Old Hamlet’s ghost is still running around Lake Whimsy. I like to imagine how differently events in the drama would have played out if the old man had first appeared in this fashion to his son. Or Claudius. Or everyone in Denmark.
That would have made it a right different play, I reckon.
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up they soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted a combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine…
I’ve always been overly fond of the line, “Like quills upon the fretful porpentine…” I just like the sound of it. I also like the notion that the word picture isn’t quite complete unless one describes the porpentine as fretful. But, see, that’s why Shakespeare was a genius.
Also, I designed the ghost of Old Hamlet with Brian Blessed in mind – he played the ghost in Kenneth Branagh’s film version of the play (fully dressed and updating the word to “porcupine” – so, you can see it wasn’t a perfect adaptation).
Here’s a quick reminder:
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