HAMLET

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  • I have sent someone to go and seek Hamlet and to find the body. How dangerous it is that this man is permitted his freedom! Yet we must not enforce severe measures against him; we need to tread carefully; he’s loved by the ignorant and unwitting masses. They recognize only a person’s public image and are not in a position to exercise any real judgement; they’re not close enough to really understand the individual, and under such circumstances it’s the person’s punishment which people focus on and criticise, never the offence itself. To avoid stirring up disapproval or provoking awkward questions, Hamlet’s being sent away so suddenly must be seen as a decision which we have carefully weighed and deliberated, and determined to be in everyone’s best interests. Diseases which have grown acute demand that desperate measures be taken to remedy them.
  • Bring in Lord Hamlet.
  • Where the dead body is bestowed, my lord, we cannot get from him.
  • Outside, my lord, under guard, awaiting your command.
  • But where is he?
  • Bring him before us.
  • Nothing but to illustrate to you how a king may go on a royal tour through the guts of a beggar.
  • Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of political worms are eating away at him. Even an emperor is, ultimately, only food for worms. We fatten other creatures to fatten ourselves, and we fatten ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar are but different courses: two dishes, but to one meal. That’s the end.
  • A man may fish with the worm that has eaten of a king, and eat of the fish that has fed of that worm.
  • At supper.
  • At supper? Where?
  • Now, Hamlet, where’s Polonius?
  • Alas, alas.
  • What do you mean by this?
  • Where is Polonius?
  • In Heaven. Send someone there to see. If your messenger finds he is not there, seek him in the other place (Hell) yourself (Hamlet is telling the King, with cautious phrasing, to go to Hell). But if indeed you find him not within this month, you shall smell him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.
  • I see an angel that knows. But come, to England. Farewell, dear mother.
  • To England?
  • Good.
  • He will stay until you come.
  • No, just my mother. Father and mother are man and wife, man and wife are one flesh; so there is only my mother. Come, to England.
  • Go and seek him there (to some Attendants).
  • Hamlet, for your own safety, for which we are concerned, as we deeply regret what you have done, we must send you away with immediacy. So prepare yourself. The ship is ready, the wind blowing favourably. Your two companions are waiting and everything is set for your journey to England.
  • Yes, Hamlet.
  • So it is, if you knew my reason for sending you there.
  • What about thy loving father, Hamlet?
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