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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: Incest
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 750.  Wed., 10 November 1993.
 
From:           Fran Teague <
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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.
 

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