Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead Script - Dialogue Transcript

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Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead Script































































Heads I win.
























It must be indicative of something

besides the redistribution of wealth.






A weaker man might be moved

to re-examine his faith,



for nothing else at least

in the law of probability...












probability is a factor which

operates within natural forces.



Two, probability is not

operating as a factor.



Three, we are now held within um...



sub or supernatural forces.







Look at it this way.

If six monkeys...



If six monkeys...



The law of averages,

if I have got this right means...



that if six monkeys were thrown

up in the air long enough...



they would land on their tails

about as often as they would

land on their...



Heads, getting a bit of

a bore, isn't it?



A bore?




What about the suspense?



What suspense?



It must be the law

of diminishing returns.



I still spell about to be broken.



Well, it was an even chance.



Seventy eight in a row.

A new record, I imagine.



Is that what you imagine?

A new record?



No questions?

Not a flicker of doubt?



I could be wrong.



No fear?







Seventy nine.



I think I have it.

Time has stopped dead.



The single experience of one coin

being spun once has been repeated.



A hundred and fifty six times.



On the whole, doubtful.



Or, a spectacular vindication

of the principle.



That each individual

coin spun individually is...



as likely to come down

heads as tails



and therefore should cause no

surprise each individual time it does.




I've never known anything like it.



He has never known

anything like it.



But he has never known

anything to write home about.



Therefore it's just nothing

to write home about.



What's the first thing

you remember?



Oh, let's see, hm...



the first thing that comes

into my head, you mean?






the first thing you remember...



No, it's not good. It's gone.

So long time ago.



You don't get my mean.



Most first thing after

all the things you forgot?



Oh, I see.



I've forgotten the question.



Are you happy?




Content? At ease?



Well I suppose so.

What are you going to do now?



I don't know.



What do you want to do?






What about it?



We have been spinning coins

together since I don't know when...



and in all that time,



if it is all that time, one hundred

and fifty seven coins spun...

consecutively have come down heads



one hundred and fifty seven

consecutive times, and all you can do

is play with your food.



Wait a minute.



There was a messenger.



Rosencrantz... Guildenstern...



We were sent for.



Another curious scientific

phenomenon is the fact that

the fingernails grow after death



... as does the beard.







But you're not dead!



I didn't say they only started

to grow after death!



The fingernails also grow

before birth. Though not the beard.




Beard! What's the matter with you?



The toenails on the other hand

never grow at all.



The toenails on the other foot

never grow at all.



Do you remember the first thing

that happened today?



Oh, I woke up, I suppose.



I've got it now...



That man, he woke us up.



A messenger.

That's it...



pale sky before dawn,



a man standing on his saddle

to bang on the shutters...



But then he called our names...



You remember, man woke us up.



We were sent for.

That's why we're here.



Traveling a matter of extreme

urgency... a royal summons,

his very words...



official business no questions asked

up, we get and off at the gallop,

fearful lest we come too late!



Too late for what?



How would I know?

We haven't got there yet.



What's that?






An audience!



Don't move!



Perfect... well met, in fact,

and just in time.



Why's that?



Why, we grow rusty and you catch us

at the very point of decadence...



this time tomorrow we might have

forgotten everything we ever knew.



We'd be back where we started,




Tumblers, are you?



We can give you a tumble,

if that's your taste,

and times being what they are.



Otherwise for a jingle of coin

we can do you a selection

of gory romances.



Pirated from the Italian

and it doesn't take much

to make a jingle...



even a single coin has music in it,

should it be gold.






at your command.



My name is Guildenstern,

and this is Rosencrantz.



I'm sorry, his name's Guildenstern,

and I'm Rosencrantz.



We've played to bigger, but

quality counts for something.




What exactly do you do?



Tragedy, sir.



Deaths and disclosures,

universal and particular,






transvestite melodrama...



We transport you back into a world

of intrigue and illusion.

Clowns if you like...






We can do you ghosts...



and battles...



on the skirmish level...



heroes... villains...

tormented lovers...



set pieces in the poetic vein,

we can do you rapiers,



or rape...



or both,



by all means faithless wives

and ravished virgins...



flagrante delicto at a price.

For which there are special terms.



It costs little to watch,



and a little more to get

caught up in the action.



If that's your taste

and times being what they are.



What are they?










See anything you like?

Lucky thing we came along.



For us?

Also for you.



For some it is performance,

for others patronage,



they are two sides

of the same coin...



or being as there are so many

of us the same side of two coins.



It was luck, then?

Or fate.



Yours or ours?

It could hardly be one

without the other.



Fate then.

You said, caught up in the action?



I did! I did!

You're quicker than your friend.



For a handful of coins

I happen to have...



a private and uncut performance

of the Rape of the Sabine Women...



or rather woman...



or rather Alfred...

and for eight you can participate.



It could have been.



It didn't have to be obscene.



I was prepared.



But it's this, is it?



No enigma... no dignity,

nothing classical or poetic...



only this...



a comic pornographer

and a rabble of prostitutes.



You should have caught

us in better times.



We were purists then.



Excuse me!






You're not, ah,

exclusively players, then?



We're inclusively players, sir.



I had no idea--




I mean I've heard of--,

but I've never actually seen...

I mean, what exactly do you do?



We keep to our usual stuff,

more or less, only inside out.



We do on stage the things

that are supposed to happen off.



Which is a kind of integrity,

if you look on every exit

as an entrance somewhere else.



Wait a minute.



What will you do for that?



Do you know any good plays?



Plays? Oh, yes.



One of the Greeks, perhaps?

You're familar with the tragedies

of Antiquity, are you?



The great homicidal classics?



'Maidens aspiring to Godheads',

or vice versa? That's

your kind of thing, is it?



I can't say it is, really.

Eh we're more of the love,

blood and rhetoric school.



Well, we can do you blood

and love without the rhetoric

without the love...



and we can do you all three

concurrent or consecutive.



But we can't do you love

and rhetoric without the blood.



Blood is compulsory.

They're all blood, you see.



Is that what people want?

It's what we do.



Would you like a bet?



Double or nothing.









Double or... nothing.



Come on.



I say that was lucky.

It was "tails".



Welcome! Dear Rosencrantz

and Guildenstern.



Moreover that we much did

long to see you.



The need we have to use

you did provoke our hasty sending.



Something have you heard

of Hamlet's transformation,

so call it,



sith nor th' exterior

nor the inward men

resembles that it was.



What it should be,

more than his father's death,

that thus hath put him



so much from th' understanding

of himself.



I cannot dream of.



I entreat you both

that, being of so young days

brought up with him.



And sith so neighbored

to his youth and haviour,



that you vouch-safe your rest

here in our court some little time



so by your companies

to draw him on to pleasures



and to gather so much as

from occasion you may glean



whether aught to us

unknown afflicts him thus



that opened lies within our remedy.






Gentleman, he hath much

talked of you,



and sure I am, two men

there are not living

to whom he more adheres.



If it will please you

to show us so much gentry

and good will



as to extend your time

with us awhile for the supply

and profit of our hope,



your visitation shall

receive such thanks

as fits a king's remembrance.



Both your majesties might

by the sovereign power

you have of us,



put your dread pleasures

more into command

than to entreaty.



But we both obey,

and here give up ourselves

in the full bent



to lay our service freely

at your feet, to be commanded.



Thanks, Rosencrantz...



and gentle Guildenstern.



Thanks Guildenstern

and gentle Rosencrantz.



And I beseech you instantly to visit

my too much changed son.



Heaven make our presence

and our practises pleasant

and helpful to him!



Ah, amen!



I want to go home.

Don't let them confuse you.



We're in over our steps,



heading out of depth.



stepping out of the heads,

so heading to that step.



Stop there!



Hasn't it ever happened to you

that all of a sudden

and for no reason at all



you haven't the faintest idea

how to spell the word...



which or "house"...

because when you write it down



you just can't remember ever

having seen those letters

in that order before?



I remember...




I remember when there were

no questions.



There were always questions.



Answers, yes.

There were answers to everything.



You've forgotten.

I haven't forgotten.



How I used to remember my own

name! And yours, Oh, yes!



There were answers

everywhere you looked.

There was no question about it--



people knew who we were

and if they didn't they asked

and we told them out names.



We did the trouble is,

each of them is plausible,

without being instinctive.






All your life you live so close

to truth, it becomes a permanent

blur in the corner of your eye,



and when something nudges it into

outline it is like being ambushed

by a grotesque.



A man standing in his saddle

in the half-lit, half-alive dawn

banged in the shutters



and called two names.

And when he called we came.

That much is certain, we came.



Well, I can tell you

I'm sick to death of it.



I don't care which one I am.

So why don't you

make up your mind.



We didn't come all this way

for a christening. But we have been

comparatively fortunate.



We might have been left

to sift the whole field...

of human nomen-clauture



like two blind men... looting

a bazaar for heir own portraits



at least we are presented

with alternatives.



Well, as from now my name is...

But not choice.



Your smallest action sets off

another somewhere else,

and is set off by it.



And I do think or else this brain of

mine hunts not the trail of policy...



We're going round in circles!



... so sure as it hath use to do

that I have found the very cause

of hamlet's lunacy!



Oh, speak of that!

That do I long to hear.



Give first admittance

to the ambassadors.



He tells me, my dear Gertrude,

he hath found the head and

source of all your son's distemper.



I doubt it is no other

but the main...



his father's death and

our o'er hasty marriage.



Well... we shall sift him.



It's all right.



There's a logic at work.

It's all done for you, don't worry.



Enjoy it. Relax.






We have been briefed.

Have we?



Hamlet's transformation.

What do you recollect?



Well, he's changed, hasn't he?

The exterior and inward

man fails to resemble.



Draw him onto pleasures...

glean what afflicts him.



Something more than

his father's death.



He's always talking about us...

there aren't two people living

whom he dotes on more than us.



We cheer him up... find out

what's the matter.




It's a matter of asking the right

questions and giving away

as little as we can.



And then we can go?



And receive such thanks as fits

as king's remembrance.



Oh, I like the sound of that...



What do you think

she means by remembrance?



He doesn't forget his friend?

Would you care to estimate?



Some kings tend to be amnesiac,

others in the opposite, I suppose...



whatever that is...



How much?




How much?



Retentive... he's a very

retentive king, a royal retainer.



What are you playing at?



Words... words

they're all we have to go on.



Look at this.



Leave things alone.




This is interesting.



You would think



that this would fall

faster than this, wouldn't you?



Well... and you'd be

absolutely right.



Fancy a game?



We're spectators.



Do you want to play questions?



How do you play that?

You have to ask questions.



Statement! One... love.







I hadn't started yet.

Statement! Two... love.



Are you counting that?




Are you counting that?



Foul! No repetitions.

Three... love and game.



I'm not going to play if you're

going to be like that.



Whose serve?




Hesitation! Love... one.



Whose go?




Why not?

What for?



Foul! No synonyms!

One... all.



What in God's name is going on?



Foul! No rhetoric!

Two... one.



What does it all add up to?

Can't you guess?



Were you addressing me?

Is there anyone else?




How would I know?



Why do you ask?

Are you serious?



Was that rhetoric?




Statement! Two all.

Game point.



What's the matter with you today?





Are you deaf?



Am I dead?

Yes or no?



Is there a choice?

Is there a God?



Foul! No non sequiturs!

Three... two, one game all.



What's your name?

What's yours?



You first.

Statement! One... love.



What's your name

when you're at home?

What's yours?



When I'm at home?

Is it different at home?



What home?

Haven't you got one?



Why do you ask?

What are you driving at?



What's your name?



Repetition! Two... love.

Match point.



Who do you think you are?

Rhetoric!! Game and match!










How was that?








Now I'll try you!

Not yet! Catch me unawares!




Me unawares.




Never mind.



... for I will use no art,

mad let us grant him then

and now remains.



That we find out the cause

of this effect, or rather say,

the cause of this defect.



For this effect defective,

comes by cause: Thus it remains,

and the remainder thus.



Perpend. I have a daughter:

Have, while she mine.



Who in her duty and obedience,

mark. Hath given me this:



now gather, and surmise.



"To the Celestial,



and my souI's idol,

the most beautified Ophelia"



That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase,

beautified is a vile phrase:



but eh, you shall hear thus

"In her excellent white bosom..."



Came this from Hamlet to her?



Good Madam stay awhile,

I will be faithful.



"Doubt thou, the stars are fire."



"Doubt that the sun doth move,



but never doubt I love."



... this hot love on the wing,

as I perceived it,



I must tell you that.

Before my daughter told me,

what might you.



Or my dear Majesty

your Queen here, think,



If I had play'd the desk

or table-book. Or given

my heart a winking,



dump, or look'd upon this love,

with idle sight, what might you think?



No, I went round to work,

and my mistress thus I did bespeak,



Lord Hamlet is a Prince

out of thy star,



this must not be...



How does my good lord Hamlet?



Well, God have mercy.



Do you know me, my lord?






Excellent well.



You are a fishmonger.

Not I, my lord.



Then I would you were

so honest a man.

Honest my lord?



What do you read, my lord?



Words, words, words.



What is the matter, my lord?

Between who?



I mean the matter that

your read, my lord.




But the satirical role it says here

that old man have grey beards...



Who was that?

Didn't you know him?



He didn't know me.

He didn't see you.



I didn't see him.

We shall see.



I hardly knew him, he's changed.



You could see that?




How do you know?

Inside and out.



I see.

He's not himself.



He's changed.

I could see that.



Glean what afflicts him!








Question and answer.



He's afflicted.

You question, I answer.



He's not himself, you know.

I'm him, you see.



Who am I?

You're yourself.



And he's you?

Not a bit of it.



Are you afflicted?

That's the idea. Are you ready?



Let's go back a bit.



I'm afflicted.

I see.



Glean what afflicts me.




Question and answer.

How should I begin?



Address me.



My dear Guildenstern!



You've forgotten, haven't you?

My dear Rosencrantz!



I don't think you quite understand.

What we are attempting

is a hypothesis...



in which I answer for him

while you ask me question.






You know what to do?




Are you stupid?




Are you deaf?

Did you speak?



Not now...




Not now!



What sign?




Well... uh, uh...



Would you like a bite?




Thank you.



Oh, you mean you pretend to be him.

And I ask you questions!



Very good.



You had me confused.

I could see I had.



How should I begin?

Address me.



My honoured lord!

My dear Rosencrantz!



Am I pretending to be you, then?

Certainly not.



Well if you like.

Shall we continue.



My honoured lord!

My dear fellow!



How are you?




Really? In what way?




Inside or out?




I see.

Not much new there.



Look go into details...




Probe the background...

establish the situation.



So your uncle's

the king of Denmark?



That's right.

And my father before him.



His father before him.

No, my father before him.



But surely...

You may well ask.



Let me get it straight.



Your father was king. You were

his only son. Your father dies.



You are of age.

Your uncle becomes king.







Undid me.




He slipped in.

Which reminds me.



Well, it would.



I don't want to be personal.

It's common knowledge.



Your mother's marriage.

He slipped in.



His body was still warm.

So was hers.







It makes you think.

Don't think I haven't.



And with her husband's brother.

They were close.



She went to him.

Too close.



For comfort.

It looks bad.



It adds up.

Incest to adultery.



Would you go so far.




To sum up!



Your father, whom you love, dies,

you are his heir, you come back...



to find that hardly was the corpse

cold before his young brother...

poped onto his throne



and into his sheets,

thereby offending both

legal and natural practice.



Now... why exactly are you behaving

in this extraordinary manner?



I can't imagine!



And yet we were sent for.



And we did come.











Don't you discriminate at all?







Look at this!



Watch closely!






Will you walk out

of the air, my lord?



Into my grave?



Indeed that is out of the air.



My honourable lord.



I would, most humbly,

take my leave of you.



You cannot, sir, take

from me anything that I will

more willingly part with all.



Except my life.



Except my life.



Except my life.



Fare you well, my lord.



There tedious old fools.



You go to seek the lord Hamlet?



There he is.



What's he doing?



Talking... to himself.



My honoured lord!



My most dear lord!



My excellent good friends!

How dost thou, Guildenstern?



Ah, Rosencrantz!



Oh, good lads,

how do you both?



As the indifferent children

of the earth.



Happy in that we are not overhappy.

On Fortune's cap we are

not the very button.



Nor the soles of her shoes?



Neither, my lord.



Then you live about her waist,

or in the middIe of her favours?



Faith, her privates we.



In the secret parts of fortune?



O, most true!

She is a strumpet.



Well what news?



None, my lord, but that

the world's grown honest.



Then is doomsday near.

But your news is not true.



Let me question more in particular.



What have you, my good friends

deserved at the hands of fortune

that she spends you to prison hither?



Prison, my lord?



Denmark's a prison.



Then is the world one.



A goodly one,



in which there are many confines,

wards and dungeons,

Denmark begin one of the worst.



We think not so, my lord.



Why, then 'tis none to you,

for there is nothing either



good or bad

but thinking makes it so.



To me it is a prison.



Why then your ambition makes it one.

'Tis too narrow for your mind.



O, God, I could be bounded in

a nutshell and count myself a king

of infinite space...



were it not that I have bad dreams.



But in the beaten way of friendship,

what make you at Elsinore?



To visit you, my lord:

no other occasion.



Beggar that I am,

I am even poor in thanks



but I thank you.



Were you not sent for?



Is it your own inclining?

Is it a free visitation?



Well... come, come,

nay, speak.



What should we say, my lord?



Why anything but to the purpose.

You were sent for.



And there is a kind of confession

in your looks which your modesties

have not craft enough to colour.



I know the good King and Queen

have sent for you.



To what end, my lord?



That you must teach me.



Be even and direct with me,

whether you were sent for or no.



My lord, we were sent for.



Ah... I will tell you why.



I know he finds it striking

too short at grief...



His antique sword the bearer

to his arms lies where it falls,

repugnant to command.



I have of late,

but wherefore I know not,



lost all my mirth, foregone

all custom of exercises,



and indeed, it goes so heavily

with my dispositions...



that this goodly frame, the earth,

seems to me a sterile promontory:



this most excellent canopy,

the air, look you, this brave

o'er hanging firmament...



this majestical roof

fretted with golden fire,






it appeareth nothing to me

but a foul and pestilent

congregation of vapours.



What a piece of

work is a man,



How noble in reason,



how infinite in faculties,

in form and moving

how express and admirable,



in action how like an angel,

in apprehension how like a god:



the beauty of the world,

the paragon of animals,

and yet to me,



what is this quint essence of dust?



Man delights not me...



nor woman neither though by your

smiling you seem to say so.



My lord, there was

no such stuff in my thoughts.



Why did ye laugh then,

when I said "Man delights not me"?



To think, my lord,

if you delight not in man...



what Lenten entertainment

the players shall receive from you.



We coted them on the way:

and hither are they coming

to offer you service.



Eh, he that plays

the king shall be welcome.



Gentleman, you are welcome to

Elsinore. Your hands, come then.

You are welcome.



But my uncle-father

and aunt-mother are deceived.



In what, my dear lord?



I am but mad north-northwest.



when the wind is southerly

I know a hawk from a handsaw.



Well be with you, gentleman.



Hark you... Guildenstern...

And eh you too, at each ear a hearer.



that great baby you see there is not

yet out of his swaddling clouts.



I will prophesy he comes

to tell me of the players.



My lord, I have news to tell you.



Eh my lord,

I have news to tell you.



When Roscius was

an actor in Rome.



The actors are come hither,

my lord.



Buzz, buzz.



Upon my honour--



Then came each actor on his ass.



The best actors in the world,

either for tragedy, comedy...



history, pastoral, pastoral-comical,





I thought you...




I say... look at this!



I think we can say

we made some progress.



You think so?

I think we can say that.



I think we can say

he made us look ridiculous.



We played it close

to the chest of course.

Question and answer!



He was scoring off us

all down the line.



He caught us on the wrong foot once

or twice, perhaps, but I think

we gained some ground.



He murdered us.

He might have had the edge.



Twenty-seven-three, and you think

he might have had the edge?



He murdered us.

What about our evasions?



Oh, our evasions were lovely.



You were sent for? He says.

"My lord, we were sent for."



I didn't know where to put myself.

He had six rhetoricals-



It was question and answer alright.

And two repetitions.



Twenty-seven questions he got out

and answered three. I was waiting

for you to delve.



When is he going to start delving,

I asked myself.



We got his symptoms, didn't we?



Half of what he said meant

something else, and the other

half didn't mean anything at all.



Thwarted ambition a sense

of grievance, that's my diagnosis.



Six rhetorical and two repetition,

leaving nineteen of which

we answered fifteen.



And what did we get in return?

He's depressed!



Denmark's a prison and he'd

rather live in a nutshell.



Some shadow play about the nature of

ambition and finally one direct

question which might've led somewhere



and led in fact to his illuminating

claim to tell a hawk for a handbag.







When the wind is southerly.



And the weather's clear.



And when it isn't he can't.



He's at the mercy

of the elements.



Is that southerly?



We came from roughly south.



Which way is that?



In the morning the sun would be

easterly. I think we can assume that.



That it's morning?



If it is, and the sun is over there,



for instance,

that would be northerly.



On the other hand,

if it is not morning

and the sun is over there.



that would still be northerly.



To put it another way,



if we came from down there,

and it's morning, the sun

would be up there...



but if is actually, over there,

and it's still morning,



we must have come from back

there and if that is southerly,

and the sun is really over there...



then it's the afternoon.



However, if none of these

is the case.



Why don't you go and have a look?




Is that all you have to offer?



I merely suggest

the position of the sun...



if it is out, would give

you a rough idea of the time.



Alternatively, the clock,

if it is going,



would give you a rough idea

of the position of the sun.



I forget which you are

trying to establish.



I am trying to establish

the direction of the wind.



There isn't any wind.



Draught, yes.



Repugnant to command, unequal

match'd Pyrrhus at Priam drives,

in rage strikes wide.



but with the whiff

and wind of his fell sword,



the unnerved father falls.



Then senseless llium,



seeming to feel his blow,

with flaming top. Stoops to his base,



and with a hideous crash.



Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear.



For lo, his sword...



Of reverend Priam,

seem'd I the air to stick...



Mind the bottom of...



the step.






Aroused vengeance sets

him new a-word,



and never did the Cyclops'

hammers fall on Mars his armours,



forg'd for proof eterne,



with less remorse than

Pyrrhus bleeding sword. Priam.



Out... out thou

strumpet Fortune,



all you gods, in general

Synod take away her power,



break all the spokes

and fellies from her wheel,



and bowl the round nave down

the hill of Heaven, as low as

to the fiends.



This is too long.



It shall to the barber's,

with your beard.



Prithee say on: he's for a speech,

or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps.



Say on, come to Hecuba.



But who, O who, had

seen the mobled Queen...



The mobled Queen?

That's good, mobled Queen is good.



This is interesting.



'Tis well.



I'll have thee speak

out the rest of this soon.



Good, my lord, will you see

the players well bestowed?

Do you hear?



Let them be well used, for

they are the abstract and

brief chronicles of the time.



After your death you were better

have a bad epitaph than their

ill report while you live.



My lord, I will use them

according to their desert.



God's bodkin, man, much better!



Use every man after his desert,

and who shall scape whipping?



Use them after your own

honour and dignity.



The less they deserve,

the more merit is in your bounty.



Take them in.

Come sirs.



Follow him, friends:

we'll hear a play tomorrow.



Can you play the

"Murder of Gonzago"?



Ay, my lord.



We'll have it tomorrow night.



You could for a need study a speech

of some    or    lines which I would

set down and insert in it.



Follow that lord and

look you mock him not.



My good friends,

I'll leave you till night.

You are welcome in Elsinore.



Good, my lord.



So you've caught up.



Not yet, sir.



Now mind your tongue,

or we'll have it out and



throw the rest of you away like

a nightingale at a Roman feast.



Took the words out of my mouth.

You'd be lost for words.



You'd be tongue tied.

Like a mute in a monologue.



Like a nightingale

at a Roman feast.



You left us.

Yes... on the road.



You don't understand the humiliation

of it... to be tricked out of

the single assumption



that makes our existence bearable.

That somebody is watching.



We are actors, we are

the opposite of people.




We need an audience.



We had an appointment.

That is true.



You know why you're here.



We only know what

we're told and for all we

know it isn't even true.



One acts on assumptions.

What do you assume?



Hamlet is not himself outside or in.

We have to glean what afflicts him.



He's melancholy.





How is he mad?



How's he mad?



More morose than mad perhaps.







He had moods.

Of moroseness?



Madness and yet.




For instance.



He talks to himself which

might be madness.



If he didn't talk sense,

which he does.

Which suggests the opposite.



Of what?

I think I have it.



A man talking sense to himself...



is no madder than a man talking

nonsense not to himself.



Or just as mad.

Or just as mad.



And he does both.

So there you are.



Start raving sane.




Ah. Why?




Exactly what?



Exactly why?

Exactly why what?







Why what, exactly?

Why is he mad?



I don't know!



The old man thinks he's

in love with his daughter.



We're out of our depth here!



No, no, no, he hasn't

got a daughter,



the old man thinks he's in

love with his daughter.



The old man is?



Hamlet. In love.

Man's daughter.



The old man thinks.



It's beginning to make sense!

Unrequited passion!



Where are you going?



I can come and go as I please.



You know your way around.

I've been here before.



We're still finding our feet.



I should concentrate on

not losing your heads.



Do you speak from knowledge?




You've been here before.



And I know which way

the wind is blowing.



Wait! Back!



This place is a mad house.



Behind ye!



Are you familar with this play?




A slaughterhouse,

eight corpses all told.







What are they?



They're dead.



Actor! What do you know about death?

The mechanics of cheap melodrama!

Cheap melodrama.



It doesn't bring

death home to anyone!

It's not at home to anyone!



Shut up!

Shut up!



You can't do death!



On the contrary,

it's what we do best.



We have to exploit

whatever talent is given to us

and our talent is for dying.



We can die heroically, comically,

ironically, sadly, suddenly, slowly...



disgustingly charmingly

or from a great height.



Audiences know what to expect,

and that is all they are

prepared to believe in.






And can you by no drift of

conference get from him why

he puts on his confusion?



He does confess he

feels himself distracted.



But from what cause

he will by no means speak.



(To be or not to be...)



that is the question.



Did he receive you well?



Most like a gentleman.



But with much forcing

of his disposition.



Niggard of question but of our

demands, most free in his reply.



Did you assay him

to any pastime?



Madam, it so fell out that certain

players we o'er-raught on the wat



of these we told him, and there

did seem in him a kind ofjoy

to hear of it.



They are here about the court,

this night to play before him.



'Tis most true,



and he beseeched me to entreat

your Majesties to here

and see the matter.



Good gentlemen,



give him a further edge and drive

his purpose into these delights.



We shall, my load.



Sweet Gertrude, leave us too...



For we have closely

sent for Hamlet hither,



that he, as 'twere by accident

may here affront Ophelia.



Do you ever think of yourself

as actually dead lying in a box

with a lid on it?






Nor do I really.



It's silly to be depressed by it.



I mean, one thinks of it

like being alive in a box,



and one keeps forgetting to take

into account the fact that

one is dead...



which should make all

the difference... shouldn't it?



I mean, you'd never know you

were in a box, would you?



It would be just like

you were asleep in a box.



Not that I'd like to sleep in a box,

mind you, not without any air,



you'd wake up dead for a start,

and then where would you be?



In a box. That's the bit I don't

like frankly. That's why don't

think of it.



Because you'd be helpless?



Stuffed in a box like that, I mean,

you'd be in there for ever.



Even taking into account the fact

that you're dead, it isn't

a pleasant thought.



Especially if you're dead,




ask yourself,



if I asked you straight off...



I'm going to stuff you in this box

now, would you rather

be alive or dead.



Naturally, you prefer to be alive.



Life in a box is better than

no life at all. I expect.



You'd have a chance at least.



You could lie there thinking well,

at least I'm not dead!



In a minute somebody is

going to bang on the lid

and tell me to come out.



Hey, you! What's yer name!

Come out of there!



I think I'm going to kill you.



Nymph, in thy orisons be

all my sins remembered.



I wouldn't think about it,

if I were you. You'd only

get depressed.



My lord, I have

rememberances of yours



that I have long had

long to redeliver,



I pray you now receive them.



No, not I.

I never gave you ought.



My honoured lord, you know

right well you did.



And with them words of so

sweet breath composed as

made the things more rich.



Whatever became of the moment

when one first knew about death?



There must have been one,

a moment, in childhood,



when it first occurred to you that

you don't go on forever.



It must have been shattering

stamped into one's memory.



And yet I can't remember it.

It never occurred to me at all.



We must be born with

an intuition of mortality.



Before we know the word for it,



before we know

that there are words,



out we come,

bloodied and squalling...



with the knowledge that for all

the points of the compass,



there's only one direction

and time is its only measure.



What is the dumb show for?

It's a device, really,



it makes the action that follows

more or less comprehensible.



You understand,



we are tied down to a language

which makes up in obscurity

what it lacks in style.



Is this the "Murder of Gonzago"?

That's the least of it.



Who was that?



The king's brother

and uncle to the prince.



Not exactly fraternal.



Not exactly avuncular

as time goes on.



Go to, I'll no more on't,

it hath made me mad!



I say we will have

no more marriages!



Those that are married already

all but one shall live.



The rest shall keep as they are.

To a nunnery, go.



That didn't look like love to me.






His affections do not that way tend,



nor what he spake,

though it lacked form a little,



was not like madness.



How now Ophelia.

You need not tell us what

Lord Hamlet said, we heard it all.



There's something in his soul

o'er which his melancholy

sits on brood.



And I do doubt the hatch and

the disclose will be some danger,



which for to prevent

I have in quick determination.



Thus set it down:

he shall with speed to England.



Gentlemen! Gentlemen,

it doesn't seem to be coming.



We are not getting it at all

what do you think?



What was I supposed to think?

Wasn't that the end?



Do you call that an ending?

With practically everyone

still on his feet?



My goodness

no over your dead body.



There's a design at work in all

art surely you know that?



Events must play themselves

out to an aesthetic, moral

and logical conclusion.



And what's that in this case?

It never varies.



We aim for

the point where everyone

who is marked for death dies.






Generally speaking things have

gone about as far as

they can possibly go



when things have got about as

bad as they can reasonably get.



Who decides?



Decides? It is written.



We're tragedians, you see.

We follow direction there

is no choice involved.



The bad end unhappily,

the good unluckily.



That is what tragedy means.




Having murdered his brother

and wooed the widow,



the Poisoner mounts the throne!



Here we see him.

And his queen give rein

to their unbridled passion!



Enter Lucianus,

nephew to the king!



Usurped by his uncle and shattered

by his mother's incestuous marriage...



He loses his reason.



Throwing the court into turmoil



and disarray staggering

from the suicidal to the merely idle.



He has a plan to catch

the conscience of the king.



The king rises!




frighted with false fire!



How fares my lord?



Give o'er the play!

Give me some light!






That's so interesting play.

What a thing of the world!



It wasn't that bad...



There's something

they're not telling us.




There's something

they're not telling us.



My lord...

My lord...



The Queen would speak with you.

And presently...



Do you see yonder cloud that's

almost in the shape of a camel?



By the mass, and this like

a camel indeed.



Me thinks it is like a weasel.

It is backed like a weasel.



Or like a whale?

Very like a whale.



Then I will come to

my mother by and by.



I will say so.

'By and by' is easily said.



Leave me, friends.



I like him not, nor stand it safe

with us to let his madness range.



Therefore prepare you.



I your commission will forthwith

despatch, and he to England

shall along with you.



No by the Rood, not so:

You are the Queen,



your husband's brother's wife,

but would you were not so.

You are my mother.



Nay, then I'll set those to you

than can speak.



Come come and sit you down,

you shall not budge.



You go not till I sent you up

a glass, where you may see

the in most part of you.



What wilt thou do thou:

wilt not murder me.



Help... help... ho.



How now! A rat?

Dead, for a ducat dead!



Oh, I am slain!

Oh me, what hast thou done?



Nay, I know not!



Is the king?



Oh, what a rash and

bloody deed is this?



A rash and bloody deed?



A bloody deed almost as bad,

good mother, as kill a king and

marry with his brother.



As kill a king?

Ay, lady, it was my word.



Thou wretched, rash,

intruding fool, farewell!



Is that you?

I don't know.



It's you.



We're not dead yet then?

Well we're here, aren't we?



Are we?

I can't see a thing.



We're on a boat.

I know.



Dark, isn't it?

Not for night.



No, not for night.



It's dark for day.

Oh, yes, it's dark for day.



Do you think death

could possibly be a boat?



No, no, no...

death is... not. Death isn't.



You take my meaning. Death is

the ultimate negative. Not being.



You can't not be on a boat.



I've frequently not been on boats.



No, no, no...

what you've been is not on boats.



I wish I was dead.



I could jump over the side.

That would put a spoke

in their wheel.



Unless they're counting on it.



I shall remain on board.

That will put a spoke in their wheel.



You all right?

Yes, why?



Would you like to come up now?

Yes all right, thank you.



Try to be more careful.




Nice bit of planking that.




Lovely bilges.




Beautiful bottom...

Yes. I'm very fond of boats myself.



I like the way

they're contained.



You don't have to worry

about which way to go,

or whether to go at all...



the question doesn't arise,

does it?



I think I'll spend the rest

of my life on boats.



Very healthy.

One is free on a boat.



For a time, relatively.



I think I'm going to be sick.



He's there!



What's he doing?




It's all right for him.



What is?

He can sleep.



It's all right for him.

He's got us now.



He can sleep.

It's all done for him.



He's got us.

And we've got nothing.



And we've got nothing.



Why don't you say something original!

You don't take me up on anything...



you just repeat everything

I say in a different order.



I can't think of anything original.

I am only good in support.



I'm sick of making the running.



There it's all right.

I'll see we're all right.



But we've got nothing to go on.

We're out on our own.



We're on our way to England.

We're taking Hamlet

to the English King.



What for?

What for? Where have you been?






We've got a letter.

You remember the letter.



Do I?



Everything is explained

in the letter.



Is that it, then?




So we take Hamlet to the English

King, we hand over the letter,

what then?



That's it, we're finished.

Who is the English King?



That depends on

when we get there.



So we've got a letter

which explains everything.



You've got it.



I thought you had it.

I do have it.



You have it.

You've got it.



I don't get it.

You haven't got it.



I just said that.

I've got it.



Oh, I've got it.

Shut up.






What a shambles!

We're just not getting anywhere!



I don't believe in it anyway.



In what?




Just a conspiracy of

cartographers, you mean?

I mean I don't believe it.



And even if it's true, the King of

England won't know what we're

taking about.



What are we going to say?

We say your majesty,

we have arrived.



And who are you?

We are Rosencrantz

and Guildenstern.



Never heard of you!

Well, we're nobody special.



What's your game?

We have our instructions...



First I've heard of it.

Let me finish.



We've come from Denmark.



What do you want?




We're delivering Hamlet...

Who's he?



You've heard of him.

Oh, I've heard of him all right



and I want nothing to do with it.

You march in here without

so much as a by your leave



and expect me to take in every

lunatic you try to pass off with

a lot of unsubstantiated.



We've got a letter!

I see... I see...



Well, this seems to support your

story. Such as it is... it is an exact

command from the King of Denmark.



for several different reasons,

importing Denmark's health

and England's too,



that on the reading of this letter,

without delay, I should have

Hamlet's head cut off!



We're his friends.



How do you know?



From our young days

brought up with him.



You've only got their word for it.



But that's what we depend on.



Well, yes... and then again no.



Let us keep things in proportion.

Assume, if you like, that they're

going to kill him.



Well, he is a man, he is mortal.

Death comes too, so on extra.



And consequently he would have

died anyway, sooner or later.



And then again,

what is so terrible about death?



As Socrates so philosophically

put it, since we don't know what

death is, it is illogical to fear it.



It might be... very nice.



Or to look at it another way,



we are little men, we don't know

the ins and outs of the matter,

there are wheels within wheels, etc...



All in all, I think we'd be well

advised to leave well alone.



It's awful.

But it could have been worse.



I was beginning

to think it was.






Huh, all in the same boat then.



What do you make of it so far?



What's a happening?






Everyone on stage!






Where's Hamlet?




Gone where?



The pirates took him.



But they can't.

We're supposed to be...



we've got a letter which says...



the whole thing's pointless

without him, we need

Hamlet for our release!



I'll pretend to be...

You pretend to be him and...



I suppose we just go on.

Go where?




England! I don't believe it!



Just a conspiracy

of cartographers you mean.



I mean I don't believe it and even

if it's true what do we say?



We say we've arrived!

Who are you?



We are Guildenstern

and Rosencrantz.



Which is which?

Well, I'm Guildenstern.



And then he's Rosencrantz. Exactly.

What does this have to do with me?



You turn up out of the blue

with some cock and bull story.



We have a letter!

A letter!



As England is Denmark's faithful

tributary as love between them

like the palm might flourish, etc.



That on the knowing of this contents,

without delay of any kind...



should those bearers Rosencrantz

and Guildenstern, put to

sudden death.



Not that letter.

Give him the other one.



I haven't got another one.



They've gone!



It's all over!



Where we went wrong?

Was getting on a boat.



They had it in for us didn't they?

Right from the beginning who'd have

thought that we were so important?



But why?



Was it all for this? Who are we

that so much should converge

on our little deaths?



You are Rosencrantz

and Guildenstern. That is enough.



No, it is not enough.



To be told so little to

such an end and still, finally,

to be denied an explanation.



In our experience,

almost everything ends in death.



Your experience! Actors!



You die a thousand casual deaths

and come back in a different hat.



But nobody gets up after death...



there's no applause only silence

and some secondhand

clothes, that's death!



If we have a destiny, then so

had he and this is ours,

then that was his



and if there are no explanations

for us, then let there

be none for him.



Oh, come, come gentlemen,

no flattery it was merely competent.



You see, it is the kind

you do believe in,



it's what is expected.

Deaths for all ages and occasions!



Deaths of king and princes

and nobodies...



That's it then, is it?



We've done nothing wrong.

We didn't harm anyone, did we?



I can't remember.



All right, then, I don't care.

I've had enough.



To tell you the truth,

I'm relieved.



There must have been

a moment at the beginning,

where we could have said no.



But somehow we missed it.

Well, we'll now better next time.



Till then.



The sight is dismal.



And our affairs from

England come too late.



The ears are senseless that should

give us hearing. To tell him his

commandment is fulfilled...



that Rosencratz

and Guildenstern are dead.




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