Metatheatre/metadrama in shakespearean plays I. ’role-playing-within a role’



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METATHEATRE/METADRAMA IN SHAKESPEAREAN PLAYS
I. ’role-playing-within a role’

  1. comic scizophrenia: The Comedy of Errors

  2. tragic scizophrenia: Richard III

  3. gender-scizophrenia: As You Like It - acting, Twelfth Night – ’monster’


II. ’play extempore’ Henry IV. Part 1
III. ’play-within-the-play’ with onstage audience and commentators (also MND)

  1. Hamlet, F

  2. King Lear


IV. comments on contemporary theatre/theatre in general – Henry V, Hamlet, Q vs F (also MND)
V. ’theatrum mundi’ concept – The Tempest, As You Like It

…………………………………………………………………………………………………


I. ’role-playing-within a role’

comic scizophrenia: The Comedy of Errors II. 1.
Enter DROMIO of Ephesus

ADRIANA

Say, is your tardy master now at hand?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Nay, he's at two hands with me, and that my two ears
can witness.

ADRIANA

Say, didst thou speak with him? know'st thou his mind?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear:
Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.

LUCIANA

Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not feel his meaning?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel his
blows; and withal so doubtfully that I could scarce
understand them.

ADRIANA

But say, I prithee, is he coming home? It seems he
hath great care to please his wife.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.

ADRIANA

Horn-mad, thou villain!

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I mean not cuckold-mad;
But, sure, he is stark mad.
When I desired him to come home to dinner,
He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold:
''Tis dinner-time,' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he;
'Your meat doth burn,' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he:
'Will you come home?' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he.
'Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?'
'The pig,' quoth I, 'is burn'd;' 'My gold!' quoth he:
'My mistress, sir' quoth I; 'Hang up thy mistress!
I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress!'

LUCIANA

Quoth who?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Quoth my master:
'I know,' quoth he, 'no house, no wife, no mistress.'
So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders;
For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
tragic scizophrenia: Richard III V.3.
Sleeps

Enter the Ghost of Prince Edward, son to King Henry VI

Ghost


of Prince Edward

[To KING RICHARD III]


Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
Think, how thou stab'dst me in my prime of youth
At Tewksbury: despair, therefore, and die!

To RICHMOND

Be cheerful, Richmond; for the wronged souls


Of butcher'd princes fight in thy behalf
King Henry's issue, Richmond, comforts thee.

Enter the Ghost of King Henry VI

Ghost


of King Henry VI

[To KING RICHARD III]


When I was mortal, my anointed body
By thee was punched full of deadly holes
Think on the Tower and me: despair, and die!
Harry the Sixth bids thee despair, and die!

To RICHMOND

Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror!


Harry, that prophesied thou shouldst be king,
Doth comfort thee in thy sleep: live, and flourish!

Enter the Ghost of CLARENCE

Ghost of CLARENCE

[To KING RICHARD III]
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
I, that was wash'd to death with fulsome wine,
Poor Clarence, by thy guile betrayed to death!
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!--

To RICHMOND

Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster


The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee
Good angels guard thy battle! live, and flourish!

Enter the Ghosts of RIVERS, GRAY, and VAUGHAN

Ghost of RIVERS

[To KING RICHARD III]
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow,
Rivers. that died at Pomfret! despair, and die!

Ghost of GREY

[To KING RICHARD III]
Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair!

Ghost of VAUGHAN

[To KING RICHARD III]
Think upon Vaughan, and, with guilty fear,
Let fall thy lance: despair, and die!

All

[To RICHMOND]
Awake, and think our wrongs in Richard's bosom
Will conquer him! awake, and win the day!

Enter the Ghost of HASTINGS

Ghost of HASTINGS

[To KING RICHARD III]
Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake,
And in a bloody battle end thy days!
Think on Lord Hastings: despair, and die!

To RICHMOND

Quiet untroubled soul, awake, awake!


Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake!

Enter the Ghosts of the two young Princes

Ghosts


of young Princes

[To KING RICHARD III]


Dream on thy cousins smother'd in the Tower:
Let us be led within thy bosom, Richard,
And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair and die!

To RICHMOND

Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in joy;


Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy!
Live, and beget a happy race of kings!
Edward's unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.

Enter the Ghost of LADY ANNE

Ghost of LADY ANNE

[To KING RICHARD III]
Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife,
That never slept a quiet hour with thee,
Now fills thy sleep with perturbations
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!

To RICHMOND

Thou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep


Dream of success and happy victory!
Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.

Enter the Ghost of BUCKINGHAM

Ghost


of BUCKINGHAM

[To KING RICHARD III]


The last was I that helped thee to the crown;
The last was I that felt thy tyranny:
O, in the battle think on Buckingham,
And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
Dream on, dream on, of bloody deeds and death:
Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath!

To RICHMOND

I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid:


But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay'd:
God and good angel fight on Richmond's side;
And Richard falls in height of all his pride.

The Ghosts vanish

KING RICHARD III starts out of his dream

KING RICHARD III

Give me another horse: bind up my wounds.
Have mercy, Jesu!--Soft! I did but dream.
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? myself? there's none else by:
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am:
Then fly. What, from myself? Great reason why:
Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?
Alack. I love myself. Wherefore? for any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no! alas, I rather hate myself
For hateful deeds committed by myself!
I am a villain: yet I lie. I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well: fool, do not flatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the high'st degree
Murder, stem murder, in the direst degree;
All several sins, all used in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all, Guilty! guilty!
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
And if I die, no soul shall pity me:
Nay, wherefore should they, since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself?
Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.

Enter RATCLIFF

RATCLIFF

My lord!

KING RICHARD III

'Zounds! who is there?

RATCLIFF

Ratcliff, my lord; 'tis I. The early village-cock
Hath twice done salutation to the morn;
Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.

KING RICHARD III

O Ratcliff, I have dream'd a fearful dream!
What thinkest thou, will our friends prove all true?

RATCLIFF

No doubt, my lord.

KING RICHARD III

O Ratcliff, I fear, I fear,--

RATCLIFF

Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.

KING RICHARD III

By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers
Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.
It is not yet near day. Come, go with me;
Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper,
To see if any mean to shrink from me.

Exeunt
gender-scizophrenia: As You Like It, Epilogue
ROSALIND

It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue;


but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord
the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs
no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no
epilogue; yet to good wine they do use good bushes,
and good plays prove the better by the help of good
epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am
neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with
you in the behalf of a good play! I am not
furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not
become me: my way is to conjure you; and I'll begin
with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love
you bear to men, to like as much of this play as
please you: and I charge you, O men, for the love
you bear to women--as I perceive by your simpering,
none of you hates them--that between you and the
women the play may please. If I were a woman I
would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased
me, complexions that liked me and breaths that I
defied not: and, I am sure, as many as have good
beards or good faces or sweet breaths will, for my
kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell.
(Cf. Viola/Ceasrio in Twelfth Night, or What You Will

VIOLA

I left no ring with her: what means this lady?
Fortune forbid my outside have not charm'd her!
She made good view of me; indeed, so much,
That sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.
She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion
Invites me in this churlish messenger.
None of my lord's ring! why, he sent her none.
I am the man: if it be so, as 'tis,
Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness,
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper-false
In women's waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we!
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge? my master loves her dearly;
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this? As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master's love;
As I am woman,--now alas the day!--
What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!
O time! thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me to untie!
II. ’play extempore’ Henry IV. Part 1. II.4.

PRINCE HENRY

Do thou stand for my father, and examine me upon the
particulars of my life.

FALSTAFF

Shall I? content: this chair shall be my state,
this dagger my sceptre, and this cushion my crown.

PRINCE HENRY

Thy state is taken for a joined-stool, thy golden
sceptre for a leaden dagger, and thy precious rich
crown for a pitiful bald crown!

FALSTAFF

Well, an the fire of grace be not quite out of thee,
now shalt thou be moved. Give me a cup of sack to
make my eyes look red, that it may be thought I have
wept; for I must speak in passion, and I will do it
in King Cambyses' vein.

PRINCE HENRY

Well, here is my leg.

FALSTAFF

And here is my speech. Stand aside, nobility.

Hostess

O Jesu, this is excellent sport, i' faith!

FALSTAFF

Weep not, sweet queen; for trickling tears are vain.

Hostess

O, the father, how he holds his countenance!

FALSTAFF

For God's sake, lords, convey my tristful queen;
For tears do stop the flood-gates of her eyes.

Hostess

O Jesu, he doth it as like one of these harlotry
players as ever I see!

FALSTAFF

Peace, good pint-pot; peace, good tickle-brain.
Harry, I do not only marvel where thou spendest thy
time, but also how thou art accompanied: for though
the camomile, the more it is trodden on the faster
it grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted the
sooner it wears. That thou art my son, I have
partly thy mother's word, partly my own opinion,
but chiefly a villanous trick of thine eye and a
foolish-hanging of thy nether lip, that doth warrant
me. If then thou be son to me, here lies the point;
why, being son to me, art thou so pointed at? Shall
the blessed sun of heaven prove a micher and eat
blackberries? a question not to be asked. Shall
the sun of England prove a thief and take purses? a
question to be asked. There is a thing, Harry,
which thou hast often heard of and it is known to
many in our land by the name of pitch: this pitch,
as ancient writers do report, doth defile; so doth
the company thou keepest: for, Harry, now I do not
speak to thee in drink but in tears, not in
pleasure but in passion, not in words only, but in
woes also: and yet there is a virtuous man whom I
have often noted in thy company, but I know not his name.

PRINCE HENRY

What manner of man, an it like your majesty?

FALSTAFF

A goodly portly man, i' faith, and a corpulent; of a
cheerful look, a pleasing eye and a most noble
carriage; and, as I think, his age some fifty, or,
by'r lady, inclining to three score; and now I
remember me, his name is Falstaff: if that man
should be lewdly given, he deceiveth me; for, Harry,
I see virtue in his looks. If then the tree may be
known by the fruit, as the fruit by the tree, then,
peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that
Falstaff: him keep with, the rest banish. And tell
me now, thou naughty varlet, tell me, where hast
thou been this month?

PRINCE HENRY

Dost thou speak like a king? Do thou stand for me,
and I'll play my father.

FALSTAFF

Depose me? if thou dost it half so gravely, so
majestically, both in word and matter, hang me up by
the heels for a rabbit-sucker or a poulter's hare.

PRINCE HENRY

Well, here I am set.

FALSTAFF

And here I stand: judge, my masters.

PRINCE HENRY

Now, Harry, whence come you?

FALSTAFF

My noble lord, from Eastcheap.

PRINCE HENRY

The complaints I hear of thee are grievous.

FALSTAFF

'Sblood, my lord, they are false: nay, I'll tickle
ye for a young prince, i' faith.

PRINCE HENRY

Swearest thou, ungracious boy? henceforth ne'er look
on me. Thou art violently carried away from grace:
there is a devil haunts thee in the likeness of an
old fat man; a tun of man is thy companion. Why
dost thou converse with that trunk of humours, that
bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel
of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed
cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with
the pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that
grey iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in
years? Wherein is he good, but to taste sack and
drink it? wherein neat and cleanly, but to carve a
capon and eat it? wherein cunning, but in craft?
wherein crafty, but in villany? wherein villanous,
but in all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing?

FALSTAFF

I would your grace would take me with you: whom
means your grace?

PRINCE HENRY

That villanous abominable misleader of youth,
Falstaff, that old white-bearded Satan.

FALSTAFF

My lord, the man I know.

PRINCE HENRY

I know thou dost.

FALSTAFF

But to say I know more harm in him than in myself,
were to say more than I know. That he is old, the
more the pity, his white hairs do witness it; but
that he is, saving your reverence, a whoremaster,
that I utterly deny. If sack and sugar be a fault,
God help the wicked! if to be old and merry be a
sin, then many an old host that I know is damned: if
to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine
are to be loved. No, my good lord; banish Peto,
banish Bardolph, banish Poins: but for sweet Jack
Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff,
valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant,
being, as he is, old Jack Falstaff, banish not him
thy Harry's company, banish not him thy Harry's
company: banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.

PRINCE HENRY

I do, I will.


III. ’play-within-the-play’ with onstage audience and commentators

Hamlet, F
Danish march. A flourish. Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and others

KING CLAUDIUS

How fares our cousin Hamlet?



HAMLET

Excellent, i' faith; of the chameleon's dish: I eat


the air, promise-crammed: you cannot feed capons so.

KING CLAUDIUS

I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words


are not mine.

HAMLET

No, nor mine now.



To POLONIUS

My lord, you played once i' the university, you say?



LORD POLONIUS

That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.



HAMLET

What did you enact?



LORD POLONIUS

I did enact Julius Caesar: I was killed i' the


Capitol; Brutus killed me.

HAMLET

It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf


there. Be the players ready?

ROSENCRANTZ

Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience.



QUEEN GERTRUDE

Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.



HAMLET

No, good mother, here's metal more attractive.



LORD POLONIUS

[To KING CLAUDIUS] O, ho! do you mark that?

HAMLET

Lady, shall I lie in your lap?



Lying down at OPHELIA's feet

OPHELIA

No, my lord.

HAMLET

I mean, my head upon your lap?

OPHELIA

Ay, my lord.

HAMLET

Do you think I meant country matters?

OPHELIA

I think nothing, my lord.

HAMLET

That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.

OPHELIA

What is, my lord?



HAMLET

Nothing.



OPHELIA

You are merry, my lord.



HAMLET

Who, I?


OPHELIA

Ay, my lord.



HAMLET

O God, your only jig-maker. What should a man do


but be merry? for, look you, how cheerfully my
mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.

OPHELIA

Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.



HAMLET

So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for


I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens! die two
months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's
hope a great man's memory may outlive his life half
a year: but, by'r lady, he must build churches,
then; or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with
the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is 'For, O, for, O,
the hobby-horse is forgot.'

Hautboys play. The dumb-show enters

Enter a King and a Queen very lovingly; the Queen embracing him, and he her. She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck: lays him down upon a bank of flowers: she, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the King's ears, and exit. The Queen returns; finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The Poisoner, with some two or three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The Poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts: she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but in the end accepts his love

Exeunt

OPHELIA

What means this, my lord?



HAMLET

Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.



OPHELIA

Belike this show imports the argument of the play.



Enter Prologue

HAMLET

We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot


keep counsel; they'll tell all.

OPHELIA

Will he tell us what this show meant?



HAMLET

Ay, or any show that you'll show him: be not you


ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.

OPHELIA

You are naught, you are naught: I'll mark the play.



Prologue

For us, and for our tragedy,


Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.

Exit

HAMLET

Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?



OPHELIA

'Tis brief, my lord.



HAMLET

As woman's love.



Enter two Players, King and Queen

Player King

Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round


Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,
And thirty dozen moons with borrow'd sheen
About the world have times twelve thirties been,
Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands
Unite commutual in most sacred bands.

Player Queen

So many journeys may the sun and moon
Make us again count o'er ere love be done!
But, woe is me, you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer and from your former state,
That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must:
For women's fear and love holds quantity;
In neither aught, or in extremity.
Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know;
And as my love is sized, my fear is so:
Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.

Player King

'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too;
My operant powers their functions leave to do:
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
Honour'd, beloved; and haply one as kind
For husband shalt thou--

Player Queen

O, confound the rest!
Such love must needs be treason in my breast:
In second husband let me be accurst!
None wed the second but who kill'd the first.

HAMLET

[Aside] Wormwood, wormwood.

Player Queen

The instances that second marriage move
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love:
A second time I kill my husband dead,
When second husband kisses me in bed.

Player King

I do believe you think what now you speak;
But what we do determine oft we break.
Purpose is but the slave to memory,
Of violent birth, but poor validity;
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree;
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
Most necessary 'tis that we forget
To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt:
What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy:
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange
That even our loves should with our fortunes change;
For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
The great man down, you mark his favourite flies;
The poor advanced makes friends of enemies.
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend;
For who not needs shall never lack a friend,
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy.
But, orderly to end where I begun,
Our wills and fates do so contrary run
That our devices still are overthrown;
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own:
So think thou wilt no second husband wed;
But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.

Player Queen

Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light!
Sport and repose lock from me day and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope!
An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope!
Each opposite that blanks the face of joy
Meet what I would have well and it destroy!
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow, ever I be wife!

HAMLET

If she should break it now!

Player King

'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile;
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.

Sleeps

Player Queen

Sleep rock thy brain,
And never come mischance between us twain!

Exit

HAMLET

Madam, how like you this play?

QUEEN GERTRUDE

The lady protests too much, methinks.

HAMLET

O, but she'll keep her word.

KING CLAUDIUS

Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in 't?

HAMLET

No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest; no offence
i' the world.

KING CLAUDIUS

What do you call the play?

HAMLET

The Mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play
is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is
the duke's name; his wife, Baptista: you shall see
anon; 'tis a knavish piece of work: but what o'
that? your majesty and we that have free souls, it
touches us not: let the galled jade wince, our
withers are unwrung.

Enter LUCIANUS

This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.

OPHELIA

You are as good as a chorus, my lord.

HAMLET

I could interpret between you and your love, if I


could see the puppets dallying.

OPHELIA

You are keen, my lord, you are keen.

HAMLET

It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.

OPHELIA

Still better, and worse.

HAMLET

So you must take your husbands. Begin, murderer;
pox, leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come:
'the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.'

LUCIANUS

Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing;
Confederate season, else no creature seeing;
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magic and dire property,
On wholesome life usurp immediately.

Pours the poison into the sleeper's ears

HAMLET

He poisons him i' the garden for's estate. His
name's Gonzago: the story is extant, and writ in
choice Italian: you shall see anon how the murderer
gets the love of Gonzago's wife.

OPHELIA

The king rises.

HAMLET

What, frighted with false fire!

QUEEN GERTRUDE

How fares my lord?

LORD POLONIUS

Give o'er the play.

KING CLAUDIUS

Give me some light: away!

All

Lights, lights, lights!

Exeunt all but HAMLET and HORATIO

HAMLET

Why, let the stricken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play;
For some must watch, while some must sleep:
So runs the world away.
Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers-- if
the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me--with two
Provincial roses on my razed shoes, get me a
fellowship in a cry of players, sir?

HORATIO

Half a share.

HAMLET

A whole one, I.
For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
This realm dismantled was
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
A very, very--pajock.

HORATIO

You might have rhymed.

HAMLET

O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a
thousand pound. Didst perceive?

HORATIO

Very well, my lord.

HAMLET

Upon the talk of the poisoning?

HORATIO

I did very well note him.

HAMLET

Ah, ha! Come, some music! come, the recorders!
For if the king like not the comedy,
Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy.
Come, some music!

Re-enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN
King Lear III. 6.

KING LEAR

It shall be done; I will arraign them straight.

To EDGAR

Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer;



To the Fool

Thou, sapient sir, sit here. Now, you she foxes!

EDGAR

Look, where he stands and glares!


Wantest thou eyes at trial, madam?
Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me,--

Fool

Her boat hath a leak,
And she must not speak
Why she dares not come over to thee.

EDGAR

The foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice of a
nightingale. Hopdance cries in Tom's belly for two
white herring. Croak not, black angel; I have no
food for thee.

KENT

How do you, sir? Stand you not so amazed:
Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?

KING LEAR

I'll see their trial first. Bring in the evidence.

To EDGAR

Thou robed man of justice, take thy place;



To the Fool

And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity,


Bench by his side:

To KENT

you are o' the commission,


Sit you too.

EDGAR

Let us deal justly.
Sleepest or wakest thou, jolly shepherd?
Thy sheep be in the corn;
And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,
Thy sheep shall take no harm.
Pur! the cat is gray.

KING LEAR

Arraign her first; 'tis Goneril. I here take my


oath before this honourable assembly, she kicked the
poor king her father.

Fool

Come hither, mistress. Is your name Goneril?



KING LEAR

She cannot deny it.



Fool

Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.



KING LEAR

And here's another, whose warp'd looks proclaim


What store her heart is made on. Stop her there!
Arms, arms, sword, fire! Corruption in the place!
False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?

EDGAR

Bless thy five wits!



KENT

O pity! Sir, where is the patience now,


That thou so oft have boasted to retain?

EDGAR

[Aside] My tears begin to take his part so much,


They'll mar my counterfeiting.

KING LEAR

The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and


Sweet-heart, see, they bark at me.

EDGAR

Tom will throw his head at them. Avaunt, you curs!


Be thy mouth or black or white,
Tooth that poisons if it bite;
Mastiff, grey-hound, mongrel grim,
Hound or spaniel, brach or lym,
Or bobtail tike or trundle-tail,
Tom will make them weep and wail:
For, with throwing thus my head,
Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.
Do de, de, de. Sessa! Come, march to wakes and
fairs and market-towns. Poor Tom, thy horn is dry.

KING LEAR

Then let them anatomize Regan; see what breeds


about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that
makes these hard hearts?

To EDGAR

You, sir, I entertain for one of my hundred; only I


do not like the fashion of your garments: you will
say they are Persian attire: but let them be changed.

KENT

Now, good my lord, lie here and rest awhile.



KING LEAR

Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains:


so, so, so. We'll go to supper i' he morning. So, so, so.

Fool

And I'll go to bed at noon.




IV. comments on contemporary theatre/theatre in general – Henry V, Hamlet, Q vs F (cf. MND)
HENRY V. PROLOGUE

Enter Chorus

Chorus

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
HAMLET, Q1 – excerpt from an article ’The Prince and the Hobby-Horse: Shakespeare and the Ambivalence of early modern popular culture’ (forthcoming in Journal of Early Modern Studies 2.) by N. Pikli

„Although the references to contemporary theatre can be found in all versions, Q1 puts more emphasis on ‘playing the clown’. In the scene where Hamlet instructs the Players, Q1 features several sentences that are unique to this early text only. Interestingly Hamlet seems to mock the same extemporizing he is doing at the moment, his lines are full of catchphrases and jokes presumably current then, in one word, he is acting the clown while mocking him, which reaffirms the carnivalesque in his complex character (emphasis mine, quote from Q1, highlighted sentences only Q1, not in Q2 or F):


HAMLET: And – do you hear? – let not your Clown speak more than is set down. There be of them, I can tell you, that will laugh themselves to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh with them – albeit there is some necessary point in the play then to be observed. O, ’tis vile and shows a pitiful ambition in the fool that useth it. And then you have some again that keeps one suit of jests – as a man is known by one suit of apparel – and gentlemen quotes his jests down in their tables before they come to the play, as thus: ’Cannot you stay till I eat my porridge?’ and ’You owe me a quarter’s wages’ and ’My coat wants a cullison!’ and ’Your beer is sour!’ and, blabbering with his lips and thus keeping in his cinquepace of jests when, God knows, the warm Clown cannot make a jest unless by chance – as the blind man catcheth a hare – masters, tell him of it.’ (Q1 9. 23-38).”

V. ’theatrum mundi’ concept – The Tempest, As You Like It
PROSPERO

You do look, my son, in a moved sort,


As if you were dismay'd: be cheerful, sir.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
AS YOU LIKE IT
DUKE SENIOR

Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:


This wide and universal theatre
Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.

JAQUES

All the world's a stage,


And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.





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