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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: July ::
Re: Various Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0759.  Wednesday, 16 July 1997.

[1]     From:   Peter T. Hadorn <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 10:37:52 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0757  Re: Various Hamlet

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 12:11:08 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 8.0757  Re: Various Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter T. Hadorn <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 10:37:52 -0400
Subject: 8.0757  Re: Various Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0757  Re: Various Hamlet

Regarding Andy White's question (following):

>>One more Director's question:  does Hamlet really think Claudius is in
>>Gertrude's room, behind the arras?  He's just left him behind in the
>>chapel (which, at Elsinore, is near a spiral staircase leading to the
>>Queen's chambers, I believe) and I've always wondered whether this meant
>>his remarks after stabbing Polonius were meant as sarcasm.
>>
>>Any takers on that one?

For me this has been one of the critical moments in the play.
Throughout, Hamlet's problem has been that he over thinks everything.
This is the one moment in the play that he doesn't think: he acts
impulsively.  When Gertrude asks him what he has done he replies, "Nay,
I know not.  Is it the king?"  I think this is devastating.  Further, it
is this moment that sets the rest of the tragedy in motion (along with
NOT killing Claudius in the previous scene).  It also recalls the
earlier scene when he admires Horatio for not being passion's slave.
For Hamlet, to be human is to rationalize (Hamlet as Humanist).  This
moment casts a shadow on that notion.

Peter T. Hadorn
U of Wisconsin-Platteville

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 12:11:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Various Hamlet
Comment:        SHK 8.0757  Re: Various Hamlet

People think. Hamlet doesn't. It's called art.

T. Hawkes
 

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