Hamlet for the Shakespeare-Impaired

Act 3, Scene 4

The Queen's bedroom. Enter Queen and Polonius.

Polonius: Hamlet's on his way here. Scold him. Tell him he's irritating everyone, and demand that he start acting normal for once. Don't go easy on him. I'll be hiding behind this tapestry.
Queen: [Aside] And he knows where to hide in my bedroom because...?
Hamlet: [Within.] Mother!
Queen: Okay, Polonius. I understand. Now hide, I hear him coming.
[Polonius hides behind the tapestry.  Enter Hamlet.]
Hamlet: Hey, Mom, how's it hangin'? You wanted to talk to me?
Queen: Hamlet, you're offending your father's memory by acting so looney.
Hamlet: Mother, you've offended his memory much more than I have.
Queen: Don't take that tone of voice with me, young man.
Hamlet: I'm not too crazy about your tone, either.
Queen: What?
Hamlet: What's the matter now?
Queen: I know you're not right in the head, but surely you recognize your own mother!
Hamlet: Of course. You're the Queen, your husband's brother's wife, and, unfortunately, you're also my mother.
Queen: Don't make that face. It'll stay that way.
Hamlet: Come, come, and sit down. Stay put while I get you a mirror. Then you can see yourself and see if you recognize yourself!
Queen: What are you going to do? Murder me? Help!
Polonius: [Behind the tapestry.] What? Help? What's going on?
Hamlet: [Draws his sword.] What now? A rat? Uncle? Die, vermin!
[Hamlet stabs through the tapestry and kills Polonius. ]
Polonius: [Behind the tapestry.] Arg! You've killed me!
Queen: Oh, no! What have you done?
Hamlet: Uh, I'm not sure. Was that Uncle Claudius? The King?
Queen: I always said if you kept playing with that sword, you'd put someone's eye out. Now look! Polonius is dead! How horrible!
Hamlet: Almost as bad, dear Mother, as killing a king and marrying his brother.
Queen: As killing a king? What?
Hamlet: That's what I said.
[Hamlet lifts up the tapestry and sees Polonius, covered in blood.]
Hamlet:  [To Polonius.] You big boogerhead! Why did you have to interfere? I thought you were the King. Well, too bad! You had to come snooping, so you deserve to die. So there! Nyah! Now, Mom, sit down and stop hyperventilating. You're such a wimp sometimes!
Queen: What have I done to deserve this kind of rude talk from my own son?
Hamlet:  Don't act so innocent.  You adulteress!  Father's body was barely cold before you were shacking up with Uncle Claudius!  You make me sick.  You give marriage and love itself a bad name!
Queen: What are you talking about?
Hamlet: Father!  Look, there's his picture on the table.  He's standing next to Uncle Claudius.  You'd never know they were related, though.  Father was a real stud, a regular old Greek god, the perfect guy.  This was your husband.  And then look at what happened. There's your new husband, who looks like he's been bludgeoned with an ugly stick!  Can't you see?  You traded Leonardo DiCaprio for Meatloaf!  And you can't tell me you're in love with him.  You're so old I'm surprised you can still have sex.  I used to think you were a smart person, but even I, a madman, can see how wrong this is!  Shame on you!  You slut!
Queen: Shut up!  You have a point, but I don't want to hear it!
Hamlet: Go rest in your bed, the bed where you make love to Claudius.  I hope you've changed the sheets recently.
Queen: Stop it!  Stop saying those things!  Your words are like daggers in my ears!  Be quiet!
Hamlet: You're sleeping with an evil murderer!  King or no king, he's a villain!  He killed Father!
[Enter the Ghost in his nightgown. ]
Hamlet: The real king!  Father!  Please, be my guardian angel!  Help me!
Queen: Alas!  He's totally nuts!
Hamlet: Father, did you came to scold me for delaying the revenge?  I'm sorry I've been procrastinating.  I know this is important.  Please, Father, forgive me!
Ghost: Don't forget. I came back to remind you that you have kill Claudius.  But, see how upset your mother is.  Be nice to her.  Speak to her for me, please, my boy.
Hamlet: How are you, Milady?
Queen: How am I?  How are you?  You're talking to thin air, Hamlet.  You're too old for ghost stories.  Your hair is standing on end.  What's wrong?  What are you looking at?
Hamlet: Him!  Who else?  Dad's a ghost, you see.  He came to remind me that I need to avenge his death.
Queen: But who are you talking to?
Hamlet: Don't you see anything there?
Queen: Nothing that isn't always there.
Hamlet: And you didn't hear anything, either?
Queen: Just us.
Hamlet: But...look!  He's leaving!  It's Father, in his nightshirt!  See, he's walking though the wall!
[Exit Ghost. ]
Queen: It's all just your imagination, Hamlet.  There's no such thing as ghosts.
Hamlet: I'm as sane as you are.  My heart's not racing or anything.  I'm not insane, really!  I can prove it!  So don't worry about me.  Worry about yourself, sinner.  Sorry if I hurt your feelings.
Queen: Oh, Hamlet, you've broken my heart with all those insults!
Hamlet: Good.  Throw out the bad parts and just keep the pure pieces.  Good night, now.  But for heaven's sake don't sleep with Uncle Claudius tonight.  Try to maintain a little dignity, for heaven's sake.  I'm sure he's great in bed, but take a night off, okay?  You might enjoy it more next time if you took a break.  Now, as for the stiff, [points to Polonius' body] I'm sorry I did that.  It was just one of those things.  I'm sure I'll pay for it in the afterlife.  Oh, and one more thing, Mom.
Queen: What?
Hamlet: Please, please please, don't sleep with Claudius tonight!  He's a fat, icky man.  Don't let him pinch your cheek, call you his little ooglety snookums, kiss you, grope you, and all that stuff.  He'd be too distracted to understand the message I want you to give him.  Tell him I'm really not crazy, just tricky.  Please, tell him that.  He'll believe it from you.
Queen: I can't.  I just can't, Hamlet.
Hamlet:  He's sending me off to England; you know.
Queen: Oh, yeah, that's right.  I forgot.  He is.
Hamlet: He sealed a packet of letters and gave it to my old buddies Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  I don't trust those two snakes.  They're going to lead me to my doom, I just know it!  I've got to get away if I can.  Now, then, I'll lug this rotten carcass into the other room.  Good night, Mother. Gee, Polonius looks grave.  Get it?  Grave, serious...grave, coffin!  Ha ha!  Isn't that funny, Polonius?  Oh, that's right.  You're dead.  You can't laugh.  Oh well.  Nighty night, Mom.

[Exit the Queen.  Exit Hamlet dragging Polonius.]