Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 750. Wed., 10 November 1993.
From: Fran Teague <
Date: Tuesday, 09 Nov 93 14:40:38 EST
Subject: 4.0737 Re: Incest
Comment: Re: SHK 4.0737 Re: Incest
Roland Mushat Frye's _Renaissance Hamlet_ has an excellent discussion of the
incest problem in _Hamlet_ within the Renaissance context. He says it was a
real problem, not a repressed concern with sexuality, as I recall.
But for those who read independently of historical contexts, the issue would, I
suppose, remain wide open. As for its implications about Gertrude's character,
I must confess that I agree completely with Cary Mazer. Gertrude et al. are
roles written for performance. Obviously a particular director and performer
may choose to play Gertrude as a cow (what a phrase), but just as obviou sly
they might choose to play her as a woman caught in a horrifying situation. I
sometimes tell classes that we can easily determine Hamlet's age, but no one
can specify what color are Hamlet's eyes: eyes vary from actor to actor.