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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: Hamlet (the father), Gertrude, and Incest
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 795.  Monday, 15 November 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Milla Riggio <
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        Date:   Sunday, 14 Nov 1993 13:21:29 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet (the father), Gertrude, Incest, Ted Hughes
 
(2)     From:   William Godshalk <
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        Date:   Sunday, 14 Nov 1993 15:55:47 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet (the father), Gertrude, Incest, Ted Hughes
 
(3)     From:   Timothy Bowden <
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        Date:   Sunday, 14 Nov 93 16:46:29 PST
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet (the father), Gertrude, Incest, Ted Hughes
 
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Milla Riggio <
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Date:           Sunday, 14 Nov 1993 13:21:29 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Hamlet (the father), Gertrude, Incest, Ted Hughes
 
Dear Bill:
 
I did not know that Henry had charged Anne Bolyn with incest, but brothers
are, I think, always in the taboo category;  the issue here, I think, is
brothers' wives, and that's where the Catherine of Aragon case becomes
relevant, in "real" legal terms for "real" kings of the Tudor ilk.
 
--Milla Riggio
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <
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Date:           Sunday, 14 Nov 1993 15:55:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Hamlet (the father), Gertrude, Incest, Ted Hughes
 
Has anyone suggested that old Hamlet may not be the father of young Hamlet - I
mean in our recent round of talks? If (and I know that this is contested
territory) Claudius has been sleeping with Gertrude before old Hamlet's murder,
it may be possible that Claudius is the father of this young fellow. After all,
young Hamlet is much more like Claudius than he is like the descriptions of old
Hamlet. I'm perhaps influenced by my early reading of Peter Alexander's HAMLET
FATHER AND SON.
 
Does Hamlet kill his biological father believing that its his uncle? What would
Ernest Jones done with this question?
 
Bill Godshalk
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Bowden <
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Date:           Sunday, 14 Nov 93 16:46:29 PST
Subject:        Re: Hamlet (the father), Gertrude, Incest, Ted Hughes
 
> And, Milla, Henry also had Anne Boleyn charged with incest - with her
> brother.  As I recall the case, he confessed.
 
Oh, didn't they all.  The wonders of the rack tied up neat bundles
before the obfuscation such meddling as Miranda rights intruded. `Freely
given,' noted Master Cromwell.
 
Yet in private it worried Mistress Anne's succsssor even then she might
be innocent.  Much more so today.  `Almost certainly,' I have seen it
expressed by a latter-day historian.
 
Yet does it come closer to what may be the conventional current in
theatres of the day.  For Mistress Anne, guilty or innocent of the act
under discussion, was indubitably the mother of the reigning monarch!
 

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Timothy Bowden
 

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