This is a great solution to this problem.
Would it have worked?
If Hamlet could have let Horatio interfere and kept this duel at bay, would it have prevented the tragedy that follows?
I think I’ve always liked to think so – that this is a moment where it could have been stopped – but I’m not so sure anymore. I mean, Claudius and Laertes are absolutely determined to make this happen. If Horatio managed to forestall them, it would only be for a little while. Maybe he could put it off a day – but the patriarchy and ideas of manhood being what they are, I don’t see how Hamlet could really get out of this fight easily.
It has an inevitably in it and Hamlet knows it.
Words to live by. And I think I am getting better and better at both the recognizing of dislike and at obeying the impulse. In the past, the vast majority of my mistakes were of the “should have trusted my instincts” variety.
I trust them now. There are some occasions wherein I can’t tell if the dislike is the sort to be heeded and obeyed or the kind that needs to be grappled with in order to accomplish something I really want.
Usually, the context is something my higher self has set in motion – a show, for example or a project. And then mid-way through, parts of me start getting upset and wanting to quit and to never have to feel this way again – but those pangs are mostly fear. The dislike caused by fear is the sort that is better to be disobeyed. Obey the big picture Nos and disobey the ones triggered by fear.
The placement of good in this sentence is tricky. One might expect to see “my good lord” instead – but no – it’s – Nay, good my lord.
And I THINK the “good” in this sentence is doing the same thing no matter where you put it but thinking about putting it before “my” has the effect of emphasizing the “good.” It maybe makes the plea even stronger.
I know a lot of actors who are not diligent about text and word order. They’re happy to just get across the idea. Which you could do if you slipped up and said “my good lord” but I think you miss the opportunity to really feel what the line is doing in that case. It’s small but interesting.
I suppose, since I never played Horatio, I never had cause to look up what a lapwing was and so my initial guess stuck with me, despite it being entirely wrong.
A lapwing is a bird. It is the kind of bird that wades. Apparently there was a notion that lapwings would retain a bit of shell on their heads after breaking through. You know what it’s not? A snail. It is 100% not a snail. It is not a running snail. That’s what I thought a lapwing was. But I was so wrong.
Even while teasing the prince, Horatio still uses formal languages. It is an interesting distance and ease – a combination of collegial informality of teasing about academic marginalia AND a royal distance with his “You.”
It would be amazing if we had a limited amount of words we could use in a day.
I think I might like to live in such a world. People might be more careful about what they said. They might be more judicious in reporting their news. There would likely be many late night conversations, using up the unspent words of the day. I imagine it might be a quieter world. Especially in the morning, which would suit me very well.
Who is he talking to? If it’s Osric, it seems a little forward. I’m assuming they haven’t met and Horatio’s status may be elevated by being friends with the Prince but he’s not a prince and probably not a lord, either.
But would he call Hamlet sir?
He mostly calls him “my lord.”
I’m very confused about what, exactly, Horatio is saying here and to whom.
Tongue is a funny word for language and it tends to travel across languages, too. Language and tongue, are in fact, the same words in some languages.
But here – I think Horatio isn’t using the word tongue as language – he’s using it more literally. Because Hamlet and Osric are both speaking English, however arch and verified – but it may SOUND like another language. And I suspect that Horatio is attempting a bit of double meaning with tongue in that capacity.
I don’t think Horatio’s particularly funny, though, or all that quick with words. He’s a better listener than talker.
It is also odd that he pipes up to speak in just this moment.
Has Osric turned to him to get a translation?
Horatio does not know Osric. He did not seem to know Rosencrantz or Guildenstern. He seems to have some acquaintance with the watchmen – who are perhaps his fellow countrymen, if their names are anything to go by. Who does Horatio know and who doesn’t he? He mostly doesn’t know people – which is convenient for introducing the audience to them as well.
And so Horatio echoes the sense of the beginning of the play. “Who’s there?” is not so far from who comes here. It’s a subtle bookend, really. Perhaps, like the opening scene, it heightens the tension before a dramatic event.
Barnardo and Francisco become Horatio.
What’s funny is – after the sentinel’s “Who’s there?” – eventually we get to the ghost.
Immediately following “Who comes here?” – we get Osric. We get comic relief.