This quarry cries on havoc.

Uh – Fortinbras? This is a super weird thing to say.

Is it a cultural thing? Is Fortinbras talking this way because he’s Norweigan?

Did the Norweigans have the same reputation they do now for being unusually blunt talkers?

I mean – quarry implies the spoils of a hunt – that is, dead animals, prey who have been slaughtered. There may even be a sense of entrails exposed and just a general sense of dehumanized bodies. The spoils of a hunt.

Which is just a pretty intense way to refer to a scene of people who have all just murdered each other.

Havoc is chaos, for sure. And etymology online suggests that Havoc comes from the phrase “Cry Havoc!” which was the signal to troops to start pillaging and very probably raping, as well.
So…sure – the spoils of the hunt are the ones crying havoc. I’m curious about why they are calling ON havoc. Is it the non-native English speaker’s usual confusion around prepositions? Or is that these slaughtered animals are crying on TOP of havoc? That there are layers of slaughter on top of chaos?

Or maybe the “cries on” suggests a goading. The animals encourage further chaos. I feel like this is the interpretation that I would find most playable if I had to play Fortinbras. This grisly scene pushes us toward further confusion. But…still – quarry is such a weird word to use in this moment.

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