哈姆雷特大審判,結果是?

To be or not to be, that is the question—
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep—
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to — 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep—
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life,
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action
.    

              Hamlet, Act III, Scene I

Shakespeare watched triumphantly from high above on Hamlet's trial

*********************************************

What do you make of the beautiful lines in the left column? (DO take some time to read through them, PLEASE.) Would you call this passage a crazy man's soliloquy, or the best description of the human nature ever written?

Let's see how those in a mock trial on Hamlet would say.


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 館藏介紹

Hamlet

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 英語宅急便

Guilty, or not? Sane, or not? Shakespeare wouldn't tell

哈姆雷特究竟是真瘋還是裝傻?他殺人是有罪還是無罪?連現代法庭也判不出個所以然來,看來莎士比亞又再度證明了他大師手筆的非同凡響!

Shylock: Antonio, I haven’t seen you for a long time. They said that you went on a trip to the States. How was that?

Antonio: Very enjoyable. I went to “Shakespeare in Washington,” a six-month festival with more than 500 performances and events of all kind—traditional, whimsical, inventive, and offbeat.

Shylock: Oh, that Shakespeare is quite a bad guy! He wrote a play called The Merchant of Venice, in which a poor Jew merchant is treated quite unfairly in a court scene.

Antonio: Speaking of the court, I went to “The Trial of Hamlet,” a mock trial based on Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, Hamlet. It was a whopping success. An audience of more than a thousand crowded into the theater to see how the case was prosecuted and defended, and what the final verdict would be.

Shylock: And what was the verdict?

Antonio: Since Shakespeare wrote a deliberate puzzle, the jurors deadlocked by 6 to 6, in elegant tribute to Shakespeare’s enigmatic masterpiece.

Shylock: What? They had a jury, too?

Antonio: Or what do you think a “mock trial” should look like? Things proceeded as they would be in a real court, only that the case is fictive. In additional to the jury, they had four nationally known attorneys who argued as they would in any court, and two prominent psychiatric experts who gave testimony with regard to Hamlet’s status of mind. Moreover, the trial was presided over by a real U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Shylock: That’s extraordinary. I don’t suppose that attorneys and psychiatrists and court justices whould have so much time performing for the public. Oh, wait a minute! Probably the psychiatrists do have some time.

Antonio: Hey, be respectful to psychiatrists. Our new century abounds in madness, and they are getting busier and busier these days.

Shylock: Alright then, what did our busy psychiatrists have to say about poor Hamlet’s mental status?

Antonio: They brought about an intriguing division. One diagnosis is that Hamlet’s monologues were signs of a crazy person talking to himself. And his encounters with his murdered father’s ghost were hallucinations that further proved his madness. But the other side simply believed that the seemingly schizophrenic Hamlet was feigning madness in order that he could carry out his criminal plan more smoothly. His sanity was so difficult to tell that it was no wonder the jurors were deadlocked.

Shylock: You see, I told you what a bad guy Shakespeare is. He wouldn’t rest in peace even hundreds of years after his death. He wanted everyone to keep arguing for something he failed to make clear.

Antonio: Ha, I guess you are partly right in saying so. But don’t forget one thing. Great writers never make everything clear. That’s why they are great.

 

Wordbank:

whimsical (adj) 異想天開的
psychiatric (adj) 精神病學的
offbeat (adj) 非傳統的,特異的
testimony (n) 證詞
mock (adj) 假的,模擬的
preside (v) 主持,擔任主席
whopping (adj) 巨大的
Supreme Court (n) 最高法院
crowd (v) 擠滿
abound in (ph) 充滿,富於
prosecute (v) 起訴
intriguing (adj) 有趣的
verdict (n) 判決
monologue (n) 獨白
deadlock (v) 僵持
hallucination (n) 幻覺
tribute (n) 敬意,尊崇
seemingly (adv) 表面上
enigmatic (adj) 如謎的,難理解的
schizophrenic (adj) 精神分裂的
masterpiece (n) 傑作,名作
feign (v) 假裝
fictive (adj) 想像的
sanity (n) 清醒
attorney (n) 律師
no wonder (ph) 難怪

 

相關連結:

Reuters:Sane or not, Hamlet a hit in Washington trial

Washington Post:Is he to be guilty, or not to be guilty?

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