My soul is full of discord and dismay.

I bet it is, murderer.
Me? I’m doing okay. While I am frustrated by many things, I’m pretty unified in myself and pretty clear about what sorts of things need to be done. I won’t say it’s not hard. Because it is. But things being hard is very different than having a soul full of discord and dismay. I’ve managed to keep the discord and dismay outside of myself for the time being. Outside may be chaos. And it does feel like chaos sometimes.
But inside. I am clear as a mountain stream in spring.

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O, come away!

Traveling feels like one of those things that makes life worth living. In a world that can get dull and worn with age, a change of scene can activate a sense of wonder and surprise. It is one of those things than can predictability inspire me to create.
On my own, I can rarely find a way to travel much or very far – but my mother has recently retired and so, every few months or so, she’ll suggest another journey. Come away to Greece. Come away to Rhode Island. Come away to Ireland. And I will.

So happy slander, Whose whisper o’er the world’s diameter As level as the cannon to his blank Transports his poisoned shot, may miss our name And hit the woundless air.

And here we see Claudius’ chief concern: his own reputation. He really is a politician.
He is not worried about Hamlet (obvs) or Gertrude or mourning for Polonius. He is simply worried about his political reputation. It is remarkably transparent. Nice line, though. It’s a funny time to get poetic. But hey, probably policy is the one thing Claudius truly loves.

Come, Gertrude, we’ll call up our wisest friends And let them know both what we mean to do And what’s untimely done.

Who are these wise friends? The Royal Bridge partners? Their usual dinner parry guests? Their roommates from college?
It’s interesting to have these people we’ve never met or heard referenced before turn up at this point in the play. Because he begins with “Come, Gertrude…” it seems as though he may be referring to their mutual friends – their couple friends – but, of course, he could also mean HIS friends, the Royal “Our friends” which would be the more political group of “friends” I imagine. This might make more sense given that Claudius’ chief concern about this murder are its political repercussions.

I pray you haste in this.

This kid I was working with as part of his drama club was still sitting while the rest of his classmates stood, ready onstage. When I asked him why he wasn’t up there with them, he told me he was preserving his energy to the last possible moment when he would spring up and do the task. He thought this was a really smart strategy he’d invented. And maybe for him it IS a upper effective strategy. Me, though, I don’t usually go from zero to 60 like that. I have to get myself moving, jamming, running, if I have to, so that my energy isn’t dead by the time we get to my moment.
But that is a lesson in the future for this young actor. He has not yet worked out how much of the work is about energy manipulation, about speed and readiness. And if you have urgency or haste nowhere else, please, at least, put it on stage.

Speak fair.

This is generally good policy. Even and especially when speaking with someone who’s just run his blade through another man. If you’re trying to avoid getting a blade through the belly yourself, that is. If you’re keen on death then inciting a murderer, still high on the kill, is probably a great way to go.

Go seek him out.

In the dream I had last night, I had a playful imaginative quick witted director as a mentor/creative partner. He led me through an adventure – but it was all in a rehearsal studio. Or was it me leading him? I think I created this guy in my dream because he is what I need. The first step will be to determine if such a person exists. The second step will be to go seek him out.

And I imagine the third step will be to finally understand that that director guide is in me.

Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain, And from his mother’s closet hath he dragged.

I’m not always the most INTO the meter of the text. I love that it’s there and when I’m performing it, I will get INTO it – but in this context, it hardly ever pops out at me as something to discuss.
This time is different, though.
There’s something about the rhythm of this pair of lines that sounds like a nursery rhyme to me. Maybe it’s the feminine endings, or the regular irregularity or the words, maybe.
It’s like a 2 line story.
Like one of to those super short stories that are popular these days.
The meter of this whole speech is incredibly disjointed. One gets the sense that this event has sent Claudius into a little bit of a fluster. And yet he pulls out this sort of regular 2 line story in the middle of it.

Friends both, go join you with some further aid.

See, I wondered, when the king just called for Guildenstern and the stage directions say “Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern” if this was just an editorial decision to include Rosencrantz. But then I read this line, in which it feels fairly clear that the king is now speaking to them both – and is purposefully including Rosencrantz, when he ignored him earlier. Or maybe it’s not that Guildenstern is preferred by the King. Maybe it’s that they are so quick to enter that the King doesn’t have time to call for Rosencrantz. They’re so fast, they spare him the call. But even if that is so, the king STILL calls Guildenstern first. And Rosencrantz appears with him.