Scene Four


Spot falls downstage right. A palm tree represents Egypt. MARK ANTONY is speaking to an ATTENDANT.
MARK ANTONY
From Sicyon, ho, the news! Speak there!

ATTENDANT

The man from Sicyon---is there such a one?

MARK ANTONY

Let him appear.
These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Or lose myself in dotage.
                                                           (GILES enters, falls to one knee, pulls out his scroll.)
What are you?

GILES

Oh, my good lord, the Duke of Cornwall's dead:
Slain by his servant, going to put out
The other eye of Gloucester.

MARK ANTONY

What Duke of Cornwall? What Gloucester? What other eye?

GILES

A servant that he bred, thrill'd with remorse,
Opposed against the act, bending his sword
To his great master; who, threat enraged,
Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him, dead;
But notů (Suddenly aware he has the wrong scroll as MARK ANTONY draws his sword.)
MARK ANTONY
Fool! I shall put out your other eye!

                                                           (THEY freeze.  A second spot falls a few feet away.  GONERIL and her
                                                            husband, DUKE OF ALBANY, both dressed in pre-Christian clothes,
                                                            are seen.)

ALBANY

Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile:
Filths savour but themselves. What have you done?
Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd?
A father, and a gracious aged man,
Whose reverence even the head-lugged bear would lick,
Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded.
Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
A man, a prince, by him so benefited!
If that the heavens do not their visible spirits dislocate and tear
Thy flesh and bones: howe'er thou art a fiend,
A woman's shape doth shield thee.

GONERIL

Marry, your manhood now---

                                                           (OSWYN enters.)

ALBANY

What news?

OSWYN

                                                           (to Goneril)
Fulvia, thy wife is dead. She died in Sicyon:
Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
Importeth thee to know, this bears.

                                                           (HE hands her a letter. SHE cringes.)

GONERIL

Fulvia, my wife??!!

ALBANY

You dare accuse my wife of having a wife?

OSWYN

                                                          (checking the scroll)
Of having had a wife. But perhaps this means your wife.

ALBANY

Thou sayeth I am a bigamist!

GONERIL

Kill him, husband! (ALBANY draws a dagger. THEY freeze. Third spotlight comes on next to it. A slight feeling of desert in Bohemia. ANTIGONUS is alone with a baby in his arms. During his soliloquy HE places the baby on the ground.)
ANTIGONUS
The storm begins, poor wretch,
That for thy mother's fault art thus exposed
To loss and what may follow! Weep I cannot,
But my heart bleeds; and most accursed am I
To be by oath enjoin'd to this. Farewell!
The day frowns more and more: thou'rt like to have
A lullaby too rough: I never saw
The heavens so dim by day. A savage clamour!
Well may I get abroad!
This is the chase:
I am gone forever.
                                                          (looking about, louder)
I am gone forever.

                                                          (AVERY enters.)

AVERY

Letters, my lord, from Hamlet:
This to your majesty; this to the queen.

ANTIGONUS

I'm no majesty and I got no queen! And you're supposed to be a bear!

AVERY

Sailors, my lord, they say brought them. I saw them not.
They were given me by Claudio; he received them
Of him that brought them.

ANTIGONUS

What nonsense is this? How can I be killed if thou art not a bear! And if I am not killed, then I shall return to Paulina and she shall pry it out of me where I left the little one, and I shall tell her, and she shall tell Leontes and that ruins everything! Oh, my God! You just squashed the baby! (HE raises his hands to strangle Avery. THEY freeze. Fourth spot now illuminates downstage left. Now we are at Elsinore. LAERTES and CLAUDIUS are together.)
LAERTES
And so have I a noble father lost;
A sister driven into desperate terms,
Whose worth, if praises may go back again,
Stood challenger on mount of all the age
For her perfections: but my revenge will come.

CLAUDIUS

Break not your sleeps for that: you must not think
That we are made of stuff so flat and dull
That we can let our beard be shook with danger
And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more:
I loved your father, and we love ourself;
And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine--- (MAUDE hurries on in her bear's outfit, her arms raised in a menacing manner. LAERTES screams.)
LAERTES
A bear! God save us!

CLAUDIUS

Some bear! (HE tears the bear's head off. MAUDE is utterly confused. LAERTES draws his dagger. Now all FOUR SCENES come alive.
GILES, OSWYN, AVERY and MAUDE yell in terror and race out of their individual groups and run for their lives exiting stage left. ANTONY, ALBANY, GONERIL, ANTIGONUS, LAERTES and CLAUDIUS step down to the footlights.)
ANTONY, ALBANY, GONERIL, ANTIGONUS, LAERTES & CLAUDIUS
Kill!
Kill!
Kill the messenger!
Whip him until he's scarred!

Kill!
Kill!
Kill the messenger!
Hoist him up by his own petard!

Messengers have no faces!
Messengers have no souls!
You have to put them in their places---
And you know where to stuff those goddamned scrolls!

Kill!
Kill!
Kill the messenger!
Though he may scrape and bow!

Kill!
Kill!
Kill the messenger!
And you've got to kill him now!
You have got to kill him now!


                                                            (THEY march off stage left in pursuit.)
 
 

LIGHTS DIM