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Description: Shows murder of King Hamlet, but before play begins. At centre upon a bench lies the sleeping King Hamlet. It is an interior scene although outside the open door to right is foliage suggestive of the orchard. The murderer (Claudius) at right bends over the king and pours poison into his ear with his right hand. With his left hand he reaches towards the crown which the sleeping king has removed and laid down beside him. In Retzsch's original is the title 'Introduction' and above the sleeping king in an alcove is a large statue of the female figure of Justice with pair of scales in her right hand and unsheathed raised sword in her left hand. There is a sun (for Truth?) on her breast plate. Her left foot is placed upon a serpent. These details are all omitted in this version.

Folger Act/Sc/L: 1.5.71
Arden Act/Sc/L: 1.5.64
TLN: 749.00

Artist (Original work): Retzsch, Frederick August Moritz
Date: 1828 (?)
Date (Original work): 1827
Medium: Engraving (unsigned)
Size: 11.7 x 18.7 cms; 4 9/16 x 7 3/8 in

Location: FSL. Art File S528h1 no. 25. Cf. 1848 drawings by William M. Anderson (FSL. Art Box A522, nos. 1-17).