Hamlet: A Meeting in the Hall

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Act 4 Scene 2.

“Yo, Hamlet,” someone calls out from behind Hamlet as the Prince he strides his way down the hall.

Hamlet turns. “If it ain’t Guildenstern.”

“Rosencrantz, me Lord.”

“I swear I am going to have to get each of you a t-shirt so I can tell the two of you apart.”

“Yes, me Lord. What did you do with the body?”

Hamlet smiles. “Are you the police? If you are going to arrest me, I get my one phone call. I have a ghost in mind to call. You ever talk to a ghost?”

“I have not talked to a ghost. Don’t think I’d like it. And I am not the police.”

“Phew.” Hamlet swipes his forehead like he’s starting to sweat. “Had me worried there, Rosenstern.”

“Rosencrantz, me Lord.”

“Yes. Well, you had me worried. Not many people do that these days.”

“Yes, me Lord.”

“You do that “yes me Lord” business pretty good. You’re going to make a first rate kowtower.You do have your kowtowing license, don’t you?”

“Thank you, me Lord. As I was about to say, His Magnanimousness, would like to see you.”

“Now we’re getting down to business. The king, you say?”

“Yes, me Lord. The king. And he will want the body.”

“Aw, c’mon, Rosenstern, what body would that be?”

“The body of the dead counselor, Polonius.”

Hamlet’s face questions. “Polonius?”

“Yes, me Lord.”

“Polonius is dead?”

“Yes, me Lord.”

“That’s curious. I just saw him hiding behind some drapes. Are you sure he is dead?”

“He is dead, me Lord. Where is his body?”

“Oh, that body. It’s in good care.”

“Where is the body, me Lord?”

“The aliens took it off to Roswell and Area 51.”

“There are no aliens, me Lord.”

“Just kidding.” Hamlet is bemused. “I followed Juliet’s advice, Rosenstern.”

“Advice, me Lord?”

“You know what Juliet advises, ‘Take him and cut him out in little stars.’ That advice.”

Rosencrantz can’t believe his ears. “You didn’t.”

“Aw, but I did,” Hamlet smiles.

Rosencrantz isn’t sure whether to believe Hamlet or not. “Then where are the pieces?”

“Now that is the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question. I’d say they are somewhere between here and Bavaria. I FedEx-ed them off to the Witch Doctor, Herr Doktor Frankenstein. He’s been in desperate need of body parts. Better to send them to him than Hannibal Lector, don’t you think?”

“The king will want an explanation, me Lord.”

“Well, he shall get one, now won’t he? Tell the king I am on my way. I just have one stop. I have to go number one.”

“Yes, me Lord.”

.

Hamlet: A Real Claudius Moment

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” —Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Act 4 Scene 1. Claudius is in the throne room, kinglying all over the place. He’s got something to prove. Hamlet with his play has gotten to him. Now he’s got to get back his edge. The best way to do that is to throw his crown around.

“Servant, do this,” he says to one servant.

“You there,” he says to another. “Go get me something-or-rather.”

“Where is that Polonius?” he says to himself. “He’s never around when I need him.”

‘Course we know that Polonius can’t be around. He’s a corpse, boxed up and FedEx-ed to Doktor Frankenstein.

Gertie, the Queen, rushes in. Well, actually she doesn’t rush in. She’s a queen. She swishes in.

“My lord, what is that stink?” she says to Claudius.

“It’s the new cologne I am trying. It’s called It’s-Good-To-Be-The-King.”

Gertrude says, “It should be called P U.”

“My dear,” Claudius always called Gertie “my dear”. He liked the sound of it. “I have you know that it’s imported from Paris.”

“I see. So you imported Black Death from the sewers of Paris.” She takes out a big bottle of eau de coulogne and whiffed Claudius with it. “That’s better,” she says. Then she whispers, “Can you empty the room? I have news.”

“But,” Claudius is hesitant, “I am being king here. How can I be king if no one is around.”

Gertie smiles and blows in his ear. “You’re always king to me. If you know what I mean.”

Claudius definitely knows what she means.

“Everybody out,” Claudius commands.

The chamber empties.

“Rubber duckie time?” Claudius is getting excited.

“Not now. Later. After Hamlet leaves town.”

Claudius frowns, disappointed.

Gertie pats him on the cheek. “Sorry, sweetie.” Then she delivers the bad news. “Polonius isn’t Polonius any more.”

Claudius chokes. “Wh-wh-wh-at?”

“He got the P knocked out of his Olonius.”

“I hate it when that happens.” Claudius recovering.

“It’s curtains for him. Hamlet made him dead.”

“He didn’t.”

“He did. And he thought it was you.”

“Well, that’s not good.” Claudius frowns his best frown. It’s time to put a hit on this kid’s head and get him out of the way. He’s become nothing but a troublemaker big time. “I guess it’s England for him. At least, temporarily. Till everything cools down here.”

“He’s going to love England. Big Ben. Winchester Abbey. The Changing of the Guard. Buckingham Palace. Maybe the queen will give him the tour. He’ll love it. I’m sure.”

“So where’s the body?”

“Oh, he FedEx-ed it over to Doktor Frankenstein.”

Claudius thought, Smart lad. Always get rid of the evidence.