Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Shakespeare in Singlish - Hamlet, Act 3

Act 3, Scene 1

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern reported to Claudius that they could not discover from Hamlet the reason for his confused mind. However, they felt that Hamlet was very interested in the performance arranged for the night, which Polonius suggested that the king and queen should watch too.

After both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have left, Claudius and Polonius hid themselves because they have secretly arranged for Hamlet run into Ophelia. They will then observe Hamlet’s behavior, to determine whether he was indeed suffering from love. And so Ophelia sat down and started reading, while waiting for Hamlet.

HAMLET
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?

(Translation)
Like this or like that better leh?
Is it nobler to just diam diam endure those nasty bad luck,
or once and for all fight against those troubles
and put an end to them?


HAMLET
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 pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

(Translation)
Because we scared to die, we become cowards,
actually we are naturally bold and determined one
but now we are weak because we think too much.
By right we should action already but kana distracted,
so now become no action talk only.


Hamlet stopped mumbling to himself when he saw Ophelia. When Ophelia told him that she wanted to return him his letters, he admitted that he did loved her, but not anymore.

HAMLET
What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth
and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all. Believe none of us.
Go thy ways to a nunnery.

(Translation)
Why should someone like me be crawling between earth and heaven?
All of us are criminals, so you better don't believe anyone.
Go to the convent and become a nun lah!


OPHELIA
Oh, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!—
The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword,
Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th' observed of all observers, quite, quite down!

(Translation)
OMG! His noble mind is now lost!
Last time he so gentlemen, so strong like soldier, so smart like scholar,
He supposed to take over the throne one,
machiam the country's idol that everyone followed,
But now he has fallen so low liao!


By now, Claudius was sure that Hamlet was not in love but must be troubled by some other things. So he decided to send him to England to collect some debts, and hoped that the new environment can get him out of those sad and dangerous thoughts. However Polonius suggested that the queen should spend some quiet time with him alone while he hid himself again listening to their conversation. If he could confide in the queen his troubles, then perhaps he did not have to be sent to England.

Act 3, Scene 2

Hamlet instructed the performance players on the speech that he prepared. Polonius has also reported to him that both the king and queen will be attending the performance. After the Polonius and the players left, Hamlet talked to Horatio about his plan.

HAMLET
There is a play tonight before the king.
One scene of it comes near the circumstance
Which I have told thee of my father’s death.
I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul
Observe mine uncle. If his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
It is a damnèd ghost that we have seen,
And my imaginations are as foul
As Vulcan’s stithy.

(Translation)
There is this play performed for the king tonight.
And one of the scenes is very close to how my father has died,
like what I told you lah.
So later when the scene begins, you watch my uncle carefully
If he doesn't look guilty at all,
then that Ghost was not my father but the devil,
that means my sixth sense not zhun liao.


The king and queen arrived with the rest of the people and the performance was about to start. Gertrude asked Hamlet to sit with her but he refused and sat next to Ophelia instead.

And so the show started. A king and queen entered and embraced lovingly. Then the king lied down on a bank of flowers. When the queen saw that he was asleep, she left. Another man then came in, took the crown from the king, poured poison into the king’s ear. At that point, Claudius stood up furiously and demanded the performance to be stopped and lights turned on. The whole company left, with just Hamlet and Horatio stayed.

HAMLET
O good Horatio, I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand
pound. Didst perceive?

(Translation)
Haha, Horatio, I can bet with you one thousand bucks that ghost was right man!
You saw?


Guildenstern then came over to tell Hamlet that the king was back in his chambers and he was extremely upset. Rosencrantz too said that the queen was shocked and wished to talk to him in her bedroom.

Act 3, Scene 3

Claudius found Hamlet's madness getting dangerous and thus planned to have Rosencrantz and Guildenstern accompany Hamlet to England on diplomatic business. Meanwhile, Polonius informed Claudius that Hamlet will be visiting his mother and he will eavesdrop on them and report to him.

CLAUDIUS
What if this cursèd hand
Were thicker than itself with brother’s blood?
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what’s in prayer but this twofold force,
To be forestallèd ere we come to fall
Or pardoned being down?

(Translation)
So what if my cursed hand is covered with my brother's blood?
Heaven got not enough rain to wash it as clean as snow meh?
I thought God should be merciful one?
I thought praying can do these two things,
to keep us from sinning
and to forgive us after we sin?


CLAUDIUS
O bosom black as death!
O limèd soul that, struggling to be free,
Art more engaged! Help, angels. Make assay.
Bow, stubborn knees, and, heart with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the newborn babe.
All may be well.

(Translation)
My heart machiam black as death!
My soul is kana stuck to sin, and the more it struggles to break free,
the more stuck it is. Help me leh, angels! Do something leh!
Bend leh, stubborn knees, and my steel heart,
can try to be as soft as a newborn baby or not?
Like that then I can pray mah!
Then maybe everything can be okay liao.


Just when Claudius started to pray, Hamlet entered the room. Hamlet thought it was a great opportunity to kill Claudius but hesitated.

HAMLET
He took my father grossly, full of bread,
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May.
And how his audit stands who knows save heaven?

(Translation)
He killed my father when he was enjoying life,
and sinning all over the place.
My father got no chance to repent for his sins at all,
only Ti Gong knows how much he has to pay for his sins.


HAMLET
And am I then revenged To take him in the purging of his soul
When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?
No. Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent.
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At game a-swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in ’t—
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damned and black
As hell, whereto it goes.

(Translation)
Am I really taking revenge by killing him
when he is in the middle of praying and confessing his sins?
Then he can go heaven liao?
No way! Sword, let's wait for a better time.
When he is drunken and sleeping, or DL,
or having some incestuous sex,
or cursing and swearing when he gambles,
or whatever bad thing that he is doing.
Then I'll send him straight to hell.
Heaven? He tan ku ku!


Act 3, Scene 4

Just before Hamlet walked into Gertrude's room, Polonius reminded her to chide Hamlet for his pranks that upset the king and put her in the middle of the heat.

GERTRUDE
Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

(Translation)
Hamlet, you have insulted your father, you know?


HAMLET
Mother, you have my father much offended.

(Translation)
Ma, you have insulted my father, you know?


Gertrude could feel that Hamlet was very unhappy with her, especially when he said he was going to get a mirror to let her see what she really was. Suddenly she feared that Hamlet will kill her and shouted for help. Polonius who was hiding behind the tapestry then panicked and shouted for help too. Unfortunately Hamlet heard him and stabbed his sword through the tapestry.

GERTRUDE
O me, what hast thou done?

(Translation)
Aiyah! What have you done?


HAMLET
Nay, I know not. Is it the king?

(Translation)
Don't know leh. Is it the king?


Hamlet then pulled back the tapestry and discovered Polonius.

HAMLET
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell.
I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune.
Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger.

(Translation)
You low-life, busy body fool, now bye bye liao.
Chey, I thought you were someone else more important.
You deserve it lor.
Now you know busy body is very dangerous one lor!


Gertrude was shocked by all these and asked Hamlet why did he change so much. Hamlet then asked her instead, how could she forget about his father who was so perfect and marry the brother who was so evil.

GERTRUDE
O Hamlet, speak no more!
Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and grainèd spots
As will not leave their tinct.

(Translation)
Oh Hamlet, don't say liao!
You're forcing me to look into my soul,
where my sins are so black and thick that
they can never be washed away.


Hamlet continued to scold his mother until his father's ghost appeared again.

GHOST
Do not forget. This visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But look, amazement on thy mother sits.
O, step between her and her fighting soul.
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
Speak to her, Hamlet.

(Translation)
Don't forget hor. I've come to remind you and psycho you for the revenge.
But you see, your mother is now in shock liao.
Oui, go calm her down and don't scare her with horrid visions lah.
Weak people like to any how imagine one.
Hamlet, go talk to her lah.


GERTRUDE
Alas, how is ’t with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy
And with th' incorporal air do hold discourse?

(Translation)
Oui, what are you doing?
Why you stare into empty air
and talk to nobody?


HAMLET
Why, look you there! Look how it steals away—
My father, in his habit as he lived—
Look where he goes, even now, out at the portal!

(Translation)
See, see there!
Got see? My father dressed in his usual clothing like when he was alive
See, he now going out of the door liao!


However Gertrude could not see the Ghost at all, and was convinced that her son was hallucinating. Hamlet again advised Gertrude not to sleep with his uncle any more, before reminding her that he will be going to England.

HAMLET
There’s letters sealed, and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fanged,
They bear the mandate.

(Translation)
The documents are ready liao, and my two schoolmates are in charge,
if I trust them that means I can also trust poisonous snakes liao.

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