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Internet Shakespeare Editions

Toolbox

The writer's tools

The illustration shows all of the items needed for early word-processing: an ink-well and a quill. Sand was sprinkled on the wet ink to soak it up; when dry, it was dusted off.

Letters were sealed with hot wax on which a seal was pressed, leaving its imprint. Hamlet happens to have the Great Seal of Denmark with him when he forges instructions to the King of England so that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern will be executed in his place on their arrival.