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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: July ::
Re: Incest
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0670  Monday, 20 July 1998.

[1]     From:   Roy Flannagan <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jul 1998 11:06:47 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0667  Re: Incest

[2]     From:   Dana Spradley <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jul 1998 09:10:25 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0667  Re: Incest

[3]     From:   Louis Swilley <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jul 1998 14:09:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0667  Re: Incest


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roy Flannagan <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jul 1998 11:06:47 -0400
Subject: 9.0667  Re: Incest
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0667  Re: Incest

I may be misremembering, but I thought a televised version of
<italic>Hamlet </italic>starring Nicol Williamson included scenes of a
long and lingering goodbye kiss between Laertes and Ophelia.  So far as
I know, though, there is no textual evidence that Laertes is anything
more than a possessive busybody with his sister: he treats her almost
exactly the way Polonius does, as a silly girl deceived by a prince
humoring her with his attention and perhaps trying to take advantage of
her innocence.

Roy Flannagan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Spradley <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 17 Jul 1998 09:10:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 9.0667  Re: Incest
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0667  Re: Incest

Actually, as I recall the last time I taught Hamlet both my students and
myself found some odd textual evidence for Polonius/Ophelia incest in
her mad speeches - but none of us we much interested in checking the
dirty linen or phoning up Laertes's social worker. So I used it as an
occasion for a discussion of proto-psychoanalytic representations in
Shakespeare, with echoes of the recent "is it always just
Oedipal/Electral screen memories or it is sometimes Memorex" controversy
among the Freudians.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Swilley <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 17 Jul 1998 14:09:59 -0500
Subject: 9.0667  Re: Incest
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0667  Re: Incest

For whatever it's worth in this discussion, we should remember that
Olivier had his mad Ophelia (Jean Simmons) kiss Laertes full on the
mouth, with resultant amazement and shock on all sides. But then he also
had his Hamlet (himself) giving open-mouthed kisses to Gertrude, his
extraordinarily bossomy mother - much to the irritation of her new
husband, Claudius.
 

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