Shakespeare in Marathon


There's alot of it about...

In Marathon 2: Durandal we have the level name "The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune". which is a quote from Hamlet (Act III Scene I).

In Marathon Infinity there is the level name "Poor Yorick" which is also from Hamlet (Act V Scene 1).

Todd Bangerter <> points out that the terminal text on the level "Two for the Price of One" is from The Comedy of Errors (Act 4, Scene 4)

The full text of the terminal is as follows.

<OxOdff> <0x03ef . vacillate> I am an ass indeed: you may prove it by my long ears. I have served him from the hour of my nativity to this instant, and have nothing at this hands for my service but blows: when I am cold he heats me with beating, when I am warm he cools me with beating. I am waked with it when I sleep; raised with it when I sit; driven out of doors with it when I go from home; welcomed home with it when I return: nay, I bear it on my shoulders as a beggar wont her brat; and I think, when he hath lamed me, I shall beg it from door to door. Transport when ready.
Note the signon and the word "vacillate" a common theme in Shakespeare's work.

Todd Bangerter <> writes further on the "Two for the Price of One" terminal:

One of the basic premises of The Comedy of Errors is that of duality, or mistaken identities. There are two sets of identical twins in the play. One set is named Antipholus, and each has a servant named Dromio. They become separated as infants, with one Antipholus/Dromio pair growing up in Syracuse and one Antipholus/Dromio pair growing up in Ephesus. One day the Syracusean pair comes to Ephesus on business. Soon Dromio of Ephesus runs into Antipholus of Syracuse, and likewise, Dromio of Syracuse runs into Antipholus of Ephesus, and confusion ensues. They get many different orders from each master, thinking them to be one and the same person. Each Antipholus becomes frustrated with the Dromios and beats one of them every time he seems to not follow orders.

It becomes a case of confusing loyalties, orders, and masters, much in the same way as in Marathon Infinity we have shifting loyalties, conflicting orders, and several different masters, and it's difficult to keep them straight. And these lines of text where Dromio of Ephesus recounts the abuses that his master inflict upon him are very similar to the rigorous punishments given to us in the form of missions by Tycho, Durandal, Tfear, and the Jjaro.

Finally, how many lines are in The Comedy of Errors? 1777. =)

Tobias Merriman <> writes:

In Hamlet (my favorite), Hamlet and Horatio come across a gravedigger and have a little chat with him. While this is going on, Hamlet picks up a skull, which the gravedigger identifies as the former (obviously) court jester, Yorick. Hamlet holds the skull (with two hands in most representations of the play) up to his face and looks into the empty sockets and says "Poor Yorick, I knew him, Horation blah blah blah..." What does this have to do with Marathon? Ever played Kill the Man With the Ball?

Hamlet Act V Scene 1


Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at
it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?
Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let
her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must
come; make her laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tell
me one thing. Is this a rocket I see before me?

<Apologia William Shakespeare>

On "Poor Yorick" there is a secret terminal containing the following text:

^8301  Thou art as tyrannous,
^8302   so as thou art,
^8303  As those whose beauties
^8304   proudly make them cruel;
^8305  For well thou know'st
^8306   to my dear doting heart
^8307  Thou art the fairest
^8308   and most precious jewel,
^8309  Yet, in good faith,
^830A   some say that thee behold,
^830B  Thy face hath not the power
^830C   to make love groan:
^830D  To say they err,
^830E   I dare not be so bold,
^830F  Although I swear it
^8310   to myself alone,
^8311  And, to be sure that
^8312   not false I swear,
^8313  A thousand groans,
^8314   but thinking on thy face,
^8315  One on another's neck,
^8316   do witness bear
^8317  Thy black is fairest
^8318   my judgment's place.
^8319   In nothing art thou black,
^831A    save in thy deeds,
^831B   And thence this slander,
^831C    as I think, proceeds.

A number of people have suggested that this was a Shakespeare Sonnet. Sean Desmond <> on correctly identified the exact one. Sean wrote:

...Shakespeare's Sonnet No.131 is displayed here; it's part of a series dedicated to "...the Dark Lady of the Sonnets"...."...

A complete set of William Shakespeare's sonnets can be found here

Now who says the Marathon's Story page isn't educational? ;-)

Greg Kirkpatrick (Double Aught Software) writes:

the sonnet number was all over the terminal text...
hex 83 = 131

Which begs the question how much more stuff is buried in the Infinity terminals?

Jadin Hanson <> writes:

In Rise Robot Rise terminal 1 Tycho says "Now that my brother approaches, we will set about turning everything against him, Hamlet and his uncle, only I'm not crazy."

In Hamlet, Hamlet (Sr.) was killed by Cladius, Hamlet (Jr.)'s uncle. Then Hamlet (Sr.)'s ghost told Hamlet (Jr.) to kill Cladius. In order to get away with it Hamlet (Jr.) makes it seem like he's crazy.

So Tycho compares himself to Hamlet (Sr.) saying he has to kill his brother, and he's going to use you, Hamlet (Jr.).

Concerning the above Wayne Wight <> writes:

only Hamlet (Sr.) was the ghost, and not crazy (just dead). In my understanding, Hamlet (Jr.) in feigning madness comes close enough to the real thing that we're not sure if he really has become crazy. That means that Tycho would be comparing himself to Hamlet (Jr.) with "...only I'm not crazy." You/We are nothing more than the sword. Tycho, perhaps, is not extending the relationship of brother into his analogy.

Andrew Kanarek <> writes to say that in the first terminal on "Post Naval Trauma" Durandal makes reference to "groundling" revolts

Does it feel good to be back? you will recognize a distinctive flair for decor that just screams galactic arm. This is the massive Armor Platform of the Lh'owon Naval Unit, a required complement to any planetary Naval Force. It's extremely handy for putting down groundling revolts, but without a native population to oppress, there isn't much action here. The Pfhor use it as an orbital repair and reservice station.

Andrew goes on to say:

In Shakespeare's famous Globe Theatre, there was a sort of dirt pit in front of the stage where the poor people stood to watch the plays. The people in this area were referred to as groundlings.

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Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Feb 24, 2001