‘Forgive me my foul murder?’

Getting closer, Claudius.
Getting closer to confession.
But when you put your possible prayer in quotes, when it has a layer of impossibility in it, when you’re almost making fun of yourself for pretend asking for forgiveness for a murder…well, there’s not a whole lot of responsibility being taken.
If you’re theatrically asking for forgiveness but not actually asking, it doesn’t really count. It implies your guilt, sure, but it’s not the same as saying:
“I killed him. I’m sorry. I’d like to be absolved.”

I do wonder about the qualification of the murder.
This one’s foul but maybe he has some other ones, one’s that are, less foul –
ones he doesn’t need to be asking for forgiveness for.
I don’t really think he’s killed others
but he does have the personality for it.
And he has access to poison –
and several varieties, too.
Which raises a question for me.

Who is mixing these poisons for him?
Who puts the poison in Gertrude’s pearl, for example
and who gives him the goods for the regicide/fratricide?
Who is Claudius’ Apothecary?
[I want to write a story called Claudius’ apothecary
and the whole of Hamlet is told from his point of view.]
Is Claudius his own apothecary?
Was that what he was up to while his brother was busy being the king?
I picture Claudius in a dark room of the castle, potions in glass bottles bubbling in the dark, a cloud of smoke still hangs in the air from a previous combination that went wrong. There is the occasional crunch of glass underfoot from the failed experiment. He has an ink-stained notebook where he keeps his unction recipes. He tests his work on the animals in the courtyard. Farmers eventually stop bringing their livestock in. He’s a dark scientist, awaiting his window.


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