Wittenberg University, late 1590s.
Scene: 2:30am. A dark, gothic study hall, a sort of Faustian “dumpfes Mauerloch.” Tall black windows, wooden table with half-burned candles and stacks of parchment. Hamlet and Horatio are pulling an all-nighter for their Philosophy exam the next morning.
Hamlet is the worst study partner imaginable.
Hamlet: (emphatically not studying, staring into space in a metaphysical manner) Words, words, words…..
Silence from Horatio, surrounded by stacks of parchment and dutifully color-coding his notes.
Hamlet: (beginning to chew the end of his quill pen, poetic but unhelpful) When midterms come, they come not single spies but in battalions. (silence) –eh, Horatio?
Horatio: (scribbling furiously) Shut up, Hamlet. Study! Or at least let me study.
Hamlet: (struck by an idea, gesturing dramatically) But there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy! Let’s go find some food.
Horatio: (shoving a stack of the 16th-century equivalent of index cards in Hamlet’s direction, exasperated) Yeah, well, we need to get all of the stuff we do know in out heads so we can put it on paper tomorrow. Now come on! Quiz me!
The idea of Hamlet and Horatio cramming for midterms appeared rather hilarious to my roommate and myself very late last night. It’s that time of the semester….. : )
Any resemblance to various members of the Hillsdale student body is entirely intended.