Thursday, March 19, 2009

On Hamlet

If you had to coach Hamlet, how would you do it?

Coach:  Hamlet, you mentioned in your email that you had a few questions for me?

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? 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,
The 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 the 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 undiscover'd 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 pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.

Coach:  What I hear you saying is that you are depressed about your predicament and unsure about how to act because of your fears of the consequences?

Hamlet:  Uh, I think so.

Coach:  I wonder, have you seen a therapist for your depression?

Hamlet:  Well, I used to see Dr. Ophelia but I think she’s gone off to a nunnery.

Coach:  What about friends? Do you have any friends who support you?

Hamlet: There’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern but all we ever talk about is the quintessence of dust.

Coach:  Is there anyone in your life that you can talk to about all of this?

Hamlet:  Yorrick!

Coach:  Great! Tell me about him. What does he think of your concern over the King and Queen?

Hamlet:  But he’s a skull.

Coach:  Is that some sort of gang?

Hamlet: No, he’s like what’s on your neck only without the skin.

Coach:  OH... Hamlet, I would really like to refer you to a good friend of mine, she’s an excellent therapist. Would that be alright?

Hamlet:  I’d love that. I do seem overly concerned with the mortal coil as of late.

Coach:  Perfect! By the way, how is it going with the legitimacy of your Uncle’s claim to the throne?

Hamlet:  I went to the law firm of Pollonius, Laertes and Fortinbras but my Uncle is sending me to England so I can’t talk with them until I get back.

Coach:  Good for you! That is a great action step!

Hamlet:  Yeah, it felt great and I even got to talk to my Mom about it all.

Coach:  How did that go?

Hamlet:  Really well, but I accidentally killed Pollonius while we were talking. But I got to tell you, I thought he was Claudius and it felt so good to just act. I think it is a big step forward for me.

Coach:  Wow! I was wondering if I could challenge you to take a bigger step here?

Hamlet:  I would really love just to have someone tell me what to do. I am so tired of having to make so many decisions on my own.

Coach:  I would like for you to get out and to do something different. Step away from all your worries about your father’s death, your Uncle’s Kingship and your Mother’s marriage. Sometimes stepping out of the middle of things really opens up a new perspective.

Hamlet:  I would really like a shift in perspective.

Coach:  What are some things you could do that would make things clearer for you?

Hamlet:  A play! Aye the play’s the thing!

Coach:  What a brilliant idea! Shifting the situation from significance and turning it into play. Great job Hamlet!! I think that is a good place to end and I look forward to seeing you when you get back from England next week. How do you feel?

Hamlet:  Like a cloud has been lifted and the sky has turned blue. Thank you so much!

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