Instant Monologues
Gilbert Rosencrantz Guildenstern Ophelia Instant Monologue


ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN
by W.S. Gilbert

Ophelia is discussing Hamlet's physical and mental attributes with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

OPHELIA

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.






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