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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: Gertrude
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 723.  Saturday, 6 November 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Phyllis Rackin <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 Nov 1993 10:20:00 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0722  Re: Branagh *Hamlet* and Gertrude Query
 
(2)     From:   Kimberly Nolan <
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        Date:   Friday, 05 Nov 1993 17:53:44 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0722  Re: Branagh *Hamlet* and Gertrude Query
 
(3)     From:   Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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        Date:   Saturday, 6 Nov 1993 09:41:42 -500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0722 Re: Branagh *Hamlet* and Gertrude Query
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Phyllis Rackin <
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Date:           Friday, 5 Nov 1993 10:20:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0722  Re: Branagh *Hamlet* and Gertrude Query
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0722  Re: Branagh *Hamlet* and Gertrude Query
 
> A question for the experts.  Claudius admits his guilt in his soliloquy in
> Act 3 Scene 3, but what about Gertrude? She seems to me to be innocent
> right up to the end of any complicity or knowledge of the murder. Am I
> right? Perhaps her only sin is in not wanting to know....
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> David W. McFadden <
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Gertrude's inability to see the ghost in III.iv might be helpful here.
When Hamlet asks, "Do you see nothing there?," she responds, "Nothing at
all, yet all that is I see."
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kimberly Nolan <
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Date:           Friday, 05 Nov 1993 17:53:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0722  Re: Branagh *Hamlet* and Gertrude Query
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0722  Re: Branagh *Hamlet* and Gertrude Query
 
David McFadden has asked the very question which has been on my mind for
the last two or three weeks.  I do not choose to believe that Gertrude
is complicit in the murder though she may well have knowledge of it.  My
question is whether or not Gertrude feels any real guilt for loving
and marrying Claudius.  The play is full of confessions, but Gerturde never
makes one.  I don't think her responses to Hamlet in the closet scene
count as a confession.  Also, I'm not sure she should feel guilty. Any
thoughts?
 
Kimberly Nolan
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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Date:           Saturday, 6 Nov 1993 09:41:42 -500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0722 Re: Branagh *Hamlet* and Gertrude Query
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0722 Re: Branagh *Hamlet* and Gertrude Query
 
Dear David McFadden, To coin a cliche, you have hit the nail on the head in
describiing Gertrude as a woman whose only crime is in not wanting to
know. She strikes me as a woman of fashion, a seductress, emotional,
occasionally compassionate (as with Ophelia), narcissistic, self-centered,
self-indulgent (prone to spending a fortune on beauty products),
inscrutably charming and mysterious (Mona Lisa?), a beautiful woman
without pity, so to speak, but not too swift intellectually. To compound
the puzzle, she has the melancholy Dane as a son. But I indulge in
character criticism, which I thought was outre and to be condemned. Except
it's fun. Ken Rothwell
 

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