Paging Passenger Hamlet

(Written in response to a CBC Canada Writes challenge to put a Shakespeare character into a modern setting)

Hamlet checks in at the airport and boards a
747

What manner of going is this

Where men of high estate may be, 

Stripped of footwear, poked, prodded,

Goods and chattels untimely seized;

Herded like cattle into pestilential pens,

Assailed by voices heard, not seen?

What Hell is this that hath no name?

Randomly scriven in a devil’s tongue

Writ only in numbers and letters

Mouthed by fools and charlatans;

Terminal C, Gate 10, Row 2, Seat B;

What artifice lurks in such foul

Guise, more conducive

To the slaughter of innocents

Than to dreams of Elysian shores?

Virgin! Delta! Tango! Transat!

Sunwing! Westjet! Zip! Zoom!

No Birds of Paradise these avians be

but dragons of acrid and fiery breath

Dispatched to fetch us to the jaws of Hell!

But Hark! Here comes the Harpy

All battle-clad and red-lipped fury

Yet smiling like a cruel assassin

To challenge my very being;

2B, or not 2B, that is the question

Whether tis nobler in the mind

To take thine place upon a gilded throne

Or shuffle into the monster’s bowels

 And there squat with the masses

Alas, my docket yet tells the tale

And I am cast beyond the pale;

An Upgrade! An Upgrade!

My Kingdom for an Upgrade!

Yet e’en if I be wrongly placed

Should I be unseated so?

Mine goblet snatch’ed from mine grasp

Hot towel sudden turned to ice;

But wait! All seems not lost

The bonds that bind me at once are loose’d;

Yonder! See? The portcullis rises

The drawbridge falls,

Arise! For England! We’ll breach these walls

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