Taking a Spin on Shakespeare
Our Spin on Shakespeare:
|Much Ado About Nothing Summary||
Scene IX : (Hamlet begins with his soliloquy against man. He then is joined by his friend Horatio, and the two discuss philosophy and love. Hamlet admits his love for Ophelia. He also admits his cowardice in expressing himself to her. Horatio urges Hamlet to draw on his prowess in writing to let Ophelia know how he feels. They also discuss their strategy for bringing the king to justice.)
Ham. To be or not to be, that is the question; 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 thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to; tis a consummation devoutedly to be wished. To die, to sleep; to sleep; perchance to dream. Oh, Father. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god. The paragon of animals. And yet to me what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights me not. I’ll have it not! Father, I’ll not forsake thee!
Hor. Forgive me, my lord, for interrupting. I heard you were here. What occupies you?
Ham. Two matters own my every thought. First, my father, Horatio, I must not forget him. Justice he deserves, and I must be his instrument. Second, my heart bends towards Ophelia.
Hor. Have you a plan to cleanse your father?
Ham. I have. It requires making a compact with Polonius.
Hor. Can you make your plan known to me.
Ham. The players are due at Elsinorē. I’ll have them play, before mine uncle, the murder of my father as reported by the ghost. We’ll note the king’s looks, which will serve as the glass to his soul. The play’s the thing wherein we’ll spy the conscience of the king.
Hor. The king’s guilt will be made known to all, and justice will be served. But, friend, what of Ophelia? Have you expressed yourself to her?
Ham. Never have I known such paralysis! Of late I cannot utter even a syllable of my feelings for her.
Hor. Your father’s murder hath frozen your emotions. That matter reckoned may thaw your heart and free your tongue.
Ham. Do you think it, Horatio?
Hor. I do, my prince.
Ham. I thank you, Horatio, for your gentle nature. But what of your state? You seem to be basking in the warm air of romance. Have I heard it right that Beatrice hath won you?
Hor. I confess, quite against my will. Cupid’s amorous arrow hath pierced my heart. If Beatrice’s love be true, I’ll requite her.
Ham. Follow your heart, Horatio, it will lead you to happiness. I must now to Polonius to impart my plan.
Hor. I am at your service.
(Exit Hamlet and Horatio)
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