HAMLET: Greetings, Horatio. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, or my name isn’t Macbeth!
HORATIO: You’re Hamlet.
HAMLET: Rats! I always mess that up. Hamlet. Hamlet. What did I say?
HORATIO: You said Macbeth. “Or my name isn’t Macbeth.”
HAMLET: Well, it isn’t, is it?
HORATIO: Exactly. So you should be saying “or my name isn't Hamlet,” since your name isn’t Macbeth, it’s Hamlet.
HAMLET: Let me get this straight: Since my name is Hamlet, I’m supposed to say “my name isn’t Hamlet.”
HAMLET: And I don’t want to say “my name isn't Macbeth,” since in point of fact my name isn’t Macbeth.
HAMLET: Are you sure about that?
HAMLET: I always get confused by this “or my name isn’t” stuff. Do I really have to say that?
SHAKESPEARE: All right, all right, I’ll take it out.
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Copyright © Jonathan Caws-Elwitt. This page revised February 13, 2009.