Hamlet for the Shakespeare-Impaired

Act 3, Scene 2

 Elsinore. hall in the Castle. Enter Hamlet and three of the Players.

 Hamlet: Don't chew the scenery, guys.  I hate people who over-act.
First Player: We'll try not to.
Hamlet: Don't be afraid to act, though.  Just don't overdo it.  One can learn a lot about humanity by watching a play.  Although I've seen some really bad actors in my time.
First Player: I hope we won't disappoint you, sir.
Hamlet: Don't let the clowns steal the show, either.
Exit Players, enter Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern.
Hamlet: Hi, Polonius.  Is the king coming to the play?
Polonius: And the Queen too.  They'll be here soon.
Hamlet: Tell the performers to hurry u. [Exit Polonius.] You go help, too, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Both. Okay, sir. [Exit Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
Hamlet: Hello, Horatio!
Enter Horatio.
Horatio: Hi, Hamlet, my friend!
Hamlet: Horatio, you're the best man I know.
Horatio: Oh, stop it.  You'll make me blush!
Hamlet: It's true.  I'm not flattering you because I hope to get something from you.  Your greatest wealth is your good luck
Horatio:  Uh, gee, thanks...I think...
Hamlet:  You make your own luck and don't let emotion get the better of you.  So that's why I want your help.  Watch my uncle at the play tonight.  There's a scene that's just like how my father was killed.  If my uncle doesn't react, then the ghost was a fake and I don't need to take revenge.  We'll both observe the king during the play, and then compare notes to see how he reacted.
Horatio: I thought you said you weren't going to ask me for anything!  But...okay.  I'll keep a close eye on him, I promise.
Trumpets and music.  Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and underpaid extras..
Hamlet: They are coming to the play.  I'm going to act wacky now.  Go find a good seat.
King: How are you, Hamlet?
Hamlet: I'm fine.  I like to eat air like chameleon, not like a castrated rooster.
King: What the heck is that supposed to mean?  I don't understand.
Hamlet: Me neither!  [To Polonius] Hey, you were an actor back when you were in the university, right?
Polonius: Yes.  And a darn good one, too.
Hamlet: What parts did you play?
Polonius: Julius Caesar.  Death scene and all.
Hamlet: Yes, what a shame.  Poor Caesar.  Are the performers ready?
Rosencrantz: Yes.  They're waiting..
Queen: Come sit by me, son.
Hamlet: No, Mom. I'd rather sit here with the beautiful Ophelia.
Polonius: [To the King.] Aha! Did you hear that?
Hamlet: Lady, can I lie in your lap?
Sits down at Ophelia's feet.
Ophelia: No!
Hamlet: Just my head.  Please?
Ophelia: No way.
Hamlet: Do you think I'm a pervert or something?
Ophelia: Well, not exactly....
Hamlet: I'd sure like to lie between your legs.
Ophelia: Ick.
Hamlet: Never mind.
Ophelia: You think you're funny, don't you?
Hamlet: Who, me?
Ophelia: Yes, you.
Hamlet: Lighten up.  A person has got to have a little fun once in a while.  Look how cheerful my mother looks, and my father died just two hours ago.
Ophelia: It's been four months, dummy.
Hamlet: That long?  (I never should have bought this cheap watch from that guy on the street.) And they still haven't forgotten him?  Well, his memory might linger for a few more months.  But life will go on, I suppose.
[Music, the actors come out on stage.  Enter a King and a Queen, embracing   He picks her up in his arms and kisses her neck. They lie down on amongst the flowers.  He falls asleep and she leaves.  Later a man comes in, takes off the King's crown, kisses it, pours poison in the sleeping King's ears, then leaves.  The Queen returns, finds the King dead, and wails and cries. The poisoner and a few extras come onstage again and attempt to comfort her.  The corpse is carried away.  The poisoner flirts with the Queen and brings her gifts.  She resists at first but soon accepts his love.  Actors exit stage left.
Ophelia: What was all that about?
Hamlet: There was a lot of sneaky mischief.
Ophelia: That was the main plot of the play, yes.
[Enter an actor to act as narrator. ]
Hamlet: This guy will figure it all out and explain it to us.  Actors never can keep secrets.
Ophelia: Will he tell us what the play meant?
Hamlet: Yes.  If you have any questions about this or any other play, ask him.  I'm sure he'd love to see you expose your...ignorance.
Ophelia: Bare my...that was another double entendre, you sicko!  Leave me alone so I can watch the play!.
Narrator actor: Hope you enjoy the play, folks!  [He exits].
Hamlet: Pretty short prologue.
Ophelia: Quite.
Hamlet: But it lasted longer than a woman's love..
[Enter two performers, as King and Queen.]
King actor: We've been married a really long time.
Queen actor:  And I hope we'll be married twice as long.  But I'm worried because you've been sickly.  I hope my love will heal you.
King actor: No, I'll probably die soon, and you'll be left here alone.  You should remarry, and--
Queen actor: No way!  You're the only guy I want to be married to!  I couldn't be unfaithful, even after you're dead.
Hamlet: Aside. Harumph!
Queen actor: It would be tacky to marry again.  I'd never do it!
King actor: You're sincere now, but you'll change your tune after I'm gone.  Love is fleeting.
Queen actor: No, no!  I swear nothing would make me remarry!  Never, ever, ever!
Hamlet: Pretty solemn promise.  One that never be broken!
King actor: Fine, fine.  Now leave me so I can take a nap.
[He sleeps. ]
Queen actor:: Sleep tight, dear.  I'll be here when you awake.  Nothing will ever part us.
[Exit actors.]
Hamlet: Mom, how did you like the play?
Queen: She complains too much, I think.
Hamlet: Perhaps, but she'll keep her promise.
King: Have you seen this play already?
Hamlet: No, but I can guess.
King: What's the name of this play?
Hamlet: 'The Mousetrap.'' It's about a murder in Vienna.  The king is named Gonzago, and his wife is Baptista.  It's not a very sophisticated play, but so what?  We didn't kill anyone, so we can distance ourselves.  Right?  We're not murders.  No, sir!  No murderers here.  Not a one.
[Enter Lucianus.]
Hamlet:  That's Lucianus, the King's nephew.
Ophelia:  You want to get up on stage and start narrating, smarty pants?
Hamlet: I'd rather see the puppets having sex.
Ophelia: Shut up, you perverted dork!
Hamlet:  Want to have my baby?
Ophelia: Give me a break!.
Hamlet: The offer still stands.  Now, get on with the play.
Lucianus: An evil person with poison is ready to do a foul deed.  He has mixed up a bunch of nasty herbs to make a poison that will kill its victim almost instantly.
Hamlet: He'll poison the King, Gonzago, in the gardens.  It's written in Italian, a beautiful language.  Soon you'll see the part where the murderer woos Gonzago's widow into marrying him.
Ophelia: The King just stood up.
Hamlet: Scared by the blanks in the actor's guns?
Queen: Are you okay, honey?
Polonius: Stop the play!
King: Turn on the lights and leave me alone!
Polonius: Lights!
[Exit all but Hamlet and Horatio.]
Hamlet: "There once was a deer in the wood, who was shot and losing blood.  But the other deer ignored him and played.  Some live and some die and that is the way."  Do you think I could join an acting troupe with that little recitation?
Horatio: You wish.
Hamlet: "There once was a man from Nantucket, who--"
Horatio: That's quite enough.
Hamlet: Okay, fine.  Spoil my fun.  First Ophelia wouldn't sleep with me, now this.  But I certainly believe that ghost now.  Did you see my uncle's reaction to the play?
Horatio: I sure did.
Hamlet: And just at the poisoning part, too.
Horatio: I noticed that, too.
[Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
Hamlet: Aha! Come on over here and play some music!  [singing off-key]
           "Roses are red,
            Violets are blue,
            The King hated the play
            Big whoopty doo."

Guildenstern: Uh, sir, can we have a word you you?.
Hamlet: Sure.  Talk all you like.
Guildenstern: About the King...
Hamlet: What about him?
Guildenstern: He's gone off in a terrible mood.
Hamlet: Drunk?
Guildenstern: No, just very angry.
Hamlet: Oh, it's all in his head then.  We should fetch a doctor to drill a hole to let the evil spirits out.
Guildenstern: Can we please stay on the subject?
Hamlet: Fine, fine.
Guildenstern: The Queen, your mother, is quite upset, and sent me to get you.
Hamlet: You're welcome.
Guildenstern: Huh?  No, no.  She wants to see you.  If you don't start talking sense, I'll just leave!
Hamlet: I can't.
Guildenstern: Can't what?
Hamlet: Talk sense.  My mind's gone.  But I'll go talk to Mom now.
Rosencrantz: Your mother is amazed by how oddly you've been acting..
Hamlet: Amazed, you say?  How nice that she can be so proud of me.
Rosencrantz: She wants to speak with you in her bedroom before you turn in for the night.
Hamlet: Sure.  Must do as Mommy wants.  Anything else?
Rosencrantz: You used to be such a nice guy.
Hamlet: I still am, Squiggy!
Rosencrantz: Why are you acting crazy?  It's not healthy.  And my name is not Squiggy.
Hamlet: I feel like my life is going nowhere.
Rosencrantz: But you're heir to the throne of Denmark!
Hamlet: If I live long enough to make use of that title.
[Enter the Players with flutes.]
Hamlet:  Ooh, flutes! Let me see! Can I have a word with you alone, Guildenstern?  Why do you keep trying to find out why I act the way I do?
Guildenstern: Sorry if I seem to be prying, but I'm concerned about you.
Hamlet: I don't know what you're talking about.  Here, play a tune on this flute.
Guildenstern: I don't know how.
Hamlet: Please?
Guildenstern: I'm sorry, but I can't!
Hamlet: Pretty please with a cherry on top?
Guildenstern: I've never even picked up a flute!
Hamlet: It's as easy as lying, and you seem to be good at that.  Just put your fingers over the holes, blow into it, and it will make music.  See?
Guildenstern: But I don't know how to play any tunes!
Hamlet: Don't lie to me!  You mean to tell me you try to get me to talk but don't do the same for this simple instrument?  Well, you're more likely to play a melody on this than you are to get me to explain things to you!
[Enter Polonius.]
Hamlet: Howdy, old dude!
Polonius: Sir, the Queen wishes to speak with you immediately.
Hamlet: Hey!  Check out that cloud!  It looks like a camel.
Polonius: Why, yes, it does.
Hamlet: I thinks it looks like a weasel.
Polonius: It has a weasel-shaped back.
Hamlet: Or like a whale.
Polonius: Very like a whale.
Hamlet: Well, then I'll be running along to see Mom now.
Polonius: I'll tell her you're coming.
[Exit Polonius.]
Hamlet: Give me a minute alone, ok?
[Exit all but Hamlet.]
Hamlet:  Wow, look at the time.  It's midnight already.  Time for witches and goblins to come out.  It seems easier to do evil things at night than during the day.  But now it's time to go see Mom.  I promised Dad that I wouldn't hurt her, but I never promised to talk nicely to her.  So I'll give her a piece of my mind.