Strengthen your patience in our last night’s speech.

I’m picturing sending patience to the gym, patience doing some strengthening exercises that involve renewing the previous night’s speech, patience doing some crunches, patience doing jumping jacks.
And, in a way, patience really does need practice, it does need strengthening. If one cannot be patient in small instances then big ones will be ever out of reach. Do a little bit of patience practice and the capacity for patience grows. But don’t overdo it. I know people who confuse tolerance for patience and let it consume their will. That will not add up to good. That will tax the will until it breaks. There is a big difference between patience and putting up with something.

I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.

It’s funny how Horatio doesn’t say anything in response to this request from the king. He just goes and does it. And the king calls him good Horatio. It’s a little bit fishy. Is Horatio a double agent?
He’s got some weird privileges in this court. He seems to have everyone’s trust and it is never questioned. Where is he from? Why is he hanging around?
Even after Hamlet is deported, he’s still there. Why?
It’s very mysterious when you try to pull it apart

Let Hercules himself do what he may, The cat will mew and dog will have his day.

And that, my friends, is an EXIT line.
I mean. Just – classic, perfect exit line. A bold assertion! A strong declarative that suggests a future! And I’m off!

I wonder what the dog’s day would be like, though.
I mean – most dogs, their ideal day would involve running around, playing catch, chewing on some bones, maybe rolling in some mud and just generally having a fabulous time.
It’s possible, sure, that the killer dogs might enjoy killing a rabbit or something. But I don’t really know dogs like that.

Cats will mew, though, for sure.
No matter what Hercules says.

But it is no matter.

Someone dear to me will often say, “it doesn’t matter” when I express sympathy for something that has gone awry in his day. And then it is a very short journey from “it doesn’t matter” to “nothing matters.”
I believe this is one of the language tells of someone who is depressed. Someone wrestling with depression is much more likely to say something like this than someone who does not wrestle with the dark fog.
There are other phrases as well – and they tend to group under a self-oriented negativity. They use more I centered words and blame themselves for everything.
I say they – though surely I have had my own depressive periods wherein all this was true for me as well.

I loved you ever.

It would be such a long list if I tried to sum up all the people I ever loved. It would cover pages and pages. I find myself suddenly quite comforted by that fact. Sometimes, the world seems dark and unfriendly – particularly when the news is so dire. But – to think of trying to list every person I ever loved is more overwhelming even than the current horrors. I have been lucky to have so many people who are dear to me.

What is the reason that you use me thus?

Come on, Hamlet. Come on.
Laertes should be asking YOU this question, you maniac.
Listen, I loved you ever. Always have. Always will.
But this question may be, in fact, the first genuinely crazy thing you’ve said in this whole play.

First – Laertes did jack shit to you just now. So he’s not doing anything to you – you’re the one who leaped out into his sister’s grave. That was you. As far as Laertes knew, you were in freakin’ England. So. Yeah – if he fought with you, it was self defense.

Second, he actually has some super genuinely legit reasons to be mad at you. You killed his father. Or did you forget that? Just because you loved Laertes himself doesn’t mean he can’t be mad at you for killing his dad. If anyone killed my father (even by “accident”) it would not matter how long they’d loved me, I’d still be furious. Also, you treated his sister like garbage and here she is dead. So…all of this “Why are you mistreating me?” nonsense just doesn’t make sense.

And it’s the kind of crazy talk that doesn’t feel like the madness he was feigning before. It feels genuinely unhinged.

Hear you, sir.

It’s possible I don’t really trust most men to hear me anymore. I used to think – oh, they just need to hear what’s going on – to listen to an explanation, to wake up to reality.
But. Yesterday – the news about the horrific parental separations reached peak horror (thus far).
The sexual assault of children in custody.
The creation of Tender Age facilities and I saw the comments from people joking about the kids as if they were not humans.
I heard the callous response to a kid with Down Syndrome being separated from his parent and I just – lost some faith in hearing.

If people can hear these horrors and not be wrung out by them, no hearing will ever be enough.

Anon, as patient as the female dove, When that her golden couplets are disclosed, His silence will sit drooping.

I have just gone rather a lot deeper into facts on doves than I might have on another day. I’m just trying to work out what’s going on in this simile.

Patience, I get. Female doves are patient nesters apparently – but funnily enough, so are the male doves. They mate for life and take turns on the eggs.
The female dove DOES lay the eggs – usually in pairs – so a couplet makes sense.
And a couplet in a verse play has a lovely sense of doubled-ness. But a dove’s eggs are white, not golden.
And why are the eggs being disclosed?
Doves don’t leave their eggs alone for disclosure. So…is this dove in this analogy abandoning her eggs? And her partner suffers in silence? Or somehow Hamlet is the one whose silence will sit drooping?
Is it that a dove is drooping in silence after revealing her precious eggs? And so will Hamlet?
This is some fuzzy analogizing here from the Queen of Denmark.

And thus awhile the fit will work on him.

The fit that works ON him is rather much better than a lot of the ways our language talks about this now.
The agency is in the fit. The fit is happening to him, it is working on him.
He is not the fit. The fit is on him like a leech that will eventually have taken its fill and leave him.

Now we’d say he’s having a fit. The active element is HE.
We might, if we’re careful, not say fit. We might say “an episode” of some kind. But we’d still say HAVING.

And I don’t know, maybe it’s because I have an uncontrollable brain disease myself, but I don’t so much feel as though I am having a migraine attack so much as the migraine is on me, drinking up my life force until it is through.

This is mere madness.

The original meaning of mere was pure, true. And Gertrude is probably using it that way – as in, this is real madness. This is pure madness. This is true madness.
Our contemporary sense of mere is almost its opposite. We read a line like this as “This is only madness. This is just madness. This is inconsequential madness.”
I think I said it this way when I played this part. But its original sense makes much more sense.
And apparently both meanings sat side by side for a while before the true, pure sense faded away.
And it seems there was a sort of middle ground meaning as well – or a bridge. Maybe it’s how the word came to mean almost opposite things. Apparently, it also meant glimmering and shimmering, which is easily connected to fairy gold and glamouring. That is, something that appears to be true but isn’t, really.