Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 737. Tuesday, 9 November 1993.
Date: Monday, 08 Nov 1993 13:26:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Gertrude
Re Ann M. Cox and Gertrude's "incest". I speak from a hearty ignorance
about all this, but I have always assumed that matters of "incest" were not
quite so un-ambiguous as Cox suggests. Henry VIII had recently set aside
Katherine of Aragon on the grounds that since she had been previously
"married" (or was it merely "affianced"?) to Arthur, his brother, their
marriage was incestuous. But surely most people would have seen this
manoeuvre for the self-serving bit of persiflage it really was...and would
have realized that had Henry not complained, no one else was likely to.
Don't we suspect that both Hammie and Hammie's dad complain so much
about the "incest" because they are really horrified by all the sexual
implications neither wants to face?