What gets me, though, is that crazy picture that I’ve seen used in several articles now. If we didn’t know what was happening at the time, wouldn’t that look like something straight out of a bad B horror movie? Why the frick does Hamlet have a crown on his head, has he been playing Henry V? Is Claudius that engrossed in what he’s doing that he’s let a potential assassin get that close to him? He of all people should know you don’t live long as king of Denmark without watching your back!
Saw a production of Hamlet once where they all carried guns instead of swords. During this crucial scene, Hamlet is at one side of the stage with the gun leveled at Claudius’ back. I thought that was an interesting way to merge the ideas of “I’m this close to doing it” with “well, if I had a sword I’d kinda sorta have to be within arm’s reach of him…” Not to mention all the implications that come with the “good guy” shooting someone in the back, even if it is Claudius.