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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: October ::
Re: Hamlet/Ophelia
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1092.  Wednesday, 29 October 1997.

[1]     From:   Richard Bovard <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Oct 1997 10:37:28 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia

[2]     From:   Stacy Mulder <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Oct 1997 13:54:05 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia

[3]     From:   Scott Shepherd <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Oct 1997 16:54:52 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Bovard <
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Date:           Tuesday, 28 Oct 1997 10:37:28 -0600
Subject: 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia

Is it a response based upon his love or his offense at all things
apparent, all lies, all exaggerated styles?  His focus might be "whine"
and "outface"?  Doesn't he go on to complain about prating and ranting?

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stacy Mulder <
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Date:           Tuesday, 28 Oct 1997 13:54:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia

Given the entire Oedipus/incestuous gamut through which Hamlet and his
mother have been repeatedly thrust, why WOULDN'T Hamlet feel threatened
by "romantic" love that Laertes feels (open to interpretation, as
always) for Ophelia.  To Hamlet, that would be the natural reaction.

S. Mulder
Ball State University

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Oct 1997 16:54:52 -0500
Subject: 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia

It seems leaping in the grave is not the sort of thing brothers are
supposed to do at funerals.  Only the grief of a lover "bears such an
emphasis."  Anyway that's Hamlet's complaint:

>...the bravery of his grief did put me
>Into a tow'ring passion.

(Others have found Laertes a little beyond brotherly--even, in some
productions, downright incestuous.)

In spite of "I loved you ever" Laertes and Hamlet are in competition
(and thematic contrast) from the moment we first see them-in 1.2, where
Laertes gets to go to France with everyone's blessing while Hamlet not
only has to stay home but endures a long patronizing lecture to boot.
Laertes sabotages Hamlet's chances with Ophelia (fodder for the incest
interp) and later (like Fortinbras) provides a model for how sons ought
to behave whose fathers have died.

For Hamlet the refusal to be outgriefed at the grave might also be a
kind of self-improvement after his encounter with the first player, when
he lamented

>What would he do
>Had he the motive and the cue for passion
>That I have?  Why he would drown the stage with tears,
>...Whiles I, a dull and muddy-mettled rascal,
>...can say nothing.

S.
 

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