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Shakespeare Anthology Puzzle

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Insidebooks

The mall's bookstore.

This article is a guide for a Silent Hill 3 puzzle.

The Shakespeare Anthology Puzzle is the first puzzle of Silent Hill 3. In the "My Bestsellers" bookstore, located in Central Square Shopping Center, there are Shakespeare Anthology Books that fell off a shelf. In order to continue through the game, Heather Mason must find a four-digit code to input into a keypad on the door behind the counter. There is a memo by the door that will give the player a clue.

Solution

Easy

There will be no memo here, but only some numbers seen among the three books already on the shelf but the number is not complete because two books are missing. Use Shakespeare Anthology 1 and put it in the first slot. Then use the cursor and select the next book, which is Shakespeare Anthology 3, from the blue box and put it in the next open slot, which is the third slot. A code will then be revealed.

Normal

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair.
Put these books out of order."

From the clue in the memo, the player has to arrange the five books on the shelf, but not in order. So do as it says; put all the books on the shelf randomly at first, then rearrange them so the four-digit code among the five books looks proper. Once Heather has done so, the code will be revealed. The code is always random.

Hard

ShakespeareHard

The riddle on hard.

"In here is a tragedy---
art thou player or audience?
Be as it may, the end doth remain:
all go on only toward death.

The first words at thy left hand:
a false lunacy, a madly dancing man.
Hearing unhearable words, drawn
to a beloved's grave---and there,
mayhap, true madness at last.

As did this one, playing at death,
find true death at the last.
Killing a nameless lover, she
pierced a heart rent by sorrow.

Doth lie invite truth?
Doth verity but wear the
mask of falsehood?
Ah, thou pitiful, thou
miserable ones!

Still amidst lies, though the end cometh not,
wherefore yearn for death?
Wilt thou attend to thy beloved?
Truth and lies, life and death:
a game of turning white to black
and black to white.

Is not a silence brimming with
love more precious than flattery?
A peaceful slumber preferred to
a throne besmirched with blood?

One vengeful man
spilled blood for two;
Two youths shed tears for three;
Three witches disappeared thusly;
And only the four keys remain.

Ah, but verily...
In here is a tragedy---
art thou player or audience?
There is nothing which cannot
become a puppet of fate or an
onlooker, peering into the cage."


The above memo, which describes the puzzle, is located by the locked door. Read it carefully and then examine all the anthology books in the inventory and note their anthology number. All of these Shakespeare books are tragedies, which is the theme of this puzzle.

The first and final verses are just an introduction and conclusion to the poem. They don't have any significance so pretend they don't exist. Imagine the 1st verse is actually the one that begins with "The first words at thy left hand", which implies that the books must be arranged from left to right.

Fortunately, this puzzle also gives some room for error if the player mixes the last three anthologies - as long as the final code is 8352. No matter what though, Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet MUST be interpreted as Anthology 1 and Anthology 2, respectively.

  • The 1st verse is Hamlet, which is Anthology 4.
    • "A false lunacy" describes how Hamlet feigned his madness. The "unhearable words" are those of Hamlet's deceased father, the ghost. Hamlet's "beloved" is Ophelia, and at her funeral, a fight occurred between Hamlet and Laertes.
  • The 2nd verse is Romeo and Juliet, which is Anthology 1.
    • "Playing at death" refers to how Juliet faked her death by using the sleeping potion. The "nameless lover" is Romeo, in reference to the "What's in a name?" passage. Juliet is heartbroken by Romeo's death, and she suicides by piercing her heart with a dagger.
  • The 3rd verse is Macbeth, which is Anthology 3.
    • This verse is the most vague, but the theme of lies and truth is most prominent in Macbeth. The book deals with the moral ambiguity of Macbeth seizing the throne through lies and deception.
      • Due to the room for error, depending on the conditions, the player may also interpret it as Othello (Iago's lies could be seen as "inviting truth", and Desdemona could be seen as wearing a mask of falsehood due to Iago's lies and accusations against her), but it can NOT be interpreted as King Lear.
  • The 4th verse is Othello, which is Anthology 5.
    • This verse also speaks of truths and lies, referencing Iago's lie about Desdemona's adultery, but the last two lines are an important hint. Othello is also the name of a board game where players can capture each other's pieces, changing their color from white to black and vice versa. Also, "black" and "white" is mentioned and Othello and Desdemona are of black and white ethnicity, respectively.
      • Due to the room for error, depending on the conditions, the player may also interpret it as Macbeth or King Lear.
  • The 5th verse is King Lear, which is Anthology 2.
    • It refers to Lear's daughter Cordelia, who loves her father the most, but isn't vocal about it, letting her actions speak instead. Her two sisters offer false flattery to Lear, while actually they're only after his throne.
      • Due to the room for error, depending on the conditions, the player may also interpret it as Macbeth (the flattery would relate to Lady Macbeth's flattery of Macbeth, and the "throne besmirched with blood" would refer to King Duncan's murder by Macbeth), but it can NOT be interpreted as Othello.

From left to right, with all the books in proper order, the code appears to be 4-1-5-2-3.

The penultimate (second to last) verse describes the manipulations needed to perform with this code to receive the final solution.

  • One vengeful man spilled blood for two
    The "vengeful man" is Hamlet, book 4. "Spilled blood for two" means that the book's number has to be multiplied by two; 4 × 2 = 8. The code is now 8-1-5-2-3.
  • Two youths shed tears for three
    The "two youths" are Romeo and Juliet, book 1. "Shed tears for three" means that the book's number has to be multiplied by three; 1 × 3 = 3. The code is now 8-3-5-2-3.
  • Three witches disappeared thusly; And only the four keys remain
    The "three witches" appear in Macbeth, book 3 (which is the last 3 in the code, not the one you just multiplied). This means this number needs to be skipped, so that the code only has four digits.

The final answer is 8-3-5-2.

Trivia

Walk on Vanity Ruins02:46

Walk on Vanity Ruins

Walk on Vanity Ruins.

  • The memo on Normal difficulty, which says "fair is foul, and foul is fair" in the first line, is an excerpt from Macbeth.
  • The poem on the memo from Hard difficulty is also recited in the 16th track of the game's soundtrack, "Walk on Vanity Ruins".
  • Heather can quote Macbeth, though she considers Romeo and Juliet "sentimental slop".
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