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                                                       DISSOLVE TO:     

                 PHILADELPHIA'S TERRACE. EXT/SUNSET.

 

                 HAMLET, a 29-year old Colombian-born man is about to commit                        suicide, jumping from the roof of a Temple University building.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        To be, or not to be: that is the

                        question: wether '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

                        heart-ache and the thousand

                        natural shocks That flesh is heir

                        to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly

                        to be wish'd.

 

                 Hamlet recoils at the last moment and falls on the floor.

                 He goes on remembering images of his life.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        To die, to sleep; To

                        sleep: perchance to dream: ay,

                        there's the rub; For in that sleep

                        of death what dreams may come When

                        I have shuffled off this mortal

                        coil, Must give me pause: there's

                        the respect That makes calamity of

                        so long life; For would I bear the

                        whips and scorns of time, The

                        oppressor's wrong, the proud man's

                        contumely, The pangs of despised

                        love, the law's delay, The

                        insolence of office and the spurns

                        That patient merit of the unworthy

                        takes, When I myself might my

                        quietus make With a single blade?

                        who would fardels bear, To grunt

                        and sweat under a weary life, But

                        that the dread of something after

                        death, The undiscovered country

                        from whose bourn No traveller

                        returns, puzzles the will And

                        makes us rather bear those ills we

                        have Than fly to others that we

                        know not of? Thus this conscience

                        makes a coward of myself.

 

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

 

                                     TITLE CARD

                        Philadelphia 1997

                        Tycoon Hamlet Elsinor has died, leaving all

                        his assets to his Colombian-born adopted son,

                        Hamlet...

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              CLAUDIUS' OFFICE. INT/ DAY.

 

              A dark room. Claudius addresses Hamlet, who we don't see.

              27-year old LAERTES looks at the scene from the background.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        Though yet of Hamlet our dear

                        brother's death , the memory be

                        green; and that it us befitted to

                        bear our hearts in grief and the

                        entire members of our companies,

                        to be contracted in one brow of

                        woe;  yet so far has discretion

                        fought with nature that we with

                        wisest sorrow think on him,

                        together with remembrance of

                        ourselves.

 

 

              Claudius approaches Laertes.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

 

                        Now follows, that--you know,

                        Fortinbras Investment Company,

                         they had not failed

                        to pester us with message,

                        importing the surrender of our

                        profits--those vast countries

                        gained by all bonds of law by my

                        dear brother...

                               (to Laertes, whispering)

                        So much for him... Now our

                        business is: Mr. Laertes has sued

                        Fortinbras Company unrighteous

                        strategy, and we shall demand a

                        fair retribution for their attempt

                        to take over our investments in

                        Colombian oil companies and

                        Bolivian mines of coal.

 

              He gives a paper to the man behind the camera.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                               (continuing)

                        We await for your signature, young

                        Hamlet.

 

              The camera focusses on the paper...

 

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

           

                                     TITLE CARD

                        Hamlet signs with reluctance and leaves town

                        for several weeks.

 

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:                                                        

 

 

              PHILADELPHIA  STREET--WALT WHITMAN BRIDGE. DAY.

 

              The same paper, with some wrinkles, is squeezed by a hand and

              thrown on a street near the Delaware river.

 

               Hamlet, wearing dark clothes, looks at the piece

              of paper rolling on the ground. He expresses frustration.

 

              He has flash-backs of his recent trip to Las Vegas, and of

              smiling GERTRUDE, his adoptive mother.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        O, that this too too solid flesh

                        would melt, thaw, and resolve

                        itself into a dew! Or that the law

                        had not fixed his cannon against

                        self-slaughter! O wealth! wealth!

                        How weary, stale, flat, and

                        unprofitable seem to me all the

                        uses of this world! Fie on it! O,

                        fie!

                        This is an unweeded garden, that

                        grows to seed; things rank and

                        gross, and only  nature posses

                        them. That it should come to this!

                        But two months dead!--nay, not so

                        much, not two: so excellent a man;

                        that was to my uncle, what Gandhi

                        and King to Hitler: so human, so

                        loving to my mother. Must I

                        remember? Why? She would hang on

                        him; and yet within a month, a

                        little month...

                               (pause)

                        --why she--even she? O, God--

                        married to my uncle; that beast,

                        that lacks discourse of reason.

                        And now the salt of her most

                        hypocritical tears had left the

                        flushing in her galled eyes. My

                        mother married--O, most wicked

                        speed, to post which such

                        dexterity to incestuous sheets.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

 

              PHILADELPHIA  STREET--WALT WHITMAN BRIDGE. DAY.

 

              Hamlet sees several cars, which arrive and encircle him. Claudius

              steps down from one of them. Female rowdies ROSENCRANTZ and                     GUILDENSTERN escort him.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        And now, Laertes, what's the news

                        with you? Tell us about your suit.

                        You cannot speak of reason to the

                        trustees and loose your voice.

 

 

              POLONIUS arrives accompanied by 45-year old GERTRUDE.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                               (continuing)

                        Why did you ask us here?

 

                                  LAERTES

                        To quit this business, and return

                        to Bogota, from whence I willingly

                        came to the United States to

                        renovate my contract under your

                        company's reorganization.  Now, I

                        must confess, my duty is done, and

                        my thoughts and wishes bend again

                        towards Colombia.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        It was not me, but Polonius, who

                        called you here. What does your

                        father say?

 

                                  POLONIUS                 

                        I sealed my hard consent. I do

                        beseech you, accept to place

                        him back in Bogota.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        My will is yours, Laertes.

                               (to Hamlet)

                        But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my

                        son...

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (loud and rude)

                        A little more than kin, and less

                        than kind.

 

              Gertrude pads Hamlet's head.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                               (pause; didactic)

                        Cast thy nighted color off,  and

                        let your  eye look like a friend

                        to these employees of our company,

                        and don't seek with your vailed

                        lids  for your father's dust. Like

                        me, you must accept everyone on

                        earth must die, passing through

                        nature to nothing.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Nothingness is our fashion, Mother.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        If it is, why does it seem so

                        particular with you?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        It doesn't seem, Mother! it is! I

                        don't know "seems". It's not only

                        my inky cloak, nor mourning suits

                        of solemn black, nor windy

                        suspiring of forced breath. No,

                        nor the fruitful river in the eye,

                        nor the dejected behavior of the

                        visage, together with all forms,

                        moods, shapes of grief, that can

                        denote me truly: these indeed

                        seem, for they are actions that a

                        man might play:  But I have that

                        within which has passed is shown;

                        these but the trappings and the

                        suits of woe.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        It is so sweet and commendable in

                        your nature, Hamlet, to give these

                        customary duties to your father:

                        But, you must know, your father

                        lost a father; that father lost,

                        lost his; and the survivor bound,

                        in filial obligation, for some

                        term to do obsequious sorrow: but

                        to persevere in obstinate

                        condolence is a course of impious

                        stubbornness; it's unmanly grief;

                        it shows a will most incorrect to

                        the interests of your relatives

                        still alive, a heart unfortified,

                        an impatient mind; a simple and

                        childish understanding. Because

                        death must be, and that is as

                        common knowledge as to realize

                        that these words were recorded on

                        tape. Why should we, in our

                        peevish opposition, take it to

                        heart? Fie! This is heaven's

                        fault, dead's fault, nature's

                        fault. To reason most absurd;

                        whose common theme is dead of

                        fathers. We pray you, throw to

                        earth this unprevailing woe; and

                        think of us as of... A father;

                        for let the company take

                        note, without your consent, you

                        will be replace and our profits will

                        continue.

     

              Claudius gets into his car.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        We beseech you, bend you

                        to remain here, in the cheer and

                        comfort of Philadelphia, increasing

                        our income, your father's legacy.

 

              Claudius gets into his car.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        I know what is best for you,

                        Hamlet. Let not your mother waste

                        her time, and stay with us.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        I shall in all my best obey you, mother.

 

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

           

                                     TITLE CARD

                        Hamlet meets high-school friends

                        Bernardo and Horatio.

 

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:                                                        

 

 

              PHILADELPHIA STREET. EXT/DAY.

 

              Hamlet is tormented by thoughts about his new father, his

              mother and Polonius while he talks to Bernardo and

              Horatio in front of his family house.

 

                                   HORATIO

                         I think I saw him yesterday night.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Saw? Who?

 

                                  HORATIO

                        My lord, Mr. Hamlet, your father.

  

                                  HAMLET

                               (sad)

                        The president, my father?

 

                                  HORATIO

                        Season your admiration for a while

                        with an attent ear, till I may

                        deliver  this marvel to you.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Let me hear.

 

                                  HORATIO

                        In the dead vast and middle of the

                        night, two of my friends were

                        encountered by a figure like your

                        father, wearing at point exactly.

                        He appears before them, and with

                        solemn march goes slowly and

                        stately by them: thrice he walked

                        by their oppressed and fear-

                        surprised eyes. Almost to jelly

                        with the act of fear, my friends

                        stand dumb and speak not to him.

                        And I with them the third night

                        kept the watch; where, as they had

                        delivered, both in time, form of

                        the thing, each word made true and

                        good, the apparition comes: I knew

                        your father;  these hands are not

                        more like.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        But were was this?

 

                                  BERNARDO

                        My lord, upon the platform of the

                        graves.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Did you not speak to it?

 

                                  HORATIO

                        I did; but answer made it none.

                        Yet once methought it lifted up

                        its head and did address itself to

                        motion, like as it would speak;

                        but even then the morning cock

                        crew loud, and at the sound it

                        shrunk in haste away, and vanished

                        from our sight.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        It's very strange.

 

                                  HORATIO

                        As I do live, my honoured lord,

                        it's true; and we did think it

                        written down in our duty to let

                        you know of it.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this

                        troubles me. Are you going there

                        again tonight?

 

                                  BERNARDO

                        I warrant I will.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (sad)

                        Whether that ghost assumes my

                        noble father's person, I'll speak

                        to it, though hell itself should

                        gape, and bid me hold my peace.

                               (anxious)

                        I pray you both, if you have

                        hitherto concealed this sight, let

                        it be tenable in your silence

                        still. I will require your love.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              PHILADELPHIA'S TRAIN STATION. INT/AFTERNOON.

 

              Laertes crosses an empty corridor, handling a luggage case.

              5-month pregnant OPHELIA, awaits him.

 

                                  LAERTES

                        My necessaries are embark'd:

                        farewell: And, sister, as the

                        winds give benefit and convoy is

                        assistant, do not sleep, But let

                        me hear from you.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        Do you doubt that?

 

                                  LAERTES

                               (without answering

                                Ophelia's question)

                        For Hamlet, and the trifling of

                        his favour, hold it a fashion and

                        a toy in blood, a violet in the

                        youth of primy nature, forward,

                        not permanent, sweet, not lasting,

                        the perfume and suppliance of a

                        minute; No more.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        You offence is rank, it smells to

                        heaven.

 

                                  LAERTES

                        Our native hue of resolution is

                        sicklied over with the pale cast

                        of Hamlet's thought; and the

                        company's enterprises of great

                        pith and moment, with his regard,

                        their currents turn awry, and lose

                        the name of action.

                               (pause)

                        Perhaps he loves you now, and now

                        no soil nor cautel do besmirch the

                        virtue of his will: but you and

                        your offspring must fear him. For

                        he himself is subject to his

                        birth. He may not, as unvalued

                        persons do, carve for himself; for

                        on his choice depends the safety

                        and increment of his own state. We

                        are but employees, and if he says

                        he loves you, it fits your wisdom

                        so far to believe it. Fear it,

                        Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister,

                        your heart is frail, and the

                        canker galls the infants of the

                        spring, too oft before their

                        buttons be disclosed. Keep your

                        love in the rear of your affection.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                               (ironic)

                        I will the effect of this good

                        lesson keep, as watchman to my

                        heart. But, good my brother, do

                        not, as some ungracious

                        republicans do, show me the steep

                        and thorny way to heaven; whiles,

                        like a puffed and reckless

                        libertine, himself the primrose

                        path of dalliance treads, and

                        recks not his own red.

 

              Polonius enters.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        A double blessing is a double

                        grace. Now you must go to Bogota,

                        Laertes. But before your leaving

                        keep these few precepts in your

                        memory.

 

              Polonius gives a gift to Laertes.

 

              Laertes opens it and he finds an edition of the Complete

              Works by William Shakespeare.

 

                                  LAERTES

                        Most humbly do I make my leave,

                        my Lord.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              GARDEN. EXT/NIGHT.

 

              Seated on a bench, Ophelia and Polonius hold a conversation.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        He had of late made many tenders

                        of his affection to me.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Affection! pooh!

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        I don't speak like a green girl,

                        unsifted in such perilous

                        circumstance. I do believe his

                        tenders.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        I do not know what I should think.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        Father, we have decided to marry

                        in honorable fashion.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Ay, fashion you may call it; go

                        to, go to.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        I know, when the blood burns, how

                        prodigal the soul lends the tongue

                        vows; these blazes, father, give

                        more light than heat, indeed. I

                        haven't taken them for fire. From

                        this time, I will be scanter to

                        Hamlet in our nigthly parting. His

                        entreatments will be place at a

                        higher rate than a command to

                        parley. For Hamlet,  believe so

                        much in him, that he is so young,

                        that desire alone can unfold his

                        promises. I don't believe his

                        vows; for they are brokers. Mere

                        beggars of unholy suits. But I

                        will be better to beguile. This is

                        for all:  I would not, in plain,

                        give more favours to Hamlet, until

                        the purpose of my  memory be

                        assured by his demand.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              PHILADELPHIA'S CEMETERY. EXT/NIGHT.

 

              Hamlet, Horatio and Bernardo are seated on a grave.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        The air bites shrewdly; it is very

                        cold.

 

                                  HORATIO

                        It is a nipping and an eager air.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        What hour now?

 

                                  HORATIO

                        I think it lacks of twelve.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        No, it is struck.

 

                                  BERNARDO

                        Indeed? I heard it not: then it

                        draws near the season wherein the

                        spirit holds his wont to walk.

 

              Cannon balls are heard.

 

                                  BERNARDO

                               (continuing)

                        What does this mean?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        My uncle do wake up to-night, and

                        takes his rouse, keeps wassail,

                        and the swaggering up-spring

                        reels; and, as he drains his

                        draughts of Rhenish down, the

                        kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray

                        out the triumph of his pledge.

 

                                  HORATIO

                        Is it a custom?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Ay, marry, it is: but to my mind,

                        though I am alien here, and not to

                        the manner born, it is a custom

                        more honoured in the breach than

                        the observance.  This heavy-head

                        spinning east and west makes us

                        target and comment of other

                        nations: they clap us drunkers,

                        and with swinish phrase they

                        accuse of drugadiction; and indeed

                        it takes from our income, though

                        performed at height, the pith and

                        marrow of our taxes.

 

                                  HORATIO

                        Look, my lord, it comes!

 

              Actor 1 is seen over a grave.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Angels and ministers of grace

                        defend us! Be thou a spirit of

                        health or goblin damned, be thy

                        intents wicked or charitable, thou

                        comest in such a questionable

                        shape that I will speak to thee:

                        I'll call thee Hamlet, the man,

                        the father, the trustee, answer

                        me! Let me not burst in ignorance;

                        but tell why thy canonized bones

                        have burst their cerements; why

                        the sepulchre, wherein we saw thee

                        quietly inurn'd, had oped his

                        ponderous and marble jaws, to cast

                        thee up again. What may this mean,

                        that thou, dead corpse, again in

                        complete cotton, revisits thus the

                        glimses of the moon, making night

                        hideous; and we fools of nature so

                        horridly to shake our disposition

                        with thoughts beyond the reaches

                        of our minds?  Say, why is this?

                        Wherefore? What should we do?

 

              Actor 1 beckons Hamlet

 

                                  HORATIO

                        It beckons you to go away--to you

                        alone.

 

                                  BERNARDO

                        Look, with what courteous action

                        it waves you to a more removed

                        ground: but do not go with it.

 

                                  HORATIO

                        No, by no means.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        It will not speak; then I will

                        follow it.

 

                                  HORATIO

                        Do not, my lord

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Why? What should be the fear? I do

                        not set my life in a pin's fee;

                        and for my soul, what can it do to

                        that, being a thing immortal as

                        itself? It waves me forth again:

                        I'll follow it.

 

                                  BERNARDO

                        What if it tempt you toward the

                        flood, my lord, or to the dreadful

                        summit of the cliff that beetles

                        over his face into the sea, and

                        there assume some other horrible

                        form, which might deprive your

                        sovereignty of reason and draw you

                        into madness? think of it: the

                        very place puts toys of

                        desperation, without more motive,

                        into every brain that looks so

                        many fathoms to the sea, and hears

                        it roar beneath.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        It waves me still. Go on; I'll

                        follow thee.

 

              Hamlet disappears into the graveyard.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              CEMETERY. EXT/NIGHT.

 

              Actor 1 moves. Hamlet follows him.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Where wilt thou lead me? speak;

                        I'll go no further.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        Mark me.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        I will.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        My hour is almost come, when I to

                        sulphurous and tormenting flames

                        must render up myself.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Alas, poor ghost!

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        Pity me not, but lend thy serious

                        hearing to what I shall unfold.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Speak; I'm bound to hear.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        So art thou to revenge, when thou

                        shalt hear.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        What?

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        I am thy father's spirit, doomed

                        for a certain term to walk the

                        night, and for the day confined to

                        fast in fires, till the foul

                        crimes done in my days of

                        exploitation are burnt and purged

                        away. But that I am forbid  to

                        tell the secrets of my prison-

                        house, I could a tale unfold whose

                        lightest word would harrow up thy

                        soul, freeze thy young blood, make

                        thy two eyes, like stars, start

                        from their spheres and each

                        particular hair to stand on end,

                        like quills upon the fretful

                        porpentine: but this eternal

                        blazon must not be to ears of

                        flesh and blood. List,list, O,

                        list! If thou didst ever thy dear

                        father love--

 

                                  HAMLET

                        O God!

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        Revenge this foul and most

                        unnatural murder.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Murder?

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        Murder most foul, as in the best

                        it is; but this most foul, strange

                        and unnatural.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Haste me to know it, that I, with

                        wings as swift as meditation or

                        the thoughts of love, may sweep to

                        my revenge.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        I find thee apt; and duller

                        shoulds thou be than the fat weed

                        that roots itself in ease on lethe

                        wharf, wouldst thou not stir in

                        this.

 

                        Now, Hamlet, hear:  It's given out

                        that, sleeping in my orchard, a

                        serpent stung me; so the whole ear

                        of the company is by a forged

                        process of my death rankly abused.

                        The serpent that did sting thy

                        father's life now seats on his

                        throne.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        O my prophetic soul! My uncle!

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        Ay, that incestuous, that

                        adulterate beast, with witchcraft

                        of his wit, with traitorous

                        gifts,--O wicked wit and gifts,

                        that have the power so to seduce!--

                        won to his shameful lust the will

                        of my most seeming-virtuous queen:

                        O Hamlet, what a falling-off was

                        there! From me, whose love was of

                        that dignity that it went hand in

                        hand even with the vow I made to

                        her in marriage; and to decline

                        upon a wretch, whose masculine

                        gifts were poorer than those of

                        mine! But virtue, as it never will

                        be moved, though lewdness court it

                        in a shape of heaven, so lust,

                        though to a radiant angel link'd,

                        will sate itself in a celestial

                        bed, and prey on garbage. But,

                        soft! methinks I scent the morning

                        air; brief let me be...

 

                                                        DISSOLVE TO:

           

                                     TITLE CARD

                        In his next psychiatric appointment Hamlet

                        feigns to be mad.

 

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:                                                        

 

              PHILADELPHIA'S RESTAURANT. EXT/NIGHT.

 

              Ophelia, seated on a chair, waits alone. Hamlet arrives with

              ironic face and sits down. He has a three-day bear and wears

              dirty clothing.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Ophelia, in thy pleasures be all

                        my lacks remembered.

                               (pause; Hamlet laughs)

                        When can I lie again in your lap?

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        Your head upon my lap?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        I don't mean country matters. My

                        fair thought is to lie between

                        your legs.

 

              People look at them. Ophelia stands up offended.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        What is this? You are too merry

                        today, Hamlet.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Who, I? Your only jig-maker? What

                        should a man do, but be merry?

 

              Ophelia looks at him. His voice over continues over the image

              of Hamlet taking her face; changing from surprise to shame

              and pity.

 

                                  OPHELIA (V.O.)

                        With his doublet all unbraced; his

                        stockings foul'd, ungarter'd, and

                        down-gyved to his ancle; pale as

                        his shirt; his knees knocking each

                        other; and with a look so piteous

                        in purport,  as if he had been

                        loosed out of hell to speak of

                        horrors...

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              PHILADELPHIA'S PUBLIC PARK. EXT/DAY.

 

              Ophelia and Polonius meet in front of Philadelphia's

              sunset skyline.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Mad for thy love?

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        I do not know; but truly, I do

                        fear it.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        What said he?

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        He took me by the wrist and held

                        me hard; then goes he to the

                        length of all his arm; and, with

                        his other hand thus o'er his brow,

                        he falls to such perusal of my

                        face  as he would draw it. Long

                        stay'd he so; at last, a little

                        and thrice his head thus waving up

                        and down, he raised a sigh so

                        piteous and profound as it did

                        seem to shatter all his bulk and

                        end his being: that done, he lets

                        me go: and, with his head over his

                        shoulder turn'd, he seem'd to find

                        his way without his eyes; for on

                        the street he went without their

                        help, and, to the last, bended

                        their light on me.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        I am glad you gave him hard words

                        of late.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        I only repelled his messages and

                        denied  his access to me.  Could

                        the denial of love make so mad a

                        man?

                                  POLONIUS

                        It is as proper to our age to cast

                        beyond ourselves in our opinions

                        as it is common for the younger

                        sort to lack discretion.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        This must be known by the

                        trustees; which, being kept close,

                        might move more grief to hide than

                        hate to utter love.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              CLAUDIUS OFFICE. INT/DAY.

 

              Gertrude signs a pile of checks. Meanwhile, Rosencrantz and

              Guildenstern enter into Claudius' chamber. Polonius keeps guard

              at the entrance of the hall.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        Dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern!

                        Moreover that we much did long to

                        see you,  the need we have to use

                        you did provoke our hasty sending.

 

              Gertrude handles a check to Guilderstern.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        Something... have you heard... of

                        Hamlet's... transformation?

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        So call it, since nor the exterior

                        nor the inward man resembles what

                        it was.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        What it should be, more than his

                        father's death, that thus has put

                        him so much from the understanding

                        of himself, I cannot dream of: I

                        entreat you both, that, being of

                        so young days brought up with him,

                        and sit so neighborhood to his

                        youth and behavior, that you

                        vouchsafe your rest here in

                        Philadelphia some little time: so

                        by your companies to draw him on

                        to pleasures, and to gather, so

                        much as from occasion you may

                        glean,  whether aught, to us

                        unknown, afflicts him thus, that,

                        opened, lies within our remedy.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        Good ladies, he has much talked of

                        you; and sure I am, two women

                        there are not living to whom he

                        more adheres. If it will please

                        you  to show us so much gentry and

                        good will as to expend your time

                        with us awhile, for the supply and

                        profit of our company.

 

              Guildenstern approaches Claudius and shows the check to him.

 

                                  GUILDENSTERN

                        I hope our visitation will receive

                        such thanks as fits a tycoon's

                        remembrance.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                               (handling another

                                check to Rosencrantz)

                        Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle

                        Guildenstern.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        I beseech you instantly to visit

                        my too-much changed son.

 

              Rosencrantz and Guilderstern leave.

 

              Claudius lies his head on his hand. Gertrude approaches him

              and kisses him. Both are very sad and worry.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                               (almost crying)

                        Where love is great, the littlest

                        doubts are fear; where little

                        fears grow great, great love grows

                        there.

 

              They hold each other.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              PHILADELPHIA'S ACADEMY OF MUSIC. EXT/NIGHT.

 

              People leave the Academy of Music. Amongst them Claudius and

              Gertrude.

 

              Polonius is seen amongst the crowd. He handles a tape

              recorder. He follows them.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              PHILADELPHIA'S STREET. EXT/NIGHT.

 

              Gertrude and Claudius are reached by Polonius.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                               (breathless)

                        I do think, or else this brain of

                        mine  hunts not the trail of

                        policy so sure as it has used to

                        do, that I have found  the very

                        cause of Hamlet's lunacy.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        You are still the father of good

                        news.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        O, speak of that; that do I long

                        to hear.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        First, let me inform you of our

                        suit against Fortinbras

                        Investments. Hamlet's news shall

                        be the fruit to that great feast.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                               (to Claudius)

                        How has he found the head and

                        source of all my son's distemper?

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        I doubt it is no other but the

                        main; his father's death, and our

                        o'erhasty marriage.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        The government has suppressed

                        Fortinbras Co.'s  interests in

                        Bolivia and Colombia; which to our

                        minister of businesses appeared to

                        be a preparation against Greek

                        multinational companies. But,

                        better looked into, he truly found

                        it was against Elsinor

                        Investments. Fortinbras trustees,

                        in brief, received an order to pay

                        us 800,000,000.00 dollars in

                        fines, and to make a bow before

                        the court never more to attempt

                        undermine our interests in those

                        lucrative countries by suborning

                        their variable lawyers.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        It likes us well.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        A well ended business, indeed.  My

                        liege, and madam, to expostulate

                        what majesty should be, what duty

                        is, why day is day, night night

                        and time is time, were nothing but

                        to waste night, day and time.

                        Therefore, since brevity is the

                        soul of wit,  and tediousness the

                        limbs and outward flourishes, I

                        will be brief: your noble son is

                        mad.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        More matter, with less art.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        That he is mad, it's true: it's

                        true it's pity;  And pity it's

                        it's true: a foolish figure;  But

                        farewell it for I will use no art.

                        Mad let us grant him, then: and

                        now remains that we find out the

                        cause of this effect, or rather

                        say, the cause of this defect, for

                        this effect defective comes by

                        cause: thus it remains, and the

                        remainder thus. Perpend. I have a

                        daughter--a psychologist of this

                        enterprise, who, in her duty has

                        given me this:

 

              He raises his recorder.

 

              His finger pushes the "play" button.

 

                                  HAMLET (V.O.)

                        To the celestial and my soul's

                        idol, the most   beautified

                        Ophelia,'

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        That's an ill phrase, a vile

                        phrase; 'beautified' is  a vile

                        phrase: but you should hear. Thus:

 

                                  HAMLET (V.O.)

                        In her excellent white bosom,

                        these, &c.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        Came this from Hamlet to her?

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Good madam, stay awhile; machines

                        are faithful.

 

              He plays the tape.

 

                                  HAMLET (V.O.)

                        'Doubt thou the stars are fire;

                        Doubt that the sun do move; Do But

                        never doubt I love, O dear

                        Ophelia, I'm ill at this numbers;

                        I have no art to reckon my groans:

                        but that I love thee best, O most

                        best, believe it. Adieu. Thine

                        evermore, most dear lady, whilst

                        this machine is to him, HAMLET.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        This has my daughter shown me,

                        according to her professional

                        duty. And she has more tapes of

                        his soliciting, as they fell out

                        by psychiatric appointments, all

                        given to her ear.

 

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        But how she had received his love?

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        What do you think of me? I would

                        fain prove I'm your more faithful

                        and constant laborer.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        But what can we think, when you

                        have seen this hot love on the

                        wing-- As I perceived it, I must

                        tell you that.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        What might you, or my dear

                        Claudius here, think,  if I had

                        giving my heart a winking, mute

                        and dumb, Or look'd upon this love

                        with idle sight; what might you

                        think? No, I went straight to

                        work,  And Ophelia deemed  'Hamlet

                        is out of his star';  This must

                        not be: ' and she decided to lock

                        herself from his resort, date but

                        other men, receive no calls from

                        him. Which done, he, repulsed--a

                        short tale to make--fell into a

                        sadness, then into a fast, thence

                        to a watch, thence into a

                        weakness, and by this declension,

                        into the madness wherein now he

                        raves, and all we mourn for.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        Do you think of this?

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        It may be, very like.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Have there been such a time--I'd

                        fain know, that Ophelia has

                        positively diagnosed

                        schizophrenia, when it proved

                        otherwise?

                               (pointing to his head

                                and shoulder)

                        Take this from this, if this be

                        otherwise.

 

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        How may we try it further?

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Mark the encounter: if he loves

                        her not.

                             

                                                       CUT TO:

           

 

              PHILADELPHIA'S PARK. CHURCH AS BACKGROUND. EXT/DAY.

 

              Hamlet, seated on the floor, reads a book. On the background

              Rosencrantz and Guilderstern chat. Polonius, laughing,

              approaches Hamlet.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        How sadly you look reading.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (laughing)

                        You are a fishmonger.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Not I, my lord.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Then I would you were so honest a

                        man.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Honest!

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Ay, sir; to be honest, as this

                        world goes, is to be one man

                        picked out of ten thousand.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        That's very true, Sir!

 

                                  HAMLET

                        For if the sun breed maggots in a

                        dead dog, being a god kissing

                        carrion,--

 

              Hamlet looks to 5 dogs who play in front of him.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing; to

                                Polonius)

                        Have you a daughter?

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Yes, I have!

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Let her not walk in the sun:

                        conception is a blessing: but not

                        as your daughter may conceive.

 

              Hamlet stands up and reads his book.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                               (to Rosencrantz)

                        How say you by that? Still harping

                        on my daughter... truly in my

                        youth I suffered much extremity

                        for love; very near this.

                               (to Hamlet)

                        What do you read, boy?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Words, words, words.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        What is the matter?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Between who?

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        I mean, the matter that you read

                        upon a dead dog.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Slanders, sir; for matter says

                        here that old men have grey

                        beards; that their faces are

                        wrinkled, their eyes purging thick

                        amber and plum-tree gum and that

                        they have a plentiful lack of wit,

                        together with most weak hams.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                               (to Rosencrantz)

                        Though this be madness, yet there

                        is method in it.

                               (to Hamlet)

                        Will you walk along our river,

                        with us my lord?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Into my grave.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Indeed, that is...

                               (to Guildenstern)

                        How pregnant sometimes his replies

                        are!

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        A happiness that often madness

                        hits on, which reason and sanity

                        could not so prosperously be

                        delivered of.

 

              Hamlet steps into a car. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern follow

              him.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (loud)

                        You cannot, sir, take from me any

                        thing that I will  more willingly

                        part withal: except my life,

                        except my life, except my life.

 

              Guildenstern starts the car, and it goes into the city.

 

                                                            CUT TO:                                                        

 

              CAR ON THE STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA. EXT/DAY.

 

               Hamlet looks at Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing; loud)

                        These tedious old fools! So

                        girls, how do ye both?

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        As the indifferent children of the

                        earth.

 

                                  GUILDENSTERN

                        Happy, in that we are not over-

                        happy; o fortune's cap we are not

                        the very button.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Nor the soles of her shoe?

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        Neither.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Then you live about her waist, or

                        in the middle of her favours.

 

                                  GUILDENSTERN

                        Sure! Her privates we.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        In the secret parts of fortune? O,

                        most true; she is a whore. What

                        news?

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        None, my lord, the world grows

                        honest.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Then is doomsday near! But your

                        news is not true. What have you,

                        my ex-lovers, deserved at the

                        lands of Fortune that she sends

                        you to prison hither.

 

                                  GUILDENSTERN

                        Prison?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Pennsylvania is a prison.

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        Then is the world one.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        A goodly one; in which there are

                        many confines, wards, and

                        dungeons, Pennsylvania being one

                        of the worst.

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        We think not so.

 

                                                            CUT TO:                                                         

 

               PARK BEFORE PHILADELPHIA'S SKYLINE. EXT/SUNRISE.

 

              The car stops and Hamlet steps down. Rosencrantz &

              Guildenstern follow him.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Why, then, this is none to you,

                        for there is nothing either good

                        or bad but thinking makes it so.

                        To me it is a prison.

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        Your bitterness makes it one; this

                        is too narrow for your mind.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        O God, I could be bounded in a nut

                        shell and count myself a king of

                        infinite space, were it not that

                        I have bad dreams.

 

                                  GUILDENSTERN

                        Which dreams indeed are greed; for

                        the very substance of greed is

                        merely the shadow of a dream.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        A dream itself is but a shadow.

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        Truly, and I hold greed of so airy

                        and light a  quality that it is

                        but a shadow's shadow.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Then are our beggars bodies, and

                        our judges and outstretched

                        investors the beggars' shadows.

 

              Hamlet tastes the wind.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing; loud)

                        Shall we to the bank? for, by my

                        faith, I cannot reason.

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        We'll wait upon you.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        No such matter: I will not sort

                        you with the rest of my guards,

                        for to speak to you like an honest

                        man, I am most dreadfully cared.

                        But, in the  beaten way of

                        friendship, what make you at

                        Philadelphia?

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        To visit you.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (still loud)

                        Beggar that I am, I am even poor

                        in thanks; but I thank you: and

                        sure, dear too dear a halfpenny.

                        Were you not sent for? Is it your

                        own inclining? Is it a free

                        visitation? Come, deal justly with

                        me: come, come; nay, speak.

 

              They look at him with pity.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing)

                        Why, any thing, but to the

                        purpose. You whose modesties have

                        not craft enough to color: I know

                        the owners of the company and it

                        was the President, my uncle, who

                        sent for you.

 

              Rosencrantz and Guildensternlook at each other.

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                               (furious)

                        To what end?

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (drunk by the danger)

                        That you must teach me. But let me

                        conjure you, by the rights of our

                        fellowship, by the consonancy of

                        our youth, by the obligation of

                        our ever-preserved love, and by

                        what more dear a better proposer

                        could charge you withal, be even

                        and direct with me, whether you

                        were sent for, or no?

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                               (to Guildenstern)

                        What say you?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Nay, then, I have an eye of you.--

                        If you love me, hold not off.

 

                                  GUILDENSTERN

                        My lord, we were sent for.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        I will tell you why; so shall my

                        anticipation prevent your

                        discovery, and your secrecy to my

                        stepparents won't be stained with

                        treason. I have of late--but

                        wherefore I know not--lost all my

                        mirth, forgone all custom of

                        exercises, and indeed, it goes so

                        heavily with my disposition that

                        this goodly frame, the earth,

                        seems to me a sterile promontory,

                        this most excellent canopy, the

                        air, look you, this brave

                        o'erhanging firmament, this

                        majestical roof fretted with

                        golden fire, why, it appears no

                        other thing to me than a foul and

                        pestilent congregation of vapors.

                        What a piece of work is a man! how

                        noble in reason! how infinite in

                        faculty! in form and moving how

                        express and admirable! in action

                        how like an angel! in apprehension

                        how like a god! the beauty of the

                        world! the paragon of animals! And

                        yet, to me, what is this

                        quintessence of dust? Woman

                        delights not me...

 

              Rosencrantz laughs.

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing)

                        No, nor men neither, though by

                        your smiling you seem to say so.

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        There was no such stuff in my

                        thoughts.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        What did you laugh then, when I

                        said, "Women delights not me"?

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        To think if you delight not in

                        women, what lenten entertainment

                        the players shall receive from

                        you. They have answered your

                        demands to perform one of your

                        poems.

 

              Hamlet smiles and contemplates Rosencrantz' face:

 

                                  HAMLET

                        After your death you were better

                        have a bad epitaph than my poetic

                        ill report while you live.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              PHILADELPHIA'S STREET. EXT.DAY.

 

              Hamlet talks from a phone boot.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        He that plays the old-white--

                        straight-male character shall be

                        welcome--his beauty shall have

                        tribute of me; the adulterer shall

                        use his foil and target; the lover

                        shall not sigh gratis; the

                        humourous man shall end his part

                        in peace; the clown shall make

                        those laugh whose lungs are

                        tickled over the sere; and the

                        lady shall say her mind freely.

                               (pause)

                        I know the players.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              VALLEY FORGE. EXT/DAY.

 

              A monitor plays the last words of Hamlet conversation:

 

                                  HAMLET (VIDEO-IMAGE)

                        Their need comes by means of the

                        decline of theater...

                               (pause)

                        Their endeavour keeps them in the

                        wonted pace.

 

              The camera tracks backwards and actors are disclosed.

 

              Crew members cross the frame, measuring lighting, and setting

              up the camera for the shouting of a play.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (to the camera,

                                briefly)

                        My uncle-father and aunt-mother

                        are deceived. I am but mad north-

                        north-west: when the wind is

                        southerly I know a hawk from a

                        handsaw.

 

              Polonius approaches smiling.

 

              Hamlet addresses Rosencrantz, seated on the ground before him.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing)

                        This great baby you see here is

                        not yet out of his swaddling-

                        clouts.

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        Happily he's the second time come

                        to them; for they say an old man

                        is twice a child.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        I will prophesy he comes to tell

                        me of the players. Mark it.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        I have news to tell you.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (imitating him)

                        I have news to tell you. When

                        Grace was an actress in LA.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        All the actors have been paid.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Buzz, buzz...

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Upon my honor--

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Each actor will be gone on his

                        ass...

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        The best actors in the east coast,

                        either for action, comedy, horror,

                        erotic or melodramatic film.

                        Welles cannot be too heavy, nor

                        Chaplin too light.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        O Jephthah, father of Israel, what

                        a treasure you have.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Who was Jephthah? What treasure?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        A judge who sacrificed his

                        daughter. "One fair daughter and

                        no more, the which he loved

                        passing well".

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Still on my daughter?

 

 

              Hamlet leaves him alone and approaches the troupe.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing)

                        Welcome all. I am glad  to see thee well.

                        Welcome, good friends. O, my old

                        friend! your face is harry since

                        I saw you last: Do you come to

                        beard me in Valley Forge? Fly at

                        anything you see. We'll have a

                        speech straight.

                               (pause)

                        'With eyes like carbuncles, the

                        hellish Pyrrhus... Old grandsire

                        Priam seeks.' So, proceed you.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                               (clapping)

                        For God, Hamlet! Well spoken, with

                        good accent and good discretion!

 

              Other actors clasp as well. Hamlet goes to the camera and

              pushes "play".

 

              The player will have three actors representing what he says.

              Hecuba looks at Priam.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        'Anon he finds him striking too

                        short at Greeks;

 

              Priam fights against the wind.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                               (continuing)

                        his antique sword, Rebellious to

                        his arm, lies where it falls,

                        Repugnant to command:

 

              Actor 1 points out at Pyrrhus.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                               (continuing)

                        Unequal match'd, Pyrrhus at Priam

                        drives; in rage strikes wide; but

                        with the whiff and wind of his

                        fell sword the unnerved father

                        falls.

 

              Priam lies on the floor awaiting death.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                               (continuing)

                        Then senseless Ilium, seeming to

                        feel this blow, with flaming top

                        stoops to his base, and with a

                        hideous crash takes prisoner

                        Pyrrhus' ear: for, lo! his sword,

                        Which was declining on the milky

                        head  Of reverend Priam, seemed in

                        the air to stick. So, as a painted

                        tyrant, Pyrrhus stood, and like a

                        neutral to his will and matter,

                        Did nothing.

 

              Priam and Pyrrhus look at each other.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                               (continuing)

                        But, as we often see, against some

                        storm, a silence in the heavens,

                        the rack stand still, the bold

                        winds speechless and the orb below

                        as hush as death--anon the

                        dreadful thunder doth rend the

                        region, so, after Pyrrhus' pause,

                        aroused vengeance sets him new a-

                        work; and never did the Cyclops'

                        hammers fall On Mars's armour

                        forged for proof eterne with less

                        remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding

                        sword now falls on Priam.

                               (pause)

                        Out! out! But who, O, who had seen

                        the mobled queen, run barefoot up

                        and down, threatening the flames

                        with sightless rheum; in the alarm

                        of fear caught up;

                               (pause)

                        but if the gods themselves did see

                        her then, when she saw Pyrrhus

                        make malicious sport,

                               (sobbing)

                        In mincing with his sword her

                        husband's limbs, the instant burst

                        of clamor that she made, unless

                        things mortal move them not at

                        all, would have made milch the

                        burning eyes of heaven and passion

                        in the gods.

 

              Actor 2 cries.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Pray you, no more.

 

                                  SOUND RECORDER

                               (dramatic; to Hamlet)

                        I do hear.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Our multimedia agency should use

                        them according to their desert.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Use every man after his desert,

                        and who should 'scape whipping?

                        the less they deserve, the more

                        merit is in your bounty.

                               (to the actor)

                        Can we stage "The Murder of

                        Gonzago".

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        Yes, my Lord.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Well, next week we'll start

                        rehearsals. You could for a need,

                        study a speech of some dozen or

                        sixteen lines, which  I would set

                        down and insert in it. Could you

                        not?

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        If our pay is reasonable, of

                        course.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Mr. Polonius will persuade you

                        indeed.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

 

              PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART BACKYARD. EXT/DAY.

 

              Rosencrantz, Guildenstern shoot at flying birds.

              Polonius, Claudius and Gertrude stand near by.

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        He does confess he feels himself

                        distracted; but from what cause he

                        will by no means confess.

 

                                  HAMLET (V.O.)

                        With a crafty madness, I keep

                        aloof, before they bring me on to

                        some confession of my true state.

                        I received them well...

 

                                  ROSENCRANTZ

                        Most like a gentleman.

 

                                  HAMLET (V.O.)

                        But with much forcing of my

                        disposition. Although when they

                        told me of certain players, I

                        spoke well  of cinema, and there

                        I betrayed a kind of joy.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                               (to Rosencrantz)

                        Drive his purpose on to those

                        delights.

 

                                                          CUT TO:

 

              VALLEY FORGE. EXT/NIGHT.

 

              Hamlet watches extra footage of the actors' performance.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        What a rogue and peasant slave am

                        I! Is it not monstrous that this

                        player here, but in a fiction, in

                        a dream of passion, could force

                        his soul so to his own conceit,

                        that from her working all his

                        visage wann', tears in his eyes,

                        distraction in his aspect, a

                        broken voice, and his whole body

                        suits with forms to his conceit?

                        And all for nothing! For Hecuba!

                        What's Hecuba to him, or he to

                        Hecuba, that he should weep for

                        her? What would he do, had he the

                        motive and the cue for passion

                        that I have? He would unbound the

                        screen with sadness and cleave the

                        ear of the indolent audience with

                        horrid speech, make mad the guilty

                        and appeal the free, confound the

                        ignorant, and amaze indeed the

                        very faculties of eyes and ears.

 

                        Yet I, A dull and muddy-mettled

                        rascal, peak, like John-a-dreams,

                        unpregnant of my cause, and can

                        say nothing; no, not for a father,

                        upon whose property and most dear

                        life a damn'd defeat was made. Am

                        I a coward? Who calls me villain?

                        Plucks off my beard, and blows it

                        in my face? Tweaks me by the nose?

                        gives me the lie in the throat as

                        deep as to the lungs? who does me

                        this?  Ha! 'Swounds, I should take

                        it...

                               (pause)

                        Remorseless, treacherous,

                        lecherous, kindless villain! O,

                        vengeance! Why, what an ass am I!

                        This is most brave, that I, the

                        son of a dear father murder'd,

                        prompted to my revenge by heaven

                        and hell, must, like a whore,

                        unpack my heart with words, and

                        fall a-cursing like unpaid drag-

                        queen! My uncle's employee! Fie

                        upon't! foh! About, my brain!

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              EXTERIOR. PARK'S ROAD. DAY.

 

              Hamlet sees footage of the actors' performance.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        I have heard that guilty creatures

                        sitting at a screening, have by

                        the very cunning of the scene been

                        struck so to the soul that

                        presently they have proclaim'd

                        their malefactions; for murder,

                        though it has no tongue, will

                        speak with most miraculous organ.

                        I'll have these players play

                        something like the murder of my

                        father before mine uncle: I'll

                        observe his looks.

                        The spirit that I have seen may be

                        a devil; for any man has power to

                        assume a pleasing shape; yea, and

                        perhaps out of my weakness and

                        melancholy, my friends oppress me

                        with spirits to try my sanity:

                        I'll have grounds more relative

                        than this: the play will be the

                        time wherein I'll catch the

                        conscience of this crime.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART BACKYARD. EXT/DAY.

 

              Gertrude and Claudius walk towards Polonius. Rosencrantz and

              Guildenstern are left behind.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        I do wish Ophelia's will be the

                        happy cause of Hamlet's wildness.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        Ophelia will approach Hamlet in

                        his affliction. With a lonely

                        countenance she will tape his

                        wishes.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        So?

 

                                  POLONIUS

                               (dramatic)

                        Seeing unseen, we may of their

                        encounter frankly judged. She'll

                        color her words with loneliness,

                        that this is too much proved--that

                        with devotion's visage And pious

                        action we do sugar o'er the devil

                        himself.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              NURSING HOME. EXT/DAY.

 

              Ophelia, taking notes, listens at Hamlet, who, walking,

              talks to her.  A hidden camera is placed inside a dry tree.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        I humbly thank you; well, well,

                        well.

 

              Ophelia returns several jewels.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        I have remembrances of yours, that

                        I have longed long to re-deliver;

                        I pray you, now receive them.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        No, not I; I never gave you aught.

 

                                  OPHELIA

 

                               (looking at her

                                pregnant belly)

                        My honoured.... you know right

                        well you did. And, with them,

                        words of so sweet breath composed

                        As made the things more rich:

                        their perfume lost...

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Take these again; for to the noble

                        mind Rich gifts wax poor when

                        givers prove unkind.

                               (he laughs)

                        Are you honest?  Are you a

                        mother?

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        What do you mean?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        That if you are an honest mother,

                        your honesty should admit no

                        discourse to your beauty.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        Could beauty alone have better

                        commerce than with motherhood?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Honesty? Ay, truly; for the power

                        of beauty will sooner transform

                        honesty from what it is to a bawd

                        than the force of honesty can

                        translate beauty into his

                        likeness: this was sometime a

                        paradox, but now the time gives it

                        proof. I did love you once...

                        You should not have believed me;

                        I did love you not...

                        Get that bastard to a nunnery: why

                        wouldst thou be a breeder of

                        sinners? I am myself indifferent

                        honest; but yet I could accuse me

                        of such things that it were better

                        my mother had not borne me: I am

                        very proud, revengeful,

                        ambitious...

 

               Hamlet discovers the camera. He takes it and

               talks to it.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        With more offences at my beck than

                        I have thoughts to put them in,

                        imagination to give them shape, or

                        time to act them in. What should

                        such fellows as I do crawling

                        between earth and heaven? We are

                        arrant knaves, all; believe none

                        of us.

 

               Hamlet grasps Ophelia's arm and obliges her to face the

               lens of the camera.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's

                        your father?

 

                                  OPHELIA

                               (crying)

                        At home.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Let the doors be shut upon him,

                        that he may play the fool no where

                        but in his own house.

 

              A NURSE enters and shoots Hamlet with a needle.

 

                                  NURSE

                        Farewell.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        O, help him, you sweet heavens.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (pointing out

                                Ophelia's belly)

                        If thou dost marry, I'll give thee

                        this plague for thy dowry: be thou

                        as chaste as ice, as pure as snow,

                        thou shalt not escape calumny. Get

                        him to a nunnery, go!

 

                                  NURSE

                        Farewell.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Or, if thou wilt needs marry,

                        marry a fool; for wise men know

                        well enough what monsters you make

                        of them. To a nunnery, go, and

                        quickly too. Farewell.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        O heavenly powers, restore him!

 

              Hamlet talks clumsily, until he faints.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        I have heard of your paintings

                        too, well enough; nature has given

                        you one face, and you make

                        yourselves another: you jig, you

                        amble, and you lisp, and nick-name

                        nature's creatures, and make your

                        wantonness your ignorance. Go to,

                        I'll no more on't; it hath made me

                        mad. I say, we will have no more

                        marriages: those that are married

                        already, all but one, shall live;

                        the rest shall keep as they are.

                        To a nunnery, go!

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              PHILADELPHIA'S MUSEUM OF ART. EXT/DAY.

 

              Seated on a chair, with the Elsinor mansion as background, Ophelia

              speaks with a broken voice.

.

                                  OPHELIA

                        O, what a noble mind is here

                        o'erthrown! The smartest

                        sportsman, soulmate, father, hard-

                        worker, student, eye, tongue,

                        figure; The expectancy and rose of

                        this family company.  The glass of

                        fashion and the mould of form, The

                        observed of all observers, quite,

                        quite down!

                        And I, of human beings most deject

                        and wretched, That shared the

                        honey of musical  vows, Now see

                        that noble and most sovereign

                        reason, Like sweet bells jangled,

                        out of tune and harsh; That

                        unmatch'd form and feature of

                        blown youth Blasted with ecstasy:

                        O, woe is me,

                               (she bursts into

                                tears; a zoom out

                                shows Polonius and

                                Claudius listening

                                to hear.)

                        To have seen what I have seen, see

                        what I see!

 

              Ophelia is taken out by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        Love! his affections do not that

                        way tend; nor what he spoke,

                        though it lack'd form a little,

                        Was not like madness.

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        There's something in his soul,

                        O'er which his melancholy sits on

                        brood.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        And I do doubt the hatch and the

                        disclose Will be some danger:

                        which for to prevent, I have in

                        quick determination Thus set it

                        down: he shall with speed to

                        Colombia, For the demand of our

                        neglected tribute. Haply the seas

                        and countries different With

                        variable objects shall expel This

                        something-settled matter in his

                        heart, Whereon his brains still

                        beating puts him thus From fashion

                        of himself...

                        What think you on't?

 

                                  POLONIUS

                               (fast)

                        Do as you please;

                               (to Gertrude)

                        But, if you hold it fit, entreat

                        him first to show his own grief to

                        you.If you find him not, To

                        Bucaramanga send him, or confine

                        him where our doctors best shall

                        think It. Madness in great ones

                        must not unwatch'd go.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              TOMLINSON THEATER. EXT/NIGHT.

 

              Wearing suits and night-dresses, people walk and talk. Hamlet

              moves from one group to another. He addresses Actor 1.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (to ACTOR 2)

                        You spoke the speech as I

                        pronounced it to you, trippingly

                        on the tongue: were you mouthing

                        it, as many privileged actors do,

                        I'd have had to hire a pop-singer

                        to perform my lines.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        Didn't I saw the air too much with

                        my hand?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Not at all; in the very torrent,

                        tempest, and, as I may say, the

                        whirlwind of passion, you acquired

                        and begot a temperance that gave

                        smoothness to your movement.  O,

                        it offends me to the soul to hear

                        a robusteous model tear a passion

                        to tatters, to very rags, to split

                        the ears of the groundlings, who

                        for the most part are capable of

                        nothing but inexplicable special

                        effects and persecutions.

 

              Rosencrantz and Guildenstern approach Hamlet. Hamlet shuns

              them.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing)

                        Be not too tame neither.

 

                                  ACTOR 1

                        I let my own discretion be my

                        tutor, suiting the action to the

                        word, the word to the action.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        With this special observance, that

                        you o'erstep not the modesty of

                        nature: for any thing so overdone

                        is from the purpose of playing,

                        whose end, both at the first and

                        now, was and is, to hold, as

                        'twere, the mirror up to nature;

 

              Hamlet distinguishes Horacio in the crowd.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing; to

                                Horatio)

                        to show virtue her own feature,

                               (fingering out

                                Rosencrantz)

                        scorn her own image, and the very

                        age and body of the time his form

                        and pressure.

 

              Guildenstern laughs, Rosencrantz follows Hamlet.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing)

                        Now this overdone, or come tardy

                        off, though it make the unskillful

                        laugh, cannot but make the

                        judicious commentator grieve; the

                        censure of the which one must in

                        your career o'erweigh a whole

                        theatre of uneducated fellows.

 

              Actor 1 and 2 join a group of actors.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing; looking

                                at Horatio;)

                        Horatio! Here, sweet friend, at

                        your service. Thou art e'en as

                        just a man as e'er my conversation

                        coped withal.

 

              Horatio bends his knee. Hamlet does the same. Dream-like, all

              characters encircle them.

 

                                  HORATIO

                        O my dear lord!

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Nay, do not think I flatter; for

                        what advancement may I hope from

                        thee That no revenue hast but thy

                        good spirits, To feed and clothe

                        thee? Why should the poor be

                        flattered? No, let the candied

                        tongue lick absurd pomp, And crook

                        the pregnant hinges of the knee

                        Where profit may follow fawning.

 

               Hamlet caresses him.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing)

                        Dost thou hear? Since my dear soul

                        was mistress of her choice And

                        could of men distinguish, her

                        election Hath seal'd thee for

                        herself; for thou hast been As

                        one, in suffering all, that

                        suffers nothing, A woman that

                        fortune's buffets and rewards.

 

                                  HORATIO

                        Sweet lord...

 

              Horatio attempts to stand up, but Hamlet keeps him in his

              arms.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Give me that man That is not

                        passion's slave, and I will wear

                        him in my heart's core, ay, in my

                        heart of heart, As I do thee.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing)

                        Observe mine uncle.

 

                                  HORATIO

                               (recovering)

                        If his occulted guilt Do not

                        itself unkennel in one speech, It

                        is a damned ghost that we have

                        seen.

 

              Horatio exits.  Hamlet meets Polonious, who hastily

              dismisses Ophelia.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        Polonious! You played once in the

                        university, you say?

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        That did I, I was accounted a good

                        actor.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        What did you enact?

 

                                  POLONIUS

                        I did enact Julius Caesar: I was

                        killed in the Capitol; Brutus

                        killed me.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (making a Joke;

                                touching Polonious

                                belly)

                        It was a brute part of him to kill

                        so capital a calf there.

 

              Polonious laughs. Gertrude and Claudius meet Hamlet.

 

                                  GERTRUDE

                        Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit

                        by us.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        No, good mother, here's metal more

                        attractive.

 

              Hamlet approaches Ophelia. He takes her away as he talks.

 

                                  HAMLET

                               (continuing)

                        Look you, how cheerfully my mother

                        looks, and my father died within

                        these two hours.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        Nay, 'tis twice two months, my

                        patient.

 

                                  HAMLET

                        So long? O heavens! die two months

                        ago, and not forgotten yet?.

 

                                                       CUT TO:

 

              A GARDEN [ SCRATCHED FOOTAGE]. EXT/DAY.

 

              A middle-aged man and a woman make love; they scream in

              ecstasy.

 

                                  GERTRUDE (O.S.)

                        You are naught, you are naught!

 

                                  HAMLET (O.S.)

                        I'll cut the scene.

 

              The man lies on the bed exhausted. The woman kisses him.

 

                                  ACTOR 2

                        So many journeys may the sun and

                        moon Make us again count o'er

                        before love be done!

 

              The man gets sleep and the woman lies some flowers on him;

              afterwards she leaves naked.

 

              Anon comes in a fellow, pours poison in the man's ears, and

              leaves.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS (V.O.)

                        O, what a rash and bloody deed is

                        this?

 

              The woman returns; finds the man dead, and cries.

 

              The Poisoner comes in again, seeming to lament with her.

 

              The dead body is carried away.

 

                                  OPHELIA

                        Is this film brief?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        As woman's love.

 

              The Poisoner kisses the woman in consolation and they make

              love.

 

              The film ends.

 

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

 

              TOMLINSON THEATER. INT/NIGHT.

 

              People are seated in front of the screen. They look confused.

 

              Hamlet, on the stage, handles a guitar in his right hand.

 

              Claudius claps first; everybody imitates him.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                               (laughing)

                        What do you call the film?

 

                                  HAMLET

                        The Mouse-trap.

 

                                  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.

 

                                  CLAUDIUS

                        You are keen, Hamlet, you are

                        keen.