Staging Excerpt

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HAMLET: […] Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

(He studies the dagger, sets his jaw, prepares to strike. At this moment, OPHELIA enters; sizing the situation at a glance, she drops her book and throws her arms around HAMLET, seizing the dagger just as it moves towards him. Startled, HAMLET twists toward her –)

Soft you now!

(– and relaxes as he recognizes her. OPHELIA gently pries the knife from his hand and sheathes it.)

…the fair Ophelia. Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.

OPHELIA (quietly, not moving from their kneeling embrace)Good my lord,
How does your honor this many a day?

HAMLET: I humbly thank you; well, well, well…

(They sit, unmoving, OPHELIA holding his restless hands steady. There is a painfully familiar cough from just offstage, and OPHELIA winces, remembering her father’s commission. HAMLET hears it too, and remembers his.)

OPHELIA: My lord, I have remembrances of yours,
That I have longed long to redeliver…

March 20th, 2014