the last part: Mary’s coronation and assumption into heaven, when Mary physically went up into the sky and got crowned with the sun. ROSENCRANTZ Crowned? One woe doth tread upon another's heel, So fast they follow. Ophelia's drown'd, (Ophelia enters and mimes her death) PILGRIM Drown'd! O, where? ROSENKRANTZ There is a willow… PILGRIM

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Salix Alba, the abortionist’s friend… ROSENKRANTZ Which grows aslant a brook, That shows his hoary leaves in the glassy stream. There with fantastic garlands did she come, of crowflowers, PILGRIM Crowsfoot, prevents fertility ROSENKRANTZ Nettles, PILGRIM For bad luck ROSENKRANTZ Daisies, PILGRIM For deception ROSENKRANTZ And long purples, that liberal shepherds give a grosser name, PILGRIM Bollocks. They call them bollocks. ROSENKRANTZ But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them. There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds Clamb'ring to hang, an envious sliver broke, When down her weedy trophies and herself, Fell in the weeping brook. And for a while her clothes spread wide abroad, Bore the young Lady up, and there she sat smiling, Even mermaid like, twixt heaven and earth; Which time she chaunted snatches of old Lauds, As one incapable of her own distress, Or like a creature native and indued Unto that element; PILGRIM Did she fall into the sky? And was she crowned, clothed with the sun as the bride of Christ? (Ophelia mimes falling from the sky) ROSENKRANTZ It could not be. Her garments, heavy with their drink, Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay, to muddy death.

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PILGRIM Alas, then she is drown'd. And must needs be buried. (they all exit)

PART FIVE; THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
Hamlet as Luther, the Second Anti-Christ POLONIUS holding Saxo’s Danish History (1514) In the sources, here I spy on Hamlet and he stabs me, cuts my body into pieces, and feeds me to the swine. But no swine are here on stage Though Gertrude’s bedroom is foul In all the rank corruption of an enseem’ed bed Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love Over the nasty sty. But someone comes. So I must hide myself behind this arras (he “hides” behind a purple cloth) HORATIO Hoping it will prove more like ara the altar Than hara the pigsty. POLONIUS Or else Polonius will end his days as polony. (Enter Hamlet dressed like Luther, with his black monk’s hood) HAMLET Amleth is the Dan-ish for Brutus, the Caesar-killer… POLONIUS Brutus killed me as I played Julius Caesar at the Capitol. HAMLET So has he done again. (he stabs Polonius) POLONIUS Oh, you have killed me, you brute, Like Titus killed God behind the curtain I die, I die, I die. (Dies in a rotating movement like the axle-tree he represents, ideally to a grinding noise. Hamlet covers him over with the purple cloth) HAMLET (addresses the audience) This counselor is now most still, most secret and most grave, Who was in life a foolish prating
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knave. He will play Caesar no more; I will lug his guts to the lobby and hide him away as a diet for worms. (Hamlet exits, taking Polonius with him) HORATIO. That’s odd. The Diet of Worms isn’t till 1521 when Martin Luther, the Anti-Christ, got condemned for his views about the Eucharist. Oh welcome Cornelius. What news from Wittenberg? (Enter Cornelius) CORNELIUS None, my lord, but that the world's grown honest. HORATIO Then is Doomsday near. What is the year, I mean the day? CORNELIUS Why 1517. Tonight is the feast day of Marcellus. Tomorrow is All Hallows Eve, and after that All Saints and then All Souls. These times will shake the earth and make the spirits walk. Today the astronomers overthrow the stars. Tomorrow Luther nails his theses to the church door in Wittenberg, to o’erthrow the beast of Rome. Let all Dan-mark beware, For as the Christ sprang out of Judah, so springs the Antichrist from the tribe of Dan. (exits) HORATIO This prophecy speaks of war. Luther has attacked the marriage of King Henry to his brother’s wife, by calling it incest, a foul corruption of their ensemened bed, the Queen a Whore and the King a Beast. (Hamlet enters holding a string of sausages) Where, by God, is good lord Polonius? I would he stayed for supper. HAMLET. He is at supper. Not where he eats but where he is eaten. A certain Convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots: CORNELIUS What do you mean by this? HAMLET A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm. HORATIO WHERE. IS. POLONIUS? HAMLET A king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service, two dishes, but to one table: that's the end.

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CORNELIUS You killed that old, unseen, and good old man. Luther’s Diet of Worms denies the Eucharist. Do you compare cruel maggots to communicants eating the body of Christ the king? Will Christ not come again? Is there no resurrection? Will the dead not walk? HORATIO REVELATION Chapter 20: so I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. (Enter two gravediggers. The First picks up the spade and gets into the ‘grave’, a piece of black cloth. The second puts up a construction sign. “Place of the Skull. Men at work” and then CHECKS off “Spirits rise from graves” FIRST GRAVEDIGGER Is she to be buried in Christian burial that wilfully seeks her own salvation? SECOND GRAVEDIGGER I tell thee she is: and therefore make her grave straight east-west: the coroner hath sat on her, and finds it Christian burial. Come, my spade. There is no ancient gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers: FIRST GRAVEDIGGER Tell me, what is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter? (throws up bones, worms) SECOND GRAVEDIGGER The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand tenants. FIRST GRAVEDIGGER I like thy wit well, in good faith: the gallows does well; but how does it well? it does well to those that do ill: now thou dost ill to say the gallows is built stronger than the church: argal, the gallows may do well to thee. To't again, come (Throws up first skull, making it dance) SECOND GRAVEDIGGER Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter? FIRST GRAVEDIGGER Ay, tell me that, and unyoke. SECOND GRAVEDIGGER Mass, I cannot tell. (Throws up second skull making it dance) FIRST GRAVEDIGGER Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating; and, when you are asked this question next, say 'a grave-maker: 'the houses that he makes last till Doomsday.

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(Crash of thunder/lightning. They notice the pile of bones.) SECOND GRAVEDIGGER Ha. Did these bones cost no more the breeding, to be knocked about the mazzard with a sexton's spade: but to play at loggats with 'em? (he rolls the two skulls like dice, as men played dice at the Place of the Skull) Understand me this. If graves last to Doomsday and these graves will last no longer, then could today be Doomsday? Are these the skulls of spirits come out their graves for the day of judgment according to the Revelation of St John….? FIRST GRAVEDIGGER Go to, go to. Get thee to Yohannan: fetch me back a stoup of his liquor. SECOND GRAVEDIGGER Yohannan? FIRST GRAVEDIGGER You know, John SECOND GRAVEDIGGER Why didn’t you say so? You come to America, you should use American names (exits) FIRST GRAVEDIGGER [Sings] But age, with his stealing steps, Hath claw'd me in his clutch, And hath shipped me intil the land, As if I had never been such. A pick-axe, and a spade, And eke a shrouding sheet: A pit of clay for to be made For such a guest is meet. HAMLET Whose grave's this, sirrah? FIRST GRAVEDIGGER Mine, sir. HAMLET I think it be thine, indeed; for thou liest in't.

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FIRST GRAVEDIGGER You lie out on't, sir, and therefore it is not yours: for my part, I do not lie in't, and yet it is mine. HAMLET 'Thou dost lie in't, to be in't and say it is thine: 'tis for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou liest. FIRST GRAVEDIGGER 'Tis a quick lie, sir; 'twill away gain, from me to you. HAMLET What man dost thou dig it for? FIRST GRAVEDIGGER For no man, sir. HAMLET What woman, then? FIRST GRAVEDIGGER For none, neither. HAMLET Who is to be buried in't? FIRST GRAVEDIGGER One that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul, she's dead. HAMLET How absolute the knave is! FIRST GRAVEDIGGER She should in ground unsanctified have lodged ‘till the last trumpet, but by decree will be given these maimed rites. Here's a skull now; this skull has lain in the earth three and twenty years. (Digs up third skull and lines them up in a row) HAMLET Whose was it? FIRST GRAVEDIGGER A whoreson mad fellow's it was: whose do you think it was? HAMLET Nay, I know not. FIRST GRAVEDIGGER A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! a' poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir, was Yorick's skull, the king's jester.

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HAMLET This? FIRST GRAVEDIGGER E'en that. (gets out of ‘grave’ and exits) HAMLET Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him…But soft! but soft! aside: here comes the king. (Hamlet and Horatio hide to one side. Enter Laertes,Gertrude,Claudius. They approach the grave) TRUMPET FIVE BLASTS LAERTES And so have I a noble father lost; A sister driven into desperate terms, Whose worth, if praises may go back again, Stood challenger on mount of all the age For her perfections: but my revenge will come. (holds his arms in a cross) But to my father’s friends thus wide I'll ope my arms; And like Christ, the kind, life-rendering pelican, I’ll repast them with my blood. (puts arms down) Is there no ceremony else? Lay her i' the earth: And from her fair and unpolluted flesh May violets spring! QUEEN GERTRUDE Sweets to the sweet: farewell! I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife. I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid, And not have strew'd thy grave. (Laertes leaps into the grave) LAERTES O, treble woe Fall ten times treble on that cursed head, Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense Deprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile, Till I have caught her once more in mine arms: HAMLET What is he whose grief bears such an emphasis? Whose phrase of sorrow conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand like wonder-wounded hearers? Who takes such pleasure in this necrophelia? HORATIO (consulting Homer’s ODYSSEY) T’is old Laertes, brought back from death by wise Athena.

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HAMLET This is I, Hamlet the Dane. (Laertes leaps out of the grave and grapples with him. Everyone circles around the wrestling between the Christ and the AntiChrist.) LAERTES The devil take thy soul! HAMLET Forget thy prayers Laertes. I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat; For, though I am not splenitive and rash, Yet have I something in me dangerous, Which let thy wiseness fear: hold off thy hand. KING CLAUDIUS Pluck them asunder. (Laertes stands behind the Place of the Skull sign. Once more he holds his arms in a cross. Second Gravedigger enters with a very large bottle marked St. John’s Eisel Vinegar” GRAVEDIGGER I got it Hamet takes it from the Gravedigger and starts trying to make Laertes drink it, paralleling the vinegar mentioned in the Gospel of John as being offered to Jesus on the cross) QUEEN GERTRUDE Hamlet, Hamlet! HAMLET (addresses Laertes) I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers Could not, with all their quantity of love, Make up my sum. Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; But never doubt I love. (Hamlet prods Laertes’ side) God’s wounds. What wilt thou do for her, thou Pelican! Show me what thou wouldst do: Woo't weep? Woo't drink up eisel? (Def)eat a Crocodile? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't tear thyself? (Laertes refuses to drink the vinegar but remains in position. Gravedigger packs the bottle, Place of the Skull sign, the skulls/bones into the grave and exits with them). (Claudius,Gertrude, Laertes, and Gravedigger exit) HORATIO Surely the day of resurrection has come. The Lord has come again and must be close at hand

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with his mighty army to fight the Anti-Christ. The Book of Revelation is coming all to pass.

PART SIX: APOCALYPSE
Hamlet as the Beast from the Sea, the original Anti-Christ HORATIO REVELATION Chapter 13: And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. TRUMPET SIX BLASTS (Enter Horatio who hands Claudius a letter with a big seal. Messenger ticks off trumpet blasts, maybe counting them on his fingers. Claudius reads the letter aloud) GERTRUDE Know you the hand? KING CLAUDIUS 'Tis Hamlet’s character 'High and mighty, You shall know I am set naked on your kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your kingly eyes: when I shall, first asking your pardon thereunto, recount the occasion of my sudden and more strange return. 'HAMLET.' What should this mean? Are all the rest come back? I had sent my cousin Hamlet safe secure to England and ne’r thought to see him more. If he be now return'd from the Sea, As checking at his voyage, and that he means No more to undertake it, I will work him To an exploit, now ripe in my device, (Noise of shouts, Lord, Lord, Lord). CROWD Praise the Lord; Laertes is Lord, etc. QUEEN GERTRUDE Alack, what noise is this? KING CLAUDIUS Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door. What is the matter? OSRIC Save yourself, my lord: ‘tis young Laertes, in a riotous head, O'erbears your officers. The rabble call him Lord; They cry 'Choose we: Laertes shall be king’ As if the New World were now but to begin QUEEN GERTRUDE How cheerfully on the false trail they cry! O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs!

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KING CLAUDIUS The doors are broke. (Noise within) (Enter LAERTES, armed) LAERTES Where is this king? O thou vile king, KING CLAUDIUS What is the cause, Laertes, That thy rebellion looks so giant-like? Let him go, Gertrude; do not fear our person: There's such divinity doth hedge a king, That treason can but peep to what it would, Acts little of his will. Tell me, Laertes, Why thou art thus incensed. Let him go, Gertrude. Speak, man. LAERTES Where is my father? KING CLAUDIUS Dead. QUEEN GERTRUDE But not by him. KING CLAUDIUS Let him demand his fill. LAERTES How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with: To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation. To this point I stand, That both the worlds I give to negligence, Let come what comes; only I'll be revenged Most thoroughly for my father. KING CLAUDIUS Who shall stay you? LAERTES My will, not all the world: CLAUDIUS You shall not be revenged upon me (for I am guiltless of thy father’s death) But upon my cousin Hamlet.

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LAERTES How so my lord? CLAUDIUS I have had report from a gentleman of Normandy, A most excellent horseman, called La Mort, He had witchcraft in him, and brought his horse to such wondrous doings as if he had been incorpse’d with the animal. LAERTES La Mort! His very name means death! As if he were the Horseman of the Apocalypse. (he CHECKS off the “horseman”) What out of this my lord? CLAUDIUS La Mort made good report of your skills in the rapier. My cousin Hamlet will be here shortly and I will contrive an exploit, now ripe in my device, Under which he shall not choose but fall Are we agreed? But look, he comes. (Enter Hamlet in a Brown Sea-robe with sea-weed/barnacles, like a Beast still wearing the number 666 and CHECKS off ‘Beast from the Sea”) Why Hamlet. Why is my Sonne so soon return-ed from the Sea? How was the voyage? I thought not to see you again so soon, Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me. (KING CLAUDIUS puts LAERTES' hand into HAMLET's) HAMLET Give me your pardon, sir: I've done you wrong; But pardon't, as you are a gentleman. This presence knows, And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd With sore distraction. LAERTES I am satisfied in nature, Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most To my revenge: but in my terms of honour I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement, HORATIO Chapter 2: He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron. (enter Osric in brightly colored clothes, and a large cone shaped paper hat, and holding large 3 foot long ruler with which he will measure swords, distances etc) KING CLAUDIUS Come, Hamlet, come,

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Young Osric shall judge your contest And as his name implies T’is he will maintain the Rule of God (Osric CHECKS off “Ruler of God”) HAMLET What he? This waterfly is so new hatched he carries his eggshell on his head (Hamlet adjusts Osric’s cap. Claudius and Laertes confer) OSRIC What is your counsel my Lord? HAMLET You keep your own counsel And I mine own. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge! OSRIC Take you me for a sponge, my lord? (Hamlet takes up Suetonius THE BIOGRAPHY OF VESPASIAN CAESAR, and looks Osric up and down) HAMLET Ay, sir, that soaks up the king's countenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end: like Vespasian Caesar, he keeps them close at hand, So when he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again. OSRIC I understand you not. My lord, you are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is, the most gracious Lord in all of Christendom, Brother to such a maid, the Son of such a noble Father, not God himself could find more virtue in’t. HAMLET I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with him in excellence; but, to know a man well, were to know himself. OSRIC I mean, sir, for his weapon; but in the imputation laid on him by them, in his merit he's unfellowed. HAMLET What's his weapon? OSRIC Rapier and dagger. HAMLET That's two of his weapons: but, well.

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OSRIC The king, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary horses: against the which he has imponed, as I take it, six French rapiers and six poniards, (Actor brings on stage the numbers 666,) HAMLET Let the foils be brought, the gentleman willing, and the king hold his purpose, I will win for him an I can; if not, I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits. OSRIC I commend my duty to your lordship. CLAUDIUS Come masters what tales have you to entertain us in our revels? OSRIC (reads from Revelation) (as he reads the plot points, a member of the company marks them off from the scene list.) Our first tale is of the End of Days, when two great beasts rise from the land and sea. The Whore and her beast from the land, and the beastly Nero from the sea. Then angels destroy the wicked by casting a great star from the heavens. Then comes a woman crowned with the sun. Then the dead walk from their graves and birds devour the dead in God’s Great Supper. Next, a new Jerusalem will descend from the sky, guarded by a man whose feet are bronze. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. CLAUDIUS What else have you got? OSRIC The next story is from the Arabian Nights (brings in very large Book titled’ The Arabian Nights; Night 566. The City of Brass) GERTRUDE I adore the Arabian Nights. OSRIC The Arabian Nights is about a city, where birds devour the dead. It is guarded by a statue made of bronze, empty of people, its streets are like glass, its walls are black and made of finest brass,,,. HORATIO (as an aside) Chapter 21: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; CLAUDIUS One with walls of gold, the other made of brass Bah! They are all the same. Let’s get on with the fighting!

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HAMLET Give us the foils and we shall fight as if this were the Last Battle. LAERTES Come, one for me. HAMLET I'll be your foil, Laertes: in mine ignorance Your skill shall, like a star i' the darkest night, Stick fiery off indeed. KING CLAUDIUS Give them the foils, young Osric. Good Hamlet, you know the wager? HAMLET Very well, my lord KING CLAUDIUS Set me the stoops of wine upon that table. If Hamlet give the first or second hit, Or quit in answer of the third exchange, Let all the battlements their ordnance fire: The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath; And in the cup a pearl shall he throw, Richer than that which four successive kings In Dan-mark's crown have worn. Give me the cups; 'Now the king drinks to Hamlet.' Come, begin: And Osric as the judge, bear a wary eye. HAMLET Come on, sir. LAERTES Come, my lord. (They fight) HAMLET One. LAERTES No. HAMLET Judgment. OSRIC A hit, a very palpable hit. LAERTES

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Well; again. KING CLAUDIUS Stay; give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine; (adds pearl to the cup) Here's to thy health. Give him the cup. HAMLET I'll play this bout first; set it by awhile. Come. (They fight) Another hit; what say you? LAERTES A touch, a touch, I do confess. KING CLAUDIUS Our Sonne shall win. OSRIC (as commentator reads from REVELATION) ROUND ONE. THE FALL OF THE WHORE OF BABYLON The Whore says in her heart I am no widow but a Queen! Clothed in purple and scarlet she is drunk with the blood of the saints holding in her hand a cup of abomination. Repay her as she has rendered, mix a double drought for her in the cup and give her a measure of torment and grief. QUEEN GERTRUDE The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet. (she holds up the cup in a tableau) HAMLET Good madam! KING CLAUDIUS Gertrude, do not drink. QUEEN GERTRUDE I will drink, my lord; I pray you, pardon me. KING CLAUDIUS (Aside) It is the poison'd cup: it is too late. HAMLET I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by. QUEEN GERTRUDE Come, let me wipe thy face. LAERTES My lord, I'll hit him now.

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KING CLAUDIUS I do not think't. LAERTES (Aside) And yet 'tis almost 'gainst my conscience. HAMLET Come, Laertes: you but dally; I pray you, pass with your best violence; I am afeard you make a wanton of me. LAERTES Say you so? come on. (They fight) OSRIC Nothing, neither way. LAERTES Have at you now! (LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then in scuffling, they change rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES) KING CLAUDIUS Part them; they are incensed. HAMLET Nay, come, again. (QUEEN GERTRUDE falls) OSRIC Look to the queen there, ho! HORATIO They bleed on both sides. How is it, my lord? OSRIC How is't, Laertes? LAERTES Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric; I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery. HAMLET How does the queen? KING CLAUDIUS She swounds to see them bleed. QUEEN GERTRUDE

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No, no, the drink, the drink,--O my dear Hamlet,-The drink, the drink! I am poison'd. (Dies) OSRIC ROUND TWO: THE DEATH OF THE GREAT BEAST. KING CLAUDIUS What! OSRIC Like seven Caesars, the beast had seven heads. The Whore rode upon the Beast and men made images of it and the Beast fought against the army of heaven. HAMLET O villany! Ho! let the door be lock'd: Treachery! Seek it out. LAERTES It is here, Hamlet: Hamlet, thou art slain; No medicine in the world can do thee good; In thee there is not half an hour of life; The treacherous instrument is in thy hand, Unbated and envenom'd: the foul practise Hath turn'd itself on me lo, here I lie, Never to rise again: thy mother's poison'd: I can no more: the king, the king's to blame. HAMLET The point--envenom'd too! Then, venom, to thy work. (Stabs KING CLAUDIUS) KING CLAUDIUS O, yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt. HAMLET Here, thou incestuous serpent, murderous, damn’ed Dane, Drink off this poison. Is thy union here? Follow my mother. (KING CLAUDIUS dies.) OSRIC ROUND THREE: THE CHRIST AND ANTI-CHRIST MEET THEIR DOOM (He CHECKS off “Doomsday’) LAERTES He is justly served; it is a poison temper'd by himself.
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Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet: Mine and my father's death come not upon thee, Nor thine on me. ( Hamlet refuses him forgiveness, so Laertes dies unforgiven) HAMLET Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee. I am dead, Horatio. HORATIO (opening the book) That’s what it says HAMLET Wretched queen, adieu! But let it be. Horatio, I am dead; Thou livest; report me and my cause aright To the unsatisfied. HAMLET My heart sickens, mine eyes have lost their sight, O I am dead Horatio, fare thee well (Hamlet Dies. Horatio covers the body in a purple cloth—to indicate Hamlet’s identity as the third Caesar Nero-Domitian, and then kneels in a mock ironical prayer) HORATIO Good night sweet prince. (chanted) May the ranks of angels receive you, OSRIC And with Lazarus, the poor man, may you have eternal rest in Paradise and the Holy City of Je-ru-sa-lem. (lights dark, Horatio and Osric look around expectatntly. Osric tries measuring the distance to the ceiling) OSRIC AND FOR OUR FINAL ROUND: THE NEW JERUSALEM DESCENDS. TRUMPET SEVEN BLASTS & DRUMS A City-of-Gold – FORT-IN-BRASS (Enters, wearing large nameplate or holding banner/flag) A Fort-in-brass! OSRIC Revelation 21. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. He will wipe away the tear from every eye, and death will be no more. Mourning and crying and pain will be no more.

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FORT-IN-BRASS His men are lawless resolutes, Shark'd up for food and diet, to some enterprise That hath a stomach in it. OSRIC But this is the Apocalypse, When the Rosary and the Golden-star are dead. The Earth, the Sun and Moon are all o’erthrown. The Polar axis is carried off to Doom, and the whole world thrown in darkness. The Whore of Babylon and the Beasts are slain, FORT-IN-BRASS But so are Christ and the Woman Crowned with the Sun. OSRIC The Rule of God is over (He goes to the list and puts a question mark against “Heavenly Jerusalem”) FORT-IN-BRASS Alas, what sight is this? The quarry cries on havoc. O proud Death What Feast is in thine eternal cell That thou so many princes at a shot So bloodily has struck. Take up the bodies to the stage. Such a sight as this becomes the field but here shows much amiss. HORATIO The end

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