It is with a balance between humor and resignation that I must report there is something rotten in my house – in my back room, to be specific.
All kinds of parallels spring to mind between all that was truly rotten in my parents’ abusive home I raised myself in and the obviously very dead something that is stinking up the back half of my house. But I will not dwell on these connections because I evidently have an unpleasant task ahead of me for this afternoon.
I began to notice the stink yesterday as I was preparing to leave for the afternoon to run errands – which happened to include a great deal of fortunate and very pleasant visiting with friends in town which lifted my rather glum spirits noticeably.
I wanted to believe the odor I was detecting was coming from something that had died in the very shallow crawl space under my house. I decided yesterday I could do nothing to improve the situation but let time go by while the dead whatever mummified itself.
Well, the stink is today too close to home to fool myself any longer. Something is dead IN MY ROOM. (Appropriate explicative can be imagined here!)
So, off I am soon to go into the netherworld of long ago moved furniture with high hopes my efforts will be rewarded with the discovery of something I can remove without puking along the way.
In the meantime, I chuckled as I found and read the following online. Again the parallel between the scenes being described here and the bizarre, chaotic and insane madness of the home of origin for severe infant and child abuse survivors is obvious.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark
He waxes desperate with imagination.
Let’s follow. ‘Tis not fit thus to obey him.
Have after. To what issue will this come?
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Heaven will direct it.
Nay, let’s follow him. [Exeunt.]
This is one time when the popular misquotation—”Something’s rotten in Denmark”—is a real improvement on the original. But you ought to be careful around purists, who will also remember that the minor character Marcellus, and not Hamlet, is the one who coins the phrase. There’s a reason he says “state of Denmark” rather than just Denmark: the fish is rotting from the head down—all is not well at the top of the political hierarchy.
There have been some hair-raising goings-on outside the castle at Elsinore. As the terrified Horatio and Marcellus look on, the ghost of the recently deceased king appears to Prince Hamlet. The spirit beckons Hamlet offstage, and the frenzied prince follows after, ordering the witnesses to stay put. They quickly decide to tag along anyway—it’s not “fit” to obey someone who is in such a desperate state. In this confused exchange, Marcellus’s famous non sequitur sustains the foreboding mood of the disjointed and mysterious action. And it reinforces the point and tone of some of Hamlet’s earlier remarks—for example, that Denmark is “an unweeded garden” of “things rank and gross in nature” (Act 1, scene 2). When his father’s ghost tells him his chilling tale in scene 5, the prince will realize just how rotten things really are in Denmark.
Citation: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Brush Up Your Shakespeare. Ed. Michael Macrone. Cader Company, 1990. eNotes.com. 15 Mar, 2012
Well, I am off to have the time of my life, no doubt!! Cleaning the stink out of one’s home, mind and life is, after all, a one person job! Grrrrrr!!!
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