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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: June ::
Various Questions Related to *Ham.*
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0705.  Tuesday, 24 June 1997.

[1]     From:   Chris Clark <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Jun 1997 15:05:48 -0400
        Subj:   Hamlet's Madness

[2]     From:   Chris Clark <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Jun 1997 16:42:42 -0400
        Subj:   Shakespeare Criticism

[3]     From:   Chris Clark <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Jun 1997 16:45:27 -0400
        Subj:   Polonius/Laertes


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Clark <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Jun 1997 15:05:48 -0400
Subject:        Hamlet's Madness

A few ideas, outlining the skeleton of an essay I intend to produce on
the subject of whether Hamlet is mad.

Hamlet describes himself as 'but mad north-north-west,' and Polonius
observes that 'there is method in his madness.' Hamlet also clearly
states (to Gertrude?) that he will assume the appearance of madness (to
excuse his actions?). Some would argue that Hamlet is mad, but only in
the sections in which he speaks in rhyme (or when the wind is blowing in
the wrong direction, such as in the final scene with southerly wind,
which would logically aggravate Hamlet's madness), but this feigned
madness is surely counterpointed by that of Ophelia, which we are
presumably to accept as genuine, in that it truly represents loss of
reason. Possibly his madness lies in his willingly following the ghost,
and he loses his soul at this point. Others would contend that his
madness is lack of reason in that he cannot resolve behind one course of
action, but views each case in so many different ways, and that each
action he does take is not considered, but taken impulsively (killing
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, and Polonius). His deification of his father
also seems unreasonable, while his indecision proves fatal.

Comments?

Cheers,
Chris

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Clark <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Jun 1997 16:42:42 -0400
Subject:        Shakespeare Criticism

Is there an online bibliography of books/journals dealing with criticism
of Shakespeare? I realise this is a huge undertaking, but I would like
to find such a resource, or possibly even produce one, because, knowing
it would be of use to me in researching related subjects in which I am
interested, I know it could be of use to other students...

Anyone have any ideas? Specifically at the moment I am searching for
Hamlet and his madness material, which I am studying and submitting an
essay to school for [but I had a free choice of any book of any time
period, and chose this of my own volition, and read it alone, analysing
it in great detail], so any related info would be cool...

Thanks very much..

Chris

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Clark <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Jun 1997 16:45:27 -0400
Subject:        Polonius/Laertes

I have searched for ages, but can see no reason why Polonius sends
Reynaldo off to check up on Laertes... excluding the theme of
surveillance which is common in the play, is there any reason you can
think of?

[this is curiosity, and does not relate to my work at all]

Cheers,
Chris
 

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