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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: Hamlet (the father) and Gertrude
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 808.  Wednesday, 17 Nov. 1993.
 
From:           David Richman <
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Date:           Tuesday, 16 Nov 1993 14:20:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Hamlet (the father), Gertrude, Incest, Ted Hughes
 
Perhaps the satyr is a better lover than Hyperion. In a 1972 Joe Papp
production in Central Park, Colleen Dewhurst and James Earl Jones made a
sympathetic, sexually electric Gertrude and Claudius. Hamlet was a bit of a
prig in that production.  One (I for one) wanted him to get offstage so they
could get on with it.
 
If one is to compile the Q's and F on the Gertrude question, one would have to
include the three versions of the solid-sallied flesh speech, the versions of
the Ghost's speeches about Gertrude, and Gertrude's scene immediately prior to
Ophelia's entrance, as well as the closet scene.  (As I recall, Q1's ghost
accuses little brother of incest, but not adultery.)  For a taste, one text
says (quoting from memory, so may be wrong here) "As if increase of appetite
had grown / By what is fed on."  Another text, Q1 I believe, says:  "As if
increase of appetite had grown / By what it looks on."  (Again, quoting from
memory, and moderizing spelling and punctuation.  Pace scholars.)
 
On the brothers, I believe the five-performer *Hamlet* now touring college
campuses from ACTER, Santa Barbara's "Actors from the London Stage) has the
same performer playing Claudius and the Ghost.  These same tours, a few years
ago, had the same performer playing Don Pedro and Don John.
 
If no one has compiled the texts by late December, when I get a break, I'll do
it.
 
(Hope *Twelfth Night* went well, Steve.)
 
Cheers,
David Richman
 

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