Photo of King John’s Castle Odiham, Hampshire UK, by Englepip©
For those who are unfamiliar, Hamlet, by Shakespeare, is the tragic tale of a Prince of Denmark who, after seeing his father’s ghost, realises that his father was murdered by his uncle, who has since married his mother. He wrestles with the idea of revenge, with the mortality of man and the idea of killing a monarch, whom the Elizabethans saw as God’s representative on earth. Two of the most famous lines are ‘To be or not to be” and “The rest is silence,” both of which I have incorporated into this poem. It is a harrowing play and the part of Hamlet is extremely tense – a thought to which I have tried to draw attention here.
There is a scene on the ramparts of the castle thus the shot above.
The stage is set, the lights are up
And as you move to centre stage
The world looks upon you.
“To be, or not to be” is no longer
A question. You are here.
And as you move through the blocks
And speak out your lines
Contorting your face
In response to the moment
You are for that time
A tragedy recreated,
executing the murders
Experiencing the tortured passions
Of a demented Prince.
And when you lie in the arms of Horatio
A little of you dies with the Prince:
For to recreate the passion,
The betrayal, the enigma, that is Hamlet
Marks you forever…..
“The rest is silence”.