Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 766.  Friday, 12 November 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Phyllis Rackin <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Nov 1993 12:42:18 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
(2)     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, November 12, 1993
        Subject:        Re: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
(3)     From:   Timothy Dayne Pinnow <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Nov 93 11:44:22 CST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
(4)     From:   Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Nov 1993 14:52:51 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
(5)     From:   Lars Engle <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Nov 1993 14:56:09 GMT
        Subj:   RE: SHK 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
(6)     From:   William Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Nov 1993 16:43:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Phyllis Rackin <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 11 Nov 1993 12:42:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
How does your student account for the stage directions in I.i., which
have the ghost entering and exiting twice?  Is the audience supposed
to assume that they, along with the guards, are suffering from mass
hysteria?
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, November 12, 1993
Subject:        Re: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
Surely, those on stage hear the Ghost say "Swear" at 1.5, lines 149, 155, 161,
and 181.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Dayne Pinnow <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 11 Nov 93 11:44:22 CST
Subject: 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
In reply to John Cox,
 
I recently played Claudius is a production where the ghost was a
hallucination of Hamlet.  In fact, Hamlet Sr.'s lines were read by Hamlet
Jr. in a sort of "vomitting forth."  Half the lines were spoken live and
half were taped and played through a sound system with some computer
alteration.  In practice, it didn't really seem to work that well for the
production (probably because the actor playing Hamlet had one Hell of a
time trying to carry on a dialog within himself for the whole scene).
However, in listening and watching, I really could find no textual evidence
or logical flaws to suggest that it couldn't be played that way.
 
I also note, concerning our previous discussion of Gertrude, that the
actress playing Gertrude in the above-mentioned production become more and
more convinced as she played her, that Gertrude did have some kind of
knowledge about the murder and that she had been having, at least, a
serious flirtation with Claudius prior to the marriage.  She also felt that
Gertrude was extremely intelligent and may have feigned much of the shock
and surprise of the closet scene and elsewhere in order to throw off
suspicion.  An interesting reading, and not one I'm sure I'd follow, but it
certainly does show that one line can be read in an infinite number of
ways--to be judged only by the logic of the special world of that
particular production
 
                                                 Timothy Dayne Pinnow
                                                 Dept. of Speech-Theater
                                                 St. Olaf College
                                                 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
                                                 ph. 507/646-3327
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 11 Nov 1993 14:52:51 -0400
Subject: 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
John:
 
Doesn't someone in 1.1 describe the ghost's frown?  "So frown'd he when he
slew the sledded Polacks on the ice" or something to that effect.  This
would seem to indicate that they were not merely mistaking a bush for a
bear (to continue your use of Theseus' example), but saw its fangs.
 
Just my two cents' worth,
        Sean Lawrence.
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lars Engle <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 11 Nov 1993 14:56:09 GMT
Subject: 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
Comment:        RE: SHK 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
It's hard for me to imagine the ghost as a hallucination when it has been
seen thrice by Marcellus et. al. and twice by Horatio, none of whom has any
pressing psychological reason to be hallucinating about old Hamlet.  That
is, the "species of mass hysteria" John Cox talks of *precedes* the appearance
of the ghost to the person who might be prone to hallucinate it.
 
Lars Engle, U. of Tulsa <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
 
(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 11 Nov 1993 16:43:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0758  Q: The Ghost in *Hamlet*
 
My students make the suggestion that the ghost is an hallucination -
recurrently. Kenneth Myrick used to say that that was why Shakespeare made
Horatio a skeptic; he doesn't believe in ghosts, so when he sees it, its
existence is confirmed!
 
What do you think?
 
Bill Godshalk
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.