Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0958. Tuesday, 17 December 1996.
Date: Monday, 16 Dec 1996 15:12:36 UTC+0100
Subject: Q: Tone of "Madam"
Comment: SHK 7.0936 Q: Tone of "Madam"
Dear Ron Dwelle,
Certainly the tone is ironic, but I would not say that the use of Madam is
completeley ironical here. The force of the irony is in *seems*, whereas
*Madam* is apparently devoid of irony. As to the use of *Madam* when addres-
sing to one's mother, think that Hamlet is not only adressing his mother, but
also the Queen of Denmark and he must show respect before the rest of the
court. No "sneering condescension" to me.