I’ve reshuffled lines from King Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth to create a new scene. The back story of this scene is that Hamlet, who is pretending to be mad, has killed a man for his quest to find his long-lost father. Hamlet and his companions run into the mad King Lear -who bears uncanny resemblance to Hamlet’s father- and three mysterious witches with strange powers and secrets…
HAMLET. Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on.
ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. [Within] Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
MARCELLUS and HORATIO. [Within] My lord, my lord,–
HAMLET. What noise? who calls on Hamlet?
O, here they come.
Enter ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, MARCELLUS, and HORATIO
HAMLET. I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is
southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.
ROSENCRANTZ. What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
HAMLET. Compounded it with dust, whereto ’tis kin.
ROSENCRANTZ. Tell us where ’tis, that we may take it thence
And bear it to the chapel.
HAMLET. The body is with the king, but the king is not with
the body. The king is a thing—
GUILDENSTERN. A thing, my lord!
HAMLET. Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.
ROSENCRANTZ. My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go
with us to the king.
Enter KING LEAR
KING LEAR. Dost thou know me, fellow?
MARCELLUS. Is it not like the king?
HAMLET. [Aside] The king my father!
KING LEAR. First let me talk with this philosopher.
What is the cause of thunder?
HAMLET. [Aside] But no more like my father
Than I to Hercules
Slanders, sir: for the satirical rogue says here
that old men have grey beards, that their faces are
wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and
plum-tree gum and that they have a plentiful lack of
wit, together with most weak hams: all which, sir,
though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet
I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down, for
yourself, sir, should be old as I am, if like a crab
you could go backward.
GUILDENSTERN. Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame and start not so wildly from my affair.
KING LEAR. Pray, do not mock me:
I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less;
And, to deal plainly,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
Storm still. Enter KENT and Fool
KENT. Alack, bare-headed!
Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel;
Here is the place, my lord; good my lord, enter:
The tyranny of the open night’s too rough
For nature to endure.
KING LEAR. Prithee, go in thyself: seek thine own ease:
This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more. But I’ll go in.
To the Fool
In, boy; go first. You houseless poverty,–
Nay, get thee in. I’ll pray, and then I’ll sleep.
KENT. Now, good my lord, lie here and rest awhile.
KING LEAR. Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains:
so, so, so. We’ll go to supper i’ he morning. So, so, so.
(Falls asleep outside)
KENT. Oppressed nature sleeps:
This rest might yet have balm’d thy broken senses,
Which, if convenience will not allow,
Stand in hard cure.
Fool. This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.
Fool goes in
ALL (Three Witches). Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
The Fool runs out from the hovel
Fool. Come not in here, nuncle, here’s a spirit
Help me, help me!
KENT. Give me thy hand. Who’s there?
First Witch. When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Second Witch. When the hurlyburly’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.
Third Witch. That will be ere the set of sun.
HAMLET. The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
HORATIO. It is a nipping and an eager air.
KENT. Who’s there, besides foul weather?
What art thou that dost grumble there i’ the straw?
What is’t you seek? Come forth.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches
First Witch. Speak.
Second Witch. Demand.
Third Witch. We’ll answer.
First Witch. Say, if thou’dst rather hear it from our mouths,
Or from our masters?
ALL (Three Witches). Come, high or low;
Thyself and office deftly show!
Thunder. Enter Ghost
HORATIO. Look, my lord, it comes!
HAMLET. Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn’d,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee: I’ll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!
Ghost beckons HAMLET
HORATIO. It beckons you to go away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.
ALL (Three Witches). Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
MARCELLUS. Shall I strike at it with my partisan?
HORATIO. Do, if it will not stand.
MARCELLUS. ‘Tis gone!
The Witches and the Ghost vanish
HORATIO. What does this mean, my lord?
MARCELLUS. Look, with what courteous action
It waves you to a more removed ground:
But do not go with it.
HORATIO. Do not, my lord.
HAMLET. My fate cries out,
And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Nemean lion’s nerve.
Still am I call’d. Unhand me, gentlemen.
By heaven, I’ll make a ghost of him that lets me!
I say, away! Go on; I’ll follow thee.
GUILDENSTERN. My honoured lord!
ROSENCRANTZ. My most dear lord!
Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN
HORATIO. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
MARCELLUS. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
HORATIO. Heaven will direct it.
MARCELLUS. Nay, let’s follow him.
Exeunt MARCELLUS and HORATIO
KENT. By Juno, I swear,
How unnatural and bemadding.
To the Fool
Come, help to bear thy master;
Thou must not stay behind.