Why does the drum come hither?

I’ve been spending a lot of time immersed in All’s Well that Ends Well lately. A drum figures in that play offstage and comically – in that the comic villain is obsessed with his drum that is behind enemy lines. He insists that he will go in to retrieve it, such a significant drum it is.

Reading this line today, I picture Parolles’ drum, marching itself from behind the Senoy lines, out from under the nose of the enemy lieutenants and showing up at the last scene of Hamlet.

It’s a military drum about the size of a very plump baby and it plays itself as it marched into the Danish court.


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