There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Hamlet 1. 5.
For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.
Act 1 Scene 4 1/2. We already know that it is a dark and stormy night at Elsinore Castle. Well, it’s about to get darker and stormier.
There’s Team Hamlet—Hamlet, Horatio, Marcellus, Barnardo. Sounds like a law firm, doesn’t it? Or a vaudeville act? The Marx Brothers. The Three Stooges without the nyak-nyak-nyak. Up on the roof, chattering their teeth off from the chill. Next thing you know, Horatio’s teeth stop chattering. Then to Hamlet, “My lord, look, it comes.”
Now that “it” can only be one thing. Not Polonius. Not Claudius. Not Gertrude. Not Laertes. Definitely not Ophelia. Yep, you guessed it.
Enter the ghost. Just three words. If you’re looking for a good plot device, this is a good one. After all, Dickens did it. So why not Shakespeare? They are about to change Hamlet’s life. Hamlet turns. Not slowly and not fastly, but just right the way Goldilocks liked her porridge. The next thing out of the Hamster’s mouth,” “Whoa, dude.” The “dude” comes from his surfing days.
He buckles up his courage. That is Courage with a capital C. “Okay, Big Guy. WTF are you?” Hamlet takes a gander at Horatio. His eyes big as saucers. Not just any saucers either. Flying saucers. “Is that who I think it is?”
Horatio nods an uh-huh.
Hamlet to the ghost, “Hey, are you from heaven? You don’t look like you’re from heaven. You’d be all shiny and new if you were. Maybe you’re a demon.”
He leans over and whispers to Horatio, “Run and get an exorcist. We have a big one here.” Then thinking better of it. “Oh, never mind. ”
He squints and speaks to the ghost, “Well, if it don’t beat all. It looks like the Old Man. Hi, Dad. I got to tell you that you forget to pay my college tuition for this semester. The school almost booted me out. Thank God for financial aid. But you know the interest rate I am having to pay on that loan. It’s enough to bankrupt the kingdom out of castle and moat when I become king.”
Hamlet then realizes he may not be talking to dear old Pop. “Look, dead corpse—you are dead, aren’t you? How did you get out? And don’t give me that yo-ho-ho-and-a-bottle-of-rum-on-a-dead-man’s-chest either. I read Treasure Island and I know how it turns out. It ain’t you.”