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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: Gertrude
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 736.  Tuesday, 9 November 1993.
 
(1)     From:   James Schiffer <
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        Date:   Monday, 8 Nov 1993 14:31:17 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 4.0723  Re: Gertrude
 
(2)     From:   Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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        Date:   Monday, 8 Nov 1993 15:15:08 -500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0730 Re: Gertrude
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Schiffer <
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Date:           Monday, 8 Nov 1993 14:31:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0723  Re: Gertrude
Comment:        RE: SHK 4.0723  Re: Gertrude
 
1. What about the possibility that Gertrude was guilty of adultery (before the
death of Hamlet, Sr., obviously)?  I have always assumed this is the Ghost's
implication when he says,
                Ay, that incestuous, that ADULTERATE beast,
                With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts--
                O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
                So to seduce!--won to his shameful lust
                The will of my MOST SEEMING VIRTUOUS QUUEEN.
I understand that Gertrude & Claudius would be considered incestuous even after
King Hamlet has died, but would they also be considered adulterous after
Hamlet, Sr., is dead?
 
2.  Before condemning Gertrude as a "cow," we should at least acknowledge that
she keeps her word to Hamlet and does not reveal to Claudius that her son is
"essentially . . . not in madnesss,/But mad in craft."  This fact might also
support the argument that before 3.4, Gertrude has no knowledge of the murder.
 
James Schiffer
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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Date:           Monday, 8 Nov 1993 15:15:08 -500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0730 Re: Gertrude
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0730 Re: Gertrude
 
Dear Ronald, If anyone ever agreed with me I'd fall over in shock.
Gertrude may be a "cow," as you put it, but she's a beautiful cow. Good to
hear from you. Ken Rothwell
 

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