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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: The Mousetrap; Charles's Marginalia
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0120.  Friday, 24 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Scott Shepherd <
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        Date:   Thursday, 23 Jan 1997 17:44:47 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0110  Re: Mousetrap

(2)     From:   Andrew Gurr <
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        Date:   Friday, 24 Jan 1997 10:53:24 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0106  Re: Charles's Marginalia


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <
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Date:           Thursday, 23 Jan 1997 17:44:47 -0500
Subject: 8.0110  Re: Mousetrap
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0110  Re: Mousetrap

> All Claudius need do is"blench"...seems more powerful if the court is
> left ill at ease by the sudden stoppage of the play, rather than the
> disturbing outburst of their king.

According to R&G, the king is marvellous distempered and the queen has been
struck into amazement.  This is more than blenching.  And R&G talk about it in
public so it's no secret to the court.

(But the king's guilt *is* a secret.  And nobody seems to find the outburst
puzzling or suspicious.  It's apparently an understandable direct response to
the play and/or Hamlet's behavior.  Even hauling him off to England strikes
everyone as a reasonable step.)

> My second point is more on a theatrical pacing tack...it's better, I
> think, to have wait to reveal Claudius' heart with the "O my offense is rank"

Better or not, the king's heart is exposed before the Mousetrap ("How smart a
lash that speech doth give my conscience," etc, as he hides for the nunnery
scene).

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Gurr <
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Date:           Friday, 24 Jan 1997 10:53:24 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 8.0106  Re: Charles's Marginalia
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0106  Re: Charles's Marginalia

We shouldn't be so Shakespeare-fixated. Charles wrote changes into his copy of
The Maid's Tragedy, improving the plot. Other Beaumont and Fletcher plays had
his attention too. Try the early quartos in the Bodleian. There's an article on
his changes to The Maid's Tragedy which I read years ago, I think in a
Festschrift volume.

Andrew Gurr.
 

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