HAMLET REX

SHORT EXCERPT FROM ACT TWO: SCENE 1

CLAUDIUS:

A life’s work

A life’s agony

This life of the desk has been agony

This constant exploration

this digging

Digging into the abyss

Writing is an abysmal excavation

We go further and further away from the light with each jolt of the spade

with each stroke of the pick

(HE REACHES FOR A CIGARETTE LIGHTER & BURNS THE NOTE IN HIS HAND, DROPPING IT INTO THE WASTE-PAPER BASKET)

A miner in need of a cave-in

(HE POURS HIMSELF ANOTHER DRINK. TAKES A SIP.

HE OPENS THE DRAW AND TAKES OUT A TAPE RECORDER AND A MICROPHONE. HE PLUGS THE MICROPHONE INTO THE RECORDER, TURNS THE RECORDER ON AND TALKS INTO THE MICROPHONE.)

I, Claudius

being of sound mind and body

sounder than I’ve been for a long time and as sound as I’ll ever be

fully conscious of the fact that I am moribund

that within twenty four hours I will be dead

killed by the habitual consumption of foul kippers

day in day out

putrid

rotting

stinking

kippers

This is my last will and testament

my last decree

I

who have never decreed anything

and now

have nothing left to decree

I have destroyed everything

or am in the process of it

By tomorrow

there will be nothing left