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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: September ::
Re: Hamnet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0833  Friday, 11 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Tad Davis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 12:10:41 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0830  Hamnet

[2]     From:   Liangyi Zhao <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 11:22:04 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0830 Hamnet

[3]     From:   Christopher Nicholson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 20:48:43 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.0830  Hamnet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tad Davis <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 12:10:41 -0400
Subject: 9.0830  Hamnet
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0830  Hamnet

Cindy Sullivan asked about Hamnet Shakespeare and "Hamlet". Many writers
have suggested that Hamnet and Judith Shakespeare were named after
neighbors Hamnet and Judith Sadler, and Hamnet Sadler's name appears at
one point in Shakespeare's will as "Hamlett": so there could be a
connection on some level. Anthony Burgess once suggested the names were
interchangeable, using the analogy "chimney/chimbley."

Speculating about the cause and effect between Hamnet's death and the
writing of "Hamlet" is skating on thin ice. At the same time, thin ice
or not, it's hard to imagine someone in Shakespeare's situation writing
the character of Hamlet and NOT finding himself inundated with memories
of his son. If (as Jonathan Bate suggests in his recent book
"Shakespeare's Genius") the boy William in "Merry Wives" is a joking
self-reference, why couldn't Hamlet likewise be a kind of semi-private
self-reference? The fact that the play is probably a revision of a play
by someone else, and that the story was around for centuries, doesn't
rule out the possibility that Shakespeare's private situation added to
the mix.

Tad Davis

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Liangyi Zhao <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 11:22:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0830 Hamnet
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0830 Hamnet

I don't know about that, but if you're thinking along the line of the
similarities in name Hamnet and Hamlet, then you'd probably be wrong.
Hamlet comes from a Danish legend and the main character in the legend
goes by the name of Amleth.

Lee

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christopher Nicholson <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 20:48:43 +0100
Subject: 9.0830  Hamnet
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.0830  Hamnet

Forgive my ignorance but whose was Hamnet?  I'm familiar with Amleth and
the stories around his death, indeed the name Corambus is derived from
this story (featured in the 1st "Bad" Quarto as Corambus/Polonius) but
I'm afraid my knowledge of Danish History is a little vague...

Would you be so good as to enlighten me?

Thanks,
Christopher
 

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