Hamlet For Dummies

 A Dreadfully Diseased Denmark

Now listen kids while I tell you a tale

That’s full of life’s lessons and secrets to unveil,

About an intricate and perceptive young man

Whose name is Hamlet but we’ll call him Ham.

This unstable fable takes place in a castle of stone

Whose if walls could talk they would moan and groan.

They would cry in awful agony

For here in this castle unfolds a great tragedy.

 

There once lived a king inside the ill-fated castle

He was the father of Ham and became quite a hassle.

For he was the brother of a man lustful and shrewd

A man named Claudius, skillful, but rude.

Claudius wanted to be king so he came up with a plan

To murder the king and cause the downfall of Ham.

So he prepared a poisonous potion to pour down King’s ear

That Claudius was a serpent, a clear mutineer.

Poor, poor King robbed of his life and his throne

Was left in an orchard to die all alone.

Claudius did not winch at his brother’s body by poison devoured.

All he could feel was the wealth and the power.

But why would anyone do such a terrible thing?

Control, my friends, to live life as a king.

But that’s just the start of the story

Don’t worry it gets better, more surprising and gory.

 

Not more than two months after King’s death

His wife, Gertrude, wed in less than a breath.

Now Gertrude was a woman who desired affection

A woman who was charming yet very dependent.

As you might guess, she married no other than Claudius.

A result of her lack of rational and unlucky choices.

This quick marriage brought madness to Ham

He detested the idea, thought it was vile, an act to be damned.

A short while later, there was an eerie sight

A ghost was seen by a knight in the mist of the night

It was the ghost of King who’d come to see Ham

To tell him how he was killed by an evil sham.

He told Ham to seek vengeance, no sleep till it’s done

Then, like a shooting star, he left as fast as he’d come.

 

Soon after the meeting, Ham became obsessed with revenge

He acted crazy and wild, but it’s all just pretend.

Claudius and Gertrude became worried with his flimflam

So they hired two men to spy on mad Ham.

But nothing was solved from the espionage

Claudius, with fear for his life, told Ham, “Bon voyage!”

He sent Ham to England with the undercover men

Only to discover Ham wasn’t condemned.

Instead, he escaped onto a pirate’s ship

Where he writes to Horatio to tell him the drift.

 

Meanwhile, back in the castle of Denmark

Things were getting disorderly, it’s like a feral theme park.

Ham’s lover, Ophelia, learned of her father’s untimely death,

Did I mention he was stabbed by Ham in the chest?

Anyways, she sat on a tree, going wacky with grief

When suddenly she fell into a dark, doomed creek

No trying to get out, no struggle, no splash

Ophelia simply lay there and like her father, she died in a flash.

Her brother, Laertes, with the knowledge of fatalities

Came to the castle with rage and fury.

Claudius convinced the influential lad that Ham was to blame

For all that was wrong in the existence of Dane.

Together they concocted a plan to put Ham to his end

Both unconscious of irony that lay ahead.

 

Claudius and Laertes waited until Ham returned

So they could seek justice that their hearts had yearned.

When Ham finally came home from his wild adventure

He found himself in a place where happiness would not venture

Ham soon realized that his life was at stake

That it was now or never to give Claudius his deserving fate,

But wait, there had been a plan brewing while Ham was gone,

A sword fight with Laertes was said to go on.

Cludius set up Ham and Laertes in a little war

Ham agreed although he wasn’t the best with a sword.

With the help of Laertes’ desire for revenge

Claudius was secure at putting Ham to an end.

 

Before the duel was set to begin

Laertes’ sword was to be poisoned to ensure a win.

And Ham, like his dad, unaware of the risk

Started the fight with a swift flick of the wrist.

 

As the fighting took place, a crowd gathered round

Among them was Gertrude wearing her beautiful crown.

She held in her hand a simple liquid-filled cup

Innocent to the death that was mixed in the stuff.

Poor, poor Gertrude just had to take a swig

And, like her ex-husband, died from Claudius.

For the serpent had composed a back-up plan

That if the sword fight didn’t do it, the liquid’l kill Ham.

Sure enough, Gertrude started to die

Her body was being eaten inside.

And in all this madness, Laertes was cut by his own blade

Proving in fact that Claudius had taken advantage of his rage,

He died from the poison just like the queen did

Then Ham stabbed Claudius, his revenge being succeeded.

Ham, being poisoned as well, started to perish

But the sap died with no regrets and fulfilled his one wish.

He finally got vengeance, but also had to sacrifice life

But that is the impossibility of certainty and the struggle with strife.

 

This tale will go on for as long as there’s sun in the sky

To help people understand that you can run but not hide.

That you can never be right, nor ever be wrong

You can never win fate by just being strong.

The only people who prevail as life goes on

Are those who accept fate as time hops along.

May 13, 2005

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