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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: October ::
Re: Banquo; Hamlet; Horatio; *Tmp.*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0850.  Saturday, 29 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursdy, 26 Oct 1995 22:49:54 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0840  Re: Ghost of Banquo
 
(2)     From:   Terry Ross <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Oct 1995 09:39:35 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Unsympathetic Hamlet
 
(3)     From:   Steve Sohmer <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Oct 1995 17:57:10 -0400
        Subj:   Horatio's Education
 
(4)     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Oct 1995 00:01:10 +0100
        Subj:   Re: _Londons Love_ and costumes for _The Tempest_
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursdy, 26 Oct 1995 22:49:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0840  Re: Ghost of Banquo
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0840  Re: Ghost of Banquo
 
Since the script calls for a Ghost, I like to SEE a ghost.  But one part of the
ghost scene that I've never seen done to my complete satisfaction is the
exchange at 3.4.91-92 (Riverside):
 
        Lords.  Our duties, and the pledge,
        Macb.  Avaunt, and quit my sight!  let the earth hide thee!
 
Since the Lords do not see the ghost, they would have to take Macbeth's
"Avaunt, and quit my sight!" as aimed at them, but rarely have I seen the Lords
react with enough shock.  I'd like to see the Lords take Macbeth's response
personally, not look around or appear puzzled.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terry Ross <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Oct 1995 09:39:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Unsympathetic Hamlet
 
Antione Goulem writes:
 
> I thought that it might be interesting to play Hamlet as a completely
> unsympathetic character. To show up his selfishness, and his narcissism
> in all the many opportunities that the text allows for.  To have him be
> the object of scorn and pity by all the members of the court.
 
This is the approach used by W. S. Gilbert (sans Sullivan) in his delightful
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern," written long before Stoppard.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Sohmer <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Oct 1995 17:57:10 -0400
Subject:        Horatio's Education
 
While RR Reed tells us nothing about the curriculum Hamlet and Horatio followed
at Wittenberg, Shakespeare gives us a number of clues. For example, Marcellus
says to Horatio, "Thou art a scholar--speak to it [the ghost]." In the
Elizabethan period "scholar" signified one who is learned in the classical
(i.e. Greek and Latin) languages and their literature [OED]. Horatio will
declare himself more antique Roman than Dane. "Scholar" was also "applied to
one who had studied at the university, and who, not having entered any of the
learned professions or obtained any fixed employment, sought to gain a living
by literary work" [OED]. Horatio, as we know, is poor, unemployed, and will
undertake a "literary work," i.e. he will place Hamlet on a stage and tell his
story.
 
The three "post-graduate" fields of study at Wittenberg were medicine,
jurisprudence, and thology. Judging from the meticulous legalistic detail
Horatio employs to describe the pre-fight compact between Old Hamlet and Old
Fortinbras, Horatio may well have studied law. This sort well with Horatio's
"philosophy." Horatio is an Aristotelian whose very name engrosses reason
(ratio). Hamlet will chide Horatio for keeping a philosophy which does not give
adequate place to revelation: "There are more things.../Than are dreamt of in
your philosophy." Wittenberg was associated with a rejection of Aristotelian
and Scholastic philosophies. Luthere believed philosophy could not compass
man's nature or his relationship to God.
 
Finally, the wordplay on "truant" may help us know Horatio, who attributes his
presence at Elsinore to his "truant disposition." Horatio uses "truant" in the
sense of "one who absents himself from school without leave" [OED]. Hamlet may
be playing on another then-common meaning of "truant" when he replies, "I know
you are no truant." In Shakespeare's time, mendicant orders of monks were
called "truants" because their members were required regularly to beg. Although
Horatio is a poor, patient, all-suffering and dispassionate ascetic, Hamlet
denies he's a monk. On the other hand, Luther was a mendicant of the
Augustinian Hermit.
 
All the best,
Steve
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Oct 1995 00:01:10 +0100
Subject:        Re: _Londons Love_ and costumes for _The Tempest_
 
Concerning the suitability of Amphion's costume for the part of Caliban,
Michael Saenger wrote
 
> Amphion is one of the
>"deformed sea-shapes."  In addition, it is not Burbage who is "attyred in his
>apte habits" but rather the sea-shape Amphion. There are, in effect, two
>costumes on Burbage.  Once Burbage became a sea-shape, he then put on standard
>robes of state, quite a common costume, accompanied by the manner of a king.
 
I was mistakenly thinking that the transformation of the sea-shape into
Amphion was complete, but your argument about layers of costume is a much
better reading.
 
The pamphlet's description of the mock sea-batttle with pirates after the
investiture gives support to Richard Wilson's thesis that the actions of
Robert Dudley, exiled Duke of Northumberland turned Mediterranean pirate,
are the primary context for the play's composition and first performance.
 
Gabriel Egan
 

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