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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: March ::
Re: *Hamlet* Questions
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0221.  Friday, 17 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Timothy Dayne Pinnow <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Mar 1995 14:28:55 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0217  *Hamlet* Questions
 
(2)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Mar 1995 11:40:09 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0217  *Hamlet* Questions
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Dayne Pinnow <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Mar 1995 14:28:55 -0600
Subject: 6.0217  *Hamlet* Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0217  *Hamlet* Questions
 
Albert Misseldine writes:
 
>There were things I liked about Mel Gibson's *Hamlet*, and the critics treated
>it kindly for the most part. But there was one thing that seemed really wrong
>to me, and I haven't seen it discussed. (Of course, I may have missed it). When
>Hamlet and Laertes fight at the end, they are swinging at each other with
>murderous intent, and with broadswords, not rapiers (bated or unbated). Anyway,
>the way they were swinging bated or unbated would make no difference. Might as
>well bate a battle-ax. And yet they say all the lines, and what a mockery the
>fight makes of Hamlet's "These foils have all a length?"
 
As a stage combat teacher I'll throw in a few ideas.  If you're trying to be
historically accurate about the Danish weapons of Hamlet's time, the Gibson
weapons are fairly accurate.  Does fit well with the Elizabethan text though.
Even Elizabethan rapiers were much wider than most of us imagine.  The typical
double wide epee rapiers most modern productions use are historically
incorrect.  The Elizabethan rapier was as much as 1.5 inches wide at the base.
Furthermore, "bated" could simply have meant that they were not sharpened, not
the typical button end we see in modern fencing equipment.
 
                                        For what it's worth,
                                                 Timothy Dayne Pinnow
                                                 St. Olaf College
                                                 
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 16 Mar 1995 11:40:09 -0800
Subject: 6.0217  *Hamlet* Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0217  *Hamlet* Questions
 
What I wonder is this: Cladius made the announcement to all when he dropped the
poison pellet in the vessel, which was the pearl I think.  In any case, suppose
Hamlet would have drained it off after the first bout, and then dropped dead.
It seems to me that all would know he murdered Hamlet, or what could the King
have said to excuse himself?
 

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