Staged Fight

February 23, 2019

Enter Hamlet, stage right. To be or not,
He has never acted in a play before.
And Horatio thinks he looks tired and wan,
Too worn down to murder Gonzago, much less
Kill Claudius. He looked more a model for

A stage hand than he did an avenging angel.
Still, a play is a play, and to sell them his version—
To grapple with them— along with
A wandering act of provincial players—
To Horatio seemed an odd way to convict a king

Or to believe a ghost. ‘Your honor,
He over reacted. He must be guilty.’
—of something, for the king could quickly claim
Innocence because of nonsense, a crime
Brought in churlish spite to play in a play.

Yes, the players could speak trippingly on the tongue.
And, sure, they could incorporate certain changes
In the text…. Or hold a mirror up to nature… but…
What of it? Listen: The angels are weeping, and King
Claudius was entertaining, and he is still the host.

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