This is most brave, That I, the son of a dear father murdered, Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, Must like a whore unpack my heart with words And fall a-cursing like a very drab, A stallion!

In this day and age, whores are not particularly known for their words. It is a strange reference here, really: Whores and drabs being particularly known for acts of the body, not for the heart nor words from it.
Is Hamlet confusing whores with poets? Because poets do unpack their hearts with words sometimes – and beautifully so sometimes, too.

It is curious that a writer has chosen to call someone who unpacks one’s heart with words a whore. Because, theoretically, that is what the writer is doing and the words, are, of course, the MOST valuable, the most precious thing that might emerge from a heart.

And, of course, it would be a writer who would feel the futility of unpacking with words more than anyone. We hate the things we love the most. That’s how I feel about theatre, certainly. And when I unpack my theatrical heart for people who don’t appreciate it, I often feel like a whore.

So: okay.
But also, “a stallion”? In other editions, they’ll edit it be a “scullion.” How is the most macho of horses another word for a whore? Or is it a word for a John? Has Hamlet switched mid-metaphor?

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