My lord, as I was sewing in my closet, Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced, No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled, Ungartered, and down-gyved to his ankle, Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other, And with a look so piteous in purport As if he had been loos’ed out of hell To speak of horrors – he comes before me.

Hamlet’s shirt is white, then, huh? Or maybe a light pink or cream? Or beige, I guess it could be beige. It sounds like it’s showing through that unbraced doublet of his (maybe a solemn black, that nighted color his Mom wanted him to cast off.) I’m wondering though, just exactly what his stockings are fouled with. Ophelia makes no mention of his shoes – so it’s not clear if he’s waded through a muddy puddle or spattered them with paint. It’s a weird thing to be fouled, I think. Like how did only his stockings get dirty? He’s not likely to have wiped his hands on them. There’s something about the word “fouled” that makes me go straight to excrement – but I don’t know how you’d get shit on your socks. Unless of course you’re doing it on purpose (which given Hamlet’s plan to put an antic disposition on, might be possible) But I’d think if you were going to try and mess yourself up, you’d do more than your stockings. This description of Ophelia’s is very vivid and very specific but why is it so vivid? Why is she speaking such a terribly long sentence in the middle of her distress? What’s up with those fouled stockings?
Oh wait. I just worked out how you could easily get shit on your stockings. If you were going about it, old school – squatting on the ground like in days of yore, if the wind was right (or wrong, as it were) you might end up with some fouled stockings. Yeah, so, that’s one possibility – though it does be-foul the dignity of the Prince of Denmark somewhat.

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