ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN
by W.S. Gilbert
Ophelia is discussing Hamlet's physical and mental attributes with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Sometimes he's tall sometimes he's very short-
Now with black hair now with a flaxen wig-
Sometimes an English accent then a French-
Then English with a strong provincial "burr."
Once an American, and once a Jew-
But Danish never, take him how you will!
And strange to say, whate'er his tongue may be,
Whether he's dark or flaxen-English-French-
Though we're in Denmark, A.D., ten-six-two-
He always dresses as King James the First! …
Opinion is divided. Some men hold
That he's the sanest, far, of all sane men-
Some that he's really sane, but shamming mad-
Some that he's really mad, but shamming sane-
Some that he will be mad, some that he was-
Some that he couldn't be. But on the whole
(As far as I can make out what they mean)
The favourite theory's somewhat like this:
Hamlet is idiotically sane
With lucid intervals of lunacy.