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Hamlet Screenplay 3
[ bottom ]
FADE IN:

3.1  INT. ELSINORE -- A ROOM IN THE CASTLE -- DAY

Enter Claudius, Gertruda, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern.

Ophelia still has her hair up, and is dressed in a slightly more provocative manner than has been usual for her.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
				(whispers)
			Here they come: they’ll get on to working out
			their next maneuver here.  They think they’re
			so smart.

					CLAUDIUS
			And can you by no drift of conference
			Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
			Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
			With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?

					ROSENCRANTZ
			He does confess he feels himself distracted,
			But from what cause a will by no means speak.
	
					GUILDENSTERN
			Nor do we find him forward to be sounded,
			But with a crafty madness keeps aloof
			When we would bring him on to some confession
			Of his true state.
					
					GERTRUDA
			Did he receive you well?

					ROSENCRANTZ
				(not sure; then confessing)
			Most like a gentlemen.

					GUILDENSTERN
				(elaborating)
			But with much forcing of his disposition.

					ROSENCRANTZ
			Scanty of question, but of our demands
			Most free in his reply.

They all think a moment.

					GERTRUDA
				(cautiously)
			Did you assay him 
			To any...pastime?

					ROSENCRANTZ
			Madam, it so fell out that certain players
			We o’ertook on the way.  Of these we told him,
			And there did seem in him a kind of joy
			To hear of it.  They are here about the court,
			And, as I think they have already order
			This night to play before him.

					POLONIUS
			‘Tis most true,
			And he beseech’d me to entreat your Majesties
			To hear and see the matter.

					CLAUDIUS
			With all my heart.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
			That’s what you think, pal.

					CLAUDIUS
			And it doth much content me
			To hear him so inclin’d.
			Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
			And drive his purpose into these delights.

					ROSENCRANTZ
			We shall, my lord.

Exit Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

					CLAUDIUS
			Sweet Gertruda, leave us too,
			For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
			That he, as ‘twere by accident, may here 
			Affront Ophelia.

Gertruda is shocked.

					CLAUDIUS
				(continuing)
			Her father and myself, lawful espials --

Gertruda starts to object to the scheme.

					CLAUDIUS
			We’ll so bestow ourselves, that, seeing unseen,
			We may of their encounter frankly judge,
				(leaning to her)
			And gather by him, as he is behaved,
			If’t be th’affliction of his love or no
			That thus he suffers for.

					GERTRUDA
				(caving in)
			I shall obey you.
				(to Ophelia)
			And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish
			That your good beauties be the happy cause
			Of Hamlet’s wildness; so shall I hope your virtues
			Will bring him to his wonted way again,
			To both you honours.

					OPHELIA
				(under duress)
			Madam, I wish it may.

Exit Gertruda.  Claudius moves toward a hiding place, expecting Polonius to follow him.

					POLONIUS
			Ophelia, walk you here.
				(to Claudius)
			Gracious, so please you.
				(to Ophelia)
			Read on this book,
			That show of such an exercise may colour
			Your loneliness.

Ophelia wanders off, with a heavy heart.  Polonius is feeling guilty, at last.

					POLONIUS
				(aside)
			We are oft to blame in this,
			‘Tis too much prov’d, that with devotion’s visage
			And pious action, we do sugar o’er
			The devil himself.

					CLAUDIUS (V.O.)
				(overhearing; aside)
			O ‘tis too true.
			How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience,
			The harlot’s cheek, beautied with plast’ring art,

INSERT

Narrator made up as a harlot, and she blows us an outrageous lewd kiss.

					CLAUDIUS (V.O.)
				(continuing)
			Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it
			Than is my deed to my most painted word.
			O heavy burden.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
			And it’s going to get heavier.  I guarantee
			it.

					POLONIUS
			I hear him coming.  Let’s withdraw, my lord.

They hide.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
				(sotto voce)
You better hide, you bastards.  
	(aloud)
All right, the rest of you, listen up.  This is an important speech.  Perhaps the most famous in all drama.  Here it comes.

Enter Hamlet.

He’s thinking deeply.

					HAMLET
				(to himself)
			To be, or not to be, that is the question:
				(aside)
			Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
			The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
			Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
			And by opposing end them.  To die -- to sleep,
			No more; and by a sleep to say we end
			The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
			That flesh is heir to; ‘tis a consummation
			Devoutly to be wish’d.  To die, to sleep;
			To sleep, perchance to dream -- ay, there’s the rub:
			For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
			When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
			Must give us pause -- there’s the respect
			That makes calamity of so long life.
			For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
			Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
			The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay,
			The insolence of office, and the spurns
			That patient merit of th’unworthy takes,
			When he himself might his quietus make
			With a bare bodkin?  Who would hardships bear
			To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
			But that the dread of something after death,
			Th’undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
			No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
			And makes us rather bear those ills we have
			Than fly to others that we know not of?
			Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
			And thus the native hue of resolution
			Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
			And enterprises of great pitch and moment
			With this regard their currents turn awry
			And lose the name of action.

He pauses and listens for something.

					HAMLET
				(continuing)
			Soft you now,
			The fair Ophelia.  Nymph, in thy orisons
			Be all my sins remember’d.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
			All right Mac, hold it there.

FREEZE FRAME.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
				(continuing)
			Back up to the start of it.

It REWINDS to the start of the scene.  It reaches the start, and FREEZE FRAME.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
			Go.

The scene starts again, with much less volume on the dialogue.  And moves more slowly.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
Well, he’s been thinking, make no mistake...for all the good it will do him in the end.  So let’s see if we can make some sense of this.  ‘To be or not to be’ looks straightforward enough, but it’s a disputed passage.  It’s not just ‘to live or die,’ but rather how to live, and how to live well.  Yet the majority opinion has been, and continues to be, that the speech as a whole is ‘debate’ by Hamlet (with himself) on the notion of suicide.  Others prefer the idea he is reasoning out how to kill Claudius first, then himself.  But in these cases we must always remember that this Shakespeare was capable of, and willing to, say more than one thing simultaneously: the so-called ‘mots rayonnements’ effect (first reported
by Peter Brook, by the way).  But more to the point is the clash between ‘living’ in a Christian manner -- that is, by forgiving injury, and on the other hand rather in the way his Germanic tribal ancestors lived: namely, to avenge a wrong no matter what.  

Rumblings and groanings heard from the audience.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
				(continuing)
Hold on, hold on.  That’s what he’s getting into with all this ‘nobler in the mind to suffer’ jazz.  But that’s not all.  Some have noted he is in no wise strictly confining his speech to his personal condition only, and is rather making observations on the state of fallen man generally.  And there is much to be said for that point of view.

More groanings.

INSERT

Hamlet slits Claudius’s throat from behind with a knife.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
				(continuing)
But he really doesn’t want to suffer: he wants justice.  So this speech is mostly just talk, as we’ll see later.
	(pause)
Right: ‘a consummation devoutly to be wished.’  Here he’s thinking of a way out of the trap, and thinks death might be the way; but he’s also subconsciously floating his mind into Ophelia’s sweet spot, hence his ‘accidental’ usage of the word ‘consummation.’  Ophelia, certainly, but also, need I add, his damn mother, too.  You should see her with Claudius: when they get going, they really go.  You know, it would make their animal ancestors proud to see it.  Gertruda had her eye on Claudius for years, and especially after that Old Hamlet became impotent with prostate cancer.  It happens.  Well, now she’s got what she wanted, and she’s going to get what’s coming to her, you’ll see.  

A louder peal of groanings breaks over the scene.  The Narrator whistles for quiet.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
				(continuing)
Well, back to Hamlet: ‘that sleep of death what dreams may come,’ uh-huh, ‘When we have shuffled off this mortal coil.’  He’s not so sure he can escape trouble just by dying: how right he is.
	(sotto voce)
You mother fucker.
	(aloud)
‘Must give us pause...’ all right.  ‘Whips and scorns of time,’ of time, ha, ha, ha.  ‘The law’s delay, the insolence of office,’ and all that la-dee dah.  And then there’s ‘When he himself might his quietus make, with a bare bodkin.’  ‘Bodkin’ -- it doesn’t mean ‘little body’ -- it
INSERT

Knife, gleaming under a strong light, suspended in the air.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
				(continuing)
means ‘knife,’ and ‘bare’ has been glossed as ‘mere,’ in addition to what looks superficially obvious: that is, ‘unsheathed.’  Could be both.  But how about ‘his quietus?’  ‘his’ could refer to Hamlet, or, to Claudius.

INSERT

CLOSE UP of CLAUDIUS, who is gaping with terror.  M.O.S.  PULL BACK TO REVEAL HAMLET, grabbing him from behind, and stabbing him viciously in the back.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
	(continuing)
‘Quietus,’ then, refers to a way out: here he’s thinking of death: for himself and Claudius, and something tells me he’s going to be right, when all is said and done.  Then he uses the phrase ‘grunt and sweat.’  Back on Ophelia again.  Yeah, grunting and sweating: he grunts and she sweats.  Then he goes on, more timidly, ‘the undiscovered country,’ and then ‘puzzles the will.’  ‘Puzzles:’ in those days it didn’t mean just confuse the will, it carried the idea of complete paralysis.  He can’t make up his mind.  He was going strong there for awhile, but now he’s had the chance to think things over, he’s vacillating; he’s chickening-out.  He’s not sure, even if he gains his revenge and gets away with it what will happen next.  When he dies, that is.  So, ‘Thus conscience does make cowards of us all.’  Members of the Germanic tribes of his lineage -- even the women -- indeed anybody on our side, would naturally jump to the conclusion that inaction in such a state as Hamlet finds himself would be due, solely due, to cowardice.  That’s what he himself is touching on here, although really it is due to the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit.  That’s what we have to tackle next.

Even louder groans from the audience, subsiding slowly, as we hear,  over:

					NARRATOR (V.O.) + HAMLET
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.

A BACKGROUND SCENE comes on: a FLASHFORWARD to the scene of Hamlet’s burial.  He’s cast adrift on a ship with a pile of treasure under him.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
So he was convinced of his course through two acts, but now he’s worried.  He’s lost the ‘native hue of resolution’ for our business.

She appears in the BACKGROUND SCENE, dressed as a Priest: with her hair down and shaved back, like Horatio.  ZOOM IN to BACKGROUND SCENE.

					NARRATOR
				(smiles)
But we’ll convince him of the rightness of it again.  You’ll see.

She snaps her fingers.  Hamlet’s ship bursts into flame.

THE CASTLE

					HAMLET
			Soft you now,
			The fair Ophelia.  Nymph, in thy orisons
			Be all my sins remember’d

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
				(sotto voce)
Prayers.  ‘Orisons’ is prayers.  This is a good scene too, scarcely less good than the other one.

Ophelia steels herself, and glances around sheepishly.  She moves to speak, then her nerve gives way, and she delivers her lines, but with an attitude of sensual longing.

					OPHELIA
			My lord, I have remembrances of yours
			That I have longed to redeliver.
				(wants to kiss him)
			I pray you now, receive them.

Hamlet moves to kiss her, then shies away at the last second.

					HAMLET
			No, not I.  
			I never gave you aught.

Ophelia suffers an outburst of frustration and confusion.

					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.

Hamlet circles around her in consternation.

					OPHELIA
				(continuing; recovering)
			Take these again; for to the noble mind
			Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

He makes no response, other than to continue circling.  Ophelia throws the letters at him.

					OPHELIA
				(continuing)
			There, my lord.

					HAMLET
			Ha, ha.  Are you honest.

					OPHELIA
				(hopeful)
			My lord?

					HAMLET
				(closing)
			Are you fair?

Ophelia turns away at the last moment.

					OPHELIA
			What means you lordship?

					HAMLET
				(accusing)
That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no access to your beauty.

					OPHELIA
				(turning; hopeful)
	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.
		(aside)
	This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof.
		(to Ophelia)
	I did love you once.

			OPHELIA
		(moved)
	Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.

			HAMLET
	You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock that we should savor it.

			OPHELIA
		(crushed)
	I was deceived.

Hamlet kisses her on the forehead.  Ophelia embraces him with all her might.

			HAMLET
		(sotto voce)
	Get thee to a nunnery.

She hugs him with a sensual passion.

			HAMLET
		(continuing;
		 aloud; moving away)
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...

Ophelia, overcome with longing, moves to him.  Hamlet evades her as if she were a charging bull.

			HAMLET
		(continuing)
	...that I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in.

She lunges and embraces him.

			HAMLET
		(continuing; aside)
	What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven?
		(to Ophelia)
	We are arrant knaves all, believe none of us.

They kiss.  Ophelia looks at him lovingly, and then around to the room.  Hamlet breaks off the embrace in despair.

			HAMLET
	Go thy ways to a nunnery.

INSERT

Claudius and Polonius.

Hamlet, suspicions aroussed by Ophelia’s glance at the room, looks around, and then addresses Ophelia.

					HAMLET
				(sotto voce)
			Where’s your father?

					OPHELIA
				(looking away)
			At home, my lord.

					HAMLET
				(aloud)
Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool nowhere but in’s own house.  
	(to Ophelia)
Farewell.

Ophelia covers her ears, and shrieks.

			OPHELIA
	O help him, you sweet heavens!

			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.’  Farewell.

He moves to go, then thinks of something.

			HAMLET
		(continuing)
	Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.

She rushes to him in desperation.  Hamlet peers around the room.

			HAMLET
		(more softly)
	To a nunnery, go.  And quickly, too.  Farewell.

He releases her.  She collapses to the floor.

			OPHELIA
		(screams)
	HEAVENLY POWERS RESTORE HIM!

She weeps.  Hamlet is enraged.

			HAMLET
		(to Ophelia)
	I have heard of your paintings well enough.  God hath given you one face and you make yourselves another.  You jig and amble, and you lisp, you nickname God’s creatures, and you make your wantonness your ignorance.  Go to, I’ll no more on’t... 
		(aside)
				...it hath made me mad.
		(to the room; shouts)
	I say we will have no more marriage.  Those that are married already...
		(aside)
				...all but one...
		(to the room)
	shall live; the rest shall keep as they are!
		(to Ophelia; flat)
	To a nunnery, go.

Exit Hamlet.

			OPHELIA
		(to herself; between sniffles)
O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown.
The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s eye, 
	tongue, sword,
Th’expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th’observ’d of all observers, quite, quite down.
	(aside)
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck’d the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason
Like sweet bells jangled out of tune and harsh,
That unmatch’d form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy.  O woe is me.
T’have seen what I have seen, see what I see.

			NARRATOR (V.O.)
	It is done.  We have them now.

Enter King and Polonius.  Claudius is rattled.  Polonius comforts his daughter, who continues to weep.

			CLAUDIUS
		(to Polonius)
	Love?  His affections do not that way tend,
	Nor what he spake, though it lack’d form a little,
	Was not like madness.
		(to himself)
	There’s something in his soul
	O’er which his melancholy sits on brood,
	And I do dread the hatch and the disclose
	Will be some danger; which for to prevent,
	I have in quick determination
		(calming down; aside)
	Thus set it down: he shall with speed to England
	For the demand of our neglected tribute.
	Perhaps the seas and countries different,
	With variable objects, shall expel
	This something settled matter in his heart,
	Whereon his brains still beating puts him thus
	From fashion of himself.
		(to Polonius)
	What think you on’t?

Polonius is almost feeling sorry for what he has done, and speaks more softly than usual.

			POLONIUS
		(to Claudius)
	It shall do well. But yet do I believe
	The origin and commencement of his grief
	Sprung from neglected love.

Ophelia cries more stridently, and clings to Polonius’s legs.

			POLONIUS
		(continuing; to Ophelia)
	How now, Ophelia?
	You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said,
	We heard it all.
		(to Claudius)
	My lord, do as you please,
	But if you hold it fit, after the play
	Let his queen-mother all alone entreat him
	To show his grief, let her be strict with him,
	And I’ll be plac’d, so please you, in the ear
	Of all their conference.  If she find him not,
	To England send him; or confine him where
	Your wisdom best shall think.

			CLAUDIUS
	It shall be so.
		(aside)
	Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go.
	

3.2  INT. ELSINORE -- THRONE ROOM -- NIGHT

Enter Hamlet and three of the Players.

			HAMLET
	Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it as many of your players do, I had as rather the town crier spoke my lines.  Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very  torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.  O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings...
		(aside)
					...who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise.
		(to the Players)
	I would have such a fellow whipped for o’erdoing Termagant.  It out-Herods Herod.  Pray you avoid it.

			PLAYER 1
	I warrant you honour.

			HAMLET
	Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor.  Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature.  For anything so o’erdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold as ‘twere the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.  Now this overdone or come tardy off, though it makes the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the which one must in your allowance o’erweigh a whole theatre of others.  O, there be players that I have seen play -- and heard others praise, and that highly -- not to speak profanely, that neither having the’accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature’s journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

			PLAYER 1
	I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us.

			HAMLET
	O reform it altogether.  And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them -- for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though in the meantime some necessary question of the play be then to be considered.  That’s villainous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.

The three Players bow to Hamlet.

			HAMLET
		(continuing)
	Go make you ready.

Exit Players.  Enter Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern

			HAMLET
	How now, my lord?  Will the King hear this piece of work?

			POLONIUS
	And the Queen too, without delay.

			HAMLET
	Bid the Players make haste.

Exit Polonius.

Hamlet eyes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who, for their part, make no overture of friendliness.

			HAMLET
	Will you two help to hasten them?

			ROSENCRANTZ
	Ay, my lord.

Guildenstern would have refused, left to his own devices.  Exit Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  Enter Horatio.

			HAMLET
	What ho, Horatio.

			HORATIO
	Here, sweet lord, at your service.

			HAMLET
	Horatio, thou art e’en as just a man
	As e’er my conversation joined withal.

Horatio is moved by the sexual reference.

			HORATIO
	O my dear lord.

			HAMLET
	Nay, do not think I flatter.
	For what advancement may I hope from thee
	That no revenue has but thy good spirits
	To feed and clothe thee?
		(aside)
	Why should the poor be flatter’d?
	No let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
	And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
	Where thrift may follow fawning.
		(to Horatio)
	Dost thou hear?
	Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
	And could of men distinguish her election,
	She hath seal’d thee for herself; for thou hast been
	As one, in suff’ring all, that suffers nothing,
	A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewards
	Hast ta’en with equal thanks; and blest are those
	Whose blood and judgment are so well confirmed
	That they are not a pipe for Fortune’s finger
	To sound what stop she please.
		(aside)
	Give me that man
	That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him
	In my heart’s core,... 
		(to Horatio)
					...ay, in my heart of heart,
	As I do thee.
		(aside)
	Something too much of this.
		(to Horatio)
	There is a play tonight before the King:
	One scene of it comes near the circumstance
	Which I have told thee of my father’s death.
	I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
	Even with the very comment of thy soul
	Observe my uncle.  If his occulted guilt
	Do not itself in a certain speech reveal,
		(aside)
	It is a damned ghost that we have seen,
		(to Horatio)
	And my imaginations are as foul
	As Vulcan’s smithy.  Give him heedful note;
	For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
	And after we will both our judgments join
	In censure of his seeming.

			HORATIO
	Well, my lord.
	If he steal aught the while the play is playing,
	And scape detecting, I will pay the theft.

Enter TRUMPETS AND KETTLEDRUMS and SOUND A FLOURISH.

			HAMLET
	They are coming to the play.  I must be idle.
	Get you a place.

Horatio moves away a little.  Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and OTHER LORDS attendant, with the King’s Guard carrying torches.  Claudius does a good job of pretending to be friendly, even after he notices Hamlet staring at him.

					CLAUDIUS
			How fares our cousin Hamlet?

					HAMLET
Excellent, i’faith, of the chameleon’s dish.  I eat the air, promise-crammed.  You cannot feed capons so.

A barb.  A definite barb.

					CLAUDIUS
I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet.  These words are not mine.

			HAMLET
	No, nor mine now.
		(to Polonius)
	My lord, you played once i’thi’university, you say?

			POLONIUS
	That did I, my lord, and was accounted a good actor.

			HAMLET
	What did you enact?

			POLONIUS
	Julius Caesar.  I was killed in the Capitol.  Brutus killed me.

			HAMLET
	It was a brute part of him to kill so capitol a calf there.
		(pause; aloud)
	Be the players ready?

Rosencrantz appears from within, where he was spying on the actors.

			ROSENCRANTZ
	Ay, my lord, they stay upon your patience.

			GERTRUDA
	Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.

			HAMLET
	No, good mother, here’s mettle more attractive.

He shifts position to be next to Ophelia, puts his arms around her and gives her a big fat kiss.

			POLONIUS
		(to Claudius)
	O ho.  Do you mark that?

			HAMLET
	Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

			OPHELIA
		(definite if not offended)
	No, my lord.

			HAMLET
	I mean, my head upon your lap.

			OPHELIA
		(checking Polonius)
	Ay, my lord.

			HAMLET
	Did you think I meant cunt-ry matters?

			OPHELIA
	I think nothing, my lord.

			HAMLET
	That’s a fair thought to lie between a maid’s legs.

			OPHELIA
	What is, my lord?

Makes a zero with his hands.

			HAMLET
	Nothing.

			OPHELIA
		(warming at last)
	You are merry, my lord.

			HAMLET
	Who, I?

			OPHELIA
	Ay, my lord.

			HAMLET
	O God, your only jig maker.  What should a man do but be merry?  
		(to Ophelia)
	For look you how cheerfully my mother looks and my father died within’s two hours.

			OPHELIA
	Nay, ‘tis twice two months, my lord.

			HAMLET
		(way aloud)
	So long?  Nay then, let the devil wear black, for I’ll have a suit of sables.  O heavens, die two months ago and not forgotten yet.  Then there’s hope a great man’s memory may outlive his life half a year.
		(to Ophelia)
	But by’r lady a must build churches then, or else shall a suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is, ‘For O, for O,
		(poking her)
	the hobby-horse is forgot.’

The trumpets sound.  A dumb-show follows.

Enter a KING, dressed as Old Hamlet, and a QUEEN dressed as Gertruda was the day before, the Queen embracing him and he her.  She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him.  He takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck.  He lies him down upon a bank of flowers.  She, seeing him asleep, leaves him.  Anon comes in another MAN (LUCIANUS) dressed as Claudius, takes off his crown, kisses it, pours poison in the sleeper’s ears, and leaves him.  The Queen returns, finds the King dead, makes passionate action.  The Poisoner with some THREE or FOUR comes in again.  They seem to condole with her.  The dead body is carried away.  The Poisoner woos the Queen with gifts.  She seems harsh awhile, but in the end accepts his love.

Exeunt.

Hamlet has his attention on Claudius the whole time.  Both Claudius and Gertruda are becoming nervous.

					OPHELIA
			What means this, my lord?

					HAMLET
Marry, this is miching malicho.  It means mischief.

					OPHELIA
Belike this show imports the argument of the play.

Enter PROLOGUE
	
					HAMLET
We shall know by this fellow.  The players cannot keep counsel: they’ll tell all.

		OPHELIA
Will a tell us what this show meant?

		HAMLET
Ay, or any show that you will show him.  Be not you ashamed to show, he’ll not shame to tell you what it means.

		OPHELIA
	(amused)
You are naught.  You are naught.
	(remembering Polonius)
I’ll mark the play.

		PROLOGUE
For us and for our tragedy,
Here’s stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.

		HAMLET
	(to Prologue)
Is this the prologue, or the posy of a ring?

		OPHELIA
‘Tis brief, my lord.

		HAMLET
	(to Ophelia)
As woman’s love.

Enter the Player King and Queen.

					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.
			But woe is me, you are so sick of late,
			So far from cheer and from your former state,
			That I distrust you.  Yet though I distrust,
			Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must;
			For women’s fear and love hold quantity,
			In neither aught, or in extremity.
			Now what my love is, proof hath made you know,
			And as my love is siz’d, my fear is so.
			Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
			Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.

					PLAYER KING
			Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too:
			My operant powers their functions leave to do;
			And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
			Honour’d, belov’d; and haply one as kind
			For husband shalt thou -- 

					PLAYER QUEEN
			O confound the rest.
			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.

					HAMLET
				(to Claudius)
			That’s wormwood.

					PLAYER QUEEN
			The instances that second marriage move
			Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
			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.
			Purpose is but the slave of memory,
			Of violent birth but poor validity,
			Which now, the fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,
			But fall unshaken when they mellow be.
			Most necessary ‘tis that we forget
			To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt.
			What to ourselves in passion we propose,
			The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
			The violence of either grief or joy
			Their own enactures with themselves destroy.
			Where joy most revels grief doth most lament;
			Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
			The world is not for aye, nor ‘tis not strange
			That even our loves should with our fortunes change,
			For ‘tis a question left us yet to prove,
			Whether love lead fortune or else fortune love.
			The great man down, you mark his favorite flies;
			The poor advanc’d makes friends of enemies;
			And hitherto doth love on fortune tend:
			For who not needs shall never lack a friend,
			And who in want a hollow friend doth try
			Directly seasons him his enemy.
			But orderly to end where I begun,
			Our wills and fates do so contrary run
			That our devices still are overthrown:
			Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
			So think thou wilt no second husband wed,
			But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
INSERT

Claudius and Gertruda, both mortified.

					PLAYER QUEEN
			Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light,
			Sport and repose lock from me day and night,
			To desperation turn my trust and hope,
			An anchor’s cheer in prison be my scope,
			Each opposite, that blanks the face of joy,
			Meet what I would have well and it destroy,
			Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
			If, once a widow, ever I be a wife.

					HAMLET
				(to Gertruda)
			If she should break it now.

					PLAYER KING
			‘Tis deeply sworn.  Sweet, leave me here awhile.
			My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
			The tedious day with sleep.

					PLAYER QUEEN
			Sleep rock thy brain,
			And never come mischance between us twain.

Exit Queen.  King sleeps.

					HAMLET
				(to Gertruda)
			Madam, how like you this play?

					GERTRUDA
			The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

					HAMLET
			But she’ll keep her word.

					CLAUDIUS
Have you heard the argument?  Is there no offence in it?

		HAMLET
No, no, they do but jest -- poison in jest.  No offence i’th’world.

		CLAUDIUS
	(carefully)
What do you call the play?

		HAMLET
The Mousetrap.  Marry, how tropically.  This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna,
	(aside)
Gonzago is the Duke’s name, his wife Baptista,
	(to Claudius)
you shall see anon.  ‘Tis a knavish piece of work, but what o’that?  Your Majesty, and we that have free souls, it touches us not.  Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.

Enter Lucianus.  He stalks around the Player King ominously, and surveys the scene, trying to nerve himself to go through with it.

					HAMLET
	(continuing)
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the King.

		OPHELIA
You are as good as a chorus, my lord.

		HAMLET
I could interpret between you and your love if I could see the puppets dallying.

		OPHELIA
You are keen, my lord, you are keen.

		HAMLET
	(looking around to 
	 Claudius)
It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.

He glances at Polonius, who is rapt with attention on the play.  Ophelia is actually starting to enjoy herself.  This is all the more goad to Hamlet, who now is on the verge of losing his patience at last.

		OPHELIA
Still better, and worse.

		HAMLET
	(to Ophelia)
So you mis-take your husbands.
	(shouts to Lucianus)
Begin, murderer.  Leave thy damnable faces and begin!  Come, the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge!

		LUCIANUS
Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing,
Confederate season, else no creature seeing,
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
With Hecate’s ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magic and fire property
On wholesome life usurps immediately.

He pours the poison in the sleeper’s ear.

		HAMLET
	(to Claudius)
A poisons him i’th’garden for his estate.  His name’s Gonzago.  The story is extant, and written in very choice Italian.  You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago’s wife.

Claudius rises.  All eyes are on him.

		OPHELIA
The King rises.

		HAMLET
	(to himself)
What, frighted with false fire?

		GERTRUDA
How fares my lord?

		POLONIUS
Give o’er the play.

		CLAUDIUS
Give me some light.

Exit Claudius.  The crowd realizes Claudius’s guilt, and they rush  out of the room.  Various ad lib shouts, including ‘Away’ from the spectators.

					POLONIUS
				(in vain)
Lights!  Lights!  Lights!

		HAMLET
	(to himself)
Why, let the stricken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play;
For some must watch while some must sleep,
Thus runs the world away.
	(to Horatio)
Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers, if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me, with Provincial roses on my razed shoes, get me a fellowship in a band of players?

		HORATIO
Half a share.

		HAMLET
A whole one, I.
	(to himself)
For dost thou know, O Damon dear,
This realm dismantled was
Of Jove himself, and now reigns here
A very, very...pajock.

		HORATIO
You might have rhymed.

		HAMLET
O good Horatio, I’ll take the Ghost’s word for a thousand pound.  Didst perceive?

		HORATIO
Very well, my lord.

Hamlet embraces Horatio in fear.  Horatio tries to comfort him.

		HAMLET
Upon the talk of poisoning?

		HORATIO
I did very well note him.

Hamlet is much moved, almost to madness, and quietly delivers his following lines.

		HAMLET
Ah, ha!  Come, some music; come, the recorders.  For if the King like not the comedy, why then, belike he likes it not, perdie.  Come, some music.

Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with severity.

		GUILDENSTERN
	(carefully)
Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.

		HAMLET
Sir, a whole history.

		GUILDENSTERN
The King, sir --

		HAMLET
	(angry)
Ay, sir, what of him?

		GUILDENSTERN
		(controlling himself)
Is in his retirement marvellous distempered.

		HAMLET
With drink, sir?

Guildenstern almost loses his composure, but then controls himself once again.

		GUILDENSTERN
No, my lord, with choler.

		HAMLET
Your wisdom should show itself more richer to signify this to the doctor, for for me to put him to his purgation would perhaps plunge him into more choler.

		GUILDENSTERN
	(almost irritated)
Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and swerve not so wildly from my meaning.

		HAMLET
I am tame, sir.  Pronounce.

		GUILDENSTERN
The Queen your mother, in most great affliction of spirit, hath sent me to you.

		HAMLET
You are welcome.

		GUILDENSTERN
	(exasperated)
Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed.  If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will do your mother’s commandment; if not, your pardon and my return shall be the end of my business.

		HAMLET
Sir, I cannot.

		GUILDENSTERN
What, my lord?

		HAMLET
Make you a wholesome answer.  My wit’s diseased.

Guildenstern is about to say something else, again in exasperation, but Hamlet suddenly has pity on him.

		HAMLET
	(continuing)
But sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command -- or rather, as you say, my mother.  Therefore no more, but to the matter.  My mother, you say --

		ROSENCRANTZ
	(putting his foot down)
Then thus she says: your behaviour hath struck her into amazement and admiration.

		HAMLET
	(angry again)
O wonderful son, that can so ‘stonish a mother!  But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother’s admiration?  Impart.

		ROSENCRANTZ
	(angry in turn)
She desires to speak with you in her chamber ere you go to bed.

		HAMLET
We shall obey, were she ten times our mother.

Hamlet walks away, then thinks better of it.

		HAMLET
	(continuing)
Have you any further trade with us?

		ROSENCRANTZ
	(a put on)
My lord, you once did love me.

		HAMLET
	(grasping his hands)
And still do, by these pickers and stealers.

		ROSENCRANTZ
Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper?  You do surely bar the door upon your own liberty if you deny your griefs to your friend.

Hamlet is wondering whether he is being watched, and gazes around the room.

		HAMLET
Sir, I lack advancement.

		ROSENCRANTZ
How can that be, when you have the voice of the King himself for your succession in Denmark?

		HAMLET
Ay, sir, but while the grass grows...the proverb is somewhat musty.

Enter the Players with recorders.

		HAMLET
	(continuing)
O, the recorders.  Let me see one.
	(to Guildenstern)
To withdraw with you.
	(moving away)
Why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive me into a trap?

		GUILDENSTERN
O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.

Hamlet turns that over in his mind, running through three different senses.  Then:

		HAMLET
I do not well understand that.
	(pause)
Will you play upon this pipe?

		GUILDENSTERN
My lord, I cannot.

		HAMLET
I pray you.

		GUILDENSTERN
Believe me, I cannot.

		HAMLET
I do beseech you.

		GUILDENSTERN
I know no touch of it, my lord.

		HAMLET
	(demonstrating)
It is as easy as lying.  Govern these ventages with your fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music.  Look you, these are the stops.

		GUILDENSTERN
But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony.  I have not the skill.

Hamlet shoves him up against the wall.  Rosencrantz takes a step forward, then stops.

		HAMLET
	(furious)
Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me.  You would play upon me, you would seem to know my stops, you would pluck out the heart of my mystery, you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak.
	(releasing him)
‘Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?  Call me what instrument you will, though you fret me, you cannot play upon me.

He throws the recorder, like Bobby Knight throwing a chair, narrowly missing Rosencrantz, who ducks.  It clatters down the hall, skipping past the entering Polonius.

		HAMLET
	(softening)
God bless you, sir.

		POLONIUS
My lord, the Queen would speak with you.  Very now.

		HAMLET
	(irritated again)
Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?

Polonius attempts to humor Hamlet once again, but now feeling disgusted with the charade, and makes grimaces of impatience aside.

		POLONIUS
By th’mass and ‘tis -- like a camel indeed.

		HAMLET
Methinks it is like a weasel.

		POLONIUS
It is backed like a weasel.

		HAMLET
Or like a whale.

		POLONIUS
Very like a whale.

		HAMLET
Then I will come to my mother very now.
	(aside)
They provoke me to the limit.
	(to Polonius)
I’ll be right there.

		POLONIUS
I will say so.

Exit Polonius.

		HAMLET
	(aside)
Very now is easily said.
	(to Guildenstern)
Leave me, friends.

Rosencrantz is about to object, but Guildenstern prudently leads him away.

		HAMLET
	(continuing; aside)
‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.  Now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on.  Soft, now to my mother.
	(to himself; thinks again)
O heart, lose not thy nature.  Let not ever
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom;
Let me be cruel, not unnatural.
	(aside)
I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites:
How in my words somever she be shent,
To give them seals never my soul consent.

EXT. ELSINORE -- AERIAL SHOT -- NIGHT


3:3  INT. ELSINORE -- THRONE ROOM -- NIGHT

Enter Claudius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern.  Guildenstern has just given Claudius his report, and Claudius, outwardly recovered from his fit, now contemplates his next action.

					CLAUDIUS
I like him not, nor stands it safe with us 
To let his madness range.  Therefore prepare you.
I your commission will forthwith dispatch,
And he to England shall along with you.
The terms of our estate may not endure
Hazard so near us as doth hourly grow
Out of his brows.

		GUILDENSTERN
We will ourselves provide.
Most holy and religious fear it is
To keep those many bodies safe
That live and feed upon your Majesty.

		ROSENCRANTZ
	(kneeling)
The single and peculiar life is bound
With all the strength and armour of the mind
To keep itself from ‘noyance; but much more
That spirit upon whose weal depends and rests
The lives of many.  The cess of majesty
Dies not alone, but like a gulf doth draw
What’s near it with it.  Or it is a massy wheel
Fix’d on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things
Are mortis’d and adjoin’d, which when it falls,
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boist’rous ruin.  Never alone
Did the King sigh, but with a general groan.

		CLAUDIUS
Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage,
For we will fetters put about this fear
Which now goes too free-footed.

		ROSENCRANTZ
We will haste us.

Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  Enter Polonius.

					POLONIUS
			My lord, he’s going to his mother’s chamber.
Behind the arras I’ll convey myself
To hear the process.  I’ll warrant she’ll tax him home,
And as you said -- and wisely was it said --
‘Tis meet that some more audience than a mother,
Since nature makes them partial, should o’erhear
The speech of vantage.  
	(more slowly)
Fare you well, my liege.
I’ll call upon you ere you go to bed,
And tell you what I know.

		CLAUDIUS
Thanks, dear my lord.


EXT. ELSINORE -- THE BATTLEMENTS -- NIGHT

There is a swirling fog.  The Dragon materializes, flying straight towards us, and lands on a parapet.

REVERSE ANGLE

One down into the castle.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
This is my favorite part.

Our POV rushes forward into the castle, past many rooms, to:


INT. ELSINORE -- CHAPEL -- NIGHT

Claudius is standing there, deep in thought.

		CLAUDIUS
	(aside)
O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t:
A brother’s murder.  Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will,
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect.  What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother’s blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow?  Whereto serves mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what’s in prayer but this twofold force,
To be forestalled ere we come to fall
Or pardon’d being down?
	(turns to altar)
Then I’ll look up.
	(to himself)
My fault is past -- but O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn?

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
	(sotto voce)
You got that right, pal.

		CLAUDIUS
Forgive me my foul murder?
That cannot be, since I am still possess’d
Of those effects for which I did the murder:
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
	(sotto voce)
Come on, boy, here he is, you’ve got him.

		CLAUDIUS
May one be pardon’d and retain th’offence?

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
Not where I come from.
	(sotto voce)
Come on, boy.

		CLAUDIUS
	(aside)
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft ‘tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law.  But ‘tis not so above:
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature, and we ourselves compell’d
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults
To give in evidence.

FLASHBACK

Claudius and Polonius stand on the Battlements, amazed, and illuminated by an intense white light.

END FLASHBACK


INT. ELSINORE -- PASSAGEWAY -- NIGHT

Hamlet hurrying along the passage.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
	(sotto voce)
Come on, boy, this way, that’s right.  Now through that door.  You’ve got him.  Hurry up, hurry up.

INT. ELSINORE -- CHAPEL -- NIGHT

		CLAUDIUS (V.O.)
What then?  What rests?
Try what repentance can.  What can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
O wretched state!  

		CLAUDIUS
	(to cross)
O bosom black as death!
O limed soul, that struggling to be free
Art more engaged.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
	(sotto voce)
Hurry up, hurry up, come on.  It’s now or never, boy, quick, your sword.

THE PASSAGEWAY

Hamlet sees Claudius in front of the altar.

		CLAUDIUS
Help, angels!

		CLAUDIUS (V.O.)
Make assay.

He clasps his hands together, closes his eyes, and prays.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
	(sotto voce)
There he is, there he is.  Steady.  You can do it.  Draw your sword, before it’s too late.

Hamlet draws his sword.

		CLAUDIUS (V.O.)
	(kneeling)
Bow, stubborn knees; and heart with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the newborn babe.
All may be well.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
	(sotto voce)
Do it.  Do it now.

		HAMLET 
	(aside)
Now might I do it pat.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
	(sotto voce)
Yes.  Do it.  Run him through.  Now.

		HAMLET
	(aside)
Now he is a praying.

Hamlet walks right up to Claudius and rears back, about to run him through.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
Get him.  Get him.

		HAMLET
	(to Claudius)
And now I’ll do it.

He hesitates.

					NARRATOR (V.O.)
What are you waiting for?  Do it, before it’s too late.  Before he repents.  DO IT NOW.

		HAMLET
	(aside)
And so a goes to heaven;
And so am I revenged.  
	(to himself)
That would be scanned.

He steps back and thinks.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
Kill the mother-fucker!

		HAMLET
	(aside)
A villain kills my father, and for that
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.
	(pause)
Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
A took my father grossly, full of bread,
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May,
And how his audit stands who knows save God?
But in our circumstance and course of thought
‘Tis heavy with him.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
KILL HIM!

		HAMLET
	(aside)
And am I then reveng’d,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?
	(pause)
No.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
WHAT?

		HAMLET
	(to sword)
Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent:

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
Boy, listen to me --

		HAMLET
	(aside)
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in th’incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At game a-swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in’t,
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven
And that his soul may be as damn’d and black
As hell whereto it goes.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
Uuuuhhhh.  Ohhh!  Ohh, ohh!

		HAMLET
	(to himself)
My mother waits.

		NARRATOR (V.O.)
Ohhhhhhh.  You’re sparing his life so that he’ll find damnation later.  Oh.  That’s my boy!  Ohh.  You do have potential, don’t you.  Oh, yes.  Oh.  Ahhhh....Ohh...

		HAMLET
	(to Claudius)
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.

Exit Hamlet.

		CLAUDIUS
	(aside)
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

Exit Claudius.

The sounds of the Narrator’s continuing orgasm fade away.

						FADE OUT.

TITLE:

THE DIRECTOR FROM HELL

FADE IN: 

3:4 INT. ELSINORE -- GERTRUDA’S CHAMBER -- NIGHT

She has a large room on a corner, with windows.  Enter Gertruda and Polonius.

		POLONIUS
A will come straight.  Look you lay home to him,
Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with
And that your Majesty hath screen’d and stood between --

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Grace.  Your Grace hath screen’d.

Polonius and Gertruda stop, then return to their starting point.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
From the top.  Camera.

A SLATE MAN appears with a slate.

		SLATE MAN
Hamlet.  Act three, Scene four.  Take five.


		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Action.

		POLONIUS
A will come straight.  Look you lay home to him,
Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with
And that your Grace hath screen’d and stood between
Much heat and him. I’ll silence me even here.
Pray you be round.

		GERTRUDA
	(superior)
I’ll warn’t you, fear me not.
Withdraw, I hear him coming.

Polonius hides behind the arras.  Enter Hamlet, hopping mad.

		HAMLET
Now, mother, what’s the matter?

		GERTRUDA
	(imperious)
Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

		HAMLET
Mother, you have my father much offended.

		GERTRUDA
	(angry)
Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.

		HAMLET
	(half-crazed)
Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.

		GERTRUDA
	(more angry)
Why, how now, Hamlet?

		HAMLET
	(eyes wide)
What’s the matter now?

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Roll ‘em.  Crazier.

		HAMLET
	(crazy)
What’s the matter now?

		GERTRUDA
	(massively indignant)
Have you forgot me?

		HAMLET
	(all the way insane)
No, by the rood, not so.

INSERT

The crucifix in the chapel.

		HAMLET
	(continuing)
You are the Queen, your husband’s brother’s wife,
And, would it were not so, you are my mother.

		GERTRUDA
	(decisive)
Nay, then I’ll set those to you that can speak.

She whirls and begins to stride out of the room.  Hamlet draws his sword with a clang, grabs her by the arm, twists her, throws her into a chair, and holds the sword to her throat.

		HAMLET
Come, come, and sit you down, you shall not budge.
You go not till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you!!

		GERTRUDA
	(shrieks)
What wilt thou do?  Thou wilt not murder me?
Help, ho!

		POLONIUS (O.S.)
What ho!  Help!

		HAMLET
How now?  A rat!  Dead for a ducat.  Dead.

He thrusts his rapier through the arras.  Polonius groans, and falls.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Cut.  What are you doing?  Stab him, God damnit.  This is the fourth time you’ve done that.  From ‘What wilt thou do.’  Camera.

Hamlet glares at the Narrator’s position.  He swishes the sword twice, and mutters.

		SLATE MAN
Hamlet, Act three, scene four, Take six.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Action.

		GERTRUDA
	(shrieks)
What wilt thou do?  Thou wilt not murder me?
Help, ho!

		POLONIUS (O.S.)
What ho!  Help!

		HAMLET
How now?  A rat!  Dead for a ducat.  Dead.

He thrusts his rapier through the arras again, with all his strength.  Polonius yells, then groans, and falls forward through the arras.  Two PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS SCREAM off.  One of them rushes out to Polonius.

					PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
			Oh no!  Oh no!

					GRIP (O.S.)
			An ambulance!

					PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
			He needs a hospital!

					NARRATOR (O.S.)
Shut up!  He isn’t going to the hospital, he’s going to hell with the rest of his kind.  Get out of there.  Hamlet, keep going.

The Production Assistant moves off.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
	(continuing)
‘O, I am slain.’  Keep going.

		GERTRUDA
O me, what hast thou done?

		HAMLET
Nay, I know not.  Is it the King?

Hamlet moves closer to Polonius.

					GERTRUDA
			O, what a rash and bloody deed is this.

					HAMLET
			A bloody deed.  Almost as bad, good mother, 
			As kill a king and ‘marry’ with his brother.

					GERTRUDA
			As kill a king?

					HAMLET
Ay, lady, it was my word.
	(to Polonius)
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell.
I took thee for thy better.  Take thy fortune:
Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger.
	(to Gertruda)
Leave wringing of your hands.  Peace.  Sit you down.
And let me wring your heart; for so I shall
If it be made of penetrable stuff,
If damned custom have not braz’d it so,
That it be proof and bulwark against sense.

		GERTRUDA
What have I done, that thou dar’st wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?

Hamlet, doing very well up to now, becomes rattled, loses his concentration and starts shouting his lines rather mechanically.

		HAMLET
Such an act
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,
Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love
And sets a blister there, makes marriage vows
As false as dicer’s oaths.  O, such a deed
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words.  Heaven’s face does glow
O’er this solidity and compound mass
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
	(whispers)
That makes no sense whatsoever.

		GERTRUDA
Ay me, what act
That roars so loud and thunders in the index?

		HAMLET
Look here upon this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow,
Hyperion’s curls, the front of Jove himself,
An eye like Mars to threaten and command,
A station like the herald Mercury
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill,
A combination of and a form indeed
Where every god did seem to set his seal
To give the world assurance of a man.
This was your husband.  Look you now what follows.
Here is your husband, like a mildew’d ear
Blasting his wholesome brother.  Have you --

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Cut.  Cut.  It’s not working.  You’re not convincing her.  You’re coloring everything with an amorphous anger.  Again.  From ‘Look here upon this picture.’  Camera.

		SLATE MAN
Hamlet, Act three. Scene four.  Take seven.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Action.

		HAMLET
Look here upon this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow,
Hyperion’s curls, the front of Jove himself,
An eye like Mars to threaten and command,
A station like the herald Mercury --

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Cut!

		HAMLET
	(to Narrator)
What is it now?

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
It’s not natural.

		HAMLET
	(to Narrator)
What do you mean it’s not natural?  He’s angry.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Listen, you worthless little epitomizing shit: he’s angry all right, and in a minute you’re going to find out there’s someone else who -- oh, hell with it.  You want the audience to believe this?  Then you have to go down: way down, past all this naturalistic rubbish, down to where it really matters.  Convince her.  Move!  Pick it up at ‘See what a grace...’  Camera.

		SLATE MAN
Hamlet, Act three, Scene four, Take eight.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Action.

Hamlet picks it up at the wrong place.

		HAMLET
Look here upon this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow,
Hyperion’s curls, the front of Jove himself,
An eye like Mars to threaten and command,
A station like the herald Mercury
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill,
A combination of and a form indeed
Where every god did seem to set his seal
To give the world assurance of a man.
This was your husband.  Look you now what follows.
Here is your husband, like a mildew’d ear
Blasting his wholesome brother.  Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed
And batten on this moor?  Ha, have you eyes?
You cannot call it love; for at your age
The heyday in the blood is tame, it’s humble,
And waits upon the judgment, and what judgment
Would step from this to this?  Sense sure you have,
Else could you not have motion; but sure that sense
Is apoplex’d, for madness would not err
Nor sense to ecstasy was ne’er so thrall’d
But it reserv’d some quantity of choice
To serve in such a difference.  What devil was’t
That thus hath cozen’d you at hoodman’s blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all.
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.  O shame, where is thy blush?

Polonius comes INTO FRAME from the left.

		POLONIUS
Help.  Help me.

Suddenly from off camera the Narrator aims a pistol at Polonius and FIRES, hitting him right between the eyes.  He falls to the ground.  There is a commotion, and the two Production Assistants SCREAM again.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Quiet!  Quiet on the set!  Hamlet, keep going!

The commotion continues, however.

		HAMLET
Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron’s bones --

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
QUIET ON THE SET, GOD DAMNIT!

TWO SHOTS RING OUT.  A body falls.  Hamlet stops.  Silence.

					NARRATOR (O.S.)
Keep going, keep going: “Rebellious hell, if thou canst mutine...”

		HAMLET
Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron’s bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax
And melt in her own fire; proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn
And reason panders will.

		GERTRUDA
O Hamlet, speak no more.
Thou turn’st my eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and grained spots
As will not leave their tinct.

		HAMLET
Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of a enseamed bed,
Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty.

		GERTRUDA
O speak to me no more,
These words like daggers enter in my ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet.

		HAMLET
A murderer and a villain --

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Cut.  Shit.  That was piss-poor.  There’s no progression.  You’re just shouting.  He’s got to approach her, and --

		HAMLET
	(to Narrator)
Oh, this is ridiculous.  Of course I’m shouting.  He’s angry.  That’s his whole motivation.  He’s --

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Oh, his motivation.  Is that so?  Were you there?  Do you really know what Amlethi was thinking in this scene a thousand years ago?  

		HAMLET
	(to Narrator)
I don’t have to know what he was, what he really thought.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
He was going to rape her.

Gertruda looks up with interest.

		HAMLET
	(to Narrator)
It makes no difference anyway.  All I need is my motivation.  He’s angry, for crying out loud.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Uh-huh, all right Mister smarty-pants, you want to be angry?

There is the SOUND of a WHIP CRACKING.

		HAMLET
	(sotto voce)
Jesus Christ.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
All right.  Let’s take it back to “When the compulsive ardor gives the charge...”  Go ahead and do it your way.  Gertruda: softer with each new utterance.  Camera.

		SLATE MAN
Hamlet.  Act three, scene four, take nine.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Action.

Hamlet is even angrier than before.

		HAMLET
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn
And reason panders will.

		GERTRUDA
O Hamlet, speak no more.
Thou turn’st my eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and grained spots
As will not leave their tinct.

		HAMLET
Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty!

		GERTRUDA
O speak to me no more.
These words like daggers enter in my ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet.

		HAMLET
A murderer and a villain,
A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord, a vice of kings,
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That form a shelf the precious diadem stole
And put it in his pocket.

		GERTRUDA
No more.

		HAMLET
A king of shreds and patches.

He turns, as if to the Ghost.  Then he stops.  He looks toward the Narrator, with the attitude of “I told you so.”  Gertruda has been remarkably more effective being progressively softer.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Cut.
	(sotto voce)
Hey Mac, open that up and give me that film.

There are sounds of someone fiddling with the camera mechanism.
			
		NARRATOR (O.S.)
	(continuing)
Hey Hamlet.

She throws the roll of film at him, just missing hitting him in the head.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
There’s your film.  Now get back over there and do it the way we rehearsed it.

Hamlet moves back into a different position, fuming.  He has a lot of trouble being progressively softer, but he makes an effort.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
	(continuing)
You can be as angerly as you want to start with.  He’s softening.  At each new utterance he’s softer yet.  What’s happening, as you remember, is that they’re going to make-up.  It almost happens, right at “A king of shreds and patches.”  Take it back to “When the compulsive ardor gives the charge.”  Camera.

		SLATE MAN
Hamlet.  Act three, scene four.  Take ten.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
Action.

		HAMLET
	(softer)
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn
And reason panders will.

		GERTRUDA
O Hamlet, speak no more.
Thou turn’st my eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and grained spots
As will not leave their tinct.

		HAMLET
	(moving to her)
Nay, but to live
In the rank seat of an enseamed bed,
Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty.

		GERTRUDA
O speak to me no more.
These words like daggers enter in my ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet.

		HAMLET
	(softer, feeling guilty)
A murderer and a villain,
A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord, a vice of kings,
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole
And put in his pocket.

		GERTRUDA
	(reaching for him)
No more.

		HAMLET
	(reaching for her)
A king of shreds and patches.

Just then a window blows open: there is a rush of air, and the enormous hand of the Dragon reaches in, carrying the mask.  Hamlet whirls around, terrified.

		HAMLET
	(continuing; to heaven)
Save me and hover o’er me with your winds,
You heavenlyl guards!  
	(to Ghost)
What would your gracious figure?

		GERTRUDA
	(aside)
Alas, he’s mad.

		HAMLET
Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That laps’d in time and passion, lets go by
Th’important acting of your dread command.
O say.

		NARRATOR (O.S.)
	(thunders)
DO NOT FORGET.  THIS VISITATION
IS BUT TO WHET THY ALMOST BLUNTED PURPOSE.
But look, amazement on thy mother sits.
O step between her and her fighting soul.
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
Speak to her, Hamlet.

		HAMLET
How is it with you, lady?

		GERTRUDA
Alas, how is it with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with th’incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
And, as the sleeping soldiers in th’alarm,
Your bedded hair, like spears of warriors,
Start up and stand on end.  O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience.  Whereon do you look?

		HAMLET
	(to Gertruda)
On him, on him.  Look you how pale he glares.
His form and cause conjoin’d, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.
	(to Ghost)
Do not look upon me,
Lest with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects.  Then what I have to do
Will want true colour -- tears perchance for blood.

He looks away and cries.

		GERTRUDA
To whom do you speak this?

		HAMLET
	(desperate)
Do you see nothing there?

		GERTRUDA
Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.

		HAMLET
Nor did you nothing hear?

		GERTRUDA
No, nothing but ourselves.

		HAMLET
Why look you there, look how it steals away.
My father, in his habit, as he lived!
Look where he goes even now out at the portal.

Exit Ghost.  Gertruda is trying to reach out to Hamlet once again.

		GERTRUDA
This is the very coinage of your brain.
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.

Hamlet calms down, and drops his pose.

		HAMLET
My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time,
And makes as healthful music.  It is not madness
That I have uttered.  Bring me to the test,
And I the matter will re-word, which madness
Would dance far from.  

Hamlet is standing some ways off from her.

					HAMLET
				(continuing; coldly)
Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
That not your trespass but my madness speaks.
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen.  Confess yourself to heaven,
Repent what’s past, avoid what is to come;
And do not spread the compost on the weeds 
To make them ranker.  Forgive me this my virtue;
For in the fatness of these classy times
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.

		GERTRUDA
	(with deep sincerity)
O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.

She collapses into herself, and sobs, not really paying much attention to Hamlet.  Hamlet moves toward her slowly, but is trying much too hard, berating her rather than convincing her.

		HAMLET
Throw away the worser part of it
And live the purer with the other half.
Good night.  But go not to my uncle’s bed.
Assume a virtue if you have it not.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits evil, is angel yet in this,
That to the use of actions fair and good
He likewise gives a frock or livery
That aptly is put on.  Refrain tonight,
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence, the next more easy;
For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
And either lodge the devil or throw him out
With wonderous potency.  Once more, good night,
And when you are desirous to be blest,
I’ll blessing beg of you.  

He moves over to Polonius.

		HAMLET
	(continuing; aside)
For this same lord
O do repent; but heaven hath pleas’d it so,
To punish me with this and this with me,
That I must be their scourge and minister.
I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gave him.
	(to Gertruda)
So, again, good night.
	(aside)
I must be cruel only to be kind.
Thus bad begins, and worse is yet to come.
	(to Gertruda)
One word more, good lady.

She replies as if she hadn’t heard him.
			
		GERTRUDA
What shall I do?

		HAMLET
Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
Let the bloat King tempt you again to bed,
Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse,
And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses,
Or paddling in your neck with his damn’d fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out
That I essentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft.  ‘Twere good you let him know,
For who that’s but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib,
Such dear concernings hide?  Who would do so?
No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
Unpeg the basket on the house’s top,
Let the birds fly, and like the famous ape,
To try conclusions, in the basket creep,
And break your own neck down.

		GERTRUDA
Be thou assur’d, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou hast said to me.

		HAMLET
I must to England, you know that?

		GERTRUDA
Alack.
I had forgot.  ‘Tis so concluded on.

		HAMLET
	(to Gertruda)
There’s letters seal’d, and my two schoolfellows,
	(aside)
What I will trust as I will adders fang’d,
	(to Gertruda)
They bear the mandate, they must sweep my way
And marshal me to knavery.
	(aside)
Let it work;
For ‘tis sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petard, and’t shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon.  O, ‘tis most sweet
When in one line two crafts directly meet.
	(to emblem)
This man shall set me packing.
	(aside)
I’ll lug the guts into the neighbour room.
	(to Gertruda)
Mother, good night indeed.
	(aside)
This counsellor
Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,
Who was in life a foolish prating knave.
	(to Polonius)
Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you.
	(to Gertruda)
Good night, mother.

Exit lugging in Polonius.  Gertruda weeps.

				NARRATOR (O.S.)
			Cut.  Print it.

				PRODUCTION ASSISTANT (O.S.)
			Print it.

Gertruda continues to weep.

										FADE OUT.


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