Hamlet for the Shakespeare-Impaired

Act 1, Scene 3


 Elsinore. A room in Polonius' house.
Enter Laertes and Ophelia (Polonius' children).

Laertes: My luggage is off, and now I'll be going.  Ophelia, dear sister, write to me every day.
Ophelia: Did you think I wouldn't?
Laertes: And as for Hamlet and all his flirting, ignore him.  He's flighty and not serious and he'll drop you like an old shoe before you know it.
Ophelia: I thought he was really serious about our relationship.
Laertes: Forget him.  His duties are to the crown.  His life is dedicated to Denmark.  If you fall in love with him and sleep with him, he'll end up breaking your heard.  You're too young for a serious romance.
Ophelia: I'll do what you say.  But don't be a hypocrite.  Follow your own advice and don't sleep around.
Laertes: Of course not!
Enter Polonius.
Laertes:  Well, Dad's here.  I guess I'll be running along now.
Polonius: Still here, son?    Go, go!  There's a good wind to move your ship, and it's waiting for you.  First, though, some advice.  Think before you speak.  Look before you leap.  Be friendly but not vulgar.  Be nice to your friends but don't brag.  Don't fight.  Listen to your elders.  Don't be judgemental.  Don't dress in tacky clothes because people often judge you by your wardrobe, especially in France.  And above all, be true to yourself.  Now, farewell.  Go with my blessing.
Laertes: Okay.  I'll go now.
Polonius: Yes, go.  Your servants are waiting.
Laertes: Bye, Ophelia.  Remember what I said to you.
Ophelia: It's locked in my memory.
Laertes: 'Bye!
Exit Laertes.
Polonius: What did he say to you, Ophelia?
Ophelia: Something about Lord Hamlet.
Polonius: I've noticed you two have been hanging out together lately, and you seem to have been enjoying it.  So what's up?
Ophelia: He's been making romantic advances toward me.
Polonius: Romance?  Hah!  You're so young and naive.  Do you believe his story?
Ophelia: I'm not sure what to think.
Polonius: I'll tell you.  He's not sincere.  And you're making me look bad by spending time with such a man.
Ophelia:  But, Dad, he's been making honorable advances at me.
Polonius: Yeah, right.  Go on.
Ophelia: He's sworn on all things holy that he loves me.
Polonius: Young, hormone-crazed men will say anything to get themselves a woman.  They'll promise you anything if they think you'll sleep with them.  I was that age once, too.  I know.  Don't believe a word Hamlet says.  Stay away from him!
Ophelia: Aw, you're no fun.  But...okay.  You're my father, so I'll obey.