Date: 24th June 2019

Lauren Healey  (Y10) has won first place at the prestigious SGCNZ  Sheilah Winn Creative Essay Writing Competition. Criteria for the competition was the essay had to be under 400 words and incorporate 20 phrases from Shakespeare’s works. The category was open to any student in New Zealand in Year 7 – 10. Lauren’s essay was selected in the top three in the country, she then travelled to Wellington with the Sheilah Winn drama girls to the SGCNZ National Prize-giving and was awarded 1st place.

Here is Lauren’s winning essay:

SGCNZ/Ida Gaskin Shakespeare Essay Competition

Option 3 – Short Story

‘The Betrayal’

Act 1, Scene 1, An upstairs bedroom

“These violent delights have violent ends” the inspector’s assistant Yorick agreed.

A woman lay before them on the floor – dead.

“What was the murder weapon?” intoned the Inspector “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?”

“Yes,” Yorick pointed out “the family are on their way. The husband is missing”.

“A double tragedy. I shall tell them ‘if you have tears, prepare to shed them now’, he is likely the assailant”.

“He was a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. What’s done can’t be undone”.

“He is obviously the murderer. There’s many a man has more hair than wit”.

A note sat on the dresser. The inspector examined it. “I am not bound to please thee with my answer,” the first line read “Listen to many, speak to few. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel”. It was signed BE.

“Do you think he did it for attention? After all the world’s a stage, and all men and women merely players.”

“Did you know him?” Yorik asked.

“I do desire that we better strangers” responded the Inspector.

“And the wife?”

“A dear friend too, the dearest it seems.”

“Your wife would give you little thanks for that” retorted Yorick.

“No legacy is so rich as honesty” confessed the Inspector

“I wondered why you got here so fast Inspector”.

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late” the Inspector retorted.

Yorick pondered “Then you must have been here about the time of the murder…” He saw the movement from the corner of his eye. The blow hard, the same knife protruding from his chest.

As Yorick’s life faded away, he gasped. “I had my suspicions about you”. With his final words he gasped “Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood. Truth will come to light, murder cannot be hid long.”

“The course of true love never did run smooth,” the inspector laughed “It appears I have happened on a murder suicide”. He paused “To do a great right do a little wrong”.

He picked up the writing pad. “Now for a second note” as he copied Yorick’s handwriting. “To BE or not to BE, “suspicion always haunts the guilty mind…”

Act 1, Scene 2    The Magistrates Court

“Inspector, perhaps you can give us your report on the murder”.

“Certainly Judge. Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him…”