How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!

Claudius seems to be quite sensitive to art. The Mousetrap brings him to his knees but this bit starts the ball rolling. Polonius gives this little speech that lashes at the King’s conscience, perhaps awakens it? The players pry open the crack that appears here in the king’s façade.

I like the notion of a Claudius who is so vulnerable to art, to words and to performance. There’s something to be mined there – like – are there paintings that he can’t look at?
Might we see him have a painting of a famous fratricide removed? Might we see him listening to a piece of music and struck to the heart by it?
There’s something about seeing Claudius besieged by Art and then making a choice to proceed as he does.
It would be funny, too, if Hamlet somehow had a sense of this and set up all kinds of art experiences to try and draw the king out. Hamlet could commission paintings, compositions and dances, all to get responses from King Claudius.


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