Happy New Year, y'all.


If you had a choice, how would you choose to die? Would you choose the honourable way, the quick flash of steel and the creeping bitterness of poison? Would you take the hero's exit? Or would you, as I did, spiral slowly down the path of infamy? Stranded without purpose or direction, would you choose the end I did?

My name is Rosencrantz, and I took the traitor's death. Trapped in England (not a conspiracy itself, though home to many), cold and miserable, with the laughter of the tragedians ringing in my ears and my only consolation the knowledge that I'd betrayed my prince. Not willingly; in truth not even knowingly, but the pleas of minor characters hold as little sway over the tides of fiction as Canute did over the waves. Narrative is imperative; what is written shall come to pass, as surely as the seas that beat the cliffs beneath Elsinore castle must rise and fall. And soon the cycle will begin again; the actors will don their costumes and we will speak our predestined lines. For it would, after all, be discourteous to spoil such well-worn scenes with wild accusations about all-knowing tragedians spreading rot and ruin, even if we could. The story sweeps on, leaving us gasping in its wake, no matter what our own desires. I spoke of choosing an exit, but in truth, there was no choice at all.

You speak of the tragedy of Hamlet, but he, at least, went freely to his end. He could have run, could have hidden, but chose to face steel and venom safe in the knowledge that whatever he did could not be wrong. He is the main character; he, alone, may choose. But we have no voices of our own; no words save those of our shadowy puppetmaster.

You speak of the tragedy of Hamlet, but the true tragedy is ours.