What part is that, my lord?

This is like a line that a straight man in a comedy duo would use. I can almost hear it like a “How hot is it, Lou?” That heads to a “It’s so hot, the frog’s legs are frying themselves on the lilypads!” Or something.
This is probably an old vaudeville structure, I’d wager. And vaudeville likely came from earlier comedy tropes. But of course this scene isn’t a comedy duo. (Though I would very much enjoy a vaudeville style version of this scene.) It is, though, a masterful shift in status and power. The last time we saw him, Laertes came in all ready to overthrow the king and by this scene, he’s playing the straight man to Claudius’ epic riffs. Claudius has skills. He’s a villain, sure – but like a lot of villains, he is skillful.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.