© everlark

Elegy of Fortinbras by Zbigniew Herbert 


Elegy of Fortinbras

To C. M. 

Now that we’re alone we can talk prince man to man 
though you lie on the stairs and see more than a dead ant 
nothing but black sun with broken rays 
I could never think of your hands without smiling 
and now that they lie on the stone like fallen nests 
they are as defenceless as before The end is exactly this 
The hands lie apart The sword lies apart The head apart 
and the knight’s feet in soft slippers 

You will have a soldier’s funeral without having been a soldier 
they only ritual I am acquainted with a little 
There will be no candles no singing only cannon-fuses and bursts 
crepe dragged on the pavement helmets boots artillery horses drums 
drums I know nothing exquisite 
those will be my manoeuvres before I start to rule 
one has to take the city by the neck and shake it a bit 

Anyhow you had to perish Hamlet you were not for life 
you believed in crystal notions not in human clay 
always twitching as if asleep you hunted chimeras 
wolfishly you crunched the air only to vomit 
you knew no human thing you did not know even how to breathe 

Now you have peace Hamlet you accomplished what you had to 
and you have peace The rest is not silence but belongs to me 
you chose the easier part an elegant thrust 
but what is heroic death compared with eternal watching 
with a cold apple in one’s hand on a narrow chair 
with a view on the ant-ill and clock’ dial 

Adieu prince I have tasks a sewer project 
and a decree on prostitutes and beggars 
I must also elaborate a better system of prisons 
since as you justly said Denmark is a prison 
I go to my affairs This night is born 
a star named Hamlet We shall never meet 
what I shall leave will not be worth a tragedy 

It is not for us to greet each other or bid farewell we live on archipelagos 
and that water these words what can they do what can they do prince


Act 1- Scene 1


Act 1- Scene 1

i am really way too proud of this tweet

i am really way too proud of this tweet


Christopher Plummer as Hamlet in “Hamlet at Elsinore” (1964)

What have I done that thou dar’st wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?

…having Hamlet and the Ghost communicating in sign language—one might describe it almost as their “private” language—also served to produce the (in my experience, unique) effect of putting the father-and-son pair in a sort of psycho-spiritual bubble, contra mundum; a bubble that excluded all others and highlighted Hamlet’s isolation. The relationship between father and son portrayed in most productions comes across as distant, severe and (on Hamlet’s part) rather worshipful, even awestruck. In this production the father/son relationship is portrayed as having been loving and paternally intimate, which makes Hamlet’s reaction to his father’s tale of murder all the more harrowing. [x] [x]


More death scenes, a continuation of this series. Lady Macbeth, Ophelia, and Antigonus (of “Exit pursued by a bear” fame). 


Hamlet in Hellboy: The Ghoul or Reflections on Death and the Poetry of Worms (2/2)

"My virtue or my plague, be it either which—
She’s so conjunctive to my life and soul,
That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,
I could not but by her."

- Claudius, about Gertrude (oh my godddddd)

Claudius, Hamlet (III.III) [x]

"To my sick soul, as sin’s true nature is,
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss:
So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt."

- William Shakespeare, Hamlet (via affs92)

-Queen Gertrude.
Aye, Madam, it is common. - Hamlet


-Queen Gertrude.

Aye, Madam, it is common. - Hamlet


I don’t know how popular the idea would be, but I’d like to see a Hamlet where they actually look like they’ve been poisoned. Instead of this really noble-looking death where Hamlet sort of sighs his last words and then shuts his eyes, you’d see him struggling to move or talk properly, or convulsing, or speaking those last words between spells of weakly coughing up blood. Just something more visceral and human looking I guess. With poor Horatio desperately trying to do anything to at least ease his prince’s passing but being able to do nothing except hold him. And then ‘the rest is silence’ has even more pathos, because his last moments are unrelentingly torturous just like his recent life has been and you’d really be able to understand that he finally perceives if not something ’good’ than at least an escape in the next world.
I’ve just been watching Fatal Attractions and it described how this woman died of a snakebite and when her landlady entered her house there was blood literally everywhere but mostly in the sink because the venom was like an anticoagulant or whatever and was making her bleed out of every orifice. It just really struck me and I thought it’s be a quite different way to treat the final scene is all.


Ian McKellen in the role of Prince Hamlet
UK/European Tour
23 March 1971 - 2 October 1971
Directed by Robert Chetwyn