13
Jun

Lost quarto of Hamlet

This recently discovered folio edition of Hamlet follows other known
versions closely until Act V, Scene II, where it begins to diverge at
line 232, as will be seen:

KING …Now the king drinks to Hamlet. Come, begin,
And you the judges, bear a wary eye

Trumpets sound. HAMLET and LAERTES take their stations

HAMLET: Come on, sir.
LAERTES: Come, my lord.

Enter FRED, DAPHNE, VELMA, SHAGGY, AND SCOOBY

DAPHNE: Wait!
SHAGGY: Stop the fight!

HAMLET and LAERTES put up their foils

KING: I like this not. Say wherefore you do speak?
FRED: Good lord, I pray thee, let thy anger wait.
For we, in seeking clues, have found the truth
Behind the strange events of latter days.
VELMA: The first clue came from Elsinores high walls,
Where, so said Hamlet, Hamlets ghost did walk.
Yet though the elder Hamlet met his death,
And perforce hath been buried in the ground,
Tis yet true one would not expect a ghost
To carry mud upon his spectral boots.
Yet mud didst Shaggy and his faithful hound
Espy, with footprints leading to a drop.
This might, at first, indeed bespeak a ghost…
Until, when I did seek for other answers,
I found a great, wide cloth of deepest black
Discarded in the moat of Elsinore.
Tis clear, the ghost used this to slow his fall
While darkness rendered him invisible.
FRED: The second clue we found, my lord, was this.
KING: It seems to me a portrait of my brother
In stained glass, that sunlight may shine through.
FRED: But see, my lord, when placed before a lantern–
KING: My brothers ghost!
HAMLET: My father!
VELMA: Nay, his image.
FRED: In sooth, that image caught the Princes eye
When he went to confront his lady mother.
Nor did his sword pierce poor Polonius.
For Hamlets blade did mark the castle wall
Behind the rent made in the tapestry.
Polonius was murdered by another.
The knife which killed him entered from behind.
LAERTES: But who?
FRED: Indeed my lords, that you shall see.
HAMLET: And if this ghost was naught but light and air,
Then what of that which I did touch and speak to?

The GHOST enters.

GHOST: Indeed, my son.
SHAGGY: Zoinks!
DAPHNE: Jenkies!
GHOST: Mark them not.
Thou hast neglected duty far too long.
Shall this, my murderer, live on unharmed?
Must I remain forever unavenged?

SCOOBY and SHAGGY run away from the GHOST. SCOOBY, looking backward,
runs into a tapestry, tearing it down. As a result, tapestries around
the walls collapse, one surrounding the GHOST.

GHOST: What?
FRED: Good Osric, pray restrain that ghost,
That we may reach the bottom of the matter.
Now let us see who truly walked tonight.

FRED removes the helm and the disguise from the GHOSTS face.

ALL: Tis Fortinbras!
FRED: The valiant prince of Norway!
FORTINBRAS: Indeed it is, and curses on you all!
This Hamlets father brought my own to death,
And cost me all my rightful heritage.
And so I killed this king, and hoped his son
Would prove no obstacle to Norways crown.
Then Claudius bethought himself the killer
(As if one might be poisoned through the ear!)
The brother, not the son, took Denmarks throne,
And held to Norway with a tighter grip.
I swore an end to Denmarks royal house.
I spoke to Hamlet of his uncles crimes.
Then killed Polonius to spark Laertes.
This day, with poisons aid, all might have died,
And Denmark might have come to me as well
As my beloved Norway and revenge.
My scheme blinded them all, as if by fog
But for these meddling kids and this their dog.

KING: The villain stands confessed. Now let us go.
For much remains to us to be discussed.
And suitable reward must needs be found
For these, our young detectives and their hound.

EXEUNT OMNES.

Copyright 1993, Michael S. Schiffer. Permission is hereby granted to post
this to the Usenet newsgroup rec.humor.funny. All other rights are reserved
to the author. To request permission to publish this in another forum,
electronically or on paper, please contact the author at mss2@tezcat.com.

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